Olivier Le Moal - stock.adobe.co
Field service operations started to shift in early 2020, as vendors began to integrate AI, IoT, predictive analytics and automation into their offerings to improve customer service and field service technicians' efficiency.
However, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, remote work took field service operations to a new level. Organizations needed more visibility into asset status for themselves, customers and partners. They could only deploy field service technicians for critical maintenance, which required remote triage capabilities and better project management. Then, as business began to resume in person, many of these features became benefits to help organizations improve productivity and asset life.
Below are the top field service management vendors to know in 2022, in no particular order.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service is a leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management report. The software includes common features for field service management, such as scheduling optimization, route planning and data dashboards. It also includes IoT and augmented reality (AR) capabilities to help field service technicians diagnose and repair issues remotely.
Dynamics 365 Field Service is free to try and priced at $95 per user, per month.
Organizations can deploy Dynamics 365 Field Service in private, public, government cloud and hybrid environments. Microsoft's broad geographic reach means global customers can receive product support directly from the company or through one of its partners.
The platform's strengths include its IoT capabilities for equipment triage and AR-guided support, according to Gartner. Dynamics 365 Field Service can manage complete operations and integrate with customer portals.
Dynamics 365 Field Service falls short in parts logistics, forecasting and scheduling, particularly for organizations that rely on subcontractors. IT management users, in particular, may struggle with the product's learning curve. Its mobile app is also relatively new, and only early adopters have deployed it.
IFS Field Service Management
IFS Field Service Management is another leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant and focuses on scheduling, contracts and operations features. The software manages work orders, spare parts, service contracts, warranties and service projects. IFS said its platform could integrate with Salesforce, SAP and Microsoft Dynamics, among other CRM tools.
Pricing starts at $65 per month.
IFS Field Service Management excels at parts logistics, contracts, billing and warranty management. It also supports workforce forecasting, or planning, which vendors have historically overlooked, Gartner said. The service can simplify how users set up new functionalities and processes using system configurations and business rules.
This service doesn't always play well with other tools. Also, as the company quickly grows, users may struggle to find a partner with immediate availability to implement the tool. The tool's pricing can also be complex.
SAP Field Service Management
Organizations that already use SAP may gravitate toward SAP Field Service Management to keep all its technology under one vendor. The platform offers real-time field service metrics, enables technicians to create reports on site and uses AI and machine learning (ML) for scheduling. SAP also offers this tool as a SaaS product.
Pricing begins at $166 per user, per month.
In addition to its tight integrations with other SAP products, this platform offers strong functionality to manage complex equipment structures, subcontractors, and equipment and parts logistics, according to Gartner. Additionally, users may find the tool relatively intuitive and easy to use.
Organizations that aren't SAP customers may view this platform's integration with other SAP products as a downside. Also, product support is often slow.
Praxedo is a true field service management vendor, as it only offers field service management software. The product offers web and mobile apps and includes technician performance tracking, schedule optimization and a customer portal. It also includes APIs and connectors to ERP and other systems.
Pricing starts at $27.50 per month.
Praxedo is easy to set up, user-friendly and reliable. It also enables organizations to customize technician reports. The platform has low implementation costs, Gartner said, as the vendor offers individual deployment experiences for different industries and separate integration approaches for different systems.
Praxedo struggles with complex parts sourcing and predictive maintenance. It also doesn't offer services like IoT and advanced analytics, so customers must seek out partners for those services, which can drive up overall costs.
Organizations that need support for contracts, warranties and complex processes may turn toward ServiceMax Core. This product recently added field change order support -- which manages changes and updates in the field -- and customer self-service. The vendor also plans to invest in chatbots and ML to improve scheduling.
Pricing is on a per month, per user basis, and ServiceMax provides estimates on demand.
ServiceMax Core's strengths lie in its partnerships and alliances, which help extend functionality with AI for parts, low-code development and compliance requirements. The platform also offers a companion mobile app and real-time data to technicians.
While this platform primarily struggles with integration, other challenges include scheduling optimization and the need for users to invest heavily in APIs.
Salesforce Field Service
As part of Salesforce Service Cloud, Salesforce Field Service may appeal to organizations that already use its products. Key features include virtual support, automation to prioritize and assign technicians to jobs and insight into operational performance.
Salesforce prices this platform as an add-on to Salesforce Service Cloud. It starts at $50 per user, per month.
Salesforce Field Service can integrate with other Salesforce products, benefiting existing Salesforce customers. Other strengths include uptime and the ability to configure within Apex and build customized processes.
The platform's mobile app falls short. The app is separate from the main platform, limiting users' ability to provide data to field service technicians. Support can also be slow.
Oracle Field Service
Oracle Field Service offers scheduling, routing and forecasting capabilities. Oracle touts AI as a tool to optimize and automatically routes resources. It can also enable real-time traffic and street-level routing of field service technicians.
Pricing for Oracle Field Service starts at $100 per user, per month for the Professional version. Oracle also offers a pricing option for contingent workers, at $5 per activity, as an add-on to Oracle Field Service Professional or Enterprise editions.
Oracle Field Service offers strong scheduling optimization capabilities and continuously improves its service updates, quarterly upgrades and simplicity in configuration.
Oracle Field Service has limited dashboards and reports, and support can be slow.
ServiceNow Field Service Management
ServiceNow Field Service Management offers a dispatcher workspace, a mobile agent app, asset and cost management and field service contractor management. The professional version includes capacity and reservation management, predictive intelligence, performance analytics and virtual agents.
Pricing is available upon request.
ServiceNow Field Service Management offers scalability and lets users extend capabilities to other platforms. Field service technicians can also easily view workloads on their tablets.
ServiceNow doesn't have prebuilt integration templates for the platform, although it has connectors to its IntegrationHub tool. The product also doesn't offer any particularly unique features, nor are any innovations apparent on its roadmap.