As field service has evolved from a cost center to a critical revenue source and competitive differentiator, large organizations have directed more resources to their field service management (FSM) and automation efforts. In many of these companies, the IT department has an outsized influence on the purchase and implementation of these enterprise-level software systems. As such, IT leaders often direct the company to purchase FSM solutions from their existing ERP vendors – these software behemoths like SAP, Oracle, etc., typically offer a field service module or add-on solution. And the same is also true of CRM vendors as they see a growing market for service management software.
From the IT department’s perspective, these solutions offer a low- cost option that should theoretically be much easier to integrate with the existing infrastructure than a best-of-breed FSM solution from a third-party vendor. But is that true? In many instances the answer is no. And more importantly, these ERP add-ons lack the market-leading functionality that is increasingly required to keep service organizations competitive.
The Changing Face of Service
Modern field service organizations (FSOs) have unique requirements that are not well-addressed by software vendors primarily focused on accounting, manufacturing, sales or human resources activities. Best-of-breed FSM vendors fully understand the nuances of the service industry and are better equipped to meet the functional needs of FSOs and help them meet their revenue goals.