Astea https://astea.com Service Smart Enterprise Proven Fri, 21 Sep 2018 19:16:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Webinar: Introducing Alliance Enterprise https://astea.com/webinar-introducing-alliance-enterprise/ https://astea.com/webinar-introducing-alliance-enterprise/#respond Thu, 20 Sep 2018 14:00:16 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=2691 Astea Webinar: What’s New in “Alliance Enterprise” (v15) Have you heard? Astea has launched the most transformative version release of our Alliance field service management and mobility platform! See it for yourself with highlights of the new functionality during a live demo webinar! Introducing Alliance Enterprise: What’s New on Astea’s FSM Platform? Webinar Tuesday, October...

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Astea Webinar: What’s New in “Alliance Enterprise” (v15)

Have you heard? Astea has launched the most transformative version release of our Alliance field service management and mobility platform! See it for yourself with highlights of the new functionality during a live demo webinar!

Introducing Alliance Enterprise: What’s New on Astea’s FSM Platform?

Webinar
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

11 a.m. ET
Click here to register.

New features and capabilities of Alliance Enterprise include:

  • Brand New Web-Inspired User Interface
    • Alliance Enterprise sports a brand new clean and simplistic User Interface. Streamline your employees’ workflows and focus their attention on only the information they need to do their job.
  • Smart, Supercharged Scheduling that Connects All the Right People and Parts
    • Advanced scheduling of third party techs and contingent workers via online worker portals: FieldNation and WorkMarket. FedEx and UPS integrations to coordinate parts delivery dates with technician arrivals.
  • Build New Workflows, Escalations, Alerts and Even Custom Integrations
    • This new drag-and-drop, Visio®-like tool can be used to build flexible business processes to address integrations, multi-channel communication automation, service escalations and custom work processes.
  • Better Business Intelligence for Everyone … and So Much More!

Busy schedule? Register for the webinar anyway to receive the recording via email and watch it when you’re free.

Save My Seat

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Alliance Enterprise at 2018 Smarter Services Symposium https://astea.com/alliance-enterprise-at-2018-smarter-services-symposium/ https://astea.com/alliance-enterprise-at-2018-smarter-services-symposium/#respond Mon, 17 Sep 2018 15:09:33 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=2675 Astea International to Showcase the Newest Version of its Alliance™ Field Service Management and Mobility Platform at the 2018 Smarter Services™ Symposium Astea will showcase Alliance Enterprise™ and Astea COO will host workshops on growing service revenue CHICAGO, IL (September 17, 2018) — Astea International Inc., a leading global provider of field service management and...

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Astea International to Showcase the Newest Version of its Alliance™ Field Service Management and Mobility Platform at the 2018 Smarter Services™ Symposium

Astea will showcase Alliance Enterprise™ and Astea COO will host workshops on growing service revenue

CHICAGO, IL (September 17, 2018) — Astea International Inc., a leading global provider of field service management and mobility solutions, announced today that it is showcasing Alliance Enterprise™, the newest version of its service lifecycle management platform at The Service Council’s Smarter Services™ Symposium which starts today, September 17, at The Westin Chicago River North in Chicago, Illinois. Additionally, Astea COO David Giannetto and numerous Astea clients will be facilitating interactive workshops and panels in the Service Growth research track.

“It’s been several years since the official end of the recent economic downturn and we now see organizations beginning to switch from a cautionary mindset to one of business expansion,” said Emily Hackman, director of global marketing at Astea International. “The desire for growth needs to be matched with investments in technology and innovation. With the release of Alliance Enterprise, Astea is poised to help customer service-focused companies adopt future-proof technology that has built-in best practices from our nearly 40 years of service management expertise and acumen.”

Conference attendees, be sure to catch the following Service Growth track sessions presented by Astea:

  • “SUPPORTING NEW REVENUE GENERATING OPPORTUNITIES”
    • Monday, September 17, 4:15 – 5:00 pm CT
  • “INSTALLED BASE MANAGEMENT: GETTING A CLEARER PICTURE”
    • Tuesday, September 18, 3:30 – 5:00 pm CT
  • “SELLING PREDICTIVE SERVICE”
    • Wednesday, September 19, 10:00 – 11:00 am CT

Alliance Enterprise is the most transformative software version release to date for Astea’s flagship product. It introduces to the field service industry an entirely new perspective on how an enterprise-grade technology can unify the increasingly complex ecosystem in which service-driven companies must operate. Alliance Enterprise puts powerful capabilities into the hands of non-technical users via a new process flow engine that offers graphical, drag-and-drop functionality to modify application workflow. These workflows allow service organizations to create a unique combination of processes that reflect the nuanced way leaders think about serving their customers, balancing costs versus service-levels, differentiating their customer’s experience and managing profitability.

“I am extremely impressed with the new version of Astea’s full lifecycle solution for service organizations—particularly the enhanced and user-friendly process flow functionality,” said Greg Gibbs, vice president of global customer transformation at The Service Council. “Astea has brought it all together in one intuitive application.”

To learn more about Alliance Enterprise, request an online demonstration.

About Astea International

Astea International is a global leader in field service and mobile workforce management, including all the cornerstones of full service lifecycle management: customer management, service management, asset management, forward and reverse logistics management and mobile workforce management and optimization. Astea technology helps the world’s best service-driven companies generate higher profit while properly balancing customer satisfaction and service levels through proactive communication that creates a seamless, consistent and highly personalized experience at every customer relationship touch point. Astea’s solutions unify processes, people, parts, and information to focus the entire organization on the creation of sustainable value in highly competitive, global markets.

www.astea.com. Service Smart. Enterprise Proven.


© 2018 Astea International Inc. Astea, Astea Alliance, and Alliance Enterprise are trademarks of Astea International Inc. All other company and product names contained herein are trademarks of the respective holders.

Company Contact:
Emily Hackman
Director of Global Marketing
215-682-2500
ehackman@astea.com

Investor Relations Contact:
Renmark Financial Communications Inc.
Laura Welsh:lwelsh@renmarkfinancial.com
Tel: (416) 644-2020 or (514) 939-3989
www.renmarkfinancial.com

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On-Demand Webinar: Today’s Field Service Challenges https://astea.com/on-demand-webinar-todays-field-service-challenges/ https://astea.com/on-demand-webinar-todays-field-service-challenges/#respond Thu, 13 Sep 2018 18:32:35 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=2649 How do you become a best-in-class field service organization (FSO)? What do the top performers do differently to address today’s challenges, and how can your FSO emulate their best practices? Watch the recording of our webinar with Bill Pollock of Strategies for Growth to find out! “How the Top Performing Field Service Organizations Address Today’s...

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How do you become a best-in-class field service organization (FSO)? What do the top performers do differently to address today’s challenges, and how can your FSO emulate their best practices? Watch the recording of our webinar with Bill Pollock of Strategies for Growth to find out!

How the Top Performing Field Service Organizations Address Today’s Challenges was recently recorded live to bring you the results from a survey of nearly 500 field service companies from around the globe. Learn how the top 10% of performers in the field service industry are optimizing customer satisfaction and services profitability as well as how they are planning to address today’s biggest industry challenges.

When you download the free webinar, you’ll also receive the corresponding Analysts Take Report with more detailed information from the survey and anaysis by Strategies for Growth.

Download Webinar

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Astea Launches Alliance Enterprise™, the Newest Version of its FSM Platform https://astea.com/astea-launches-alliance-enterprise-the-newest-version-of-its-fsm-platform/ https://astea.com/astea-launches-alliance-enterprise-the-newest-version-of-its-fsm-platform/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 08:43:08 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=2578 Alliance Enterprise delivers enterprise-grade technology designed to unify the increasingly complex service ecosystem. HORSHAM, PA (September 12, 2018) — Astea International Inc., a leading global provider of field service management and mobility solutions, announced today the launch of Alliance Enterprise™, the newest version of its award-winning Alliance field service management and mobility platform. Alliance Enterprise...

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Alliance Enterprise delivers enterprise-grade technology designed to unify the increasingly complex service ecosystem.

HORSHAM, PA (September 12, 2018) — Astea International Inc., a leading global provider of field service management and mobility solutions, announced today the launch of Alliance Enterprise™, the newest version of its award-winning Alliance field service management and mobility platform. Alliance Enterprise introduces to the field service industry an entirely new perspective on how an enterprise-grade technology can unify the increasingly complex ecosystem in which service-driven companies must operate.

“Alliance Enterprise isn’t just a new version of one of the most capable field service applications in the industry,” said David F. Giannetto, chief operating officer at Astea International. “It is the transition of our technology into a platform that gives customers the power to streamline workflows to create differentiating customer experiences, integrate freely into any other environment, seamlessly and consistently interact with customers and stakeholders via nearly any medium, and do so using a new toolset that does not require technical capabilities. It gives organizations the ability to maximize the value of any workers—employees, third parties and contingent workers—during any type of service activity throughout the entire lifecycle. The platform also automatically updates end customers on the status of their service activities and helps management understand organizational performance out-of-the box.”

Powerful Workflow and Integration Capabilities that Enable Agility

Alliance Enterprise puts powerful capabilities into the hands of non-technical users via a new process flow engine that offers graphical, drag-and-drop functionality to modify application workflows. This new tool can be harnessed by any user to build flexible, agile business processes that address a wide variety of needs such as integrations, multi-channel communication automation and service escalations. These custom workflows allow organizations to create a unique combination of processes that reflect the nuanced way leaders think about serving their customers, balancing costs versus service-level commitments, differentiating their customers’ experience and managing profitability.

“I am extremely impressed with the new version of Astea’s full lifecycle solution for service organizations—particularly the enhanced and user-friendly process flow functionality,” said Greg Gibbs, vice president of global customer transformation at The Service Council, a global service community with 150,000 service executive members across six continents. “Astea has brought it all together in one intuitive application.”

Alliance Enterprise also relies upon these workflow tools to design seamless integrations into the existing IT environment, giving it the flexibility to interact with a wide range of multiple disparate information sources. The platform can then trigger workflows without human intervention to create greater efficiency and provide employees access to all of the information they need to make proactive, data-driven decisions.

Enhanced Customer Self-Service Management Capabilities

The customer-centric design philosophy of Alliance Enterprise empowers service organizations to meet their clients’ increasing demands for mobile, real-time participation in the service delivery process.

“With Alliance Enterprise, service companies can deliver a full customer self-service management capability that gives their clients the transparency and control they want,” said Emily Hackman, director of global marketing at Astea International. “Through the Alliance customer portal and mobile app, customers have on-demand access to a 360-degree view of their service relationship, allowing them to address their service needs quickly and accurately. This heightened level of smart, instant self-service is convenient, mobile, and conforms to how customers want to interact with their service provider.”

Smart Scheduling that Efficiently Connects All the Right People and Parts

Long considered one of the most mathematically intelligent scheduling optimization engines in the field service industry, Alliance Enterprise enhances this scheduling capability by integrating with FedEx® and UPS® to coordinate parts delivery dates with technician arrival dates. Additionally, Alliance’s scheduling module creates schedules that incorporate the real-world situations your technicians and customers encounter daily. It integrates with Microsoft Outlook® to consider technicians’ personal time off when creating schedules, and it also allows end customers to schedule appointments via the Alliance customer self-service mobile application or web portal.

Sleek, Web-Inspired User Interface Designed for Configurability and Usability

Alliance Enterprise sports a new clean look and feel that is highly configurable, enabling users to create a streamlined user experience, focusing their attention on only the information they need to do their job. Improved user satisfaction can drive better technology adoption and engagement, and ultimately a better customer experience.

“User expectations for ease-of-use have increased substantially with smartphone apps,” commented the VP of Enterprise Software at ARC Advisory Group, Ralph Rio. “Astea’s new software release provides this high level of usability across the workflow of a service activity including scheduling, dispatching, the service call, and billing. With improved ease-of-use comes higher organizational compliance, data integrity and trust in the software as a business planning and optimization tool.”

To learn more about Alliance Enterprise, request an online demonstration.

About Astea International

Astea International is a global leader in field service and mobile workforce management, including all the cornerstones of full service lifecycle management: customer management, service management, asset management, forward and reverse logistics management and mobile workforce management and optimization. Astea technology helps the world’s best service-driven companies generate higher profit while properly balancing customer satisfaction and service levels through proactive communication that creates a seamless, consistent and highly personalized experience at every customer relationship touch point. Astea’s solutions unify processes, people, parts, and information to focus the entire organization on the creation of sustainable value in highly competitive, global markets.

www.astea.com. Service Smart. Enterprise Proven.

© 2018 Astea International Inc. Astea, Astea Alliance, and Alliance Enterprise are trademarks of Astea International Inc. All other company and product names contained herein are trademarks of the respective holders.


Company Contact:
Emily Hackman
Director of Global Marketing
215-682-2500
ehackman@astea.com

Investor Relations Contact:
Renmark Financial Communications Inc.
Laura Welsh:lwelsh@renmarkfinancial.com
Tel: (416) 644-2020 or (514) 939-3989
www.renmarkfinancial.com

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Webinar: How Top Performing FSOs Address Today’s Challenges https://astea.com/webinar-how-top-performing-fsos-address-todays-challenges/ https://astea.com/webinar-how-top-performing-fsos-address-todays-challenges/#respond Fri, 07 Sep 2018 13:55:34 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=2536 How do you become a best-in-class field service organization (FSO)? What do the top performers do differently to address today’s challenges, and how can your FSO emulate their best practices? Register for this upcoming webinar to access all the latest findings! “How the Top Performing Field Service Organizations Address Today’s Challenges” Wed., Sept. 12, 2018...

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astea-webinar-strategies-for-growth-sept-2018-field-service-blog

How do you become a best-in-class field service organization (FSO)? What do the top performers do differently to address today’s challenges, and how can your FSO emulate their best practices? Register for this upcoming webinar to access all the latest findings!

“How the Top Performing Field Service Organizations Address Today’s Challenges”

Wed., Sept. 12, 2018
12:00 p.m. ET
Presented by Astea International and Strategies for Growth
Register Here

Astea International partnered with Strategies for Growth to bring you the results from a survey of nearly 500 field service companies from around the globe. Learn how the top 10% of performers in the field service industry are optimizing customer satisfaction and services profitability as well as how they are planning to address today’s biggest industry challenges.

Register Now

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Field Service Amelia Island 2018 Recap https://astea.com/field-service-amelia-island-2018-recap/ https://astea.com/field-service-amelia-island-2018-recap/#respond Wed, 05 Sep 2018 19:23:37 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=2503 Last week’s Field Service Amelia Island was another great tradeshow event for the Astea International team. We had a great time meeting talented people and unveiling our new website and software version release of Alliance Enterprise. Along with our partners at XOi Technologies, we provided live demos of our integrated field service management and visual...

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Last week’s Field Service Amelia Island was another great tradeshow event for the Astea International team. We had a great time meeting talented people and unveiling our new website and software version release of Alliance Enterprise.

Along with our partners at XOi Technologies, we provided live demos of our integrated field service management and visual intelligence solution, and we were happy to host a private wine tasting experience for a small group of attendees.

Astea and XOi would also like to congratulate our mutual customer, The BP Group, for delivering an engaging presentation on data-driven decisions during the last day of the show.

Check out a few photos from the conference below!

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Visit our Events page to see where Astea will be next, or click here to learn more about Alliance Enterprise, the latest version of our field service management and mobility platform.

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New Corporate Website Launched at Field Service Amelia Island https://astea.com/new-corporate-website-launched-at-field-service-amelia-island/ https://astea.com/new-corporate-website-launched-at-field-service-amelia-island/#respond Mon, 27 Aug 2018 14:06:56 +0000 https://astea.com/?p=2390 Astea International Announces the Launch of its New Corporate Website at Field Service Amelia Island Astea will showcase its new website and the latest version of its field service management software at Booth #2 Amelia Island, FL (August 27, 2018) — Astea International Inc., a leading global provider of field service management and mobility solutions,...

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Astea International Announces the Launch of its New Corporate Website at Field Service Amelia Island

Astea will showcase its new website and the latest version of its field service management software at Booth #2

Amelia Island, FL (August 27, 2018) — Astea International Inc., a leading global provider of field service management and mobility solutions, today announced the launch of its new corporate website, which can be experienced by visiting Astea.com. The announcement comes from the Field Service Amelia Island conference taking place August 27 – 29 at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island. As a conference sponsor, Astea will be performing live demonstrations at Booth #2 of Alliance™ Enterprise™, the newest version of its award-winning field service management and mobility platform.

“We are excited to unveil our new website and our new software version release at one of North America’s most popular field service events,” said David F. Giannetto, chief operating officer at Astea International. “Alliance Enterprise will be the most transformative software version release to date for our flagship service lifecycle management platform. Our customers, who represent some of the world’s best service-driven companies, will leverage Alliance Enterprise to help them win the global talent war, seamlessly incorporate third party and contingent workers, and deliver actionable business intelligence to every stakeholder in the service ecosystem.”

Alliance Enterprise offers a completely revamped user interface designed to improve usability and streamline workflows, as well as delivering innovative capabilities to help service organizations increase profitability and provide outstanding customer experiences that differentiate them in the market. The platform will also enable Just-in-Time Service™ by integrating with the most popular carriers to coordinate parts delivery dates with technician arrival dates.

“The launch of our new website and our new software version release aligned perfectly to allow us to showcase them both at Field Service Amelia Island,” said Emily Hackman, director of global marketing at Astea International. “With the rapid pace of technology advancement, service professionals need a convenient method for keeping a pulse on all the latest trends. The new website proudly offers educational resources for the global field service community, including videos, infographics, industry research reports, on-demand webinars and interactive ROI calculators. Both our new corporate website and our new software release embody the evolution of our brand to better reflect the innate spirit of innovation that Astea has always possessed as a service management industry leader for nearly 40 years.”

At Field Service Amelia Island, Astea will be joined by its augmented reality and visual intelligence partner, XOi Technologies. The Alliance Enterprise and XOi’s Vision™ platforms are integrated to help service organizations validate the quality and consistency of field service work, streamline information sharing and training, and increase mobile workforce efficiency through technology built for technicians to capture and leverage visual intelligence in the field. Attendees can view demonstrations of the integrated field service management and visual intelligence solution at Booth #2. Additionally, Chief Operating Officer David F. Giannetto will be co-hosting a roundtable discussion on “Making Digital Transformation Real” with an Astea client, Scientific Games Corporation, on August 28.

About Astea International

Astea International is a global leader in field service and mobile workforce management, including all the cornerstones of full service lifecycle management: customer management, service management, asset management, forward and reverse logistics management and mobile workforce management and optimization. Astea technology helps the world’s best service-driven companies generate higher profit while properly balancing customer satisfaction and service levels through proactive communication that creates a seamless, consistent and highly personalized experience at every customer relationship touch point. Astea’s solutions unify processes, people, parts, and information to focus the entire organization on the creation of sustainable value in highly competitive, global markets.

www.astea.com. Service Smart. Enterprise Proven.
© 2018 Astea International Inc. Astea, Astea Alliance, and Alliance Enterprise are trademarks of Astea International Inc.

About XOi Technologies

XOi’s Vision™ platform uses workflow automation, NLP, computer vision, and machine learning to streamline documentation of service calls, facilitate real time remote support, intelligently archive and resurface service content, and improve customer transparency from the frontlines of field service. We empower our field service customers to effectively put their best tech on every site, which speeds resolution of issues, reduces cost and increases sell- through of recommended maintenance and upgrades. XOi customers typically see a 35% increase in tickets closed per technician, a 24% increase in the revenue value per ticket, and a significant reduction in expensive second truck rolls.
www.xoi.io


Astea Company Contact:
Emily Hackman
Director of Global Marketing
215-682-2500
ehackman@astea.com

Astea Investor Relations Contact:
Renmark Financial Communications Inc.
Laura Welsh: lwelsh@renmarkfinancial.com
Tel: (416) 644-2020 or (514) 939-3989
www.renmarkfinancial.com

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Video: Benefits of Field Service Software https://astea.com/video-benefits-of-field-service-software/ https://astea.com/video-benefits-of-field-service-software/#respond Thu, 09 Aug 2018 18:26:36 +0000 http://blog.astea.com/?p=1194 If you’ve heard about your competitors using field service management (FSM) software to streamline their business, you may be wondering if it’s worth the investment of your own company’s time and money. In this quick, educational video called The Benefits of a Field Service Management Solution, you’ll get the statistics on how FSM software can...

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If you’ve heard about your competitors using field service management (FSM) software to streamline their business, you may be wondering if it’s worth the investment of your own company’s time and money.

In this quick, educational video called The Benefits of a Field Service Management Solution, you’ll get the statistics on how FSM software can help you save hours, save money and increase revenue:

To see how Astea’s field service solutions can help digitally transform your service offerings, click here.

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Infographic: Benchmarking Tech Adoption in the Medical Device Industry https://astea.com/infographic-benchmarking-tech-adoption-in-the-medical-device-industry/ https://astea.com/infographic-benchmarking-tech-adoption-in-the-medical-device-industry/#respond Fri, 03 Aug 2018 14:37:40 +0000 http://blog.astea.com/?p=1181 In this infographic, and in the full research report from Astea and WBR Insights, see how field service organizations in the medical device industry are prioritizing patient satisfaction with field service management software. Field service management (FSM) technology is critically important to any service-driven industry’s success, but perhaps never more so than within the medical...

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In this infographic, and in the full research report from Astea and WBR Insights, see how field service organizations in the medical device industry are prioritizing patient satisfaction with field service management software.

Astea Infographic: Benchmarking Field Service Management Tech Adoption in Medical Device Industry

Field service management (FSM) technology is critically important to any service-driven industry’s success, but perhaps never more so than within the medical device industry. To maintain stringent compliance and meet growing customer expectations, industry leaders turn to software that can provide improved field worker productivity while remaining agile enough to respond to regulatory changes.

Download this new infographic on “Benchmarking the Medical Device Industry’s FSM Technology Adoption in 2018” to see some of the latest industry trends, including these highlights:

  • 72% of organizations believe medical field service has either an indirect or critical impact on patient satisfaction
  • 50% of organizations claim customers will demand outcome-based service contracts within the next two years
  • 77% of organizations have adopted FSM tech solutions to address Knowledge Management issues

View or Download Now

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How Technology Drives Customer Expectations of Service https://astea.com/how-technology-drives-customer-expectations-of-service/ https://astea.com/how-technology-drives-customer-expectations-of-service/#respond Tue, 31 Jul 2018 16:55:30 +0000 http://blog.astea.com/?p=1109 The old saying is that necessity is the mother of invention, but that was founded in the industrial revolution… In this post from Astea’s Managing Director – Asia Pacific Steve Scott, see how innovation creates demand in today’s information revolution—and how your company can use technology to be proactive about growing your business and exceeding...

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Astea - How Technology Drives Customer Expectations of Service - Service Technician

The old saying is that necessity is the mother of invention, but that was founded in the industrial revolution…

In this post from Astea’s Managing Director – Asia Pacific Steve Scott, see how innovation creates demand in today’s information revolution—and how your company can use technology to be proactive about growing your business and exceeding customer expectations of service.

Traditional service standards

My first job out of university back in 1983 was as a technician for a small electronic repair company in Toowoomba (Queensland, Australia). Upon arrival, my boss pointed to a large format printer and said, “Fix that.” At the time, I didn’t even know it was called a large format printer; I had never heard of such a device. I learned the name when I came across the shiny, new Operation and Service Manual. I spent the first half of my first day reading the manual, and the second half fixing the printer. I can’t take too much credit—the print head carriage was just jammed with gunk and it was a simple fix. Still, I spent the last hour of the day testing it, having no confidence at all in my own abilities on the first day of my career.

At the end of the day, I shared with my boss that I had fixed the printer, apologising for taking so long. He told me the customer would be thrilled because the printer had been in the shop for two months while the boss had been hunting down the manual from the manufacturer in the USA.

It was a very stressful, but ultimately successful first day of a 35-year career in the service industry. A happy customer, a critical device fixed with only eight hours of labour after only two months in the shop. Can you imagine any customer accepting that today?

Twelve months later, I had moved to Sydney and was working for a national supplier of automotive service equipment. I was the first electronics technician they had ever hired after previously working exclusively with external service agents.

Changing response times

Everything I fixed in my first month, whether in the shop or in the field, was something I had never seen before. Typically, my first task was to hand write a letter to the manufacturer in the U.S. and have one of the ladies in the typing pool key it into the telex machine. (Yes, we had a typing pool and they were all ladies. It was the 1980’s.) Usually the next morning I would be delivered a telex from the manufacturer stating that the service manuals and schematic diagrams I needed were being sent by air mail.

Typing Pool - 1980s - Astea
Image via https://imgur.com/gallery/ZpjmZ4q

At that time, a one-month turnaround through our workshop was considered by most customers to be a significant improvement over what was being achieved by the local service agents operating across the country. Not long after moving to Sydney, I made a sound business case to my boss, and I was able to convince him to invest in a fax machine. With manuals, schematics or advice from the manufacturers arriving via fax overnight, we were able to reduce turnaround through our service process from weeks down to days. Of course, customers quickly grew to expect that level of service every time.

By the late 1990’s, all correspondence with our suppliers in the U.S. was being conducted by email. Technical data was available via the Internet. Customers would no longer consider accepting the lack of technical data as an excuse for slow service. The very pace of business had accelerated manifold and continues to do so to this day as new technologies continue to emerge.

This can be seen in the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) included in most service contracts today. Historically SLAs have been based around arrival times, often measured in days, but are increasingly often measured in hours. However, in spite of push back by service providers, customers are increasingly expecting SLAs based on resolution of the issue, and once again, often measured in hours. They expect this because they know it is possible.

Technology changes expectations

Customers now know that service providers can schedule and track their field staff in real time using Mobile Field Service Management (FSM) software and GPS tracking. They know that the field service technician has ready access to technical information via mobile devices connected to the internet. They know that professional service organisations have FSM software that ensures their field staff have quick access to the right parts. Put simply, there are no longer any excuses for slow service.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Image via rawpixel on Unsplash

One thing that has not changed throughout the past 35 years is the paramount importance of communication. Perhaps surprisingly to people new to the service industry, it is often more important to a customer that they know when their issue is going to be fixed rather than having it fixed it quickly. This is because they are often able to somewhat mitigate the impact of the problem if they are able to plan around when it will be resolved. Of course, this level of trust can only be achieved when there is an open and honest dialog, and the customer has confidence that the service company is taking every possible action to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

In the 21st century, there are no excuses for poor communication with customers. We have always been able to pick up a phone and call a customer, and sometimes that is still the best approach. Whatever the communication method may be, customers now expect to be proactively advised of status updates at every step of the service process because they know it’s possible. They know that any service organisation should have the ability to automatically send regular updates to the customer via email or SMS, as well as allow the customer to view the status online. The customer expectation is being driven by what technology has made possible. Innovations quickly become the norm.

The future of field service

So, where to from here? What will customers expect of us in coming years, driven by new technological advancements?

I won’t pretend to have a greater read on the future than anyone else. I do not own a crystal ball or a time machine. But there are a couple of things of which we can all be fairly sure:

  • Firstly, business will increasingly be conducted using mobile devices. Just walk down any city street and try to find someone that doesn’t have their face buried in their device. Today we all do many things on our phone that were not possible just a few years ago. We do our banking, order food, pay our bills, schedule medical appointments, book flights, hire cars, and even make or break dates. Increasingly service calls are being booked and tracked online using mobile devices as well. Very soon this will cease to be seen as an innovation and will instead be the customer’s minimum expectation.
  • Secondly, the Internet of Things (IoT), allows machine to machine communication, raising service tickets with no human intervention. Currently, IoT can seem like a buzz word, but soon most customers will expect their service providers to know when a device needs maintenance and advise the customer, rather than relying on the customer to advise them.
  • More than that, with the increasing awareness of Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics, customers will before long expect every service provider to know when a device is about to fail and fix it before it does. If you are in HVAC, be prepared for the first time an unhappy customer asks why you didn’t know their air conditioner was about to fail. It may have happened to you already.

What impact will technology have on contractual SLAs?

You will likely see customers no longer expecting Arrival or even Resolution SLAs. Instead they will be asking for SLAs based on outcomes such as device uptime, or minimising failures. In HVAC, customers may be asking for SLAs based on average room temperatures. In the fire and security industry, your customers may be asking for SLAs based on legislative compliance. And, it may well go beyond SLAs. In many cases, customers may expect penalty clauses for failure to achieve outcomes, or even have the revenue from service contracts directly determined by these outcomes.

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These types of expectations are actually not that new. For decades the copy/print industry’s revenue has been driven based on outcomes; the number of prints or copies made by the customer. However, this will almost certainly expand to include many other service industries with many, varied measurable outcomes.

How service organizations can prepare for the future

Although the information revolution will continue to drive customer expectations unpredictable directions, companies cannot wait for this future to become a reality, or else surely a savvy competitor will get there ahead of you. This is where a modern, connected Field Service Management application with open and flexible integration capabilities, developed by an innovative, forward thinking company will allow you to respond quickly to these emerging technology-driven trends. It’s important to be laying a foundation now that allows these new technologies to be quickly adopted and integrated into your business model as time undoubtedly continues to necessitate

To learn more about how the Astea Alliance field service management and mobility platform can help drive digital transformation for your company, click here.

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