main-cover

Where Did All the Independent Field Service Management Providers Go?

Arka Dhar

It’s time to transform field service management (FSM) as we know it.

This isn’t a surprise for anyone who works within a field service organization and has to deal with legacy processes and systems every day. But, where did all the independent FSM providers go when they’re needed most?

Early FSM players started building their solutions over a couple decades ago, before the era of cloud-native platforms. These players have been disappearing one by one, as tech giants wake up to the multi-billion dollar opportunity to help customers better manage their field services. In just the past five years, large software companies have snapped up these long-time FSM players:

  • Salesforce acquires ClickSoftware in August 2019
  • GE acquired ServiceMax in 2016; Silver Lake acquires ServiceMax in 2019
  • SAP acquired CoreSystems in 2018
  • Microsoft acquired FieldOne in 2015
  • Oracle acquired TOA Technologies in 2014

 
It’s validating to see billions of dollars being invested into FSM and it will be interesting to see how these solutions are integrated into broader product portfolios.

In the same five years that these FSMs began to disappear, Zinier was founded. Our team has years of firsthand experience building field service solutions for the decades-old players in the space. We saw the limitations of the dated technology being delivered to customers and set out to build our own AI-driven platform from the ground up with modern technologies. We believe it is a big step forward in making the leap from traditional FSM to field service automation – and more importantly, what our customers need to grow.

We also believe that there are some things (among others) that need to happen to drive real change for field service organizations:

1. Shift from digitization to automation

 
Many digital but largely traditional field service management solutions were built more than 15 years ago. The focus was to simply move common field service tasks and documents online. As customer expectations around the speed and quality of service continues to rise, organizations will need to move beyond digitization to automating labor-intensive tasks, so that field service teams are freed up to focus on high-touch customer needs. The most successful organizations will be the ones who find the right blend of human involvement and automation.

2. Help customers get more out of their data

 
Artificial intelligence continues to be one of the top Silicon Valley buzzwords in 2019, but it really is the not-so-secret weapon behind field service automation. IT leaders often ask, “What will I get out of AI if I integrate it now?” The answer isn’t just the immediate impact that AI can have on your business. It’s the long-term business impact if you don’t start collecting and learning from your data now. AI will move field service management beyond traditional point solutions focused on a specific task to empowering organizations to use their data to work smarter.

3. Build configurable platforms for unique use cases

 
One size doesn’t fit all. Field service organizations are the backbone to companies across dozens of industries. Customer requirements and use cases are different if you’re in telecom vs. energy vs. hospitality. Or, if you’re a large enterprise, you may already have solutions in place and not want to reverse years of work to implement a completely new end-to-end solution. We need to give customers the flexibility to use AI-driven automation within their existing infrastructure and allow them to use AI for their unique needs.

Why does this all matter?

When we turn on a faucet, water comes out. When we flip a switch, electricity lights up our home. Most of us take these things for granted, but when a service that we depend on isn’t available, it can disrupt our entire day. For organizations that provide these services, some of the most important work happens in the field – the people and systems that keep these services going all day, every day.

Our goal is to use the power of AI to help them do this smarter, faster and more efficiently.

Want to learn more about the future of field service automation? Check out our ebook on The Future of Field Service.