Until recently, field service organizations seeking to take advantage of a mobile environment often found they had to choose between an on-premise enterprise software solution and a ‘best-of-breed’, specialized field service solution. The on-premise solution delivered numerous and all-encompassing capabilities but was expensive and lengthy to implement. A best of breed solution provided unique features, flexibility and cost advantages but wasn’t easy to integrate into existing systems.
The choice was therefore often difficult as the advantages - and disadvantages - of each were fairly even. Two innovations however, have shifted this balance - and the benefits - to the side of the best-of-breed application:
- The Cloud which allows companies to implement applications in weeks - not years
- The ‘API Economy’ (Application Programming Interface) that enables best-of-breed, cloud-based applications to integrate with legacy applications - and other cloud-based applications - quickly and easily.
The flexibility and speed of the cloud, along with the APIs have in fact, virtually eliminated the main advantage of the enterprise solution suite - integration of all components into a central data store.
APIs can be delivered by the application provider or through third-party services and enable companies to implement a modular approach for their field service solutions. They can choose the best field service application, then integrate the data across their organization with APIs. As a result, field service organizations can leverage all the benefits of a best-of-breed approach while seamlessly integrating data across the organization.
Here we look at the ways that field service organizations can benefit by choosing cloud-based, made-for-mobile, best-of-breed applications.
1. IMPLEMENT FASTER
Cloud-based, best-of-breed solutions can be implemented in just weeks - not the months, or even years that are required for a complex, on-premise application solution. Cloud-based applications can be implemented much faster because they:
- Eliminate the need to purchase, or make changes to, existing data center server, storage, security and network infrastructure.
- Impact the operations and processes of the field service organization only.
- Reduce data back-up and recovery requirements (delivered as part of the service by the cloud-based field service automation provider).
- Require a smaller, more finite set of data for import into the new system.
- Use subscription-based pricing (pay-as-you-go) that enables a phased approach (installation by group or geography)
2. GET THE LATEST FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS
Cloud-based, best-of-breed field service automation solutions are focused on one thing - delivering the features and functions that field service organizations need to be more productive and profitable. Additionally, these solutions are flexible and can be adapted to incorporate a company’s existing processes and procedures.
A cloud-based, best-of-breed solution:
- Is designed specifically for field service organizations
- Includes features and functions that are unique to field service organizations - like mobile work order management, field-based quote and estimate creation, customer asset management and field-based inventory management.
- Continues to add new features and functions - without requiring customers to purchase software upgrades or invest in expensive software maintenance contracts.
- Offers flexible features like custom fields and a standards-based API that allows the application to adapt to almost any existing process or procedure - and readapt itself as processes and procedures are altered in the future.
3. LEVERAGE INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE
The companies, and people, that deliver cloud-based, best-of-breed applications have extensive experience in and with the field service industry. They’ve implemented solutions for hundreds of organizations and helped thousands of end-users to become more productive - and the company more profitable. As a result, companies that provide best-of-breed applications are often able to help their customers uncover additional ways to leverage mobility within their organization or manage customer information more effectively.
Cloud-based, best-of-breed solutions enable customers to:
- Leverage the knowledge and experience of the provider to improve their organization’s productivity and profitability.
- Discover new ways to manage work orders, satisfy customers, improve processes, increase efficiency - and mobilize their workforce.
4. PROMOTE BUSINESS FLEXIBILITY
Cloud-based, best-of-breed applications enable companies to implement the capabilities they need - when they need them. They can be ‘plugged-in’ as they are needed, which enables companies to meet the needs of their customers more rapidly and expand into new geographies more aggressively.
- Can be implemented quickly, enabling companies to adapt to shifts in markets or customer preferences.
- Are, using today’s API technologies, ‘plug-and-play’, allowing companies to address the needs of specific groups, organizations or even specific individuals, quickly and cost-effectively.
In Part Two of The Eight Advantages of Best of Breed Applications we look at the following ways that organizations can benefit by choosing cloud-based, made-for-mobile, best-of-breed applications:
- REDUCE RISK
- INCREASE SYSTEM RELIABILITY
- BOOST COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
- IMPROVE PROCESSES
FieldAware simplifies field service management. The seamless integration of our mobile and web-based field service solutions, speed of implementation and ease of use will mean you are up and running immediately, so your business doesn’t standstill.
For more information on how to integrate a field service solution into your business see our Introduction to Integration free guide.
Or want a glimpse of our simple yet dynamic field service solution in action? Click here for our 90-second overview video and see why FieldAware leads the market.