Salesforce has announced Salesforce Field Service. Built on the Salesforce platform this new solution provides new capabilities such as new appointment and optimization capabilities. Importantly, Salesforce has also embedded Einstein intelligence into the solution to enhance the solution further.
Salesforce has also worked with ServiceMax to provide Asset Management embedded as an option within the solution. The new solution is Asset 360. This is a significant announcement for ServiceMax as it means a joint go-to-market between the two companies. It builds on the investment that Salesforce Ventures made as part of an $80 million funding round earlier this year.
Salesforce Field Service
This announcement is the culmination of a series of investments that Salesforce has made in its field service solutions. It began with the acquisition of ClickSoftware, whose scheduling IP underpins the new scheduling functionality within Salesforce Field Service, called Dynamic Priority.
Salesforce has also integrated its AI engine, Einstein to bring machine learning to field service. Recommendation builder will scan historical records to identify what parts are required for each new fault raised. This can help to ensure that engineers have sufficient parts before dispatch to complete repairs, cutting out repeat visits.
Also included is a new Appointment Assistant. This mobile application provides live status update for customers of field service firms. It means that they can see more accurately when an engineer will appear at their doorstep. A welcome change from the six-hour windows (or worse) that is frequently given. It also means that if the customer is vulnerable, they can ensure that they can maintain social distancing during the visit.
Asset 360 by ServiceMax
While Salesforce announced Salesforce Field Service, ServiceMax announced ServiceMax Asset 360 for Salesforce. Built on Salesforce Field Service and fully using Salesforce Lightning objects the new solution was developed using the Asset management knowledge that ServiceMax has gained up from its solution Asset Service Management which is built on Salesforce Service Cloud.
The new solution was developed alongside Salesforce Field Service and will be available from November 2020. Enterprise Times spoke to Neil Barua, CEO of ServiceMax about the new product and about how it is now deeply embedded into the Salesforce platform including Einstein and Mulesoft.
Barua noted: “Where previously our standalone solution albeit build on Service Cloud wasn’t able to take advantage of those capabilities. We’re able to take advantage of those new offerings embedded into our new offering. What we provide here is the asset central capabilities we give the asset performance to go back into Salesforce field service objects by which the integration of our two offerings has a shared data model by which you could do analytics by which you could do AI off of Einstein, whereas previously, you weren’t able to do that.”
Salesforce Field Service also makes it easier for ServiceMax to integrate Asset 360 with ERP solutions using Mulesoft. This is is a significant opportunity for the ERP solution to create that tight integration with ServiceMax and Salesforce for Asset Management. It may open up the possibility of competing in the EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) space with a complete solution. Barua shared that the company has already built a strong integration with SAP S/4HANA for a med device manufacturer.
With ServiceMax Salesforce has added another piece to the business software architecture than service companies are looking for Mark Cattini, SVP of Field Service Management at Salesforce commented: “We’re thrilled to be bringing a next-generation field service product to market for our customers. And, with the combination of ServiceMax Asset 360 and Salesforce Field Service, companies across industries will have access to enhanced asset management and dynamic resource scheduling capabilities on a single platform. This is the future of field service and it’s connected, proactive and intelligent.”
Does this make Asset 360 a replacement for its existing solutions?
No! Barua explained about the other products: “It’s a double-digit growth business, on over $150 million in revenue, with real customers using our core software platform. We’re going to continue to develop it; it creates plenty of financials by which we could invest in the manner that we have previously. What you saw back in February with Salesforce investing in us, a material amount of dollars is the money that we’re using to develop this new product offering with them.
“We’re aligned to making sure we invest appropriately on our core platform because companies like Philips Healthcare, who now have 5000 users using ServiceMax core, are expanding their users to 12,000. We need to continue to develop the right solutions on core for them. They’ll be a key focus of the company, and this is a new product offering that it takes advantage of all the great innovation that Salesforce is going to do on their platform and within field service. Now we can serve a broader set of industries together. We feel like the two together gives us another leverage point to do what we’ve been stated to do, which is help our customers keep the world running and do it more broadly than we had previously.”
The risk of this approach is that ServiceMax will duplicate coding across both solutions. Barua answered: “The capabilities on our roadmap for our core offering are elements that we could also put into Asset360 as we continue to release new innovation with Salesforce. The capabilities in the writing of the code is easily migrated to Asset 360 when and if we want to. So, the capabilities will be very similar over time. The question is, what platform does the customer want to choose to move their business forward? It’s a great choice for the customer. It gives more choices to them, which is, a value.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean?
This is a significant announcement by Salesforce and an even larger one for ServiceMax.
Barua explained: “We’ve been frenemies for a number of years. In this specific space, which as you saw in the (recent) earnings announcement, Service Cloud is the fastest-growing element of Salesforce. This is not just an app exchange offering; it’s a strategic partnership between the two companies. They’re really looking forward to teaming with us across all functions. There’s a product alignment; there’s an R&D alignment, there’s now a sales Team alignment and executive alignment at the highest level. We have a board member in Meredith Schmidt from Salesforce.
“This is a coming together as close as can be to serve customers the right way. So that frenemy has now become real close to each other. We decided to do that as two companies, which is not sometimes easy to do because it’s the right thing to do for customers and us to provide this holistic customer 360 view integrated with Asset 360.”
The combination of ServiceMax and Salesforce should see them improve their positions in the leadership quadrant of the Gartner Field Service Management Quadrant. The highest placing in that quadrant was attained by IFS in 2020, pushing Oracle and Microsoft back slightly. What is important is the execution by Sales and Marketing now that this partnership and the shared product is forged. The other question is whether Salesforce will, in time acquire ServiceMax. A question to which Barua understandably answered: “no comment.”