The market for outsourcing Remote Product Services (RPS) is escalating rapidly with some industry experts estimating that it will hit $290 billion by 2011. RPS is ideal for OEMs, VARs, and service providers tasked with tracking, repairing, and maintaining remote devices and equipment. The rapid increase in the remote services market can be attributed to a number of factors including escalating customer demand for higher availability and reliability of network services in conjunction with reduced in-house IT resources. In this fast growing space, service providers are poised to take advantage of this trend, by not only growing their customer base, but by also improving upon the services they currently offer, thereby fending off potential competitive threats.
The managed services market is ripe for OEMs or VARs looking to displace revenue from diminished product margins, or independent Managed Service Providers that are trying to find ways to increase customer adoption of service offerings. This article will discuss the keys to success in the RPS market by selecting the right RPS tools and offering the appropriate differentiated service levels that meet or exceed customer expectations.
A recent study on RPS by the Aberdeen Group found that the majority of equipment manufacturers surveyed intend to deploy commercial RPS solutions in the next 12 to 24 months. The report also states that those currently offering managed services plan to modify their business processes to incorporate both preventative and proactive approaches into service delivery. As more services move to "proactive" versus "reactive" based models, services organizations that have previously followed the "break-fix" services model will quickly find themselves struggling to protect their customer base from competitive threats. One key way to combat this threat is by offering differentiated service level agreements that guarantee uptime and accelerate problem resolution through proactive management, maintenance, and repair.
When examining the available tools to perform RPS, Service Providers must determine:
1: Do the available tools enable my organization to offer differentiated remote-based services?
2: Does the introduction of new tools introduce disruption to either my customers or my support processes?
3: Can the tools be deployed at a cost point that supports the business case for remote services offerings?
A base requirement of any proactive RPS tool is its ability to constantly monitor the health of the device or application so that it can