Mobile: the new frontier for self-service

Artificial Intelligence on the service desk [Holly from RedDwarf]
Artificial Intelligence on the service desk [Holly from RedDwarf]
Google searches performed on a mobile device outstripped desktop searches (in certain territories), according to figures released last week.

That’s an important milestone in the meteoric use of mobile.

Of course, the searches refer to global use of Google, including consumers searching for the nearest pizza joint, and are not necessarily reflective of enterprise IT – but we all know, since the introduction of the blackberry, iPad and then current smart phones, of the increasing business demands for mobile.

Will your service work on mobile devices? Will it provide a frictionless consumer-like experience, Does it matter who owns the device? And so on.

It doesn’t matter that we’re not delivering consumer services and that we might be delivering services in heavily regulated industries with back-breaking governance hoops to jump through – the demand for mobility and flexibility continue unabated.

Mobility promises the ability to avoid speaking to pesky humans, get things done, keep track and unlock me from the constraints of a physical office.

Avoiding speaking to people is an important point: In terms of human interaction it’s a case of quality over quantity. When I do (occasionally) speak with a human – I want a great customer focussed experience. You’ve only got to look at the growth (or is it a return?) of IT concierge desks resourced with IT staff especially selected for their more extrovert nature to witness this.

The premise: automate as much as possible, help the customer help themselves, if they do need to speak to us, make it a great experience (which doesn’t necessarily mean fixing everything).

With this in mind it has been great to see traditional ITSM providers innovating with mobile.

The future is here, just unevenly distributed

The terms artificial intelligence and augmented reality go hand-in-hand with the Jetsons, self driving cars and the fridge that knows to order more beer and lettuce. But look carefully, and it’s slowly permeating everywhere, including the humble service desk.

Smart-phone owners might be familiar with Apple’s SIRI, Google’s Voice Search or Microsoft’s Cortana as a personal navigator (Voice recognition to intelligent search / actions).  Similarly consumers might be familiar with Word Lens (Image to language translation) or Evernote (handwriting to textual search).

SnapIT from LANDESK promises smartphone image capture to knowledge base lookup. Sharing screenshots or remote sharing with end user customers to identify issues is a staple of the service desk toolkit – but what about cutting out the middle-man and connecting customers directly with help by snapping a picture of the issue on a mobile device?

Direct link to Video

LANDESK have offered this new capability with no extra charge to existing customers. It’s available via iOS, Android or simply via a browser.

I look forward to seeing this and other innovation at the ITSM show next month, we’ll be on stand 723 collecting customer reviews for TOOLSADVISOR.net (think trip advisor meets itsm tools). Come and say hi!

Image Credit

Dancybot V0.1

Hot on the heels of the first 24-hour digital ITSM conference in December… The ITSM Review is pleased to announce the launch of the first digital ITSM celebrity.

It is only a matter of time before speech recognition, bots, virtual service desk operators and ‘ubiquitous intelligent systems’ are common place in IT support – so we need to get used to the idea mashing up real personalities with their digital counterparts.

“We need to admit right now that the digital version of you is augmented in such a way that it has perverted your digital ego and more importantly confused your physical self.” EDICT 10

Announcing the Dancybot Prototype V0.1

Who needs to pay for costly keynote speakers and travel expenses at ITSM Conferences when you can ‘go virtual!’

DANCYBOT V0.1 – Benefits at a Glance:

  • Multi-Instance, Multi-Lingual – No more calendar conflicts, can appear at multiple events and conferences worldwide at the same time.
  • Integrates with every known ITSM product known to man including those not yet invented (*)
  • Fully ITIL 2011, COBIT, USMBOK Compliant (**)
  • Fully SaaS enabled multi-tenant Cloud architecture (***)

Disclaimers

  • *untested
  • ** if you believe this you’ll believe anything
  • *** We couldn’t launch a product in the ITSM space without cloud-washing it could we? 🙂

I admit our Chucky-esque Chris Dancy simulation is a little primitive – but he has a bright future! Maybe one day he’ll be autonomous and self-sufficient from the original ‘meat’? We just need to find our first conference organizer who is brave enough to place him on the wall next to the Twitter feed…