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6 Jan, 2009 By: Jerry Chase imageSource


no revelation that IT organizations face an ever increasing expectation of asset
availability and reliability from their customers. This is true for both
internal support teams and groups who provide asset management services to
paying clients. No matter who they are, customers expect their support teams to
minimize service interruptions and ideally prevent them in the first place. The
challenge becomes even greater for service organizations charged with managing
devices that reside on firewall-protected networks.

Successful IT service organizations focus on improving several performance
metrics, including reduced repair time, increased overall device and information
availability, and decreasing the number of technician dispatches. A remote
product service (RPS) provides an important way for service organizations to
achieve these goals. 

RPS takes advantage of data captured through machine-to-machine (M2M)
interfaces to analyze asset performance and implement corrective action, in many
cases from a remote location. The technology is becoming widely adopted for its
capacity to provide cost-savings to service organizations and allow them to
offer improved service levels to their customers. 

What advantages does RPS have over other alternatives?

The proliferation of network-enabled devices provides a unique opportunity to
make support of corporate processes easier than ever before. Making tools
accessible via the Web allows IT administrators to connect with specific devices
individually and diagnose problems from remote locations. 

RPS provides powerful M2M communication and offers secure access to
IP-enabled equipment. IT administrators will also benefit from services that can
get behind firewalls to further work with devices. This is especially helpful
for IT administrators who need to efficiently troubleshoot problem equipment
(such as servers) in real-time. Lantronix is currently market testing such a
solution with customers with its new product ManageLinx™.

What are the advantages to my business?

Especially in an age of continued global expansion, businesses are opening
offices in far-reaching markets and establishing branches in remote areas.  With
the advent of RPS, support organizations can communicate with equipment in
different locations, or even countries, allowing IT departments to respond to
urgent tasks in real-time regardless of location.

In addition to the ability to react rapidly, another benefit
of RPS is the cost-savings. RPS provides the capacity to greatly reduce spending
for on-site service calls. For example, according to a 2008 study by the
Aberdeen Group, the average cost of a truck roll is $263, up from $209 in 2006,
and a single technician normally receives three calls each day. This is a large,
unnecessary sum of money that companies can easily eradicate from their spending
and repurpose into more valuable resources. During the current economic
conditions, businesses must make educated decisions to cut spending without
sacrificing what’s necessary. 

In addition to the dollars saved on fuel and other hard costs of truck rolls,
RPS saves valuable time, eliminating the need to dispatch employees to an
on-site location to combat IT issues. With RPS, technicians can easily tend to
problem equipment in far-away places from the comfort of their desks, accessing
devices quickly over the Internet. As a result, productivity improves, which
also increases profitability. The technology also improves customer service.
Vendors can utilize RPS to quickly address client issues, boosting customer

can benefit from less downtime, generating increased company-wide productivity
by ensuring that networks will not be disrupted for extended periods of time.
The ability to respond to IT challenges immediately via the Internet and
wireless solutions reduces the lag companies experience when responding with
on-site support.

RPS can also better monitor simple activities, such as power consumption.
Companies can use these solutions to manage electrical and lighting systems, as
well as prevent potential damage to expensive equipment. This includes
controlling temperature & powering down devices that may be overheating,
avoiding further costs to replace high-priced gear.

How do service organizations/customers equally benefit from RPS?

RPS allows service organizations to more efficiently do their job. It
provides them with greater access to equipment and reduces the time it takes to
make repairs. Ultimately, these companies save money through decreasing the
number of times they have to send out technicians. RPS also increases the
ability to fix issues in the first attempt as assets are available over the
network and an IT administrator can have all resources handy as they perform

As a result, customers get quicker and more effective service. Service
organizations can respond to their issues in real-time, sparing clients from
waiting around for on-site support to arrive.

What’s the advantage to dealers?

RPS is an ideal technology for dealers to offer to their clients. According
to the Aberdeen Group, 41% of organizations increased the amount of assets that
are remotely monitored in the past year. This opens up a growing market for
dealers to supply solutions for that demand. This technology provides strong
value to customers and will minimize their costs, while increasing sales for

Another vehicle for dealers to leverage this new technology is to integrate
it with other products or services they currently offer to strengthen sales.
This will avoid having to build an entirely new customer base for the product
offering, as dealers will be able to leverage their current clientele.

Jerry Chase is CEO of Latronix, a computer networking solutions company
that allows clients to remotely access equipment, even behind firewalls.  For
more information visit www.lantronix.com
or phone 949-453-3990.

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