OK, not really, but it should behave like one.
If you are reading this blog you more than likely are involved in an organization that makes a complex product -- perhaps one that operates in a data center, hospital, or factory. You are thinking, my product is a business-to-business product, and perhaps it is:
- Heavily featured
I will reiterate, no matter the complexity, sophistication, cost, or size -- smart companies everywhere are starting to think about their products as iPods.
"As Is" and "To Be"
Let's look at what has made the iPod a success. Borrowing a term from consulting -- let's look at the "As Is" and "To Be" processes of music consumption.
"As Is": Get in your car, drive to the music store, browse through thousands of CDs, pick the one you want (often without a preview), buy it, and then lug it everywhere you may want to use it.
"To Be": Go on the Web, flexibly browse/search an extensive song library, listen to samples, buy the ones that you want with one click, sync them with your iPod, and carry your entire library everywhere that you want.
The combination of a smartly designed product with a Web presence enabled the iPod's runaway success and changed the way music is distributed and consumed.
Now let's look at your business situation. More than likely, your company is facing one or many of the following challenges:
- Shrinking Profits
- Aging Workforce
- Global Competition
- Escalating Travel Costs
- High Customer Expectations
Your R&D teams are working feverishly to add the next great feature. Your service organization is focused on keeping your products in the field up and running. You are fighting the same "As Is" battle as the CD. What is needed is a quantum leap forward.
Enter "Remote Services"
I define "Remote Services" as the delivery of your expertise through the Internet to your product operating at your customer locations. In effect, remote services, combined with your expertise and product, enables the desired quantum leap forward. It not only redefines how you service your products, it changes what you define your product to be. Done right and the product will become secondary to the solution that drives your customer's experience. In short, it will become like an iPod.
Since this is my first post in this blog, I would like to comment briefly on its scope. I see this blog as a location where people can come and get both tactical and strategic advice on how to leverage remote services to change the game of their businesses. I believe that this technology will not only change the way business is done, it will change people's perception of products. Having been in this industry since its inception, I am very excited by the traction that major organizations are getting with their remote service programs. Hopefully, we can provide you with some insight that can help you along this journey and provide you with the hard fought insights of others.