Archive for June 2011

Announcing the Fall 2011 Recognized Innovator Awards

June 28, 2011

TSIA is pleased to announce the categories for the Fall 2011 Recognized Innovator Awards, which honor TSIA partners for outstanding innovation in products and services. Awards are judged by a panel of TSIA members and industry experts, with awards presented during the closing ceremonies of Technology Services World (TSW) in Las Vegas on October 26, 2011.

The content for TSW Las Vegas is focused on three main content threads, which address the top concerns of executives across services disciplines: Growing Services Revenue, including new markets, new service offerings and pricing strategies; Managing Services Profitability, including cloud’s impact on services financials and navigating VSOE; and Driving Services Efficiency, including innovations in services delivery and operations.

Clearly technology firms cannot accomplish all of these initiatives alone, and the Recognized Innovator Awards showcase the role TSIA partners play in enabling the success of today’s global service organizations. With 47% of TSIA members indicating they plan to bring in consultants for assistance with some area of their operation in the next 2 years, clearly companies are looking for innovative consulting and managed services, in addition to enterprise hardware and software. To better reflect this reality, and the wide array of products and services offered by TSIA members, the Recognized Innovator Award categories for Fall 2011 are very inclusive:

  • Innovation in Products. Services operations, including education services, professional services, support services and field service, are all looking for a competitive edge: something that allows them to make a unique claim in the market. Often, companies look to innovative technology to provide that competitive edge. The Recognized Innovator in the Products category will provide documented case studies showing how their innovative products enable service operations to better compete through means such as increased productivity, cost reductions, increased revenues, improved customer satisfaction, or improvements to other key performance or financial metrics.
  • Innovation in Services. The economic downturn has forced companies to come to terms with core verses context: what specific processes should we continue to own because we add measurable value, and which processes could be outsourced to a service provider who can accomplish the processes more efficiently for less cost? The Recognized Innovator in the Services category will provide documented case studies showing how their innovative services are helping customers meet and exceed business goals for service operation by allowing partners to manage specific areas of the business.
  • Innovation in Consulting. As documented in JB Wood’s Complexity Avalanche, complexity isn’t rising just for our customers, but for service operations as well. New technology must be identified and implemented. Employees must be trained on new standards and practices, from ISO and ITIL to KCS and loyalty programs.  Service lines must overhaul packaged service offerings and pricing to respond to the revolving needs of customers. And across all service divisions, companies need assistance in auditing operations and creating an action plan to improve. The Recognized Innovator in the Consulting category will provide documented case studies showing how their innovative consulting services have helped technology firms meet and exceed business goals.

If you are interested in being a judge for the awards, let me know.  The application packets will be sent to judges the end of August, and you will have 2 weeks to complete your judging. Judges will be recognized at the awards ceremony and in the written research that recaps the winners. If you would like to be a judge, please send an email to me at john.ragsdale@tsia.com.

Leveraging Social Media Tools to Drive Collaboration and Tribal Knowledge in Field Service

June 21, 2011

I”m getting ready for Thursday’s webcast with ServiceMax, What’s all the Chatter about? Leveraging Social Media Tools to Drive Collaboration and Tribal Knowledge in Field Service, and I’m very excited about seeing field service get more involved in social media.

According to my 2011 Member Technology Survey, I’m seeing strong planned spending by field service organizations for all types of field service automation.

This chart shows the percent of members with approved budget for new or additional technology in 2010 and 2011, and spending on workforce optimization, parts logistics and FS mobile tools are all strong, up from last year.

But a bigger surprise for me was how quickly field service teams have been adoption social media tools. According to my survey, support services are up to 82% adoption of online communities, and field service is not far behind with 69%.  40% of field service members say they are using some sort of social media like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn for communicating with customers or internally.

We’ve seen some great early examples of field service being creative with communities, primarily to share information with global field service resources on how to fix equipment or how to troubleshoot products that may be out of date or just uncommon. But what I’m learning from ServiceMax is that Salesforce Chatter, a CRM-centric version of Twitter or Facebook updates, is an easy way to send quick updates on customer issues within a team, keeping everyone up to speed and offering an easy way to ask for help if needed.

Please take a moment to register for this webcast; even if you are unable to attend the live event on Thursday at 10am PT, you’ll receive a link to view the OnDemand version afterwards. We’ll talk more about spending dollars and how field service is using social media, and we’ll see a live demo of Salesforce Chatter and ServiceMax in action.

Thanks for reading, and hope to see you on the webcast Thursday!