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The Hilton San Diego Bayfront is an amazing place for a conference. Overlooking the water, you can sit in meetings and breakout sessions and watch sailboats cruise by, or take your lunch out on a patio and enjoy the breeze. Unfortunately, I was a bit too busy yesterday—the first day of Technology Services World—to enjoy the breeze. Here’s a recap of what went down yesterday. 

Discussing the Latest Trends in Tech

My Partner Advisory Board meeting was bright and early at 7 AM, and we had a good turnout. I gave an overview of my research themes for the conference, as well as teeing up my planned topic for TSW Las Vegas in October. There was a good discussion about how to better represent TSIA Consulting Alliance Partners (CAP) and Marketing Partners as a key piece of the TSIA ecosystem, something I always emphasize in my opening keynote.

I also had an opportunity to present to the partners participating in the TSW | EXPO. I gave an overview of the findings of the 12th annual Global Technology Survey, including the areas with the highest adoption gains over the previous year, and the areas with the highest planned spending for 2017-2018. Not surprisingly, customer portals had the highest planned spending for the 2nd year in a row, followed by service desk tools. I’m seeing more support organizations looking for an alternative to their enterprise CRM platform, which has been so highly customized it is impacting usability and productivity, and the new generation of support tools, such as Zendesk and Freshdesk, as well as ITIL-compliant ServiceNow, are growing in popularity. 

Pre-Con Keynote Recap

Next up was my pre-conference keynote, “Creating a Converged Online Customer Engagement Strategy.” I had a good crowd, and they laughed in the right places, which is always a major goal for me. I talked about creating an end-to-end customer experience online, and had some good comments posted in the TSW App so the message seemed to resonate. For those of you who missed the presentation, you can download my slides in the TSW App.

Keynote Panel: Services Convergence
(From left to right) TSIA's John Ragsdale, Judith Platz, Phil Nanus, George Humphrey, Bo Di Muccio, and Thomas Lah.

After Thomas Lah’s opening keynote, “Organizing for Recurring Revenues,” I participated in a panel discussion with several of my research peers, Judith Platz, Phil Nanus, George Humphrey, and Bo Di Muccio, on areas where convergence is happening, and areas where it isn’t. I highlighted the missed opportunity of siloed customer data both in disparate service and CRM tools, as well as the fact that just about every department across the enterprise is capturing customer satisfaction, customer effort, and/or Net Promoter survey data, but rarely is all of this pulled into a single place to better understand the overall customer journey.

Power Hour Recap

My last presentation for the day was my Power Hour, “Hot Tech Trends for 2017: Leveraging Machine Learning for Extreme Automation.” I talked about three technology areas where adoption is lagging: adoption monitoring. Internet of Things (IoT), and gamification. I also talked about examples of Augmented Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence in enterprise applications, using actual products available from TSIA partners. I’d like to give a big thanks to the partners who provided product information, case studies, or videos for my presentation: GlassbeamKimbleSutherland Global ServicesCoveoInbenta, and Totango. There are so many “press release” products out there (meaning a lot of messaging but little, if any, actual products) that is great to see some live technology leveraging machine learning.

Today I’m moderating two panel discussions with CAP Partners, and spending most of the day in member 1:1 meetings. I’ll be back tomorrow with the top attended sessions from today. Thanks for reading, and hope to see you in the hallways!

John Ragsdale

About Author John Ragsdale

John Ragsdale is a distinguished researcher and the vice president of technology ecosystems for TSIA. His area of expertise is in creating strategies for improving the service operations and overall customer experience by leveraging innovative technology. John works closely with TSIA’s partner ecosystem, identifying leading and emerging technology vendors whose products help solve the key business challenges faced by TSIA members. He is also author of the book, Lessons Unlearned, which chronicles his 25-year career inside the customer service industry.

John's favorite topics to discuss
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