Last week I attended this annual event where there were approximately 100 field service executives from medical device companies. The event was 2 ½ days long and included interactive sessions on everything from remote service to retaining service techs (a bigger issue than you’d think!).
From my perspective, these were the main IoT topics that dominated the event and my thoughts on them:
- It is still hard to connect devices to the Internet. More and more customers, particularly in EMEA due to GDPR, are not allowing connectivity. In some cases, they are even shutting off devices that were previously connected. Throughout all of my discussions with people, the highest rate of device connectivity I heard was 50%. Most were well below that.
- My take: OEM’s are still making the mistake of making this an IT discussion instead of a business discussion. IT Departments are trained to say “No” first. Go to your business owner who is most impacted by device downtime and get them to sponsor the project into IT. They’ll have better luck than you will.
RevTwo can enable companies to use their AI in the cloud, even if the device isn’t connected to the Internet.
- Nobody knows what to do with the data they do have. Many companies don’t have a high volume of data from their connected devices yet. But those that do for the most part still don’t know what to do with it. Some have hired data scientists to sift through it, and they are discovering that this is a time consuming and lengthy process.
- My take: The biggest challenge with data is making sure it’s usable. It needs to be defined. It needs to be organized. The useless data (null sets, duplicates) needs to be weeded out. The next biggest challenge is getting the right data. What are you trying to discover?
RevTwo can help you by using AI to identify root cause and a solution without using a data scientist.
- More and more companies want their customers to have some self-service capability. Many companies have created self-help portals for their customers. In almost every conversation I had, field service executives are actively looking for ways to enable their customers to do some basic troubleshooting and triage before calling support.
My take: I used to sell into hospitals many years ago, and back then end users would call Biomed or the OEM service department in the event of even the most minor issues. So this is a big change. As service departments are transitioning from cost centers to revenue centers, they are trying to optimize everything, and this is part of that. I expect more of an emphasis on customer self-help in the future. RevTwo is utilized today by OEM’s who want to empower their customers.