Against the backdrop of digital innovation, new opportunities to empower technical customer service (TCS) for industrial equipment are emerging. Despite the currently available technological capabili-ties, organizations struggle to harness the potential of industrial equipment becoming cyber-physical. Cyber-physical capabilities of industrial equipment equipped with sensors, connectivity, and actua-tors, play a particularly pivotal role in providing more efficient and effective TCS support systems. This paper is an attempt to shed initial light onto this emerging topic. Based on 11 explorative case studies with organizations in the industrial service ecosystem, we first recognize changing service business models, the rise of independent TCS organizations, and a shrinking workforce as major ra-tionales for leveraging cyber-physical industrial equipment for TCS. Second, our inquiry identifies remote service, the ability to predict and trigger service activities, and the provisioning of operational equipment information to TCS staff as opportunities for application. Third, we pinpoint impediments to the fast implementation and adoption of cyber-physical capabilities to harness them for TCS pro-cesses. We believe that these findings may help practitioners to understand the relevance and potential of the embedded emerging digital capabilities and to pave the way towards effectively harnessing cyber-physical industrial equipment by identifying key impediments to successful usage.
Herterich, Matthias M.; Uebernickel, Falk; and Brenner, Walter, "Empowering Technical Customer Service by Cyber-Physical Industrial Equipment: Exploring Rationales, Opportunities, and Impediments" (2015). PACIS 2015 Proceedings. 42.