The Customer Service Journal

Volume 5 August 2019

ISSN: 2374-9296

Knowledge for the World of Customer Service & Support

Field Service News & Commentary

 

We have added a new section: Vendor Observations and News

 

9/9/19

GetApp a Gartner Brand

HR News

 

Field Service Businesses Risk Falling Behind if they Don’t Adopt Immersive Technology

 

Nearly three-quarters (70%) of small to midsize businesses will be experimenting with immersive technology by 2022, with 40% currently evaluating and piloting augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology, reveals new research by Gartner.

 

 

When evaluating the research, GetApp, a Gartner brand, concluded that field service businesses are the best place to adopt immersive technologies.  46% of respondents felt the remote field support use case for AR would have the most impact on their organization. This technology is so impactful in field service because each business provides similar equipment and services.

 

The original research, which surveyed 93 small and midsize businesses, showed that 18% were planning to start evaluating and piloting AR and VR technology in the next 12 months, and 25% will have deployed them to production by 2022.

 

GetApp’s conclusion of this research suggested that AR is vital in the field service industry for two reasons. It will provide technicians with on-site guidance and allow remote experts to facilitate collaboration by providing customers with step-by-step instructions, helping to reduce the costs caused by sending field service technicians to sites in order to diagnose and repair.

 

It is also suggested that immersive technologies can help field service businesses facilitate more engaging, efficient and safe training by providing virtual and interactive training materials. To go alongside these conclusions, GetApp also produced five steps to consider before investing in immersive technologies, helping businesses decide whether implementation of immersive technology is worthwhile for their business.

 

Victoria Wilson, Specialist Analyst at GetApp, commented on the research, “From this research, we’ve been able to conclude that businesses operating in the field service industry are at risk of falling behind if they don’t invest in immersive technology in the next few years.

 

The cost reductions associated with the use of immersive technology in the field service industry, for everything from improved productivity on remote repairs to increased staff retention resulting from interactive training programs, mean that businesses who implement this tech stand to benefit in the long term”.

 

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

http://hrnews.co.uk/field-service-businesses-risk-falling-behind-if-they-dont-adopt-immersive-technology/

 

9/9/19

Anne Blankenbiller

Irrigation and Green Industry

 

Clearent acquires controlling interest in Service Autopilot

 

This purchase broadens Clearent’s portfolio of independent software vendors to reach green industry customers.

Clearent, a St. Louis-based payments solutions provider, has acquired controlling interest in Service Autopilot, a field-service-management, software-as-a-service business serving green industrycustomers. Clearent Software Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clearent, announced the move as the latest example of its effort toward broadening its stable of high-quality, affordable and user-friendly solutions to customers in the field-services industry.

 

Service Autopilot’s cloud-based SaaS platform provides customers with a full suite of services designed to save time and money while growing revenue and enhancing profitability.

 

“We’re excited to welcome Service Autopilot to Clearent’s portfolio of leading field-service-management solutions. Our ‘invest-to-grow’ strategy has been successfully applied to current portfolio businesses, including FieldEdge and Coolfront, and we are confident it will provide Service Autopilot with the incremental resources needed to grow by meeting the needs of existing customers, the green industry as a whole and other future markets,” says Connie Certusi, president of Clearent Field Services Management Solutions.

 

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

https://igin.com/article-7624-Clearent-acquires-controlling-interest-in-Service-Autopilot.html

 

9/5/19

Anne Blankenbiller

Irrigation and Green Industry

 

Clearent acquires controlling interest in Service Autopilot

 

This purchase broadens Clearent’s portfolio of independent software vendors to reach green industry customers.

Clearent, a St. Louis-based payments solutions provider, has acquired controlling interest in Service Autopilot, a field-service-management, software-as-a-service business serving green industrycustomers. Clearent Software Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clearent, announced the move as the latest example of its effort toward broadening its stable of high-quality, affordable and user-friendly solutions to customers in the field-services industry.

 

Service Autopilot’s cloud-based SaaS platform provides customers with a full suite of services designed to save time and money while growing revenue and enhancing profitability.

 

“We’re excited to welcome Service Autopilot to Clearent’s portfolio of leading field-service-management solutions. Our ‘invest-to-grow’ strategy has been successfully applied to current portfolio businesses, including FieldEdge and Coolfront, and we are confident it will provide Service Autopilot with the incremental resources needed to grow by meeting the needs of existing customers, the green industry as a whole and other future markets,” says Connie Certusi, president of Clearent Field Services Management Solutions.

 

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

https://igin.com/article-7624-Clearent-acquires-controlling-interest-in-Service-Autopilot.html

 

9/4/19

Ava Saunders

Financial Express Now

Dynamic Scheduling Softwares Market Likely to Emerge over a Period of 2019 – 2024: Shiftboard, IFS Word, ServiceMax, etc.

 

Dynamic Scheduling Softwares Market 2019 report offers a comprehensive valuation of the marketplace. It does so via in-depth comprehensions, grateful market growth by pursuing past developments, and studying the present situation and future forecasts based on progressive and likely areas.

 

The Dynamic Scheduling Softwares market is moderately fragmented owing to the presence of several manufacturers leveraging advanced technologies to offer superior products. By offering a complete analysis of the market’s competitive landscape and with information on the products offered by the companies, this Dynamic Scheduling Softwares industry analysis report will aid clients in identifying new growth opportunities and designing innovative strategies to improve their market positions. The overviews, SWOT analysis and strategies of each vendor in the Dynamic Scheduling Softwares market provide understanding about the market forces and how those can be exploited to create future opportunities.

 

Dynamic scheduling involves the use of intelligent software to manage your field workers and their workflows while considering business objectives, employee availability, skills and day-to-day disruptive events.

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

https://financialexpressnow.com/2019/09/dynamic-scheduling-softwares-market-likely-to-emerge-over-a-period-of-2019-2024-shiftboard-ifs-word-servicemax-etc/

 

9/4/19

Cristina Maria

Customer Think

Why You Shouldn’t Use Mass Scheduling Software For Your Field Service Business

 

Automation is nothing more than the latest buzzword. A gimmick for companies with too much time to waste. But your field service business is different, right? Let’s say you’re a busy manager of a fire and security business and you don’t have a Silicon Valley budget to spend on digital schemes. This is why we’ve put together 5 reasons why you shouldn’t bother using mass scheduling software to manage your technicians:

 

1. “My fire and security business doesn’t have a scheduling problem.”

This is what you tell yourself whenever you have to ask your admin staff to do overtime so they can catch up with scheduling. As you sift through dozens of Excel spreadsheets, post-its, and notebooks, you remind yourself that this is just how fire and security businesses are meant to be run. You use a clunky, antiquated piece of software that a pushy sales guy sold you on a while ago, but at the end of the day, all it does is tell you where a tech should be. The techs themselves, together with the customers, are still waiting to get the news because there’s no automated workflow to update them. That’s all fine though, because surprise is the spice of life, right?

 

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

http://customerthink.com/why-you-shouldnt-use-mass-scheduling-software-for-your-field-service-business/

Editor's Note: Great article on why you should invest in scheduling software.

 

9/3/19

Macy Bayern

ZDNet

How to add artificial intelligence to your 2020 IT budget

 

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology are crucial to modern-day data-driven businesses, according to Gartner's recent AI and ML Development Strategies report. Nearly 60% of respondents said they have AI deployed in their businesses today, and expect to double the number of AI projects in place within the next year.

 

Customer experience (40%) and task automation (20%) are the driving forces behind AI adoption, the report found.

 

"AI can improve customer experience by understanding individual behaviors, preferences and/or purchase patterns, to perform predictive analysis," said Jim Hare, research vice president at Gartner. "This can drive better engagement by providing personalized recommendations and engagement at the right place, and the right time."

 

Task automation increases employee productivity by eliminating menial, repetitive tasks that take up valuable time, Hare said. By automating those tasks, employees have more time to conduct more meaningful, impactful work.

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-add-artificial-intelligence-to-your-2020-it-budget/

Editor's Note: Macy makes a good argument for justifying the investment in AI.

 

8/29/19

Sarah Nicastro

IFS white paper


Digital Transformation With Field Service Tools

 

It’s well understood that the internet has long since graduated from a hobbyist platform

 into a full-blown utility, as much a necessity for a business as

electricity. Digital tools, typically in an isolated hodgepodge purchased and

rolled out over years, are certainly embedded to some degree in all service

organizations. That hodgepodge approach is insufficient in today’s service

landscape, however, with firms today adopting a digital-first mindset,

optimizing processes, and building a roadmap for what we now call digital

transformation. To do this well, firms need to think very carefully about their

technology stacks, both in terms of what they have today, and what they’ll

save—and throw away—as they move towards a digitally-minded connected

eco-­system. If you don’t feel like you’re there, yet, the good news is that you

aren’t alone.

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

https://vertassets.blob.core.windows.net/download/5dae1d84/5dae1d84-eb8f-4762-8a05-2e0d0652a9f3/white_paper_digital_transformation_beyond_buzzwords.pdf

 

7/18/19

Zinier

Field Technologies Online


The Future Of Service Delivery: Humans, AI And Automation

 

Bringing Lab Automation Into The Mainstream. Driving Efficiency with Intelligent Automation.

 

The field service market is growing rapidly, with some estimates projecting it to more than double in size by 2022. At the same time, customer expectations around the speed and quality of service are increasing.  In order to keep pace, field service organizations are investing in new tools and systems. Most companies are somewhere on the path to digitization, but they need to do more. Simply wrapping a layer of technology around traditional pen-and-paper processes is no longer enough -- they should be looking to drive efficiency through intelligent automation.

 

The Field Service Market Today

 

When we talk about automation today, the conversation often starts with scheduling and dispatching. Most field service organizations use some form of smart scheduling to help them match the right technician to each task, based on proximity, skill set, workload, and more.

 

Companies also use automation to drive efficiency in the field, whether it’s triggering the next step of an installation once a technician completes a task or automatically uploading site photos to a closeout package.

 

Of course, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage all these moving parts as an organization grows. More boots on the ground means more sites to service and schedules to juggle. Any delay due to inclement weather or faulty equipment can disrupt even the tightest of schedules, forcing companies to adjust quickly. The only way to do this at scale is through smarter automation.

 

To date, field service automation has been limited to a few specific tasks. The next step is getting to a point where software and connected devices can do a wide spectrum of jobs better, faster, and cheaper than humans -- and be able to make real-time decisions based on historical data.

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

https://www.fieldtechnologiesonline.com/doc/the-future-of-service-delivery-humans-ai-and-automation-0001?vm_tId=2146688&user=065c3b8e-18dd-40aa-a90e-6b9f717abf49&vm_alias=The%20Future%20Of%20Service%20Delivery%3A%20Humans,%20AI,%20And%20Automation&utm_source=mkt_ISWIR&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ISWIR_07-29-2019&utm_term=065c3b8e-18dd-40aa-a90e-6b9f717abf49&utm_content=The%20Future%20Of%20Service%20Delivery%3A%20Humans,%20AI,%20And%20Automation&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTWpoaU5XSmxaR0V5T0RKaCIsInQiOiJqTU8rTTkzOHVtYnNxaU4rY0dEdjdpZW5OZWlsc1MyMjJoZUdJeWxMUk14S2VTbitMQnZLM1BvUWNwT2MzOU1rVUU2WlwvbCtxWExGSXEydDBaNnZCREZoXC9RUFZJRUhSMTdKN3BMQzB1T3NJN2wybkFQSEkwTU1FOVNUSUZPdTZUIn0%3D

Editor's Note: Great article.  Futuris theme that we think is spot on and the future is closer than you think

7/1/19

Michael Murphy, VP, International Operations at Librestream

Field Technologies Online


How To Embrace Augmented Reality In Field Service

 

In a world of connected field service, new exciting opportunities are being created by new technology such as Augmented Reality. Michael Murphy, VP International Operations, Librestream Technologies explains…

 

The Field Service industry is in the midst of digital change – investments are being made in different digital transformation technologies to help expand their service offerings to customers.

 

According to Forrester, 32% of enterprises are focusing on digital transformation, and in two years, that number will increase to 49%. Augmented Reality (AR) is one key technology that organizations are deploying as part of these digital transformation initiatives.

 

It is difficult to define AR as capabilities range from deployable now to future applications. The future capability can be considered ‘extreme AR’ – think of 3D digital models of assets that you can pull apart and manipulate. However, most organizations don’t have the content or infrastructure available for this form of AR even though this is the type of AR many refer to first.

 

In reality, the more deployed form of AR includes applications such as remote assistance and digital work instructions.

Within field service we are seeing this ‘deployable now’ AR gain significant traction. In working with industrial customers, we have identified three main drivers behind this growth: aging/ loss of experts, change in customer demands and service offerings, and ecosystem readiness.

 

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

https://www.fieldtechnologiesonline.com/doc/how-to-embrace-augmented-reality-in-field-service-0001?vm_tId=2142835&user=065c3b8e-18dd-40aa-a90e-6b9f717abf49&vm_alias=How%20To%20Embrace%20Augmented%20Reality%20In%20Field%20Service&utm_source=mkt_ISWIR&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ISWIR_07-13-2019-wne&utm_term=065c3b8e-18dd-40aa-a90e-6b9f717abf49&utm_content=How%20To%20Embrace%20Augmented%20Reality%20In%20Field%20Service&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTm1KbFpESTVPV0ppWmpJeSIsInQiOiJcL1g3VjdRdElkRlh6TTVLc3dzY1BYZ05iWmtJYWl0WElWM2NacVpObXg4RUR3XC9oS1M2Ymd1TkNtTENZZHZOXC8zZ1wvXC9UYlp2YUprSXVpTmRQU0tnQ2c0ZEE5N2I2RWxQZ0QrMkJCTE05TXVxTDRGNXptdU9rcFJxWWJTenVuNVBXIn0%3D

 

7/1/19

Michael Murphy, VP, International Operations at Librestream

IFS White Paper


Industrial Internet of Things (IOT) and Digital Transformation

 

Digital Transformation may be defined in a number of different ways by

analysts or enterprise software vendors. But at its heart is the idea that

as we use more digital technologies, those technologies change the way

we live and, more pointedly, the way we conduct commerce. Businesses

are introducing new technologies in innovative ways to reduce cost,

create new revenue opportunities and improve the customer experience.

This inexorable trend of digital transformation is clear. What is less

clear is exactly which concrete technologies are significant to digital

transformation. Connected devices ranging from the Fitbit that monitors

our activities and sleep patterns to the connected thermostat that allows

us to manage the temperature of our house from a cell phone are both

examples of how IoT has already impacted consumer products. In the

industrial sector, the industrial internet of things (IoT) will likely have an

even greater impact.

Industrial companies were in many ways early adapters of IoT, and a

rudimentary IoT environment has flourished for decades as

manufacturing plants, utilities and other heavy industries came to rely on

sensored equipment for industrial automation and condition-based

maintenance systems. What is different today is that:

• The cost of adding sensors to equipment is falling.

• Cloud computing capacity to handle data from a large number of

sensors is available.

• Enterprise software is evolving to operationalize data from these

networked devices while also using the data as a source of

information for decision support.

Manufacturing operations departments, maintenance departments

and field service organizations are also finding that data from these

connected devices can enable them to increase value to internal or

external customers, reduce cost and even create new product or service

offerings.

Often, data from these connected devices is consumed strictly on the

plant floor—either by networking programmable logic controllers (PLCs)

to each other, to a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)

network or to other point solutions. The greater potential for IoT to fully

impact industrial organizations though will take place as enterprise

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

https://vertassets.blob.core.windows.net/download/14144a5d/14144a5d-c3f7-4d65-acaf-bfe608679336/industrial_iot_and_digital_transformation.pdf

 

Editor's Notes: The term Digital Transformation has been used a lot lately so i have included the next article that offers a definition of what Digital Transformation is.

 

5/31/17

 Bill Schmarzo

CIO Magazine


What is Digital Transformation?

 

For a phrase that’s being thrown around quite a bit recently, what does “Digital Transformation” mean? When someone says that they want to digitally transform their business, what does one really mean, why do they want to do it, and how should they approach this “digital transformation” process?

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

https://www.cio.com/article/3199030/what-is-digital-transformation.html

Editor's Notes: Excellent Case Study on how Digital Transformation can be applied to a Grocery Chain.

6/19/19

 IFS and Astea

Field Technologies Online Newsletter


Artifical Intelligence Gets Real in Field Service

 

Thought leadership pieces and market outlook reports about artificial intelligence

(AI), until fairly recently, were forward  looking discussions that examined AI as

something that was about to happen, but hadn’t yet reached that tipping point. The tone of those

reports has changed – AI is here and is rapidly being adopted in all sorts of applications and industries.

This special report on AI in field service does some forward looking, too, but primarily provides an

overview of where we are at in terms of adoption in service applications. In some ways, it’s also a look

at where field service has already been for quite some time.

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

vertassets.blob.core.windows.net/download/1039db90/1039db90-0177-4fe5-9052-bec8f3dba407/ftm_061019_field_service_special_report_forweb.pdf

 

Tim Baines, Professor Ashton Business School

Emerald Publishing


What is servitization of manufacturing? A quick introduction

 

According to Baines et al, the definition of servitization has coalesced as "a process of building revenue streams for manufacturers from services." Baines et al distinguish three levels of services that can be offered by manufacturers:

  • Base services – goods and spare parts
  • Intermediates services – product repairs, maintenance, overhauls, helpdesks, training, condition monitoring
  • Advanced services – customer support agreements, outcome contracts

 

Examples of companies delivering advanced services include Rolls-Royce, Caterpillar, Alstom, MAN, and Xerox.

 

Benefits of the servitization business model

The potential benefits of competing through advanced services are being documented by researchers. According to Baines et al, these include:

 

  • Growth in revenue and profit
  • Improved responses to customer needs
  • Improved product innovation
  • The building of new revenue streams
  • Increasing customer loyalty
  • Setting higher barriers to competition
  •  

The potential to achieve such benefits is causing a growing number of manufacturers to explore the servitization business model, and especially advanced services. However, precisely how to deliver advanced services is a challenge for many companies.

 

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/realworldresearch/strategy_growth/what-is-servitization-of-manufacturing.htm

 

Editor's Notes: Excellent article on the definition of Servitization with examples of how major enterprises have adopted the concept for their industries.

Vendor Observations and News

9/5/19

PR Newswire

 

Field Squared Expands Team to Meet Growing Market Demand

 

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo., Sept. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Field Squared, Inc.TM, the industry's first Field Service Automation Platform, today announced significant companywide expansion across varying departments over the first half of the year.

To meet the growing demand for Field Squared's industry-leading field service automation software, the Company expanded nearly every department, from customer success and support to product development and sales.

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/field-squared-expands-team-meet-150700727.html

 

 

8/28/19

Yahoo Financial News
Press Release

 

The simPRO and Taxify Integration Simplifies Sales Tax Calculation for Field Service Businesses

 

simPRO, a leading field service management software company, has released an integration with the cloud-based sales tax platform, Taxify. This helpful integration will simplify sales tax calculations for simPRO users in the United States.

 

Now, simPRO customers can receive an automated calculation of sales tax based on location and type of goods, which can then be applied to quotes or jobs. This integration both increases accuracy and saves time.

 

Without this integration, simPRO customers need to determine multiple county, state, and federal sales tax rates and manually apply these rates with the risk of creating inaccurate quotes.

 

“We understand how frustrating it can be for businesses to stay compliant with sales tax. With this integration, we’ve tried to make it as simple as possible to calculate sales tax,” says Glenn Nott, President of simPRO US.

 

The simPRO Taxify integration eliminates the need to create extensive tax rate lists. Now, sales tax rates in simPRO are automatically updated with the most recent tax information across the entirety of the United States. Once a customer’s simPRO build is set up for the integration, the customer will need to specify default taxability codes. Moving forward, all items will be linked to that default tax rate when building jobs and quotes.

 

simPRO has created an umbrella account with Taxify to provide this sales tax calculator integration as a free service for simPRO users. Customers can register to use the Taxify integration and will be added under the simPRO account, or customers can connect their existing Taxify account to their simPRO build.

 

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/simpro-taxify-integration-simplifies-sales-130000634.html

 

 

8/22/19

Channel Asia

Samira Saffaf

 

DXC Technology acquires another ServiceNow partner

Expands security operations and service management capabilities

 

DXC Technology has acquired Norway-based Syscom, a service management and security consulting and solutions provider and "leading" ServiceNow partner.

 

Through the acquisition, the solutions provider giant will extend its "leadership" as a global ServiceNow partner.

 

Established in 1987, Syscom will support DXC to extend the reach and scale of its security operations and service management capabilities.

 

"The addition represents another significant investment for DXC in the Nordics," said Joergen Jakobsen, vice president for Northern Europe at DXC Technology. "In Syscom, DXC gains a strong, skilled workforce and a solid customer base – which will further extend DXC’s position as a leading IT-service provider in the Nordics.”

 

This is the third ServiceNow partner acquired by DXC in the region. In October 2017, Logicalis Group sold its Netherlands-based service management consultancy operation, Logicalis SMC, to DXC Technology.

 

DXC has more than 1,000 people dedicated to its ServiceNow practice and manages more than 340 ServiceNow instances directly for customers.

 

Since launching as DXC Technology in May 2017 DXC has acquired 15 businesses.

 

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

https://sg.channelasia.tech/article/665583/dxc-technology-acquires-another-servicenow-partner/

 

 

8/19/19

Melissa Queen

Press Release

 

ServiceMax Drives New Customer Acquisition with Record Breaking Second Quarter

New leadership structure brings increased focus on growth, innovation and putting the customer first

 

PLEASANTON, CA – Aug 19, 2019 – ServiceMax, the leading provider of cloud-based software for service execution management, today announced the addition of new customers across a variety of industries for the quarter ended July 31, 2019, including the largest new customer deal closed in company history. Year-to-date new customer wins include METRA, the largest and busiest commuter rail system outside the New York City metropolitan area; Exelon, America’s leading clean energy provider; and additional large enterprise customers from medical devices, oil & gas, telecommunications, and industrial manufacturing industries. New and existing customers continue to benefit from the value of the only comprehensive service execution management platform in the market, including customers such as Tandem, Australia’s workforce design and service delivery company, who went live this quarter.

 

“ServiceMax has allowed Tandem to disrupt and revolutionise the way in which we engage and manage a large subcontractor workforce to deliver a frictionless customer experience,” said Eric Yilmaz, CIO of Tandem.

 

To  access this article paste this link into your browser:

https://www.servicemax.com/press-releases/servicemax-drives-new-customer-acquisition-with-record-breaking-second-quarter?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiT1RBNVkyUXdZbVEwT0dNMiIsInQiOiJlYUtTWGxWRzI5OVlma2hrcWphVnlmdjR0aytJbEtuQmVLNU4yamlPenA2ZEdrSnp4RDNldW5CWkxOdWY4TTVXT2FjQjkrdDU0alUzVWdIZVoyZHRPUGFzaHpycHA4YXBEN0lQM1FlbHUwVjlhRTVhWndsYjNzcUVWQ1BlUURFWSJ9

 

 

 

 

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