Category

Service Lifecycle Management (SLM)

Elevator Out of Service

An Elevator Pitch: IoT Improves Elevator Service

By | Internet of Things, Service, Service Lifecycle Management (SLM), Service Technology | No Comments

The Risk of Market Commoditization

For companies that operate in a commodity market, competing on price alone is usually a stressful and futile business strategy. When the only protection a company has against competition is lower price, an aggressive new entrant offering an even lower price for the same product or service can disrupt the business overnight, luring customers away from an established business that had nurtured customer loyalty for decades. Indeed, low-cost products and services often mean subpar quality and poor customer service, and by the time the newly-recruited customer realizes it, the damage has already been done and is difficult to reverse. As the old adage goes, it costs much more to regain a lost customer than to keep an existing one.

McKinley Elevator Corporation is a family-owned business that specializes in elevators, accessibility lifts and car lifts for homes, public facilities, and businesses. Even with reputation for top-notch customer service, the company is constantly at risk of losing market share to lower-cost competitors, and under pressure from elevator manufacturers seeking to drive down cost in a highly commoditized and price-competitive market. Read More

Laughing Fool (Possibly Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen ca. 1500)

Artificial Intelligence or Real Stupidity?

By | Service, Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) | No Comments

Some years ago, I was involved in developing artificial intelligence (AI) expert systems. I built expert systems to troubleshoot failures in highly engineered systems such the General Eclectic T700 turboshaft engine, a commercial high-volume photocopier, a blood chemistry analyzer, and similarly complex and difficult to diagnose and repair systems.

Xerox Corp. was looking for an artificial intelligence solution to support field service operations. The finalists were my company and another diagnostic expert system company that used similar AI technology.  Unable to determine which systems offered a better solution, Xerox decided to conduct a rigorous and objective evaluation by holding a double-blind face off between the two expert systems. Read More

Airstream by Ralph Goings (1970)

How to Build a Useful Augmented Reality Application

By | AR/VR, Internet of Things, Service, Service Lifecycle Management (SLM), Service Technology | 2 Comments

Gauging Value in AR Service Applications

You know I have been very vocal in criticizing augmented reality (AR) applications that, in my opinion, demonstrated too little business value.  You have heard (or read) me referring these as righty-tighty lefty-loosey systems.

From time to time, clients and attendees of my public lectures challenge me for guidelines to help them gauge the potential business value of AR applications. If a simple air filter replacement procedure isn’t useful, then what is? Read More

Transverse Line Kandisnky

LiveWorx 2016 – PTC’s Internet of Things Strategy

By | Aquisition, Internet of Things, M2M, Service Lifecycle Management (SLM), Strategy | No Comments

LiveWorx 2016

PTC’s LiveWorx, the annual event that demonstrates and affirms PTC’s commitment to the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) space, concluded last week in Boston. It was larger and richer than the previous LiveWorx conference by far.

LiveWorx serves well to clarify PTC’s Industrial IoT strategy and to articulate the role of the various technology pavestones that form PTC’s elaborate IoT path. Not surprisingly, PTC’s CEO James Heppelmann’ keynote centered on IoT application to enhance equipment service and maintenance operations, as were systems demonstrated on the main stage by Caterpillar, Trane and Flowserve, although it was obvious that these were proofs of concept rather than deployed systems. As Mr. Heppelmann reiterated a cornerstone in PTC’s strategy: “service is the killer app of the industrial IoT”.
Read More

Augmented Relaity

Virtual Reality is Awaiting its iPhone Moment

By | Service, Service Lifecycle Management (SLM), Service Technology | No Comments

I have been involved in developing, evaluating and selecting tools and methods for field service and failure diagnostics in complex equipment for many years. Among the many technologies, virtual reality (VR), the technology that was heralded and then flopped in the 90s, seems to stage a comeback, thanks to significant improvement in hardware and visualization technologies, and eye-catching products like Google Glass (discontinued earlier this year), Oculus Rift (acquired by Apple in 2014) and Microsoft’s Hololens. A client sent me links to articles on virtual reality that appeared in a recent issue of The Economist and asked for an opinion.

The longer article, titled Grand Illusions, offers some historical perspective and discusses numerous opportunities for virtual reality applications, mostly related to gaming and gaming-like areas. The article cautions readers to “curb your enthusiasm”, citing multiple technology, human physiology and social barriers. Read More