In order to facilitate the comprehension of the following discussion, a number of terms are clarified and an example is given (see also Chapter 2).
Service providers take the responsibility (and the risk) of installing specific
products in response to market demands for applications. They acquire the selected
technology from system manufacturers and can contract integrators
to supply the actual products.
Example: A bank (service provider) decides to set up a telephone service to facilitate the transactions of its clients (the application). Such a decision is usually governed by economic factors and compromises cost and client satisfaction. The bank is responsible for the specifications of the product that will be installed. It may produce a call for proposals describing these specifications. System integrators will answer the call with specific solutions (potential products) made of system components integrated with a user interface. The bank will select the ``best'' solution.