Posted tagged ‘remote support’

LogMeIn’s Rescue Lens Puts Tech Support Virtually In the Customer’s Home or Office

March 24, 2015

Today LogMeIn announced a new product, Rescue Lens, bringing the power of live interactive video to the support center. How many hours have been wasted talking to customers on the phone, trying to figure out what’s wrong, or walking them through a complex procedure they aren’t understanding? How many times has the call center agent said to themselves, “Gee, if only I could actually see what they are doing!”

This innovative product is an extension of LogMeIn Rescue’s remote control/remote support capabilities, which allow a support technican to “take control” of a piece of customer equipment to diagnose and fix errors. The problem is the agent can only see the screen, not the physical device. Rescue Lens goes a step further. The customer can download the Rescue Lens app on their mobile device, which allows the agent to see through the customer’s camera. Show the customer exactly where that semicolon is on the keyboard. Show them which button to push to reset the system. Walk them through replacing that toner cartridge quickly and easily. Inspect equipment to find that frayed power cord that is the real failing component–though the customer never noticed it.

Rescue Lens offers more than just a Facetime video. In addition to real-time video feeds, Rescue Lens offers:

  • Smart Whiteboarding: Annotate on screen, on any device. This annotation stays in place, even if the device is moving.
  • Adaptive Video Quality: Get the best picture and streaming quality, regardless of the strength of the internet connection.
  • Auto Focus: Easily focus on exactly what needs helps.

With a fully burdened field service visit now costing more than $1000, not only will Rescue Lens dramatically cut core support metrics like talk time and resolve time, but it will also eliminate incredibly expensive field service visits.

To read more about LogMeIn Rescue Lens, here’s a link to today’s press release announcing the product:

If you would like to see Rescue Lens in action, I’m doing a joint webinar with LogMeIn on April 9th which will include a demo. Here’s the link to register for the free webinar:

Hope to see you at the webinar, and as always, thanks for reading!


Meeting the needs of remote and mobile workers

November 4, 2009

I am preparing for tomorrow’s webcast, “Developing a Support Strategy that Embraces Change in Today’s Increasingly Remote Workforce,” and though we don’t have a tremendous amount of data on the topic–YET–in the TSIA benchmark, I have found lots of interesting data from the US Department of Labor and various research groups who graciously shared their findings.  This is an interesting topic because it impacts support in multiple ways:

  • Technical support and call centers have growing percentages of employees working from home, and old approaches to training, coaching and monitoring don’t work.
  • Our customers are becoming more mobile, and assumptions about devices and support processes don’t meet the needs of these customers.
  • IT support is also struggling, as more complex applications are available on mobile devices, meaning your IT help desk needs new skills and tools to support the mobile workforce.

There are lots of benefits to remote workers, and during the webcast I’ll give some survey data on this, covering everything from cost savings (no facilities costs) to increased employee satisfaction to support of Green initiatives.  But what I hear from TSIA members is the pool of possible employees is much larger and better when remote is an option: According to Gartner Inc., 70-80% of home-based agents have college degrees, compared with 30-40% of workers in conventional call centers.

I’ve done a number of webcasts in the past on mobile applications  (including Increasing Field Service Productivity and Profits With Mobile Automation Tools and Take the Mobile Field Service Challenge), and last week I blogged about how SAP is seeing wide adoption of their CRM tools on multiple mobile devices and platforms. Just check out the iPhone AppStore and see the growing number of enterprise application vendors offering iPhone apps to access your corporate data: Oracle, SAP and Salesforce are just three examples.

Clearly customers expect seamless support regardless of what device or platform they are using, and that is putting pressure on support teams when their tools and processes only address applications running on a desktop.  We don’t have all the answers yet, but I hope you will make time for this webcast to learn what to expect and some tips to setting up your mobile and remote strategy. Register here: If you aren’t able to attend the live event, go ahead and register–we’ll send you a link to the OnDemand version later this week.

Cheers, and thanks for reading!

Level 1 Shrinks…Isn’t That Counterintuitive?

August 18, 2009

Someone just asked me about staffing trends for Level 1/2/3, and one of my observations is that companies strive to push more issues (and headcount) into Level or Tier 1, since these tech support engineers (TSEs) are paid less than their more experienced Level 2/3 counterparts, therefore incidents resolved at Level 1 cost less.

To prove my point, I pulled the staffing allocation for Levels 1/2/3 from the current SSPA benchmark and compared it to the 2003 figures, expecting to see the percent of employees at Level 1 growing.  Gosh darn it! I hate when the facts don’t support my story! It turns out that as a percentage of overall employees, Level 1 has actually shrunk in the last 6 years, from 46% of staff in 2003 to 40% of staff today.

Tech Support Staffing Allocation by Level/Tier

Tech Support Staffing Allocation by Level/Tier

As you can see in the graphic, the numbers are very different by industry, with Consumer companies (who have less complex technology and more procedural questions) definitely leading the way with a whopping 82% of staff at Level 1.

I’m a bit taken aback by these numbers.  There is so much emphasis on tools (remote support, knowledgebases) to allow Level 1 to be more productive and avoid escalating issues to Level 2, that I really thought the reverse was happening.  What could be the reason? Off the top of my head, here are three:

  • Self-service. As self-service adoption grows, more of the easy questions never reach Level 1, so the pool of generalists answering password questions from years past are no longer necessary.
  • Complexity.  Are  you sick of me ranting on complexity yet? More complex issues require more investigation and longer resolve times, meaning Level 2/3 have more work to do.
  • Productivity. Maybe…just maybe…the tools and training are helping, and Level 1 is able to handle more issues with fewer bodies.

What are you seeing? Is Level 1 shrinking or growing? Does your company try to boost Level 1 resolutions?  If you have any thoughts, please add a comment or drop me an email.  And as always, thanks for reading!

NTRglobal Targets Remote Support for SMBs with NTRsupport Pro

July 23, 2009

The SSPA has a large percentage of members from smaller companies–45% of members completing our benchmark are under $500 million in revenue–and these small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) have the same needs for innovative technology as larger firms.  What they don’t need, as I have learned, is enterprise-sized pricing or complexity. So it is gratifying to see more vendors now creating products specifically for SMBs, with smaller price tags and lower complexity, allowing faster time-to-money.

Yesterday’s announcement from NTRglobal created another offering in the remote support market geared toward SMBs: the launch of NTRsupport PRO, which allows an indivudal to support 8 simultaneous remote control sessions. With OnDemand or OnPremise deployment options, NTRsupport PRO does more than just remote control: additional machines can be monitored in “unattended mode” by the StayConnected™ agent (a popular Value-Added Support offering for tech support operations) which is downloaded onto the end user machine. Multiple StayConnected machines can be managed from the simple operator user interface with no limit to the total numbers of machines supported.

With a price tag of less than $600 a year, small firms, or even individuals doing tech support in their spare time from home, can easily afford ‘best of breed’ remote support functionality.

Adoption of remote support technology by SMBs is on the rise.  In my 2008 Member Technology Survey, 71.4% of members with under $500M in revenue were using a remote support solution, and that number rose to 75.6% in the 2009 survey. With solutions such as NTRsupport PRO now available, I suspect this number will continue to rise.

If you have any questions about NTRglobal or remote support technology, please drop me an email or post a comment. And as always, thanks for reading!

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

April 8, 2009

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: (more…)

NTRglobal: More Than Just Remote Control

July 31, 2008

The #1 remote support solution in Europe is now making a splash in North America.  In a briefing last week, NTRglobal, whose headquarters are in Barcelona, said they are getting more visibility on this side of the pond for their hybrid remote/proactive support solutions, and with a recent round of funding (€22 million/$34 million–oh, how the dollar has fallen) they are investing heavily in their SaaS platform. I including NTRglobal in my recent research report, “SSPA Research Product Comparison: Remote Support Platforms.”

What I think is unique about NTRglobal is that remote control/remote support is only a part of what they do.  Right after our Spring conference I wrote a post about how many areas of customer service are merging, and I published a follow on article with more detail (Blurring Boundaries Complicate Tool Selection).  One area I haven’t talked about much is the merging of remote support with proactive support.  While remote support today means connecting to a piece of customer equipment while they are on the phone with you, proactive support means being alerted to problems and fixing them without ever interacting with the customer–just their equipment. 

NTRglobal has bridged this gap. (more…)

Is your remote control security bullet-proof?

July 31, 2008

When it comes to remote control, I always say “Convenience overrides paranoia,” meaning that customers will get over their paranoia at having a stranger accessing their system when they see the value that comes from using remote control (faster and easier problem resolution) .  But for this to work, you need to make sure that the customer has absolutely nothing to worry about.

I’ve recently talked to a few members about remote support and security, and also we just recorded a mini-webcast, sponsored by Bomgar, with an open discussion on security and compliance with Phil Smiley, Director of IT Security for SSPA member BMC Software and Phil Demuth, VP of Internal Systems for ITI Fiserv. It was a really enlightening discussion. For instant access to this 30 minute mini-webast, click here.

Here’s what I learned: (more…)