Gartner’s April 2019 Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management (FSM) report states that “Vendors’ positions in this Magic Quadrant reflect customers’ new expectations in areas such as digital technician support, outcome-based service business models, and AI-driven scheduling and decision support. When assessing vendors, look for packaging of multiple technologies and proven results.”
Honestly, we weren’t too surprised with what we found in the report. We believe the report is an optimistic sign that the market is expanding. We also believe this Magic Quadrant report offers a great breakdown of each Leader’s current strengths against its implementation challenges, but that Gartner doesn’t go into detail about which specific functionalities drive growth—or which features are lacking in most leaders’ enterprise systems.
Breaking Through Outdated Service Methodologies
Granted, we don’t think the addition of a new feature or platform here or there won’t drastically change a provider’s ability to execute, particularly for those towards the lower ends of the Magic Quadrant. However, we do believe that the subtle distinctions in platform functionality carry more “weight” for providers who already rank well and need a competitive edge.
In particular, we were surprised to see how few of these industry-leading providers offer augmented reality (AR) field services. It’s obvious (to us, anyway!) that this type of knowledge capture tool is necessary for modern FSM and beyond.
After all, what’s the point of sticking to outdated FSM methodologies when you can streamline service and transform enterprise field services with AR technology? Something as easy as your phone, or AR-enabled headset, can be used in the field to capture product information, transmit high-resolution visuals, and maintain constant lines of communication with off-site experts. We think this is beyond huge for teams who are used to relying on expert technicians who often must travel long distances to get to the site while machine downtime costs the enterprise immensely.
Reaffirming the Value of Technician Support
The benefits these solutions offer to service efficiency are clear to us, but few best-in-class providers are making them a priority:
“In 2022, only 30% of field service providers will be ready to deploy AI-based decision support in their field service management platforms in order to compete better, despite robust capabilities being available by then.”
We think that last point is key. These robust capabilities are already here, and moving forward, we expect the top-performing vendors to double down on their commitment to AR integration. It’s not really optional to us; it’s the way FSM is moving.
Of course, we believe remote support for field technicians shouldn’t be a “wish list” feature of any FSM provider. It should be deeply integrated into the platform as well as technician’s utilization strategy. It’s not hard to understand why; we know that the right remote support tools can produce major benefits to FSM, particularly where first-time-fixes are concerned. Again, we have to ask, why not empower your technicians with the most basic tools they need to stay productive? With the right technology partner in your corner, we think it’s easy to add these functionalities.
The Future of Field Service Management
Gartner’s research report states: “Gartner estimates that revenue from packaged FSM cloud subscriptions, software licenses and maintenance — not including services — amounted to $2.03 billion during the 12 months ending in June 2018 (up approximately 18% from 2017).”
We believe this shows that the total market value of FSM is growing.
The report goes on to state: “FSPs [Field Service Providers] are disrupting their competitors largely by incorporating technological capabilities into aspects of their operations that previously lacked it — for example, IoT-connected field service and maintenance-timing adjustment based on predicted outages.”
We believe this shows that technological innovation is a key driver of disruption.
Moving forward, we are sure that FSPs that want to keep pace with industry growth will need to look at which field service capabilities they’re currently lacking, and which technologies will help them shore up these service weaknesses.
Gartner Subscribers may access the report here: Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management, Jim Robinson, 16 April 2019