It’s a Game Changer
ServiceNow and Xerox get Behind CareAR
As the Bob Dylan song “The Times They Are A Changin’” hums in the background, and as the world still grapples with the pandemic at large, I can’t help but think how true that statement rings — especially when it comes to the rapidly evolving service and customer experience industry. COVID-19 was the “pedal to the metal” accelerant that continues to challenge traditional service models, especially in the way organizations deliver services and engage with their customers. Today marks a significant milestone as two industry heavyweights — Xerox and ServiceNow — get serious about rethinking the service experience and set on a path that will transform the service industry forever.
First, the News — Reimagining Service
Here are the highlights from the press release:
- Xerox’s software business is now CareAR. This is a separate business entity that consists of game changing software assets from both Xerox and PARC, including: an augmented reality (AR) platform, the Docushare content management system, the XMPie personalization platform, and PARC’s Alto AI assets.
- ServiceNow invests in the CareAR business, valued at $700 million.
- CareAR launches the first service experience management (SXM) platform, which fundamentally reimagines “service” and spearheads the SXM category.
Service Experience Management: What is it?
Organizations are at an inflection point when it comes to the service experience. Today’s service operating model is very much a break-fix-reactive one. When there is an issue with a product or an asset, a tech is quickly dispatched to a customer’s site, which costs time and money (sometimes up to $300/hr to $500/hr). On the flip side, customer expectations also have significantly changed. There used to be a time when customers were fine with service workers visiting their site, especially when “contact avoidance” wasn’t a thing. Now, the paradigm is very much: What can be done off site needs to be done off site.
Today, customers want to solve problems themselves; they only reach out for support when they have exhausted all other options. On top of that, there is the skills gap issue. Approximately 50% of the workforce plans to retire over the next five to 10 years. This will leave companies with a massive gap in both expertise and experience. The question is: How do we get a service employee with only 30 days of experience to perform at the same level of consistency as that of a veteran with 30 years of experience?
No longer can you view customer experience and service experience separately. These two are inherently linked and the two worlds are coming together, creating a whole new category of solutions and applications—called service experience management. SXM is an approach that goes beyond service management tools and software, with the goal of achieving digital transformation that truly puts both service employees and customers at the heart of the service experience.
This is rooted in the belief that the key to providing an amazing customer experience is by delivering an exceptional service and support experience.
SXM establishes an operating model that isn’t just reactive, but also proactive, predictive, and self-solving. This model establishes a new partnership of shared goals, outcomes, and experiences that optimize service and deliver new value. SXM is a layer that sits atop of service lifecycle management (e.g., ServiceNow, Salesforce, etc.), where the core focus is optimizing service workflows, and in ensuring the right tech gets to the right site with the right part). SXM focuses on empowering customers with self-solve capabilities; products with embedded intelligence; and service agents, experts, and field techs with visual assist capabilities and more, so that problems can be resolved remotely, visually, and as efficiently as possible. This is the focus of CareAR; we are reimagining service by putting the consumer in the center of the experience and by augmenting the intelligence of service workers with AI- and AR-powered knowledge and toolsets.
The CareAR Approach: Why is this Announcement so Significant?
The announcement from Xerox today is significant on so many fronts:
Opportunity and TAM: The opportunity to redefine service experience is immense and largely untapped. We estimate this to be $80 billion over the next seven years. The applicability to various industries and resulting use cases are phenomenal — discrete manufacturing, telecom, high-tech, utilities, IT services, healthcare, and the list goes on. We are working closely with the global market intelligence firm IDC and the tech media company IDG to define the SXM category as well as to draw awareness to it.
ServiceNow and Xerox: Xerox has upwards of 10,000 service techs in the field today and serves as one of the largest CareAR and ServiceNow field service management and customer service deployments leveraging augmented reality to resolve problems in the field. Here is an amazing video that captures the sentiment of a real-life situation that occurred not too long ago with one of Xerox’s customers. The joint go-to-market project among ServiceNow, Xerox, and CareAR presents an amazing opportunity in not only introducing the latest innovation to our customers but also in delivering real business value and quantifiable benefits.
Depth and breadth of portfolio: The new CareAR is a culmination of years of innovation coming together: AI, machine learning, and computer vision assets from Xerox’s PARC, joined with CareAR’s augmented reality capabilities that are powered by XMPie’s personalization and Docushare’s content management systems. This gives CareAR a competitive advantage in bringing smarter and more innovative solutions to the market, quickly. We believe in delivering experiences that are “AR enabled,” whether they are in the context of service, support, sales, or marketing.
Ecosystem and strategic partnerships, the force multiplier: In my role leading marketing, strategic partnerships, and alliances at CareAR, the energy our partnerships bring to the table is what gets my adrenalin pumping every day. The ecosystem of partnerships — from global system integrators, service providers, independent software vendors, independent hardware vendors, and existing Xerox channel partners — not only provides real-world customer insights but also a certain business velocity that is fundamental in transacting change. In the coming days, we will hear more about these breakthroughs with our strategic partnerships and the innovation we jointly bring to bear.
Summing it up: We at CareAR, couldn’t be more excited. Not just for our own employees, but also for our customers, partners, investors, and shareholders. I am going to leave you all with a video here that captures the very ethos and the spirit of who and what we believe in. This is CareAR!