Redefining the FSM Landscape
FieldAware is a brand that has been slowly building a presence as a rising star amongst field service management (FSM) software providers for the last few years now. However, across the last twelve months or so they seem to be distinctly focusing on pulling together a team with an enviable background and history within the sector – perhaps readying for a major assault on the market?
In short, it seems that things have stepped up a gear for FieldAware in terms of how they intend to approach the market going forward. I spoke with Steve Mason, Chief Revenue Officer with FieldAware to find out more.
“There has been a lot of momentum that has been building over time, but now it is beginning to become more visible as things are all coming together around the product, around the marketing and around our go-to-market strategy,” begins Mason as we touch on the subject. “We are becoming more visible in the market, but in a controlled way. From the board’s perspective it has been building up the momentum and now they are bringing in key personnel that will drive the company into the next market environment.”
Controlled seems to be the key word here. There seems to have been a very clear plan from the senior team at FieldAware to get the product right, before then building the team that can firmly establish the company as a key player within the FSM software community.
Indeed, as Mason explains there was a lot of behind the scenes work in developing the product in order to be able to integrate easily with others that had to be completed before FieldAware could really begin to move forward into the enterprise.
“Whilst the company were operating primarily in the small to medium sector, we invested heavily in developing a mobile-led, innovative solution that was built on an enterprise approach architecture. We wanted the ability to have a field force management solution, where we could have custom objects associated at multiple levels, so the application could through configuration be quickly tuned to the needs of different customers in different verticals.”
“To then expose that flexibility to all of the communications channels – so out through the API, into the integration layer out to the mobile and then out to the web, as you can appreciate it takes time to build that kind of product, but it was where we saw future.”
However, listening to Mason speak it is not just care and attention that FieldAware have put into the development of their product – he is keen to outline how they have taken a very different approach than some of the more traditional vendors in the market have done in the past.
“Our focus has been to develop a mobile application that is very intuitive and easy to use – everything we do is about intuitiveness and being thumb friendly. Successful solutions are always easily adopted because they’re so easy to use.”
“Our approach has been to really focus on empowering the people in the field, the field service technicians that are working directly with their customers and can therefore have the biggest impact on a brand when service is being delivered. By making sure that they have an application that is simple to use but also offers access to rich data that is embedded within the service call the aim is that it all leads to them being able to deliver better service.”
“So we’ve really been focusing in from that perspective. It’s a different approach from the traditional world of big optimizations that are focused on macro management of a workforce and then driving that work out. In fact, it’s a very different approach.”
Indeed, this shift in thinking is perhaps mirrored in a number of different corners of the industry. Whereas before the focus has been, both from a technology and a management point of view, about ensuring field service teams are working as efficiently as possible, now with customer service rising to the forefront, the focus is very much on empowering the field service engineer.
“The workforce has changed,” comments Mason “even the way that people work and the relationships that there is between the field and those in the office, there is now an inherent trust. If someone has a Smartphone then they are visible wherever they are.”
“So companies no longer need all the old tools that were there to micro manage, now it’s about empowerment and working in a trusted sense within the organization. It is now effectively one department, rather than being field and back office – today everybody is mobile.”
“The whole culture has changed and more and more organizations are looking to take a different approach and work with organizations who will empower their field force. Also through an open architecture we are also able to extend their previous investments in legacy systems whether those be on-premise or in the Cloud,” Mason continues.
“It is a changing market. It is rapidly changing mainly because customer service remains the critical differentiator for many organizations.” He concludes.
Indeed the landscape is ever-changing and FieldAware find themselves in the interesting place of being able to compete with other FSM software vendors, but also at the same time offering a solution that can also fully compliment competitor systems due to their focus on integration.
It is a sensible route and one that is quite indicative of the customer-centric approach that Mason and the team at FieldAware are taking. The question now remains can they build their own acceleration when it comes to gaining a significant role within the FSM landscape? The product is certainly up to par, and with the recent senior talent acquisitions, such as Mason, the team is shaping up very nicely too now.
So could 2017 potentially be FieldAware’s year? They are certainly getting themselves in the right place at the right time…
Kris Oldland, Editor, Field Service News