Announcing the Fall 2009 Recognized Innovator Award Categories
I am happy to announce the categories for the Fall 2009 Recognized Innovator Awards, which will be held in conjunction with our upcoming Technology Services World conference in Las Vegas, October 19-21 at the Mirage Hotel and Event Center. Awards are presented to association partners, and judged by a panel of association members and industry insiders.
In time for the conference, JB Wood, CEO of the AFSMI, SSPA and TPSA, will publish a new book detailing the immense challenges – and opportunities — facing the technology service and support industry. To support this theme, the Fall 2009 Recognized Innovator Awards will focus on categories that are key components of the book, illustrating how association partners enable member success by providing innovative technology and services to help companies survive the complexity onslaught– and even prosper. The fall categories are:
Innovation in Battling Complexity. Technology complexity has been rapidly increasing and the percentage of members who say the products they support are highly complex has grown from 42% to 62% since 2003. Rising complexity affects many areas of service and support operations, and the Recognized Innovator in this category will provide real-world examples of how their technology or services help companies battle complexity, through impacts such as:
- Technical Support. Streamlining technical training, cutting time to diagnose and resolve problems, enabling more complex issues to be solved via self-service, outsourcing complex or multi-vendor support issues.
- Professional Services. Reducing the length of projects for implementation and customization of technology, better communication with technical resources in support and development, ease and efficiency in communicating to all project/organization consultants the success tips or techniques to quickly resolve unexpected problems.
- Field Service. Eliminating onsite visits, reducing repeat visits, cutting time to resolve and/or time onsite, better prediction of skills and parts needed for appointments.
Innovation in Closing the Consumption Gap. A key challenge stemming from the rise of complexity is the consumption gap, and ultimately the time to realize the benefits and reduce the time to next purchase. Customers that struggle to overcome rising complexity in products and services are not able to consume their purchases fully, making the repurchase cycle either longer or even nonexistent. The Recognized Innovator in this category will provide real-world examples of how companies are leveraging their technology or services to improve or accelerate consumption by customers. Examples could include:
- Technical Support. Embedded product support to automate resolution or provide self-healing, proactive monitoring, remote support, rich media sources for training and self-service to supplement or replace text; outsourced TAM support.
- Professional Services. Improved customer training and documentation for products, integrations and customizations; libraries of custom code to facilitate reuse; collaboration with development and QA to quickly resolve issues.
- Field Service. Embedded product support to automate resolution or provide self-healing, proactive monitoring, remote support, preventative maintenance services, customer ‘health checks’ and/or customer success indexes.
Innovation in Service Economics. The Associations’ Services 50 Study documents the rise of services revenue for large high tech companies, which now represents more than 70% of revenue from software firms and a third of the revenues for hardware firms. While this trend means that service and support enjoys more visibility and influence with company executives and Wall Street analysts, it also means that service executives are eager to identify new sources of revenue. The Recognized Innovator in this category will provide real-world examples of how companies are leveraging their technology or services to generate incremental services revenue. Examples could include:
- Technical Support. Technology or services that enable or streamline offerings such as a Technical Account Manager, remote monitoring, proactive support, or maintenance renewals. For consumer companies this could be technology for which consumers pay a premium, such as remote control or a self-healing option.
- Professional Services. Technology that helps PS groups build libraries of repeatable services, as well as automation tools to better capture project work performed and streamline the billing process.
- Field Service. Tools for upsell/cross-sell in the field such as offer management and OnDemand print devices; real-time recording of work performed onsite and time/expenses to speed billing and receivables.
Winners will receive their awards on the main stage during my keynote, and as always I will lead tours of the winner’s booths in the Technology Services Expo.
This means I am now recruiting my judges panel. Each judge is only responsible for 1 category; reading and scoring the applications takes about 45 minutes to an hour. If you follow service technology and are interested in being a judge, please email me at email@example.com. If you are a reader of my blog, you qualify!