Learn how to leverage your connected data and simultaneously apply three key methods of prediction to your service strategy
Implementing a successful smart connected product strategy has its own challenges and pitfalls. The good news, navigating those challenges with a well thought out strategy will be the key to success.
Today, Chris MacDonald, head of AI & Analytics speaks with Anthony Moffa, Senior Director of smart connected products at PTC to discuss how to successfully navigate these hurdles at the beginning or during a transformation process and how to use lessons learned to improve performance and outcomes.
Welcome to speaking of service, the podcast that uncovers practical ways to grow service revenue control costs and improve customer satisfaction. If you're looking to innovate, gain a competitive edge, or just learn about the latest service trends, you've come to the right place. In today's episode, Chris McDonald, head of AI and analytics sits down with Anthony ma. Senior director of smart, connected products at PTC to discuss how to successfully navigate hurdles incurred at the beginning or during a service transformation process and how to use lessons learned to improve performance and outcomes.Chris MacDonald:
Welcome to the show. Today, we're gonna talk about what it means to successfully lead digital transformation initiatives and implement a smart, connected product strategy and not just what technology or the opportu. But organizationally, what does it take to lead and successfully implement these initiatives? And today we're fortunate to be joined by Anthony ma the senior director of smart, connected products here at PTC who came to PTC with a wealth of experience in actually leading and implementing these efforts at companies like Tyco and Beckton Dickinson. So I'm very excited to welcome Anthony to the show.Anthony Moffa:
Thank you very much, Chris. It's great to be.Chris MacDonald:
So I wanna start by asking you, having been through these transformations and probably failing a bit at some point or hitting hurdles, right. And learning lessons. What are some of the things that you would tell a company either in the midst of their strategy, trying to accelerate it or beginning this strategy? what are the things that are probably gonna get in the way, noAnthony Moffa:
matter what. Well, you know, it's interesting, there's so many different things that you need to consider and variables in the process, but I think one of the first ones is that, uh, a part-time position. Produces part-time results. So if you have a feeling that somebody is going to take this on, as in addition to your day to day job, well, they're only gonna focus on it when they're able to focus on it and a transformation like this really takes time. Uh, and it takes a focused effort. In fact, um, former boss of mine used to refer to that person as the passionate advocate, somebody who was really going to be the champion for change. we don't like change. I mean, we all know that, right. We're we like to have the day to day process and you think even back two years ago when COVID hit and all of a sudden the world changed on us and we weren't doing our day to day activities, we were all kind of lost. We were trying to come up with a new process and how we were gonna do business in a disconnected environment and not, you know, doing this from our homes. So a similar thing happens, but you're not just doing this to. you're taking hundreds or thousands of people in a service organization and saying, listen, I know that this is the way we've done it for 30 years, but we're gonna do a different starting time X. So you know that, that's why you need that person to really go out and say to people, this is what we're going to do. This is why we're going to do it. And this is how we're going to do it. Now they have to obviously bring a whole bunch of other people in to do it. They can't do it by themselves, but if you don't have that person. Driving that change internally. Mm-hmm it will not happen organically. It just doesn't.Chris MacDonald:
So you've been around this space that we call IOT. I think we both probably agree. It's no, it's hard to even call the space IOT, but the concept of giving devices and data, you know, a voice, an increased voice, being able to connect to those, to manage them remotely. All of that having been around it for, um, you know, many years now, what do you think has remained true and remained the same about the opportunity when it comes to service, when it comes to, uh, building customer relationships from connected devices. Um, and what do you think has really evolved in recent years as the ability to collect data, the ability to store data, the ability to analyze it has, has matured.Anthony Moffa:
Well, well, you know, I can go back in time. And I think one of my first connected projects I worked on was in the 1980s, the late eighties, and it was using a modem. Right. And so from the perspective of wanting to get that data from the edge back to a central location, because quite frankly, it's more efficient. And easier for us to do analysis of data, especially when you have two or three or five or 10 or a hundred things coming in, cuz you can start to see trends and other things that you wouldn't normally see. So there's always been that quest to bring that data in. Right. So that's that is the piece I think that's been there. What's changed is the speed at which a can acquire that. You know, a 300 or, or a 57, 6 modem, like that was fast at one point in time today it's gigabits of data that are flying around that that we're using. So the speed at which we can acquire that data is, is transform. This entire environment is now we can do things in a broader scope, uh, far more detailed than we could, 20 or 30 years ago, or even 10 years ago for that. So that's, that's been a huge change, but when you think about how an, an it and OT convergence has started to happen in the world today, and we're starting to look at, rather than me having a network within my building, my network expands out to the whole universe, to all of my products. Now that's starting to take over in service organizations. One of the other truisms about services it's do more with less for. Right. You, you, cuz you're getting more product put into the field. You still have to service it, but your organization wants you to grow, but they wanna cut your budget at the same time. And the one thing about service is if you do not digitize growth of a service organization requires a commensurate growth in the number of people and the number of trucks and the number of tools that are out in the field. So you absolutely need to leverage some type of a technology. To grow your service business without growing your overhead.Chris MacDonald:
Yeah, no fair point. If you can speak to your experience, um, both at Tyco and Beckton Dickinson, for example, what were the organizational elements that allowed you to accomplish what you did at both places? Um, how were the dynamics different, um, and what lessons can be learned for our listeners based on those experiences.Anthony Moffa:
wow. You could write a book on that. I think , that's a load of gesture. Um, I think the consistent piece that, that I experienced in those locations and even talking with customers today, mm-hmm um, is that every part of the organization kind of feels like they're under attack. and, and they need to have kind of a feeling of this is going to be good for me. So for example, a technician thinks that you're coming to get rid of his or her job, right? Because you're, you're automating something. Um, and the reality is no we're as a company growing our service organization and we can't get enough technicians. So they need to understand that this is to actually make their job more efficient because we can't get more of. And if we don't get more of them, they're gonna be working evenings and weekends and holidays and so on. Cuz we just can't fill the slots. So once they start to understand that, you know, that gets them into, into that process, but there's all of those individual compartmentalized components, um, research and development teams. Very often believe that when a service organization makes a move like this, that they're starting to impinge on their world. Well, wait a minute. You're starting to steal my job from me. So there has to be a lot of, there's definitely a lot of politics that goes on in this, right. A lot of, uh, baby kissing and shaking hands. And in the process of making everybody feel like they have to be part of that solution. Now it doesn't mean that every part of the organization's going to get involved in rolling it. But they need to know that that every part of the organization is really going to benefit from this long term and have an advantage moving.Chris MacDonald:
This morning, we happened to be passing each other in the hallway, uh, in the office. And we were talking about, um, you know, remote monitoring, remote diagnostics, and in particular, the users and something that, that I ask of you, someone who has the domain expertise, who has been there is really who is the user for certain type of information or application, or, you know, end user looking at this kind of data. Right. I imagine. Executives at a service organization, right. Would also benefit from knowing who is going to be the tangible user of an application or the data and the insights. Right. As it gives you a sense of how actions are gonna be taken to transform the organization, what advice would you give as you often give to me and my colleagues about understanding that user, even from an executive perspective at a company? Well,Anthony Moffa:
sure. There. There's an evolution in the process of remote services. Mm-hmm um, and in the very beginning of that connected environment, the service organization would be the first beneficiary of that. And if their intent is to, for example, reduce truck roles or to meet SLAs, you know, they wanna meet their service level agreements and shorten that timeframe from things going offline to being back up and running. They can use those tools. Remotely monitor monitoring, meaning I'm looking at it and checking the pulse. I wanna see the current and the voltage, and I'd like to know if something is trending in the wrong direction. And then in a lot of cases you could do remote service where you could literally reach into that device and maybe change a setting, uh, upload a new version of software that has a bug fix in it. So you can really do the work. Now think about that in terms of dispatching an individual in a truck, uh, you might be able to get somebody out today, but very often it might be tomorrow or the day after. So in the one case I can do it in a few hours. In the other case, it's a few days, right? So it's a huge difference in terms of what the customer sees in that process and what they get Ben, the benefit that they get back from that. Now, as you go further down that line, the more things that you connect. now you can actually take that data and our engineering teams and our product managers can start to see, as you said earlier, like the voice of the product, right? In, in the world of product development, we always think about the voice of the customer and sometimes the voice of the process. Well, now we're talking about the voice of the product. You're giving that product, the opportunity to say, this is what I'm doing. And in some cases you might see things that customers are doing well. And other things that they're actually abusing your product, like they're using it beyond its level. And eventually when you get even a bigger host of data, now your sales organization can start to leverage that, to determine, do we need to sell new product to customers that have old equipment? Can we go sell customers because they're currently at a hundred percent capacity on their existing equipment? So it's a wealth of information. It's really a growth process. meaning it doesn't stop with the connection. It doesn't stop with service. Every part of the organization can start to learn from that. And then you can start to build out brand new applications for it. The really cool part about it is once you're connected and once you're collecting, you can now start to do things like, oh, in the world in software, we call it AB testing. We could deploy software to one group of customers, deploy a different software patch to a different set of customers and see how the two react. You don't have that opportunity without the connection.Chris MacDonald:
Yeah. It's tr tremendous opportunity. And as we think about this data, the different users, the different organizations that can take advantage of this. One of the things that certainly in my world from an AI analytics perspective is the benefit of statistical thinking, right? The benefit of understanding data, not just on its own or as a value for just what happened at a given time, but understanding and aggregating that data. Forecasting it comparing, you know, how two sets of data are going to affect the probability of some sort of outcome or event adverse or otherwise. What are some of the things that you can help, um, you know, guide our listeners in understanding the power and the confusion often that comes with statistics?Anthony Moffa:
Well, the interesting thing with statistics from a, from a user's perspective is they always seem to forget that we're talking about, uh, the probability. Of something happening as opposed to, um, I've done a calculation, I've come up with a value and this is what it's going to be. Right. And, and so, but, but having the world of probability a possibility, and if I have a population of data, I have a good feel of where that's going to fall. And that gives me more confidence. If I had one sample. That's not a saying that doesn't really gimme a lot of confidence, but as I start to grab more and more data, now I can have a confident, uh, level and say, well, yeah, based on a thousand different assets that I've taken into play now, now I know there's like the 95% chance that this is going to happen at this given time. Um, and I think people lose sight of that. Sometimes they expect that well, because we're monitoring something. We should know exactly what's going to happen. and physics being what it is. We can model certain things, but not everything models out the way we would expect it to that's right.Chris MacDonald:
And we, as humans, we tend to overestimate what we think we know and underestimate the role of chance. Eh?Anthony Moffa:
Yes, exactly. Yeah. And being from an Irish background on one side of my family, Murphy always comes into playChris MacDonald:
well with that being said, Anthony, thank you very much for joining us today. I appreciate your time. Thank you, Chris.Anthony Moffa:
It was great being here.Announcer:
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