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ServiceMax has released Engage, a turnkey mobile app that connects its field service management users with their customers, which gives the users a more up-to-date picture of their assets in the field and gives their customers a view of benefits their service contracts afford them.
Manufacturers of machinery and medical devices, which make up a large portion of ServiceMax's customers, don't have a clear picture of what machines are in use out in the field, said Amit Jain, senior vice president of product at ServiceMax. The Engage app helps them get a handle on what machines are out there and how they've been maintained. It includes dashboards that provide data on field service management team performance.
Users can also brand their instance of ServiceMax Engage with their logos, although it sends their customers to the ServiceMax site for now. A white-label version is in the works, Jain said.
For customers of ServiceMax users, the app can book appointments, enable self-service, connect them with an agent who might be able to work through a problem without dispatching a truck roll and outline the benefits to which their entitled via a company's service contract.
The app is the latest example of new thinking around field service management, Constellation Research analyst Nicole France said. For many companies it was previously looked upon as a cost center, but in the last few years field service has morphed into a customer experience initiative.
"For a whole lot of companies that primarily have sold products, this is a big, long-term trend," France said. "It affects the way they work, the way they think about field service and, most substantially, their business models."
Jain said this process had been under way the last few years, but the pandemic accelerated manufacturers' service-management digital makeovers during social distancing. Digital customer experience took precedence over agent productivity as companies set new policies for minimizing technician visits and minimizing contact.
That also meant new connections were needed for veteran technicians -- in many industries they are older people nearing retirement age and thus in high-risk groups for COVID-19 -- with younger counterparts dispatched to do the work, or even walking customers through service processes remotely.
Jain said the endgame for ServiceMax users in using Engage is to not only generate more data on their assets but to also give them a competitive advantage to land more service business. Another goal is to give ServiceMax users' customers a better experience in order to keep those assets running at peak efficiency.
From a technology perspective, it means putting to work all the data that current cloud experience platforms like Salesforce generate.
"You're sitting on data that's created every day," Jain said. "Now's the fun part of making that data work for you."
Tight Salesforce connections for ServiceMax
ServiceMax sprung from a 2008 Salesforce AppExchange developer contest; founders Athani Krishnaprasad and Hari Subramanian won $2 million in funding. The company was acquired by GE Digital in 2016 and later spun off.
Through the years, ServiceMax has kept close ties with Salesforce. A majority of its customers are Salesforce users, and ServiceMax was and remains built natively on the Salesforce platform, using Salesforce's data model.
Last year, during the pandemic, ServiceMax and Salesforce partnered to release Asset 360 for users to manage service contracts on the Salesforce platform. Could such partnerships indicate that ServiceMax, a majority stake of which is owned by private equity firm Silver Lake, may be Salesforce's next acquisition target?
After all, Salesforce acquired Vlocity last year, which was built on Salesforce in the same way, giving rise to Salesforce Industries within a matter of months because integration went quickly. Salesforce has its own field service app, which has different features such as technician geolocation mapping that could be combined with ServiceMax's.
"It seems pretty obvious that's what eventually is going to happen," France said. She added that while she doesn't have any inside information about any pending acquisition, "I think it's a matter of 'not if, but when.'"
ServiceMax Engage was released in conjuction with the company's Maximize virtual user conference. The cloud app is generally available now. Pricing is $25 per user, per month.