“Support of Things” (SoT): rethinking support of today’s connected customer

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After a decade of watching consumer behavior drastically change because of mobile technologies, we’re in for an even wilder ride with the Internet of Things (IoT). And yet many companies are still relying on old models of support; models that will break under the weight of this new consumer reality. In an attempt to keep pace with this exponential change, companies are looking to re-invent the way they support their customers. This idea, sometimes referred to as the Support of Things (SoT), is a new way of approaching support. Although, as the name implies, this approach is tied closely to the IoT, it is not limited to only supporting connected products. Here’s why companies selling all kinds of products, connected or not, will begin to embrace the SoT:

  • COMPANIES SELLING CONNECTED DEVICES
    (PCs, Smartphones, Tablets)

As a longtime provider of remote support technologies — our Rescue remote support solution is used by nine of the top ten technology companies, dozens of the world’s biggest telcos, as well as famed service companies like Geek Squad — we’ve had a front row seat of how connected device companies are beginning to take a SoT approach. These companies have the benefit of having customers using connected products, which can make diagnosing and sometimes fixing problems easier. But what if the problem can’t be picked up through the Internet connection? Or what if that product won’t power up or can’t connect? Here is where new forms of support are needed; forms that give technicians the ability to be there virtually through video-aided support. Our newly launched Rescue Lens solution aims to do just that.

Here then, is one important pillar of the Support of Things:
Companies used to servicing smart devices will need to find ways to solve issues that can’t be solved through their remote connections; issues you can normally only solve by being there.

  • COMPANIES SELLING CONNECTED THINGS
    (Lighting, thermostats, watches etc.)

Consumers are used to a high level of support with connected PCs, Smartphones and Tablets. But what if the thing you’re supporting doesn’t have a screen? Many connected products, like the Nest for example, don’t have a screen so the customer interface is a mobile app. Support will therefore often need to be facilitated through the mobile app, the real “face” of the IoT. Here’s where tools like mobile chat and mobile remote support will be crucial.

And so a second important pillar of the SoT is the following:
Connected “thing” companies will need to rely heavily on mobile device support tools since the mobile app is their real face to their customer.

  • COMPANIES SELLING NOT-YET-CONNECTED THINGS
    (Appliances, Machinery, etc.)

While just about every company selling physical products is exploring ways to connect their products to the Internet, some are not there yet. For these companies, they don’t have the benefit of having information streams from the product itself – streams that help diagnose issues. While these companies are exploring ways to connect their products, they need solutions that give them insights about customer issues. This is where video-enabled support solutions providing real-time feeds from the customer or field technician will be critical.

And so a third important pillar of the SoT is the following:
Companies selling products that are not yet in the IoT, will need to find ways to get closer to their customers, without having to send field technicians or repair personnel to evaluate every problem.

All of the above are just some of the aspects of the Support of Things that represent a huge change in customer support. Over the next several months, we’ll be sharing what we see from our customers, as they begin to re-invent the way they engage with customers and embrace the SoT.

         

Ray Wang and The Digitalization of Customer Engagement

If you’ve ever heard Ray Wang, Principal Analyst, Founder, and Chairman of Constellation Research, speak at an event or read his popular Software Insider Blog, you know how passionate he is about customer engagement. I witnessed this passion when he visited our LogMeIn headquarters in Boston last month (during which he gleefully tweeted pictures from our scenic roof deck).

After I gave him a tour of our office, I sat down with Ray to discuss the future of customer engagement. The main focus of our chat was the idea that customer engagement has become digitalized, and companies that haven’t embraced this have failed to thrive. We focused on three ways companies can transform their customer engagement strategy:

  1. Mobile Chat
  2. Remote Support and the “Support of Things”
  3. True IoT Engagement: Creating connected products that allow the company to engage directly with both products and customers

Check out our interview below and be on the lookout for Ray’s book, Disrupting Digital Business, which will be published by Harvard Business Review Press in Q2 of 2015.

         

5 Ways To Make Your Meetings More Productive

meetings-arent-what-they-used-to-beThose who have taken a look at their calendar lately know that meetings are on the rise. We have meetings to make plans, to collaborate, and to communicate — all of which becomes even more important as companies add satellite offices and allow employees to work from home.

Still, many employees gripe about wasting valuable time and energy in meetings. And the amount of time wasted is adding up. According to a study by Ovum and join.me by LogMeIn, senior executives lose an average of five full days and 19 hours every year waiting for late meetings to start. As companies try to be more engaging and productive, the way they conduct meetings needs to follow suit. They need to adapt to a younger, more collaborative workforce accustomed to ad hoc and virtual meetings.

Click here to for five ways to make meetings more productive on BusinessInsider.com.

         

Your web conferencing solution is costing you more than five days each year.

5daysHave you ever heard anyone say, “I’m really psyched! I have a ton of meetings today”? Probably not, because in general, meetings are a painful albeit necessary part of everyone’s work life.

         

Can IT remain relevant in the era of BYOA? New research reveals 7 key findings

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Two megatrends — the rise of cloud applications and the consumerization of IT — are conspiring to change IT as we know it.  And in turn, they are calling  into question the value and very relevance of the role of IT, itself.   Today we released the first in a series of  studies designed to explore the state of IT management in today’s “BYO” workplace.  Featuring input from nearly 1400 IT professionals and business professionals, the  report  focuses on the rapid rise of employee introduced apps, or the bring-your-own-app (BYOA) trend, and explores how consumerized cloud apps have become both a challenge and a blind spot for many IT professionals.

A full copy of the BYOA report, Managing applications in the age of BYOA: Reclaiming IT’s strategic role, is available for download.  We’ll delve into the key findings, including key steps IT pros can take to embrace and manage this new reality in future posts, but here’s quick look at some of the highlights and takeaways.

Key findings:

1. BYOA is here to stay.

70% of organizations have some presence of BYOA and it’s a trend that is only going to increase.

2. IT significantly underestimates the scale of BYOA.

IT professionals in this global survey estimated they have, on average, 2.8 applications that were brought into the organization by employees. But LogMeIn data based on companies analyzed in the past 6 months shows the average to be closer to 21 apps–more than 7x what IT estimates.

3. Consumerization of Apps is accelerating.

Employees are bringing in their own applications in the first place because they’re unhappy with solutions provided by IT. More than 64% of the time, applications are brought in by employees when a solution already exists.

4. IT is out of the loop.

More importantly, employees are consulting IT less than half the time when choosing these applications. Then, even after IT endorses these employee-introduced applications, IT is rarely involved in provisioning or managing them.

5. Security risks are inconsistently managed-if at all.

IT professionals acknowledge that BYOA poses huge security risks, and takes some of the control for technology out of their hands, but many are not actively working to address the problem; only 38% currently have a policy in place.

6. Active employee engagement can help.

There are many positive things that can come out of allowing employees to introduce applications if managed properly. Apps brought in by employees tend to be more user-friendly, mobile-friendly, and better suited for collaboration.

7. IT has the ability to choose its role.

IT professionals can decide what role they want to play. They can act as gatekeepers and restrict app adoption, act as passive observers, and let the adoption happen without their involvement–or IT can act as strategic facilitators, managing and shaping the adoption and direction of the growing BYOA trend.

         

Infographic: Is there a place for IT in the age of BYOA

Two megatrends — the rise of cloud applications and the consumerization of IT — are conspiring to change IT as we know it. Today we released the first in a series of studies designed to explore the state of IT management in today’s “BYO” workplace. You can get full copy of the BYOA report, Managing applications in the age of BYOA: Reclaiming IT’s strategic role here, or get some quick highlights on our blog or from the infographic below.

BYOA_infographic

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LogMeIn Insider: Customer Engagement Strategies

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We’re excited to share the first edition of the LogMeIn Insider. This quarterly eBook will provide insights around our various products while providing quality information and helpful tips for our readers. In this first issue, we focus on customer engagement strategies featuring top BoldChat blog posts, which discuss the latest and greatest in the world of live chat, including:

  • Five Points to Consider for Live Chat
  • The Cost of Not Having Live Chat
  • The Science of eCommerce: New Research Looks at Cart Abandonment by the Numbers
  • What’s it Going to Be? Chat or Email? Why not Both?
  • We Want it All. We Want it Now. You Get Very Little.

Click here to read the full eBook, LogMeIn Insider: Customer Engagement Strategies, now!