Field Service News and Tech Roundup March 2020 Edition

Field Service News & Technology Roundup is our blog series, where we feature the latest interesting field service and technology insights impacting field service organizations.

The world of field service is still humming along, even during these challenging times. There still appeared to be little to no slowdown in field service news and technology over March, either. The construction, utilities and telecommunications industries news in particular seemed to increase this past month, which mostly related to how covid-19 impacted those areas.

The March Field Service News and Technology Roundup includes topics spanning aforementioned industries as well as general technology news. Read past editions here.

Automation in Commercial Buildings – A News Analysis
Source: Constructech
Author: Constructech Staffer, News Analysis

The “Automation in Commercial Buildings” is a brief news analysis, rather than a full-length article. However, it is nonetheless important and worth the read. Basically, Constructech staff evaluated the transition of commercial buildings to “smart” facilities and determined there is a lag within the industry.

Using data gathered by ABI Research, offered insight into what solutions in the space will grow over the coming years, mentioning a variety of software solutions that are poised to redefine the market.

Read the news analysis in its brief but glorious entirety, here.

Key Success Requirements for Field Service Management
Source: Field Technologies Online
Author: Spencer Gisser, VDC Research

As always, Field Technologies Online curates another must-read article for any service operations manager or executive today. The article, “Key Success Requirements for Field Service Management,” where author, Spencer Gisser, provides a quick framework for evaluating FSM capabilities.

Labeling the 3 categories “in the field,” “intelligent,” and “optimization,” Gisser defines and then provides evaluation criteria to keep in mind. In my view, seeing as how we are a leader in the field service automation space, Gisser is a bit overly simplistic in his categorization.

First, “in the field” is not relegated to only “supplying information to workers in the field.” To us, that is a great misnomer and a reason many field service management software providers completely miss the mark in solving customer’s problems. Really, “in the field” should absolutely include such detail, but, at the end of the day, it should be a solution to enable and empower field workers to be more efficient and effective at their job. It should be seamlessly connected with operations, service management and any other key player in the organization, for that matter. The way to accomplish that is through interoperability, something Gisser does not mention—implied or otherwise.

In general, it’s a good read if you are currently evaluating field service software, but do not let it be the only article you read on the subject.

GISCafe – Videos: Keynote Speeches from the CES
Source: GISCafe
Author: GIS staff

I couldn’t help including this in the March Roundup. It is not actually an article, rather a library of videos from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. If you did not have a chance to attend, you can watch a few keynote sessions from the comfort of your office.

I recommend The New Mobility Revolution, where a panel discusses drones, the future of autonomous driving and more. Watch it here.

10 Ways To Make Better Decisions
Source: Forbes
Author: Bruno Aziza, Contributor – CIO Network, Contributor Group – Enterprise & Cloud

To grow, you must first learn. That’s how I sum-up the article, “10 Ways to Make Better Decision,” from Bruno Aziza in Forbes. I won’t go into detail about its contents (you really should just take 10 minutes to read it), but I will say I found No.2 the one to pay particular attention to. Aziza includes a nice diagram in case you are unfamiliar with the various biases that may present in a decision-making process.

Read the full article for the details.

Buy vs Build: Why In-House Built Field Service Management Apps Fail
Source: Field Squared Blog
Author: Mark Percy, VP of Technology at Field Squared

Our Buy vs Build blog originated out of a recurring theme that continues to frustrate technology providers like ourselves here at Field Squared. So, we wrote a blog about it.

The basic premise is when evaluating field service software providers, every vendor hears the same inevitable, “I will just build it for less,” which is unequivocally not true in any capacity. The Buy vs Build blog provides a comprehensive breakdown of costs (known and hidden) associated with building a business-level software solution.

Many organizations embark on the path of building only to realize they are in well over their heads. Then, escalation of commitment sets in.

If you’re currently in the buy vs build stage, I highly recommend reading our blog on the topic. I can honestly say it is one of the most helpful blogs our team has put together.

The Convergence of AI and Field Service Excellence
Source: Field Service News UK
Author: Aly Pinder, Program Director, Service Innovation & Connected Products at IDC

Big Data coupled with data science as a discipline was an emerging space about six or seven years ago. Everyone was talking about using data to inform business decisions. Business intelligence (BI) became the must-have thing. Now, with the application of artificial intelligence (AI), the space is evolving again. Today, businesses are leveraging AI tools and IoT to go beyond to making predictions.

This is of particular interest for field service businesses as well as organizations that conduct maintenance activities. In “The Convergence of AI and Field Service Excellence,” author and IDC analyst, Aly Pinder discusses taking data points and transforming them into actionable insights.

Using figures from a recent IDC survey, Pinder states, “… in order to truly be predictive or prescriptive with service prior to a failure, organizations must leverage performance data to allocate resources, trigger a service event, and schedule the service to be delivered.”

Pinder further discusses three areas service businesses can focus resources to realize “service excellence. The future for such industries that may leverage AI to derive insights will be quite interesting. For now, the article gets a strong must-read from me.

Watch the 60-second demo video to see inside Field Squared’s field service automation software.

Image Source: Unsplash by Keith Misner