Posted tagged ‘remote workers’

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!