The 12 Things We Learned at LiveWorx (Part II)

LiveWorx 2017This past Tuesday, we looked at the first three takeaways service organizations learned at LiveWorx 2017. Now, we'll discuss three lessons on how to implement connected service.  

Connected service, or service that is enabled by IoT solutions, whether it's remotely servicing assets in the field or having field technicians enabled with next-generation connectivity to service and parts information, is a goal for many manufacturers and OEMs. But connected service isn’t a goal unto itself, it’s a goal in service of your customers, business goals, or ideally, a combination of the two. After reading about the big picture, read on for three lessons we learned at LiveWorx 2017 about implementing a connected service strategy and solution. 

4. What results do service leaders want to achieve?

When PTC engaged IDC to survey service leaders on their goals for offering connected services such as remote service or predictive service, responses fell along similar lines: increasing revenue and meeting customer expectations. Connected service solutions open up new revenue streams by adding value-added service options for your customers, as well as allow for cost savings by making service providers more efficient with their time and resources. But survey responses showed a large focus on meeting increasing customer expectations around speed of service as a leading reason for seeking out connected solutions. This was followed by using connected service as a competitive differentiator, and as a method to achieve higher customer retention. Do your organizational goals line up? If you are not focusing on revenue generation or customer satisfaction, what are your goals? Do you need to further refine them?

5. Connected service solutions – Build or buy?

Once you’ve decided that your organization and customers would benefit from connected service, you’ll be faced with a decision to either build your own solution in-house or partner with a vendor offering a commercial solution. There are advantages and drawbacks to each, and you’ll need to weigh your pros and cons before deciding your next step. Building your own solution may allow you to customize connected service options to your exact needs, but with several challenges: do you have those development skills in-house and can you spare their time for this project? Next, will your teams be able to support these solutions as technologies, platforms, and operating systems change? These are hidden, but very real costs. Partnering with a vendor for a connected service solution will allow you to meet a percentage of your exact requirements, and may include additional costs such as implementation or subscription fees. Another important factor is IoT security, a crucial consideration. Will your team have the bandwidth to constantly update its security knowledge in order to maintain data and system integrity? Here, working with a vendor may provide substantial benefits.  

6. How to get customers on board

While your organization may see an immediate value in implementing connected service solutions, your partners may be hesitant to connect their assets and data to your platform. Some customers may balk at the idea of being “monitored” while others may have genuine concerns about data security and industry regulations around data transfers. Focus your discussion about connected service around providing your customers with maximum uptime, and that these solutions will allow them to minimize disruptions to their business. For customers with security concerns, having a solution with an advanced security certification, can help put them at ease.  

Connected service solutions powered by the IoT allow your service organization to get closer to your customers, exceeding their expectations, and retaining them for longer. For your business, this means additional revenue, and more profitable contracts.

Read Part I of IV here.

Read Part III of IV here.

Read Part IV of IV here.

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