Comprehensive Guide to Field Service Software: Page 3
In this guide we answer key questions such as:
- What does field service software do?
- Who buys field service software?
- How is field service management changing?
- What is driving interest in field service software?
- How should you evaluate field service software?
- Who are notable FSM vendors?
Lots of vendors operate in the field service software space. They range from startups focusing on advanced mobility, to traditional field service management vendors who are upgrading their platforms to suit evolving needs, to enterprise application powerhouses who are expanding their portfolios into this area. We highlight several notable offerings below.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016
Field service capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 include scheduling, mobile and resource optimization. These are available as an add-on for customers who upgrade to the latest version or can stand alone and include:
- Characteristics and proficiency ratings. You can define proficiency and competency levels and set them as requirements for a work order.
- Business processes.The CRM incident management business process is aligned with the work order process.
- Mobile enhancements. Drip scheduling enhances and de-clutters the user experience by displaying fewer upcoming work orders
Additionally, Connected Field Service is a new solution now available in preview. It combines Microsoft Dynamics CRM business application with the Azure IoT Suite, Analytics Platform Services, Power BI and Cortana Intelligence Suite. It will be available as a per-user add-on license for $35 per user.
Microsoft purchased field service software specialist FieldOne last July. It's hard to tell how much influence the FieldOne acquisition has already had on Dynamics CRM, if Connected Field Service is the first offshoot or if the FieldOne Sky brand will persist. But FieldOne is one of the early pioneers in terms of FSM apps that work directly on Android and iPhone devices.
In a blog post, Jujhar Singh, general manager, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, explains how Connected Field Service will work: "In a Connected Field Service scenario, IoT-enabled devices are continuously monitored and anomalies are detected, generating alerts that trigger automated actions or service tickets and workflow according to service level agreements. Availability and proximity of service technicians with the right skills and tools are then matched against the service requirement and routed to customer locations to take preventive action."
Salesforce Field Service Lightning
Salesforce's Field Service Lightning connects field workers with the larger service organization for a 360 degree view of the customer. Field Service Lightning starts at $135 for organizations that have at least one Enterprise Edition or Unlimited Edition Service Cloud Lightning license.
The field service software encompasses:
- Connecting the entire service workforce with the call center, agents, dispatchers and mobile employees on a centralized platform
- Leveraging scheduling and optimization technology, to take dispatching one step further by applying a layer of intelligence. Scheduling is automated based on skills, availability, and location to optimize on-site service
- Tracking and managing jobs in real-time, enabling service employees to update work orders, issue change requests and adjust job status, anytime, anywhere and on any device
Oracle Field Service Cloud
Like Microsoft, Oracle acquired a field service software specialist, buying TOA Technologies in 2014. TOA's product was used by Dish Network, Home Depot and Vodafone, among other companies. Its technology is used in Oracle's field service management software.
Oracle Field Service Cloud uses time-based, predictive technology to help organizations automate and optimize, the service process, from customer incident through service delivery and feedback. A routing optimization engine automatically assigns the right job to the right person. Key features include:
- Time-based measurements capture every activity for every field employee in real time, including the time it takes to complete jobs and travel between sites
- Learns the historical performance of every field employee, and creates a performance pattern profile for each one, then leverages these performance pattern profiles to create optimal daily routes and schedules
- Mobile access to critical customer and appointment information
- Collaboration tools
- A Field Resource Manager available on a mobile device so field supervisors can manage all field activities
- Automated Urgent Work Assignment to respond to emergency situations
- Integration with Oracle's E-Business Suite
The most recent ServiceMax release included:
- ServiceMax Service Performance Metrics, which distills industry best practices for business metrics such as attach rate, contract uptime, utilization, first-time fix rate and repeat visit in order to track and act on performance over time across product lines, technicians, service teams, accounts and locations
- The ServiceMax Field Service App, which offers a field-service optimized user experience with offline capabilities. It supports Windows hybrid devices, such as Microsoft Surface as well as Android tablets and iPads
- ServiceMax Catalyst, which provides pre-configured service processes, business objects and functionality that can be quickly deployed.
Kony's field service software package includes four integrated field service management apps, each one for a different aspect of the business process. For example, a new air conditioner might come with a sensor that monitors performance and transmits data to a service app provided by the AC manufacturer. It sends notifications to the user, and sometimes directly to the manufacturer to schedule an appointment with a technician.
Further Field Service Software Alternatives
These are many more field service software options out there such as:
Drew Robb is a freelance writer specializing in technology and engineering. Currently living in Florida, he is originally from Scotland, where he received a degree in geology and geography from the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment (CRC Press).