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M2M links devices through wired and wireless connections to collect, transmit and store data. Data captured by sensors and monitoring devices in the field and in customers’ homes can help managers and dispatchers in the office make quick decisions to respond to customer needs.

In the telecom industry, for instance, cable boxes transmit diagnostics and usage data; in-vehicle devices and location technology systems track technician movement and behaviors; and handheld devices carried by technicians provide invoicing and service confirmation.

The ability to collect all of this data is critical in any industry that provides 24/7 service. Customer service is a major issue as well, and this is a way to mitigate consumer-related challenges.

M2M also helps to minimize problems, as providers learn to use remote data to spot trends and patterns, measure metrics against goals, and take appropriate action. Obvious benefits of location technology and data-capture devices include rapid service provisioning and better routing and scheduling, which helps shorten time windows for service appointments.

M2M allows service companies to control energy costs by monitoring and adjusting consumption at data centers, and to do preventive maintenance through continuous equipment monitoring. In fact, AberdeenGroup research found that 50 percent of top-performing service companies have a preventive maintenance model in place, and that 26 percent of all polled companies are able to resolve issues remotely.

Another benefit of M2M is to potentially open up new markets. According to M2M growth projections, the potential for new revenue streams and cost savings using M2M is huge. Machine Research, for instance, predicts M2M connections will increase to 2.3 billion in 2020, up from 135 million in 2011. Amdocs predicts the global revenue from M2M services for service providers will reach $4 billion this year.

Aberdeen has found that revenue is becoming a key metric for executives to measure success in service organizations, and nearly one-third of them view M2M as a way to boost revenue.

 

Leveraging Data

While the potential benefits of M2M are numerous, Aberdeen does caution that the abundance of data flowing into the office can paralyze action rather than improve efficiency if organizations don’t know how to handle that data.

In addition to monitoring systems, organizations must invest in analytics applications such as predictive or preventative analytics found in a workforce management solution. These allow managers to view, analyze and act on the data to make day-to-day operational improvements and develop strategic business plans and boost revenue. For mobile workforces this can be the added intelligence M2M generates for top-performing organizations, according to Aberdeen, resulting “in faster issue resolution, less downtime, and added customer value.”

Which means in addition to monitoring systems, organizations need to invest in analytics applications, such as workforce management, to allow them to view, analyze and act on the data to make day-to-day operational improvements and develop strategic business plans that boost revenue.

Aberdeen says that the added intelligence M2M generates for top-performing organizations “results in faster issue resolution, less downtime, and added customer value.” And satisfied customers are the key to recurring revenue streams and positive referrals.

For more information on Trimble Field Service Management, visit www.trimble.com/fsm. For a copy of Trimble’s latest report, Transforming Service Delivery: An Insight Report, visit www.trimble.com/insightreport.


 

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