A global technology firm’s in-house technical training and technical support services have even improved despite two years of safe-distancing laws.

In a move to overcome safe-distancing restrictions amid the global pandemic, a Japanese imaging and electronics firm has turned to remote connectivity and augmented reality (AR) technology for innovating new ways to solve business problems.

Since before the COVID-19 pandemic, Ricoh Japan had already implemented remote connectivity software and the AR-based remote assistance solutions in technical customer support and employee training and onboarding in Japan.

In technical product support, the firm used TeamViewer to connect to the remote customers’ devices for faster and cheaper technical support. Many issues that previously required a visit from an on-site technician were already being solved remotely. As a result, the response time for service requests had decreased by an average of two hours per case, and this benefit was critical when the pandemic struck. In fact, training participation rates have actually improved due to the elimination of any need to travel to Japan and also improved accessibility to training resources.

As the next step, Ricoh is working on embedding TeamViewer software directly into its printer products. This will enable clients, as well as the customer support staff, to access the printing devices directly. The expected outcome is to provide even more advanced remote support to customers.

Remote ‘in-house’ training via AR

In employee training, the firm uses the AR functionality of TeamViewer to familiarize technicians with troubleshooting and testing knowledge for their on-site visits. Using smart phones and smart glasses, junior technicians anywhere in the world can be trained by senior employee who can guide the trainees in full view of their actions. This has enabled the firm to maintain technicians’ competency levels, especially during the pandemic when in-house training was not practicable.

Said the firm’s Software Technical Support spokesperson Fumiharu Suzuno: “We are constantly looking for ways to strengthen our support with the goal to ensure that our customers can make the most of our products” via “extremely scalable solutions leveraging remote connectivity and Augmented Reality.”

Sojung Lee, President (APAC), TeamViewer said: “Significantly decreasing response time in customer support, establishing new ways of training and onboarding, and ensuring proper knowledge transfer in times of a global shortage of skilled workforces are tangible results” of the value that remote connectivity and AR technologies bring to continual digital transformation.