The Service Council's Blog

The Internet of Things Establishes a New Normal in Service

Posted by Sumair Dutta on May 8, 2015 6:31:44 AM

The Internet of Things (IoT) delivers a significant boost to organizations looking to provide better service and maintenance. Data captured directly from equipment and machines allows servicing organizations to better predict future failures and resolve them prior to occurrence. In cases where incidents do occur, intelligent failure analysis and diagnosis allows for intelligent dispatch of the right resources to ensure that the issue is resolved effectively on a first-visit.

In short, data afforded by a connected service infrastructure allows for the service organization to:

  • Predict and prevent future service events
  • Plan for improving support tied to future events
  • Respond effectively to occurring service events

Data captured directly from machines can also allow for the generation of new service models or new revenue generating services. For instance, direct insight into machine usage or consumable levels can lead to direct shipment of necessary consumables for self-service. More so, insight into usage trends can allow for the servicing organization to sell reporting or consulting services at a fee. These services enable the customer to maximize the uptime and utility of their assets and products.

Our research shows that organizations that have made investments in remote monitoring solutions and technology have seen significant improvements in asset uptime and first-time fix. These improvements aren’t enabled solely as a result of the technology, but due to the maturity of these organizations to incorporate data directly captured from machines into their service and customer interaction business models. Data captured via the Internet of Things isn’t the only data available to these organizations. Machine data needs to be paired with front-line performance data, customer data, resource data, warranty data, and more, to get a true picture of the service delivery ecosystem. Therefore organizations need to have the infrastructure in place to capture data, aggregate data, analyze data, and subsequently convert this data into insight. This insight doesn't only a yield a more predictive service organization, but one that is better across all lines of service, ranging from predictive to reactive to self-service.

There are challenges with incorporating IoT into the service business model. In our research, the major roadblocks touch on the cost of deployment, the complexity of deployment (tied to new and existing infrastructure), and the hesitance from customers to have ‘others’ tap into their machine data and procedures. The first two challenges continue to be impacted by improvements and enhancements in technology and connectivity.

The third challenge around customer access is a major hurdle and is one that needs to be addressed before organizations jump into their IoT journeys. Currently, the inherent value of IoT is seen in more effective service delivery, a benefit primarily felt by the servicing organization and not the customer. It is true that improved asset availability as a result of a connected ecosystem is a significant customer benefit, but it is one whose impact is being eroded, as IoT-enabled service becomes the new normal. More so, customers are becoming much more aware of what they have to give up (their asset information) in exchange for what will become a normal level of service.

As a result, organizations are beginning to look for new ways to communicate and deliver customer value tied to their connected offerings. In fact, the ability of organizations to continuously find new ways of delivering customer value and communicating this value will determine the winners in the new IoT-enabled era that we will enter. Uptime is a good starting point, but what else can be offered to the customer in order for them to allow the servicing organization to tap into their machines. Is it in the form of discounted contracts, more convenient payment terms, or a more customer friendly consumption model? At this point, the servicing organization still holds the power, but as connected service becomes the new normal, customers will look for better allowances to allow a particular service provider to tap into their information.

I'll be chatting about this new normal on an upcoming webcast on May 12 at 12pm Eastern. You can register for that webcast here.

This post also appears on Verisae's official blog.

Topics: Internet of Things, connected products, Field Service, Perspective, connected service, remote service, IoT

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