|This is the question that is top of mind with many service executives today. We all know that cloud is upon us and is gaining speed but what can we do to make sure we protect our current business models and prepare for the emerging business model. What impact will cloud have on our current support and field services organizations? Does our data hold the key? Come hear what compelling events are pulling us forward and what you can do to lead the way in your company to protect and transform services revenues.
Evolving On-Premise Support and Field Service Organizations to a Cloud Model
The services industry is experiencing a mega trend. The next wave of tech is a shift in computing models from on premises to cloud-based, resulting in significant changes to the profitability of most services businesses. At Technology Services World 2011 Las Vegas, TSIA launched a new book entitled Consumption Economics by J.B. Wood, Todd Hewlin, and Thomas Lah. The key premise of the book is the change that is occurring in how customers buy and adopt technology. The implications for support and field service organizations of transitioning their revenue streams from a paid-up-front basis to a subscription-consumption basis are huge.
On March 29, you are invited to join me, Sally Foster, as I discuss the impact on support and field services organizations of consumption economics.
Tune in for this informative webcast to hear:
Register now to learn how the cloud is reshaping the future for support and field services.
I look forward to sharing some critical business insights with you and provide you with ways to transform your business for the future.
Field services organizations are really challenged today to reduce costs and leverage technology while preserving the customer experience. Sound familiar? On Thursday, March 22 at 10:00am PST, a webcast was held to share how your field services organization can become more productive by deploying mobile technology now. Don’t be left behind with this important development fast becoming table stakes for field services organization.
The 5 Drivers of Field Service Mobility
Planning to finally pull the mobility trigger in 2012? You are not alone! TSIA research shows that field service organizations, many of whom have been sitting on the fence for the last few years, are now pulling the trigger in droves. In fact, almost half of field service organizations are now deploying mobility in their operations, and 40% of technology firms have budget for new or additional field service mobility in 2012-2013. It’s time to move, or risk getting left behind.
Join TSIA and ServiceMax for this insightful 30 minute webcast on the 5 key forces that are driving this trend. John Ragsdale, VP Technology Research, TSIA and Susan Tonkin, Product Marketing Manager, ServiceMax will discuss why 2012 is the year for a mobile revolution in Field Service, lessons learned from previous mobility efforts, and how you can leverage mobility to not only create new efficiencies in your field service operations, but also drive new revenue opportunities.
To register for the on-demand and also to download the PDF of the presentation just click on the link below:
2011 was a year many of us will never forget from a financial perspective! 2012 so far has also been greatly humbling for most businesses. Few businesses are immune from the financial pressures and market conditions. As a former Service Executive, I remember all too well the yearly planning cycles when plans would be created then the reality would hit of what the business could afford. The reality for today’s businesses, especially support businesses, is they have to do more with less. Customers are changing how they want to interact with support organizations and investments need to be scrubbed for necessity and immediacy.
Reducing support costs must be balanced with the impact it will have on the customer experience and the ability to generate further revenue. TSIA’s Support Channel Optimization Survey provides a focused perspective of what leading member companies are doing to address this dilemma. This survey will cover a number of critical support factors, including workforce management, customer loyalty, and overall effectiveness.
This survey is open to TSIA member companies only. Each company that completes the survey will receive a copy of the resulting research when it is released in May. This survey will provide you with:
- a comparison of your channel strategy and productivity with industry peers
- an insight into what kind of investments industry leaders are making to provide a better customer experience
- how you can leverage support channels to reduce costs, drive customer satisfaction, and maximize customer issue resolution
How many times have you been waiting on hold for a service and you think how important is my business to this firm if I am on hold for 10-20 minutes or more? If you add up all the time your customers are on hold waiting for you to answer their call which you say is important to you that number would be stunning. The wait times for customers to receive service are all the same whether it is waiting on hold for someone to answer their question, waiting on a delivery of a replacement unit for a failed device or waiting to receive a medical test or consultation with a doctor. Customer are taking time away from their businesses to receive service and it is costing them money.
In a recent article that appeared in Time MoneyLand the title was all telling:
“We Lost $38 Billion Last Year Just Waiting Around for the Cable Guy”
Just announced: the TSIA STAR Award categories for Technology Services World (TSW) 2012 Silicon Valley conference for Support and Field Services. These awards are designed to recognize companies that have developed and implemented the most innovative and efficient processes for service and support delivery.
If you are one of these companies we invite you to apply. Applications are reviewed by a select industry committee that will provide you with feedback on your baseline data, detailed processes and performance metrics.
Don’t miss these important dates and deadlines for STAR Awards Spring 2012:
- November 10, 2011: Call for nominations
- December 21, 2011: Nominations closed for Spring 2012
- Thursday, February 9, 2012, 11:59 pm (PT): Closing date for submitting applications:
- April 16, 2012: Finalists notified during this week
- May 9, 2012: Awards Luncheon at the Technology Services World (TSW) Conference, Santa Clara
The STAR Awards Spring 2012 Categories for Support Services and Field Services Members of TSIA are:
- STAR Award for Excellence in Customer Commitment
- STAR Award for Excellence in Knowledge Management Practices
- STAR Award for Excellence in Online Support
- STAR Award for Excellence in Service Delivery Optimization
- STAR Award for Excellence in Value Added Support
- STAR Award for Excellence in Use Of Metrics & Business Intelligence
- STAR Award for Excellence in Service Spare Parts Management
For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, TSIA advanced programs project coordinator.
We look forward to seeing you as a STAR Award 2012 applicant soon.
Panel Discussion: Optimizing Your Spare Parts Business
This session was all about how today’s spare parts professional needs to think about such fundamentals as: forward logistics, reverse logistics, and metrics. In these times of Consumption Economics our Field Services organizations are being pressured to keep inventory levels low so as to reduce the spend. We see the end user desiring to pay for value vs. cooler features.
The Technology Services World Conference (TSW) in Las Vegas has drawn to a close but not without attendees hearing about how to optimize their spare parts business. This engaging panel of Mary Cay Kosten, Vice President, Field Services for EMC and Brian Hayward, Senior Director for Avaya and Bill Prutting, Regional Service Delivery Manager for Carestream Health provided compelling practices to help attendees learn how they could optimize their spare parts businesses.
You might think that the spare parts business is a well oiled machine and there are not many challenges for such a mature operation. Not so. The spare parts business has many challenges such as constant pressure to cut costs by reducing inventory, understanding the implications of the rapid growth in remote diagnostic and repair capabilities, working defective parts globally and still meet SLAs, unique requirements in emerging markets vis- -vis country regulations and customs and parts recovery that has the “need for speed”.
For field services what this means is that our customers’ needs are changing, and we need to think about how we will support them profitably. In the world of cloud and micro-transactions, the person we are serving is changing in many cases to the end user, and the skill set required to do that is very different.
The systems to support that user, and millions of others, are very different as well. The complex process of navigating a call menu to speak to someone who can solve your problem is a thing of the past.
Being on hold for minutes at a time will give the customer an opportunity to think about who else can serve them faster. Waiting days for a replacement product to arrive will no longer serve the customer who wants on-demand service.
How prepared are you to meet these challenges of your changing customer? TSIA provided answers to its members on how to meet this challenge.
Day 2 of the Technology Services World Conference in Las Vegas, NV is standing room only for most breakout sessions!
Moderator Sharon Pettigrew, President of Call Center Group lead the discussion on “Listening and Acting on the Voice of the Customer – CSAT” and was joined by Lala Mamedov, Director of Customer Focused Technical Support for Juniper Networks and Radha Penekelapati, Director of Global Support Operations for SalesForce.com
How many times have you heard companies say we listen to our customers, we survey them all the time??? They are surveyed but I would advocate little if any of the feedback is put into action.
Listening is a skill that all of us can learn more about. Did you know that only 25% of what we hear we retain. Think about it 1 in 4 retention – that’s bad especially when it is something that is important like our customers.
Listening is a critical component of any action plan but one that is the difficult to achieve. For years our customers have been telling us our products are too complex and we continued to provide them with the coolest and most complicated features.
Listening is the key to a solid relationship with our customers and a requirement for realistic action plan. Once we get the data from their feedback we need to analyze it and create an actionable plan to address their concerns.
The session explored such concepts as active listening to the Voice of the Customer for purposes of improving our products and services, reducing costs, improving our processes and most importantly learning what our customers want and will buy.
The NET, NET of the Voice of the Customer is we must create a “Listening & Changing” Culture and the Voice of the Customer is an ongoing process improvement – not an event!
This session provided an approach for absorbing what our customers are saying and articulating that in a plan that will build customer loyalty and create satisfied customers. We owe it to our customers who are investing in our products and services.
Are you listening to your customers and if so what are you doing about what they are saying?
Our first day at TSW started with an amazing keynote by JB Wood and Todd Hewlin on Consumption Economics: The New Rules of Tech. Thomas Lah followed with an engaging talk about Consumption Economics Today and provided attendees with tactics that could be used to address this growing dynamic called Consumption Economics that I wrote about earlier in the blog.
After the Keynotes attendees were invited to attend a TSIA Power Hour with each of the Research Vice Presidents. My Power Hour was on Service Delivery: the Service Executive’s View on Benchmarking.
Service Executive’s View on Benchmarking
What is benchmarking and how can it add value to your business?
Over the years, as a Service Executive, I have been asked to transform various customer support organizations in companies. The most critical part of this transformation is establishing a starting point or baseline. The other key question is what is the investment strategy of the company for its support organization and what type of support is there a commitment to deliver.
In answering these questions one needs a framework to assess what is going on in the support business. How does your business compare with the industry and your peers. We can all pay for competitive intelligence or hire a consultant to do a point in time assessment of our business compared to the industry but that only provides us with a small snapshot of what is going on at that moment in time.
What TSIA’s benchmark survey process brings to the table is a data not opinion oriented view of industry practices and metrics. How many times have you heard someone say something about support in a meeting that is something that you know is just fiction and not fact based? I used to say to my teams: SPEAK WITH FACTS. When you set that as a guideline often the conversations get much shorter!!
When it comes to the business of support everyone has an opinion. What is important to determine is what is fact and what is fiction. Serving customers and delivering support is one of the toughest jobs out there and there are many misconceptions about how to best deliver it.
The TSIA benchmark survey provides a fact driven tool to assess your practices and metrics with the industry and your peers providing you with real trends and fresh data.
Benchmarking removes the guesswork out of what is really going on in the organization. It provides a Service Executive with an objective view of what other industry leaders and peers view as operational excellence.
When taken regularly benchmarking provides a gauge that removes the doubt from the equation and provides the support and field service businesses with an overall assessment of their health compared to other comparable businesses.
Benchmarking is a powerful tool for those who want to elevate the discussion of support best practices and appropriate investment that it takes to run a viable support business.
The presentation room was packed and numerous questions were asked about when attendees could get started on inputing information for their benchmark survey.
Have you started the benchmarking process? If not, your business is missing out on valuable data that could transform it in this Consumption Economics world.
With the launch this week of my new blog, “What Would Sally Do?” I look forward to addressing and discussing emerging trends in the industry. Please add my blog to your list of industry resources, and stay tuned as I begin to publish a new stream of research for TSIA.com.
For everyone attending our upcoming conference, Technology Services World Las Vegas, kicking off next week at the Mirage, I will be presenting in three sessions:
- Service Executive’s View on Benchmarking. A Power Hour session on Monday at 4:15pm, in which we will discuss the importance of benchmarking as the foundation for building success in a support organization, and enhancing credibility with customers. Come hear how you can transform your organization to a thriving–and not just surviving–customer support center by using benchmarking.
- Listening and Acting on the Voice of the Customer. On Tuesday at 2:15pm, I will be moderating a panel discussion with the Call Center Group, Juniper Networks and Salesforce.com on challenges and successes in championing the voice of the customer in their organizations.
- Optimizing Your Spare Parts Business. On Wednesday at 11am, I will participate in a panel discussion with Avaya, Carestream Health, EMC and NetApp on the three cornerstones of every successful spare parts operation, and how today’s spare parts professional needs to think about these fundamentals: forward logistics, reverse logistics, and metrics.
The Implications of Consumption Economics on Support and Field Services: What We Know Can Save Our Business, but We Must Act NowOctober 19th, 2011 by Sally Foster
With the TSIA’s industry conference in single digit countdown until the we arrive in Las Vegas we are all furiously putting the finishing touches on presentations for our attendees. This conference is headed toward record breaking attendance and content. Also, we are very excited about the launch of our latest book: Consumption Economics: The New Rules of Tech.
Consumption Economics is the book we have all been waiting for in the services industry. When I read the book I thought, this is it, this is what we have been talking about and struggling with for years. TSIA leadership has documented the next shift that is looming over the technology services business as we witness the evolution of cloud causing the decline of up-front application and user license fees being replaced by pay as you go models.
Consumption Economics is the book that every senior executive in the technology services industry should read to prepare for what will change the course of their company’s future—the alignment of services organizations.
As TSIA’s Vice President – Research for Support and Field Services, I advise member companies on support and field services challenges they are facing in their business. I advise them on ways to improve their operational, quality, and financial metrics by comparing themselves to best practices in the industry and their peer groups. Additionally, we publish multi–member studies, research reports and services insights that help member companies focus on key industry trends and practices.
In many of my conversations with member companies about Consumption Economics it is clear that this is a critical issue they are facing and there are varying degrees of preparedness for what is looming overhead.
Consumption Economics has big implications for support and field services organizations, and a few are highlighted here.
CUSTOMERS’ TASTES ARE CHANGING: SMALLER BITES WITH BIGGER DEMANDS
A number of things have been occurring over the last few years in the technology industry, and while we have all witnessed them we have not added them up and put a label on them. Tech companies have been building more and more products with more and more features ostensibly based on the customers’ demand for more. What has really been occurring is that the customers’ voice has reached a crescendo, and just now we are starting to hear what they have been saying to us.
For years customer support centers in high-tech companies have consistently heard customers say that products are too complex: “It has more features than I need. Just give me something that is good enough and simpler to use. The more time I spend in your support center, the more time I am not focusing on my business.”
The name for this is Consumption Economics. This concept states that tech companies have been adding features and complexity to their products at a much faster pace than customers can consume. The result is a growing gap between the value the product can provide and the business value customers are able to achieve. This gap is called the Consumption Gap, as illustrated in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: The Growing Consumption Gap
Source: Wood, J.B., Thomas Lah, and Todd Hewlin. 2011. Consumption Economics: The New Rules of Tech. San Diego: Point B, Inc.
Come to TSIA’s industry conference in Las Vegas and we will tell you more about this growing gap and what businesses are doing to address it. The gap is widening at warp speed and my guess is some companies will sail over it and some will be gobbled up by it. Who will you be?