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With major change affecting the technology services industry as a whole, it’s important to stay on top of how emerging trends can affect your business. Based on the results of TSIA’s most recent research and member survey responses, here are 3 of the top 6 trends affecting field services to keep any eye on in 2015.

Trend #1 - Service Delivery Channel Optimization

With the commoditization of legacy support and maintenance offers, the concept of shifting work to the right service delivery channel is quickly becoming a key focus for FS organizations. In this case, optimization means getting the right mix of on-site incidents, assisted support, and technology-assisted support, or in other words self-help. 

In 2014, TSIA members have reported eliminating 35% of their on-site dispatches on average by implementing proactive technology that allows for some customer issues to be resolved through call center and technology-assisted support channels. The Pacesetters (the top 15% of performers in TSIA’s database) have gone even further and have reported that they’ve achieved over 80% of dispatch elimination.

tsia field services benchmark  

(Click image to enlarge.)
Source: TSIA Field Services Benchmark 2014

As the mix of work across service delivery channels shifts away from on-site, many organizations are implementing new and different staffing models that range from a direct workforce to augmented staffing to full outsourcing to a third-party provider. 

Trend #2 - Strategic Implications of Implementing Smart, Connected Products

The accelerated implementation of smart, connected products is enabling companies to make significant reductions in the cost to support their product in the field. One enterprise hardware member reduced total support costs by 60% when compared to previous-generation products by enabling remote monitoring and support. As companies try to expand this approach beyond one product family, field services has to play a more active role in the product commercialization process. Knowing what data you want to acquire from your connected product, how to analyze that data, and developing new offers from the data are all strategic discussions that need to take place.

Alignment between product development, sales and marketing, and field services will gain in importance as the Internet of Things and Big Data play a more prominent role.

Trend #3 - Expanded Use of Field Service Personnel in Delivering Optimized Outcome Offers

In general, any industry transformation has a tendency to blur organizational roles, responsibilities, and organizational constructs. Today’s FS organizations are going beyond the break/fix cycle and are participating in the effort to expand revenues and drive new offers(Tweet this!) To do this, they’re leveraging their existing infrastructure, organizational skills, and current relationships that enable FS personnel to drive end-user adoption and consumption.

Within TSIA, we’ve identified that the majority of the future revenue will be realized after the future sale in what we call the “land-and-expand" selling model. A lot of members are recognizing the benefit of FS as a built-in sales force. A total of 57% of FS organizations use their engineers to capture best practices from different customer installations. Another 30% provide information on new features and new benefits while they’re on site, even conducting formal reviews while they’re with a customer.

We anticipate this trend to accelerate as companies begin to address and alleviate what is turning out to be some very unsustainable selling models in the field today. 

Stay Tuned For Part 2

In Part 2 of this blog series, I will go over the last 3 trends affecting field services in 2015. If you can’t wait, be sure to check out my on-demand webinar, “The State of Field Services: 2015,”where you can get a more in-depth look at the above concepts and a preview of other trends affecting our industry.

Download Now

Vele Galovski

About Author Vele Galovski

Vele Galovski is vice president of support and field services research for TSIA. Using his nearly 30 years of industry experience, he has consistently helped companies both large and small drive double-digit top-line growth with a proven retain, gain, and grow strategy. Vele has also written a book, The Perpetual Innovation Machine, which describes a holistic approach to management based on ambitious goal setting, data driven analysis, skillful prioritization, inspiring leadership, and the lost art of employee engagement.

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