Consona Starts Consolidation Between CRM and Remote Support with SupportSoft Asset Purchase

Over the last 2 years I have made recommendations to many multi-channel service vendors that they consider partnering or acquiring some remote support technology.  To me, it makes perfect sense.  Today’s remote support tools allow access to a wide array of operating systems and devices, including Mac, Linux, unattended servers (creating a market for B2B remote support), mobile devices, the list goes on and on.  And, as the home office and home theatre begin merging, remote support tools will be able to diagnose and resolve all sorts of consumer issues.

So I was thrilled to see the announcment on Monday that Consona had acquired the remote support software assets from SupportSoft.  SupportSoft was an early leader in remote support, with innovative capabilities far beyond remote control:  diagnostics, self-healing scripts, etc.  In fact, I did a case study on SupportSoft’s success at BellSouth back in 2002.  In the last couple of years, SupportSoft reinvented itself as, a 3rd party support desk for consumers and SMBs, and no longer wanted to be in the enterprise software business.

Remote support technology is primarily used by the communications, consumer hardware and software, and IT support industries.  But, as platforms expand and new device and OS support is added, the business case for remote support expands.  As an example, I read last week that another remote support vendor, LogMeIn, had signed a deal with Ford to include LogMeIn’s remote access feature in a new dashboard control allowing owners of Ford F-150, Super Duty, E-Series and Transit Connect trucks and vans to access applications and files on any interent connected computer. This technology will soon be a basic part of our daily lives.

I’ve done a lot of webcasts about remote support, and one thing I’ve found is that the ROI for remote support is much higher when the tool is deeply integrated with the support architecture.  Here’s a graphic from one of those webcasts:

Streamline processes with integration

Streamline processes with integration

When you create an incident, you can automatically search the knowledgebase using case notes.  When you view a knowledgebase article, it includes a link to start a remote support session if appropriate.  And when you finish, an audit trail of all the work performed via remote support is automatically written to the case for reporting and root cause analysis.  Unfortunately, most companies don’t integrate their tools this deeply.  Offering a preintegrated remote support suite for Consona’s popular CRM, knowledgebase and eService solutions will be a big win for customers.

Have you integrated your remote support tool to your CRM system and knowledgebase? Please add a comment or shoot me a note with any thoughts or questions; I will reply to all.  And as always, thanks for reading!

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4 Comments on “Consona Starts Consolidation Between CRM and Remote Support with SupportSoft Asset Purchase”

  1. Cory Says:

    In our consumer tech support team, we handle 2-6 concurrent chats, based on agent skill and workload. There are long pauses sometimes as we wait for customers to find info and type a reply, so an experienced agent can tackle multiple issues without impacting service. Our system tracks time delay between customer answering and us responding to make sure no chats are ignored. Our younger agents are particularly good at multi tasking.

  2. jragsdale Says:

    Thanks Cory. Unlike most new channels, when we usually say start with your most experienced agents, there is no denying Gen Y likely has great skills for chat!

    Good point about metrics. Thanks for the comment.


  3. I think that using with these programs provides benefits to both sides. The expert is happier because they are saving time and not having to talk a user through an operation, and the client feels good because they are actually receiving support, rather than being instructed on how to do it themselves.

    • jragsdale Says:

      You are so right. When I did my ROI study on remote support I found that the tool actually improves employee satisfaction and can lower retention. Support techs feel empowered when they can take control and fix problems, and it makes them happier overall.

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