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Embedded Internet Conference 2000
The e-Service cycle will vary from business to business but the opportunities are vast. Figure 1 illustrates
how the eService Information Cycle has evolved. Embedded devices that are Internet enabled will be able
to communicate with each other and most will be accessed through a web browser. With the proper
technology, companies will be able to connect to Enterprise software systems like Customer Relationship
Management (CSM), Manufacturing Enterprise Systems (MES), or other information systems. This
interconnectivity will enable valuable information to be retrieved from embedded devices and analyzed by
manufacturers. This information can also be analyzed and access sold through web portals, enabling new
revenue opportunities for companies.
Depending on the complexity of the embedded devices, they could self diagnose and self register with the
manufacturer. In that way, the theory of the IBM television ad about the service man knocking on the door
and telling the woman that he is there to fix the fridge becomes a reality. Intelligent, Internet enabled
devices can report on their “health” making it very beneficial for both customers and manufacturers.
There are many ways that e-Services can be applied to different disciplines. For Product Service and
Maintenance the major value is in reduction of service costs. Capabilities like remote determination of
damaged components including fault isolation and identification. This would enable field service personnel
to identify which parts are the most likely to be damaged and bring the right parts on the first service call!
For long service calls or remote locations, this could save considerable time and money for both customer
and manufacturer. Other advantages include:
·
Remote installation and configuration of software can be enabled using 
e-Services.
·
Warranty costs to the manufacturer can be significantly reduced and controlled using eService
through Internet connectivity.
·
Communication from the embedded Internet enabled device directly to call centers can
significantly enhance customer support and satisfaction.
Another key advantage is enhancing customer support. If the product has consumables, they can be tracked
automatically and managed by the manufacturer who can supply consumables to the end-user “just-in-
time”. This reduces the need to stock large inventories of consumables at the end-user site, and it enables
the manufacturer to forecast consumables more accurately by monitoring use.
Field service personnel can accomplish remote device monitoring via a web browser either from the
manufacturers location or through wireless handheld devices. A contracted third party who might be
supplying customer support to the end-user could also remote accomplish monitoring. The advantage of
remote device monitoring includes regulatory compliance verification, diagnostics and notification, and
device self-maintenance.
One of the major expenses incurred by manufacturers is upgrading products in the field. These could
include simple bug fixes, major or minor upgrades, optional feature upgrades and enhancements. These can
all be verified and registered automatically with the manufacturer keeping him up to date on what products
and revision levels customers have installed.
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