"Transforming Field Services in 2018"Complimentary Field Service Operations Research from Microsoft and Sopris Thought Leaders
Published: June 15, 2018
Length: 14 Pages
This paper includes in-depth interviews with two well-recognized thought leaders who specialize in transforming field service operations, from back office ERP to connected field service and IoT. Topics include out-come based service models, servitization, trends and technologies. The conversation is packed with examples and recommendations of how companies are optimizing field service operations today.
The interview breaks down into three logical sections:
- Field Service markets, trends and technologies
- Digital Transformation – Where to start and what to expect
- Best-in-class solutions and approaches
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Ben Vollmer | Global Dynamics 365 Field Service Director, Microsoft
Ben Vollmer is a 20-year veteran of Microsoft. Ben was one of the first field resources dedicated to Dynamics CRM and has been involved with Dynamics CRM since the V1 Alpha. Today, he is exclusively engaged with strategic customers and partners to help them maximize the value of integrated Field Service solutions. In addition to engaging partners and customers, he is responsible for the engagement and enablement of the Microsoft Subsidiaries Worldwide. Some of the notable customers he has helped include WellCare, Tyco, CSX and Raymond James. Ben is a is no-nonsense Field Service Leader that helps companies maximize all three areas of Field Service: People, Process and Technology.
Matt Pfohl | Executive Vice President, Sopris Systems
Matt Pfohl is an expert in field services and a serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years’ experience founding and managing companies ranging from adventure travel to technology. Matt was instrumental in introducing an industry-first approach to the Microsoft partner channel.
He began his career in sales and marketing in Europe and has held several top executive positions in major companies in the US. services sector. Matthew earned a bachelor’s in political science at Rollins College and continues to work as a strategic advisor for a variety of companies worldwide.
Transforming takes time, where might you start? What should a client expect?
[Ben] What you want to do is find either a business unit or a line of business or a market that might be under performing for you and use that as a test case, to make small incremental changes. So maybe go just from selling a product to product and spare. Then maybe static service contracts and then dynamic service contracts. But those steps don’t just happen. You can’t and shouldn’t go from buying and selling a product to servitization in one fell swoop. It’s not going to work. So, if you’re going to digitally transform, you’ve got to figure out what your journey looks like, how you’re going to go on the journey and break the journey down in pieces.
[Matt] Realistically it’s a five-year process. We see fashionistas that go out and build a killer application, say in data management, but ultimately it fails because there is not a smart strategy behind it. We prefer a more conservative approach where after understanding the business inside and out, we identify a few key elements we can wrap our heads and arms around where we can directly and measurably improve the business performance of a client.
How are new customer expectations changing field services?
[Matt] Digital transformation is at the tip of the spear, it’s all about creating better customer experiences and understanding customers better. Technicians today are often the face of the company, they’re not just out there fixing something, they’re upselling and delivering new levels of value.
It is not a siloed type of delivery model where one person is delivering projects, another is finding business, and another is dealing with customer service. It’s really becoming merged and mashed up where each role has an opportunity to improve the customer experience and create a revenue event.
[Ben] Completely agree that customer expectations are changing. Gone are the days where you can give somebody an eight-hour arrival window. We’ve gone from arrival SLAs – I will have a technician on your site in four hours – to resolution-based SLAs. It’s all based on the customer’s expectations. Customers are used to being able to click on an app, order up anything, like a car, a pizza, whatever, and it shows up at your front door 30 minutes later. That’s a revolutionary thing, and it needs to be taken back into the services industries as well.
About the Digital Transformation Leadership Forum (DTLF)
DTLF publications are written and published by OnTrack CMO, a leading marketing consultancy catering to technology companies. Our writers work directly with business and technology thought leaders, subject-matter experts and entrepreneurs to capture their ideas and make them available to our readers. Interviews in this paper were moderated and edited by Cody Aufricht, a 20-year veteran in the technology sector.
If you’re interested in participating in the DTLF, reach out to Cody at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sopris research publications consist of the opinions of Sopris’ research team and should not be construed as statements of fact. Sopris disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
SOPRIS is a registered trademark and service mark of Sopris Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
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