What’s so exciting about Field Service in 2018? Field Service Automation has always been about streamlining processes to increase productivity and efficiency. What’s different today, and what makes 2018 so exciting, is the ability to do so quickly and affordably with Microsoft technologies. If you go back 20 years and compare the hurdles that existed in field service technology, like mobility, security, managing data and integrating solutions in closed architectures – the difference is night and day.
Today FSA is about big data from machine learning, IoT services and the ability to pass data back and forth to automate and streamline. Modern FSA allows you to quickly move from a ‘break fix’ service model to a ‘never fail’ service model. It results in improved customer experience, increased productivity of technicians in the field and in many cases, it opens new revenue streams.
Virtual reality is putting technicians in virtual environments for best-practice training for the most complex tasks. Artificial Intelligence is helping align the right technicians to specific jobs based on skills, locations and availability. Internet of Things enabled wearables help technicians communicate hands free while on the job and IoT data informs field service software when there is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Many smart companies today are transforming from being product-focused to services-focused. A notable example is Rolls Royce, who is now selling flying hours VS engines to airlines, fundamentally turning the old business model on its head.
Microsoft is WAY ahead of the curve when it comes to the digital world and FSA specifically. Connected Field Service is a new capability in Dynamics 365 that uses IoT to automate customer engagements. The solution is pushing the limits with IoT, Azure and machine learning. And it’s not overly complex to implement. Connecting IoT Azure with Dynamics CRM Field Service application can be done through a few simple set up screens. Plus, you can connect to most any device. So, these are just a few examples of servitization and the technology-fueled evolution we are seeing today in filed service automation.
We recently published a 14-page interview in The Digital Transformation Leadership Forum, featuring myself and Ben Vollmer, Global Dynamics 365 Field Service Director, Microsoft. If field services are part of your day, I’d highly recommend giving this a read.