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    > On-Line! Detective® > ROI > ROI - Field Service Organizations

ROI - Field Service Organizations

Field Service Organizations (FSO), and Self-Maintainers are concerned with closing support calls as fast as possible. End-user customers pay handsomely for various response times and often set rigorous demands for system uptime and availability. These contracts or SLAs (service level agreements) put pressure on the FSO to close calls fast or risk paying penalties, or even worse, to lose a customer.

For the FSO it is a balancing act to deliver high-caliber service and maintain profitability because competitive pressures drive revenues down and raise the level of expectation. These pressures continually erode margins, forcing FSOs to seek more efficient and cost-effective ways to deliver service. FSOs must hire and continually train skilled personnel to keep current with changing technologies. Competitive forces do not ensure they will remain in your employ, should another organization desire the skills (and customers) your technician may possess. It has become more important than ever to invest in tools and additional technologies that can deliver efficiencies to the FSO enterprise. Organizations now have to think on behalf of the customer to deliver what the customer wants, not necessarily what the FSO has been traditionally structured to deliver.

There are 4 primary areas that the On-Line! Detective for Sun can provide a tangible, calculated return on investment (ROI).

1. Close Calls Faster & Sooner in the Call Cycle

2. Reduce Classroom Training Budget

3. Improve Customer and Employee Satisfaction

4. Increase Revenues with a New and Superior Service Offer

Close Calls Faster & Sooner in the Call Cycle

For more than 10 years the Detective has been the staple tool for more than a thousand Field Service Technicians and for more than 300 organizations that perform some level of self-maintenance. In recent surveys (1995 and 2005) Technicians document an average time savings of "20-minutes per service call", when they utilize the Detective. This is because every Sun system they encounter in the field is covered in the Detective. The structured flowcharts and step-by-step instructions with more than 10,000 hyperlinks to more detailed information, saves them time - time that can be spent with other customer on other calls or on other billable services.

The Detective's structured troubleshooter provides sequential questions to provide a better understanding of a problem's origin. These troubleshooting methods can often eliminate a customer visit by providing a more accurate understanding of the situation. This new understanding will better equip the Technician to carry the correct part the first time, thus eliminating multiple visits or costly multiple-parts deployment.

The cost of the Detective can be recovered in 6 months or less by saving 20 minutes per call or 60 minutes per day.

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Reduce Classroom Training Budget

It is readily understood that classroom training can be very powerful - and expensive. When a Technician attends classroom training the associated costs can often match the tuition. Expenses may include airfare, hotel, meals, car rental and airport parking. The not-so-obvious costs include the overtime that may be incurred to cover shifts or calls while the Technician is absent.

The Detective is currently utilized for training all over the world as the curriculum for classroom training. The Detective not only covers the systems being taught in current classroom offerings, but ALL workstations and servers Sun has developed since 1990! For these older systems, on-site is just not an option and training materials are no longer readily available. The Detective has structured training for more than 60 Sun systems - all of them are available off-line and portable. Training documentation does not stop with Sun hardware but includes all related technologies and the Solaris operating environment: SCSI, Fibre, Boot Prom, Solaris 2.6 - 9, Lights-out-management, Sun Fire Administration, E10K Administration, Enterprise Administration and much more. The Detective contains has more than 20 weeks of classroom training material and it is continually updated to remain current.

When an employee departs for another company - your training investment leaves as well. The Detective is an asset that remains with the company for use by future employees - the Licenses are transferable!

The cost of the Detective is returned if the Technician forgoes a single training class.

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Improve Customer and Employee Satisfaction

One of the most visible returns the Detective can provide is with new and repeat business from satisfied customers. Technicians that utilize the Detective on a laptop are able to close calls faster and as a result, close more of them. From the customer's perspective that means less system downtime and more system uptime and availability. Satisfied customers are less likely to risk the comfort and security of a "known" service provider and leave for another.

It is well understood by service providers that a satisfied customer is a 'low cost' customer. A satisfied customer does not have associated with it the "costs of acquisition" each new customer brings. To earn a new customer the FSO must invest in marketing efforts, sales efforts and if the support proposal is attractive and the prospect becomes a customer - pay commissions. A satisfied customer, however, no longer has these acquisition costs and moreover, likely has the older, higher priced support structure in place. Higher prices and lower support costs means higher profits. To quickly determine the impact of a single customer on the bottom line - what would you lose if your largest customer left you for a competitor? What is that single customer's 'lifetime value'?

Satisfied employees are like satisfied customers - they "produce" more than they cost. Sure, they may have a higher cost structure than a 'new recruit' but they "own" the valuable relationship with the customer and do not have the high "costs of acquisition" new hires are associated with. While a seasoned professional may cost a little more - the experience they bring will often save the service organization hundreds of hours annually.

The On-Line! Detective for Sun is a tool that can transcend a person with "average" technical skills to one with "expert-like" stature in a fraction of the time. Technicians will hold, in the Detective, feedback from thousands of users, each with hundreds or thousands of actual calls - these 'best practices' are organized and structured in a manner that is easy to use and understand. With knowledge and understanding comes confidence and confidence in a Technician is what keeps both Technician and Customer around for a long time.

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Increase Revenues with a New and Superior Service Offer

Many Field Service Organizations are beginning to realize that service demands from their customers have changed dramatically over the past five years. The service delivery model is shifting as many end-users are beginning to perform some level of self-maintenance. No longer are customers satisfied from the limited list of service offerings: Gold, Platinum or Silver. In many end-user organizations Bronze support (parts-only) is considered a luxury.

What competitive advantage can a Field Service Organization offer that Sun cannot -except lower prices? Lower prices alone will not suffice the end-user, as competitive pressures will eventually drive prices to a point where very little profit margin remains and exposure from the SLAs remains high.

Consider the On-Line! Detective as a tool to help you earn new business. FSO's have been using the Detective internally for years and until recent shifts in the market, were reluctant to have their customers even see the Detective. For years, the Detective was their 'secret weapon' and they feared losing their maintenance customers. Reality however, has proved them wrong. Most customers that outsource maintenance do so because it is their corporate philosophy. They want to make widgets or pump oil, not support their IT infrastructure.

Field Service Organizations now offer the Detective to their customers for the term of the service contract. End-Users. FSOs can now provide a service that is fundamentally different than anything Sun can offer and they will realize a lower service delivery cost. End-users that utilize the Detective will now have a tool to provide better first-call diagnosis. End-users will love the Detective, as they have for years. In fact, more than 300 of the largest data centers utilize the Detective.

Most end-users that utilize the On-Line! Detective for Sun are System Administrators and very little of what they do, on a regular basis, deals with the hardware. Their concerns are centered on the operating system, applications, user configurations and access rights, Spam, security and other issues that would affect system uptime and availability. System Administrators appreciate the Detective because it covers ALL ASPECTS of system administration.

Click here to learn more about the Detective from a System Administrator's perspective

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