SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

May 07, 2008 12:47 ET

Remote Product Service Solutions Gaining Traction in the Service Management Space

Firms Adopting Remote Service Technology See a 21% Improvement in Serviceable Asset Availability

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - May 7, 2008) - In an extremely competitive service landscape, Best-in-Class service firms are turning to remote product solutions to aid in increasing the efficiency of their service organizations, to deliver better service and increased availability to their customers while more efficiently managing service-related costs. As such these firms are seeing significant improvements in asset availability, first-time fix and in service dispatch avoidance, according to a recent research report entitled, "The Maturity of Remote Product Service," published by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS).

Aberdeen's benchmark survey of 150 companies identified customer demand for increased asset availability as the primary driver for evaluation of remote service tools. However, leading service and manufacturing firms were more likely to consider remote monitoring solutions as a competitive differentiator, enabling the provision of value-added services tied to the increased availability and performance of serviceable assets.

"Over the last year, we have seen a near 41% increase in the percentage of assets being monitored remotely," said Sumair Dutta, Research Analyst at Aberdeen. "However, the overall percentage of assets being monitored remotely is still relatively low at 16% and continues to reflect a large opportunity in terms of the overall maturity in the Remote Product Service space. Leading service firms are using remotely captured data for improved diagnosis, repair and maintenance capabilities while also focusing on the increased performance of the asset -- a sign of maturity in the usage of remote monitoring technology."

The report finds that leading service firms are twice as likely as all other firms to use remotely captured data to aid their technicians in diagnosing potential service issues and resolution scenarios prior to dispatch. These firms are also leveraging remotely captured data to reduce the need for technician dispatch in cases where service can be performed over a network, via guidance from technical or customer service representatives, or by the customers themselves. As a result, leading firms are experiencing:

--  A 16% increase in mean time between failure for their assets over the
    last 2 years, compared to a 5% increase for all others.
--  A 19% increase in percentage of calls resolved without technician
    dispatch over the last two years.
--  A 93% level of asset availability for their customers on average,
    compared to 65% performance for all other firms.
    

Approximately 150 companies participated in this quantitative study, including: Canon Europe, FujiFilm Medical Systems, Sony Electronics Inc., Tyco Safety Products, Steris Corporation, Ridge Tool Company, Colorado Springs Utilities, Northrop Grumman, Roche Diagnostics, Telstra, and Diebold, Inc.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: MWA Intelligence and Lantronix, Inc.. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4729.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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