SSI's Review of the Third Annual Smart Services Summit

Once again, SSI was invited to attend the Smart Services Summit, held on July 17 and July 18, 2007, in Chicago, Illinois.

This annual networking event is hosted by nPhase, a Qualcomm business, to bring together customers, analysts and integrators of Smart Service Solutions. The event is an exclusive invitation-only executive event focused on exchanging best practices and collectively advancing Smart Service deployment.

Throughout the two days, three unique customer panels representing 12 different companies shared their failures and successes with implementing Smart Services (aka M2M or machine-to-machine solutions).

Panelists helped build the business case for Smart Services by offering their real world experiences. Participants shared how Smart Services were used to:

  • Develop new revenue streams such as ASP Hosted solutions. One panelist used Smart Services to uncover a customer’s need for additional training services.
  • Enable proactive customer service. By having the data to know what part to bring, repeat dispatch of a technician could be minimized. Also, with real time snapshots of an actual problem, technicians could more quickly fix a problem. Previously, when a technician arrived, diagnostic codes and I/O may have been altered, preventing the identification of the actual problem.
  • Provide monitoring reports that make solutions friendly to government mandates such as Sarbanes-Oxley.
  • Improve labor efficiencies.
  • Proactively monitor consumables such as power consumption or fluid levels. Smart Services are keeping customers stocked with product or their machines running without interruption.

A few tips were shared for rolling out Smart Service Solutions:

  • Phase in solutions rather than try to be everything to everybody.
  • Put your product in front of the customers for early feedback. The way customers use your solution might not be the same as you intended.
  • Provide monitoring reports that make solutions friendly to government mandates such as Sarbanes-Oxley.
  • Look at the big picture: Cheaper solutions might cost you more in the long run due to unexpected costs further down the road. One customer shared an example where rolling out a cheaper solution than what nPhase offered resulted in higher costs caused by dropped packets and increased bandwidth usage.
  • Consider time-to-market. It might be worth an extra $1 per module.