This article examines the strategic responses to the process of commoditisation in service provision and proposes a framework to analyse the potential options that are available to businesses that face such conditions. This framework is based upon a contingency approach to strategy formation which works on the basis that if firms are subject to the same environmental pressures then the same strategic responses are possible. The framework assesses the move towards the provision of solutions where the firm seeks to generate a differential between the generic (commodity) and the offered product through higher degrees of customer intimacy. This proposition is then explored through a multiple case analysis of the UK's alternative telecommunications network operators. In this sector, there is evidence of a shift towards offering solutions though it is clear that the full effects of commoditisation have yet to work their way fully through the industry. © 2009 Taylor & Francis.