Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management
Customer satisfaction has risen to be a primary objective for field service, but the market has yet to fully embrace the four factors in the Nexus of Forces (social, mobile, cloud and information), which could enable the desired intimacy with the customer.
Field service applications should have the scope to achieve five objectives:
- Receive requests for a field service technician from the Internet, telephone or intelligent device.
- Assign a service technician, with long, midrange, weekly and intraday optimization of the technician's work orders, factoring in constraints (for example, assets, skills, etc.) and improved SLA compliance.
- Complete mobilization of the technician to perform end-to-end service tasks, including the ability to look up inventory status in real time or cached on a wireless device.
- Integrate with GPS and geographic information system (GIS) capabilities.
- Provide field service functionality that supports a continuum of field service models, from reactive to preventive to predictive to reliability-centered maintenance.
An end-to-end field service management (FSM) solution contains the following components (these are for an asset-intensive industry):
- Field technician management (skills, plan board, assignment and route optimization)
- Entitlements and contract management
- Product and pricing configuration
- Case-based reasoning/knowledge management
- Project management software
- Reporting and service analytics
- Bill/invoice preparation
- Field parts, tools and materials/parts management (essentially, a field logistics supply chain management [SCM] system)
- Intelligent-device management and fleet management
- Depot repair
- A service integration framework or platform
The importance of individual components will vary by industry. For example, optimization is important to companies with a high number of technicians and complex scheduling rules, such as in telecommunications and utilities. Repair depot functionality rises in importance for companies that have their customers send back products to a central facility or that run individual service centers. Businesses usually employ one of three business models:
- OEM-performed installation, maintenance and repair
- Field service for asset-intensive businesses — for example, manufacturing plants, utilities and telecommunications (this is the predominant model)
- Third-party (outsourced) maintenance and repair (this is the most complex model, because the management of parts, contracts and warranties — essentially ERP, SCM and product life cycle management [PLM] functions — is not under the vendor's control)
Source: Gartner (October 2012)
Astea International is one of the few publicly traded companies to focus on field service and a full suite of end-to-end field service capabilities in particular.
- Astea International has deep, focused knowledge of capital equipment and high-tech industries for end-to-end service processes in a variety of service models (for example, field service, repair depot and third-party contracting), especially for high-tech and industrial customers.
- The vendor has a strong Microsoft .NET architecture, integrating with Microsoft Dynamics and other ERP systems.
- The products are available as software as a service (SaaS), although adoption has been low.
- There is high adoption of mobile by the vendor's new customers, including the new HTML5-based application.
- Astea International returned to profitability in 2011 on strong year-over-year growth, but prospects should continue to monitor its progress.
- Although the vendor has added service provider partners (for example, L&T Infotech and Itochu Techno-Solutions [CTC]), it must continue to grow its strategic alignment with large, third-party consulting organizations and system integrators (SIs) for large-scale international projects.
- Astea International has shown limited adoption for large-scale deployments of more than 500 technicians.
- The vendor will continue to face strong competition from large enterprise application vendors that offer broad service suites.
With approximately $50 million in cash and cash equivalents and expected 2012 revenue of $98 million to $103 million, ClickSoftware is the largest independent software vendor worldwide offering field service optimization. It is a growing, publicly traded company, approaching 500 employees, and it has the advantage of focusing on a core field service business problem.
- A tight focus on field service forecasting, rostering, scheduling and dispatching, as well as a position as the largest and most stable company of its kind, gives ClickSoftware credibility and appeal to prospects.
- It was one of the first vendors to adopt HTML5 for mobile, which includes a full development studio with a module builder, forms editor and development kit. Additionally, ClickSoftware launched the ClickAppStore, where hundreds of add-on widgets and applications are available for optional deployment onto the customer's mobile solution.
- ClickSoftware has deepened its focus on the energy, utilities and telecommunications sectors. Prospects with complex workforce optimization requirements in these industries should consider the vendor for shortlists. Home services, computer and office equipment and government agencies are other areas of strong industry knowledge, with its SAP relationship bringing ClickSoftware into additional verticals.
- The vendor has strong geographic coverage and a growing set of partners, including its successful and expanding strategic partnership with SAP.
- With the exception of ClickExpress, which provides an end-to-end solution to midsize customers, ClickSoftware is not intended to be a complete FSM solution (for example, contracts, invoicing, parts, management and CRM) for the enterprise market. Some potential users might view ClickSoftware as an expensive add-on that often requires additional cost justification.
- Not as appealing for companies that are not interested in advanced optimization.
- The vendor has not seen widespread adoption of its small or midsize business (SMB) or SaaS products.
IFS continued to build out field service support by acquiring Metrix, a Wisconsin-based provider of field service software. This deal follows IFS's 2010 purchase of 360 Scheduling, which gave it an advanced workforce scheduling engine. With the Metrix acquisition, IFS gains a native Android mobile application, a multitenant SaaS application and a suite tailored to higher-volume service operations.
- IFS has a good focus on end-to-end field service processes and overall service management life cycles versus narrow, departmentalized deployments. The vendor tends to win field service deals that are more complex in nature, or that include needs for repair depot or project management functionality, especially within its installed base of project-based verticals. The Metrix acquisition has the potential to broaden the applicability of the software.
- The 360 Scheduling optimization engine, which uses a continual optimization approach, can be applied to field service, repair depot or other types of workforce scheduling.
- IFS has strong partnerships with service providers within aerospace and defense (A&D).
- References for the 360 Scheduling product were strong.
- IFS continues to fight its reputation as a European-only vendor and is still building its brand recognition in field service.
- Outside of A&D, there is limited strategic alignment with large, third-party consulting organizations or SIs for large-scale field service projects.
- It's too soon to show implementations across all of IFS's field service assets (IFS Applications, 360 Scheduling and Metrix).
- Adoption of mobility has been limited to Europe and the replacement of IFS Mobile with Metrix mobile will be released in 1Q13, so proof points are forthcoming.
The appeal of the Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) field service offering is that it is part of a broad and integrated set of modules for end-to-end service management (for example, technician portal, inventory, service contracts, and project costing and billing). We have seen many customers upgrade or expand on their current implementations within the past two years. Oracle Social Network, a collaboration tool integrated with Oracle Fusion Applications and accessible through Oracle Public Cloud, has promise, but won't be integrated into EBS until a future release.
- Oracle Field Service is a good fit for the shortlists of Oracle EBS customers that are already using Oracle ERP and service products for depot repair, inventory, technical support, asset management, order management, etc.
- EBS has rich functionality for asset-intensive businesses and capital equipment companies (for example, manufacturing, medical equipment, high tech, and IT services).
- The company enhanced integration to Oracle Service Parts Planning and enhanced support for warranty processes.
- There is strong support from major service providers across multiple geographies.
- Oracle's development efforts for mobile thick-client support, using Application Development Framework (ADF) Mobile, have not yet been released, thus there is no current native iOS or Android mobile application or an HTML5-based application (currently on the road map).
- There is no multitenant SaaS offering, although the vendor offers field service hosted on-demand.
- The Dispatch Center and Plan Board user interfaces (UIs) are not the best fit for advanced intraday optimization for large field staff. The Advanced Scheduler UI is better, although most new deals are too new to reference.
- Long periods between major product updates and the time and expenses associated with major upgrades mean many customers choose to wait several years before upgrading, which limits adoption of newly released functionality in a timely manner. The vendor has addressed this with more frequent "dot" releases.
Selected by organizations in most geographies around the world, Oracle's Siebel Field Service provides a broad suite for customer service, sales and support. Although Siebel Field Service appears on many shortlists — especially within professional services, financial services, high-tech, automotive and telecommunications — we expected stronger product sales outside the Oracle installed base. Oracle began investing in social CRM capabilities in 2008, but investment in product development and marketing lagged. Oracle Social Network, a collaboration tool integrated with Oracle Fusion Applications and accessible through Oracle Public Cloud, has promise, but integration plans to Siebel are not currently clear.
- Oracle's Siebel Field Service is part of a CRM suite that was most used globally by large enterprises in 2011, is (according to Gartner) the second-largest CRM vendor by revenue, and is the largest in the CRM customer service and support contact center space.
- The suite remains a good choice for customers that prefer an on-premises solution.
- Oracle provides broad functional support for customer service, technical support, financial and sales activities.
- There is strong support from major service providers across multiple geographies.
- Oracle's development efforts for mobile thick-client support, using Application Development Framework (ADF) Mobile, have not yet been released, thus there is no current native iOS or Android mobile application or an HTML5-based application (currently on the road map).
- There is no multitenant SaaS offering and Oracle's Siebel CRM for customer service and support is not participating in the move to Oracle Fusion Applications, although the vendor does offer field service via Siebel CRM On Demand.
- Siebel Scheduling is not the best fit for advanced intraday optimization for large field staffs. Oracle Real-Time Scheduler is more appropriate, although Siebel Field Service is not integrated to the newest version, which can be purchased stand-alone.
SAP continues to augment SAP Field Service Management with functionality from software partners and acquisitions. This strategy of deepening relationships with ClickSoftware, for example, will free SAP to focus on functionality, such as asset management, project and contract management, configuration, and visualization (SAP Visual Enterprise). New social media innovations are available, delivered via enhancement packages that can be deployed without a standard upgrade.
- SAP is a logical shortlist candidate for SAP ERP and SAP CRM users wanting to deploy field service functionality along with asset management, contracts, warranties and supply chain, especially for high-tech, utilities and industrial customers.
- SAP has a strong investment in core architecture, a worldwide installed base, good corporate profitability, and partnerships with complementary software providers for knowledge management, active form and workforce optimization (eGain, Adobe and ClickSoftware, respectively).
- The midterm to long-term potential of Sybase infrastructure to support SAP's mobile environment globally is a plus.
- The vendor offers several scheduling options, depending on a company's needs, including SAP Workforce Scheduling and Optimization by ClickSoftware, SAP Multiresource Scheduling (MRS), and SAP CRM Resource Planning (RPA).
- The mobile strategy is clearer now with Syclo Smart Service Manager and Syclo Smart Work Manager being the main mobile solutions, including in cases when SAP Workforce Scheduling and Optimization by ClickSoftware is the main scheduling product. SAP still faces the challenge of integrating Syclo, Sybase and legacy SAP initiatives into a unified offering without affecting some of the advantages of Syclo offerings, such as time to market.
- Third-party consulting, system integration and experienced development resources in the field service offerings are in short supply in some geographies.
- SAP Field Service Management is not recommended for shortlists where the software environment does not include SAP Business Suite.
- SAP Rapid Deployment Solution (RDS) for CRM service management is new, so proof points are forthcoming. RDS can be hosted in a single-tenant model.
ServiceMax is built on the salesforce.com platform, and has shown thought leadership in field service by adopting the concept of social and cloud from the Nexus of Forces.
- ServiceMax's SaaS subscription model will be enticing to service managers operating with limited access to capital budget.
- The vendor adapted salesforce.com's Chatter into its own ServicePulse product to bring together technicians and data feeds from the assets themselves into a dynamic conversation thread.
- The architecture is based entirely on salesforce.com's development environment, with a close business connection with salesforce.com, which raises ServiceMax's profile, giving it access to leads and partnerships with Tier 1 service providers. This lowers the cost to go to market, while exposing ServiceMax to a large potential prospect base.
- The vendor offers both an enterprise-level product and an SMB package.
- The mobile application supports Windows, BlackBerry and iPad.
- Prospects not interested in a product built on the salesforce.com platform or on a SaaS model will not favor this product.
- ServiceMax's HTML5-based mobile application is still in development.
- We have seen limited uptake of the vendor's advanced scheduling optimization engine (OptiMax), which is still too new to reference.
- The pricing model can sometimes be confusing when trying to determine which modules of ServiceMax and salesforce.com are included.
ServicePower targets industries that use outsourced field resources or a mixture of employees and outsourced resources and has invested in tools that support these kinds of environments.
- ServicePower offers outsourcing services, as well as traditional, on-premises and SaaS software models, for employed and contracted field resources.
- The vendor offers ServiceStore, a portal in which 40,000 service and installation contractors come together as a buying group to acquire parts, clothing, equipment and insurance. Also, the vendor has partnered with Encompass Supply Chain Solutions to provide clients and contractors with integrated parts ordering.
- ServicePower acquired ServiceMarket, which offers both client-facing and consumer-facing applications that allow users to place jobs into the open contractor market and subsequently choose technicians based on a variety of criteria, including certifications, feedback, price, availability, etc. Additionally, technicians can place bids on open work orders.
- ServicePower continues to go through a transition in strategy, and prospects should continue to monitor the vendor's performance.
- The vendor relies on partners to provide end-to-end service support beyond its core capabilities of scheduling, third-party dispatch and claims processing.
- ServicePower supports Windows, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry applications for mobility, but relies on partners for HTML5-based or native iOS or Android mobile applications.
Servigistics has a strong vision for field service, which it bolstered by the acquisitions of knowledge management company Kaidara and parts catalog vendor Conduit Internet Technologies. Servigistics offers software to manage parts, parts pricing, logistics, knowledge management and field service scheduling. It was acquired by PTC after this evaluation was completed. For an analysis of the deal, see, "PTC's Servigistics Deal Addresses Service Life Cycle Management Needs."
- The Servigistics product set represents many of the fundamentals of an end-to-end, field service process, with an especially strong parts-planning application, including a service dashboard, warranty functionality, parts locator, knowledge management and troubleshooting.
- The vendor has a broad installed base for its parts-planning solution in multiple geographies and diverse industries (for example, motor vehicles, consumer beverages, high tech and telecommunications).
- Servigistics has signed partnership agreements with Tier 1 service providers.
- Servigistics has struggled to sell its scheduling and dispatching application as a stand-alone product, and has few referenceable customers. However, evidence for cross-selling within its customer base is increasing.
- Competition from the large enterprise application vendors will challenge Servigistics to achieve the prices it might otherwise command. It will be undercut frequently in the FSM space.
- The HTML5 mobile application is new and not fully deployed by customers.
TOA is an innovator in product delivery, field service pattern detection and work stream optimization, and addresses most of the major components of the Nexus of Forces. The vendor primarily operates in cable and telecommunications, with seven of the top 11 pay-television (i.e., cable/satellite providers) in North America as customers.
- TOA exhibited year-over-year growth in annual revenue of more than 91%.
- The vendor has shown thought leadership in applying the concepts of cloud and mobile from the Nexus of Forces, and has recently released SmartCollaboration to incorporate concepts from social into field service. SmartCollaboration uses intelligence on context to suggest collaborations among field technicians.
- The vendor has executed well in building mobile, disconnected capabilities using HTML5 and increasing the range of functions in its software integration kit. Its mobile offering is highly customizable and has been adopted by all but two customers — some of the highest mobility adoption among the vendors in this Magic Quadrant.
- The product is one of only two applications available in this year's Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management that was originally built as a SaaS application.
- TOA continues to build out impressive partnerships, including Accenture and Deloitte on the service provider side, Amdocs as a reseller, and, most recently, an OEM agreement with salesforce.com. TOA's new product, built on the Force.com platform and available on AppExchange, is called ETAworkforce, which includes different choices in functionality through SmartScheduler and SmartWorkOrder.
- The narrow functional and industry vertical footprint, relative to enterprise software packages and the SaaS model, limit the company's appeal to many IT organizations outside telecommunications and utilities, or verticals with similar business models.
- TOA is not a good fit for companies looking for a broader service suite with functionality elements typically found in ERP or CRM.
- Strategic partnerships with global external service providers or independent software vendors and a presence in Latin America and Asia are emerging.
Vertical Solutions is a privately held company with a broad suite and the ability to integrate with ERP systems to create end-to-end process support. The vendor has shown thought leadership in field service by adopting the social concepts from the Nexus of Forces.
- The vendor demonstrates good adoption of social concepts to field service by incorporating collaboration/chat, RSS, Twitter, wikis, videos, the concept of following objects and aggregating the information into a portal, and more, and offers an HTML5-based mobile application.
- The FSM product is offered in on-premises, private and public cloud options, including the development environment.
- A very useful part of the offering is the integration of a customer portal, customer support contact center, service contract and warranties, inventory management and private social CRM features, and platform-based business process management (BPM) functionality for integration and workflow, in addition to the core field service dispatch capability. Vertical Solutions sells its call center functionality with almost every field service deal.
- Vertical Solutions has improved its ability to support international clients mostly through partnerships, but should continue to further build out its own service support.
- The vendor has shown limited adoption in large-scale deployments of more than 1,000 technicians for advanced optimization using either its own optimization engine or the 360 Scheduling engine (now part of IFS) with which it sometimes partners.
- Vertical Solutions has shown limited adoption in enterprises, still sells mostly to the SMB market and targets the higher end of SMBs.
ViryaNet has a robust scheduling engine that covers important market niches, and GE is a good partner for its products. Additionally, ViryaNet uses a BPM mobile platform to capture best practices and integrate mobile workforce management with the rest of the enterprise, and sells its mobile application with nearly every deal.
- ViryaNet has strong process knowledge, including a robust scheduling engine and references for businesses involved in end-to-end field service delivery across several different service delivery models (for example, short term, long-term capacity planning and multiperson) across the utilities, telecommunications and retail industries.
- The vendor has a partnership with GE, and several GE value-added resellers sold ViryaNet's products in 2011. In addition, another partner, Amdocs, also resold the application.
- The vendor demonstrates good adoption of mobile concepts in the Nexus of Forces through an adaptable mobile platform.
- ViryaNet is exhibiting good growth in 2012, after an unprofitable calendar year 2011, which followed two years of profitability. Prospects should continue to monitor corporate performance.
- The vendor continues to refine its go-to-market strategy to rely more heavily on third-party sales and implementation support.
- We have seen few new license deals outside the utilities and telecommunications markets.
WennSoft is a tightly focused company that markets to the Microsoft installed base, offering field service solutions primarily to construction-related industries. It sells direct into North America and uses channel partners for outside North America. The vendor has two products: Signature, the original product built on Microsoft Dynamics GP, and Evolution, a new product built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
- WennSoft is geared to small and midsize service and installation businesses, which primarily have a Microsoft infrastructure and want to optimize maintenance or the project-costing function in facilities/equipment management.
- It has strong integration capabilities with Microsoft's Dynamics, SharePoint and Office products.
- WennSoft offers several deployment options, including licensed, hosted and private cloud.
- The Evolution product adds more multilanguage support than was previously available with the Signature product.
- WennSoft, focused primarily on SMBs, is not a strong candidate for the shortlists of Global 1000 companies looking for scalable, large enterprise solutions, especially those not built on the Microsoft platform.
- Multilanguage support for Signature is still limited.
- Because WennSoft is a privately held company with no large SI partners, organizations must perform due diligence to ascertain the vendor's financial position. It relies on 13 executive partners for implementation and sales services outside its core geographies.
- There is limited support for complex scheduling and optimization needs for large organizations.
We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes as markets change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant or MarketScope may change over time. A vendor appearing in a Magic Quadrant or MarketScope one year and not the next does not necessarily indicate that we have changed our opinion of that vendor. This may be a reflection of a change in the market and, therefore, changed evaluation criteria, or a change of focus by a vendor.
No vendors were added to this year's Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management.
We dropped Fast, Lean, Smart (FLS) because it did not meet the minimum inclusion criteria.
We dropped Ventyx because it does not meet the definition of field service as defined by this Magic Quadrant. Rather, it's a mobility-enabled enterprise asset management (EAM) solution specifically for asset-intensive industries. Ventyx is covered separately by Gartner's EAM analysts (see "Magic Quadrant for Power Generation Enterprise Asset Management Software" and "Magic Quadrant for Delivery Utility Enterprise Asset Management").
We dropped Metrix as a separate evaluation because it was acquired by IFS and its products were combined into IFS's evaluation.
The following vendors did not make this year's Magic Quadrant, but still may offer value and/or unique functionality in the markets they address: Airclic, Antenna, Blackbay, Clevest, Cognito, Comarch, FLS, Google, Retriever Communications, Spring Wireless, Tensing, Ventyx, VeriFone Systems-Global Bay Mobile Technologies and Xora. They were not included in this Magic Quadrant typically due to their single-industry focus, low number of new deployments or shift in product focus away from pure FSM.
Market Traction and Momentum
- Had at least five new customer references for FSM functionality since the 2011 Magic Quadrant. Customer references must be located in at least two of the following geographic locations: North America; South America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; the Asia/Pacific region and Japan.
- Generated at least $4 million in new software application licenses (or subscriptions, in the case of SaaS) to new customers for FSM in the past four rolling quarters. The majority must be from large or midsize businesses (i.e., an average deal size of 100 mobile technicians), from at least two of the geographies referenced above, and at least two vertical industries (for example, utilities, telecommunications, high tech, oil and gas, A&D, automotive, financial services, chemicals, medical devices, healthcare, etc.).
- Has sufficient professional services to fulfill customer demands during the next 12 months
- Has enough cash to fund one year of operations, given current burn rates
- Demonstrates a pipeline of prospects and an adequate sales team to drive new business
Product or Service
To score highly, the vendor will be on a standard service-oriented architecture (SOA). A product that is architected for SaaS and for which the vendor can provide references will be weighted at the high end, because client demand is increasing for SaaS solutions. Single-tenant hosted applications or private clouds are not weighted as highly as multitenant SaaS applications. The vendor has demonstrated an ability to flexibly integrate and configure the application to participate in business processes that are outside its application set. The product operates across multiple communications channels and with various business functions. FSM-specific requirements also call for the product to flexibly connect to billing and network management, as well as to support automation systems and multiechelon parts distribution systems.
The vendor will be required to support a range of wireless and handheld computers. In the case of field force optimization, the vendor can potentially scale up to support as many as 12,000 technicians. The application architecture supports one-to-many and many-to-many product and customer relationships. The vendor is measured on the ability of its architecture to support global rollouts and localized international installations, as well as on the ability of its product releases to support the service management building blocks of its chosen markets (see "Toolkit Decision Framework: Evaluating Field Service Solutions" [Note: This document has been archived; some of its content may not reflect current conditions.]). The vendor's ability to address the application of the four factors in the Nexus of Forces is also rated highly. The vendor's capability to support wireless enablement across the functional areas defined in this research has moved from a highly desired criterion to a firm requirement, and vendors must offer more than one option and support various mobile OSs and form factors to score highly. Enterprises facing compliance, cost and workforce issues, especially those with highly trained technicians, or those that have many workers reaching retirement age, are placing increased pressure on addressing operations workforce productivity.
Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy and Organization)
The vendor can ensure that it has cash on hand and consistent revenue growth over four rolling quarters to fund current and future employee burn rates, and to generate profits. Also, there's a likelihood that the product will remain viable during the next three years. The vendor is measured on its ability to generate business results in the FSM market. It must have a stable development team and product road map.
This addresses the vendor's ability to provide business value, compared with the price it charges for software and services in deploying its FSM software. The vendor is measured on its flexibility to support multiple pricing scenarios, such as in-house licensed, hosted, SaaS and business process outsourcing (BPO).
Market Responsiveness and Track Record
Including marketing and sales capabilities, this is the vendor's ability to consistently generate market demand and awareness of its FSM solution via marketing programs and press visibility. The vendor must be found on the shortlist of appropriate RFPs. The vendor must appear in more than three unique industry categories and three geographic locations (not including its installed base) as a part of competitive bids to score highly.
This is the vendor's ability to provide global sales directly, or through a distributor or other partner. The distributor/partner must align with the vendor's marketing messages, with specific experience in selling FSM software to the appropriate buying center.
To prove the viability of its product in the marketplace, the vendor can produce a sufficient number of quality clients and references with varying levels of sophistication and maturity (for example, a mix of new customers with extensions to sales into the installed base). Of special interest is customer experience with wireless mobility, devices and service process workflows. References are used as part of the evaluation for each dimension on the Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision axes.
This is the vendor's ability to provide internal professional service resources, or to partner with SIs or other service providers that have vertical industry expertise, FSM domain knowledge, global and localized country coverage, and a broad skill set (for example, project management and system configuration) to support a complete project life cycle. This includes customer support, which refers to the ability of the vendor's customer support organization to provide satisfactory, prompt service to its customers worldwide.
Source: Gartner (October 2012)
The vendor demonstrates a strategic understanding of how the market and partner opportunities for field service solutions are changing. This includes the role of wireless mobile devices, SaaS and third-party service delivery, as well as new application functionality (for example, real-time analytics, location services and mapping) or customer segments, ongoing vendor market dynamics (for example, consolidation trends), and vertical industry requirements (for example, telecommunications, utilities and capital equipment manufacturing).
Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
This encompasses business and financial strategy. The vendor has a well-articulated strategy for revenue growth and a sustained opportunity for profitability. Key elements of the strategy include a sales and distribution plan, internal investment priority and timing, and partner alliances. A Leader will move a market by offering users a range of modular choices at varying price points that do not lock the user into a platform decision, not by squashing the competition.
Offering (Product) Strategy and Innovation
The vendor openly communicates to its customers and to Gartner a statement of direction for its next two product releases that keeps pace with or surpasses Gartner's vision of the FSM market. The vendor understands major technology/architecture shifts in the market and communicates a plan to leverage them, including any migration issues these shifts may create for customers on current releases, how well the vendor has articulated its vision to support mobile and wireless devices, and/or parts planning and contract management integration.
The partners for professional services and complementary functionality, as well as wireless enablement that is unique to specific geographies and industries, will often determine vendor success.
This is one of the thorniest challenges, because too much emphasis on a single industry leaves the provider as a niche participant in the broader market, whereas lack of industry expertise knocks the product out of the Magic Quadrant evaluation process.
Few FSM vendors can sell, deploy, maintain and extend customers on a worldwide basis, yet multinational service organizations continue to look for global application provider partners.
Source: Gartner (October 2012)
Leaders demonstrate market strength based on installed base depth, and affect market trends in all categories of the criteria on which they're evaluated. Users of the software feel they are gaining a competitive advantage over others in their industry.
Challengers demonstrate a clear understanding of today's FSM market, but may not be innovative. They often have a strong market presence in other application areas (such as parts and asset management, finance, and order management), but they haven't demonstrated a clear understanding of the FSM market's direction (which is more end-to-end process-based), or they are not well-positioned to capitalize on emerging trends.
Visionaries display technology or business model innovation, influencing (or soon to influence) the direction of the FSM market. However, they are limited in execution or demonstrated track records. Typically, their products and market presence aren't complete or established enough to challenge the leading vendors. The introduction of broader suites and SaaS alternatives by vendors has been encouraging.
Niche Players offer products for FSM functionality components or vertical subsegments. They may also offer complete portfolios. However, they demonstrate weaknesses in one or more important service management areas.
While a few vendors are exhibiting good growth and further separating themselves from the pack, no single vendor has been able to master the five critical areas of the complete field service life cycle. This is because variations in field service processes from one industry to the next make it difficult for vendors to transfer their expertise. Additionally, we've found that, while field service in general is well-positioned to take advantage of the four critical elements of the Nexus of Forces, the overall market is not taking full advantage of these factors.
Field Service Life Cycle
The market for field service components is fragmented, forcing most buyers to accept a best-of-breed approach, rather than to rely on their enterprise application suite providers to close key gaps. Additionally, we still see many companies building components of field services themselves, especially for mobility, with 70% of the user references we spoke with for this research not using the mobile application of the primary FSM vendor primarily because either the vendor could not support a modern platform or it could support one, but the application was too new to be proven. To be fair, some of the onus is also on the buyers of technology, as many are just not ready to move off of laptops or ruggedized handhelds that don't need HTML5 or iOS or Android applications to run properly.
That said, certain vendors have differentiated themselves either in depth of functionality or in the effective use of new, emerging technologies in the areas of application delivery and mobility. While most major vendors have factored in new mobile device form factors (tablets) and OSs into their road maps, strategies differ. Some vendors are coding applications to run in any HTML5 browser. Some are coding native applications for either iOS, Android or both, while others are using a hybrid approach. Gartner expects vendors to offer a variety of choices for its customers. Otherwise, expect the trend of using third-party application providers or nothing at all to continue.
Nexus of Forces
The Nexus of Forces is the convergence and mutual reinforcement of social, mobility, cloud and information patterns that drive new business scenarios. Field service applications have the potential to more fully use these factors to drive greater customer intimacy, higher service levels and completely new service business models. Vendors that embrace these concepts and manifest them in the software functionality have the potential to give themselves an innovative advantage to take to the market. Examples of each factor have been present in field service for many years, but it is only recently that the convergence of the factors opened up this new opportunity of engaging with customers and accessing new stores of information, and using these interactions and data stores to attain high service levels or even to install new service business models altogether. Overall, however, we've found the adoption of these technologies lagging, and see it as a missed opportunity for service businesses. We expect the appetite for and the consumption of these factors to vary greatly by industry. Companies in verticals that have more direct interaction with consumers (such as telecommunications, utilities [delivery] and financial services) will outpace the adoption of more industrial verticals (such as oil and gas distribution and manufacturing). So why should field service vendors and their customers care? Because this rising user-centric convergence is a harbinger of the obsolescence of existing architectures and service models.
Gartner has additional research on the Nexus of Forces itself (see "Engage, Learn, Create and Disrupt With the Nexus of Forces"), but following is a description of how each factor does or could impact field service:
- Social: Social is one of the most compelling examples of how consumerization drives enterprise IT practices. It's hard to think of an activity that is more personal than sharing comments, links and recommendations with friends. One of the biggest mistakes we see enterprises in field service making is the equating of social with consumer-only applications. Social in field service is not Facebook. Comments and recommendations don't have to be among friends about last night's game or which shoes to buy; they can also be among colleagues about the progress of a project or which supplier provides good value. Employing social concepts within FSM increases the amount of knowledge shared across teams. It can also deepen technician engagement with the system, resulting in more comprehensive and finer-grained data collection. For example, ServiceMax uses salesforce.com's Chatter functionality (renamed ServicePulse) to dynamically create conversation threads between technicians directly from the devices themselves. Field service organizations should take a two-pronged approach to social: (1) monitor the consumer social applications in the market for customer sentiment, problems, etc., and (2) adapt the concepts of social within their own organizations (for example, using the wiki concept to create a living as-serviced bill of materials).
- Mobile: Mobile is certainly not new and has been a part of field service for many years, but it does not stand alone as an isolated phenomenon: Devices will come and go faster all the time. New form factors will emerge. Sensor data will transparently enhance the experience, integrating the virtual and physical worlds contextually. The information gathered in this immersive world will have tremendous value. Additionally, the trend of blending personal and work devices (also called bring your own device [BYOD]) will only add complexity. Realistically, however, we expect the field service market to lag other markets in BYOD, although we did speak with one industrial company that gave all its technicians iPads and told them they could use them for personal activities. Additionally, we've seen companies use protective cases on consumer devices to avoid paying the cost of ruggedized devices. We expect this trend will accelerate as Generation Y replaces the current labor force and expects to be able to use the consumer devices they're used to in more-technical environments, and as vendors continue to differentiate their offerings for competitive advantage. ClickSoftware's ClickAppStore is an example of taking the lead of the consumer world and applying it to enterprise field service.
- Cloud: Cloud computing represents the glue for all the forces of the nexus. It is the model for delivery of whatever computing resources are needed and for the activities that grow out of such delivery. Without cloud computing, social interactions would have no place to happen at scale, mobile access would fail to be able to connect to a wide variety of data and functions, and information would still be stuck inside internal systems. Cloud delivery can also accelerate access to new functionality and technology that older delivery mechanisms can't. Cloud and SaaS adoption in field service is strong and we expect the trend to continue; however, we've found that it's starting to fragment along vendor lines. To be more specific, adoption of the cloud and SaaS offerings of traditionally licensed providers is lower than expected, while adoption of pure SaaS providers is robust.
- Information: For years, technologists have discussed the ubiquity of information without realizing how to take full advantage of it. That time is now here. Social, mobile and cloud make information accessible, shareable and consumable by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Knowing how to capture the power of the ubiquity of information and how to utilize the smaller subsets applicable to your company, your product and your customers, at a specific point in time, will be critical to taking advantage of new opportunities and for avoiding risks. Access to these datasets and the analytics capabilities to use the information can help service businesses increase customer satisfaction and offer new and innovative service offerings. Remote monitoring applications are adding new sources of information through which companies could offer new services (for example, usage-based) or gain additional insights into a customer and his or her assets.
We've found that software vendors' ability to support the factors that contribute to the Nexus of Forces varies greatly. Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management, like all Magic Quadrants, is not intended to be the sole tool for creating a vendor shortlist. Use it as part of your due diligence and in conjunction with discussions with Gartner analysts.
Factors for Consideration
When evaluating vendors, buyers should weigh more factors than just the positioning of the dots in the Magic Quadrant figure. Other factors that can affect a buying decision include vendor viability, reference customers, the number of skilled service professionals, the existence of a modern SOA, the cost of the solution and a clearly articulated mobility road map. Vendor weightings should focus on the best technology architecture, functionality advantages (especially if a vendor has specific domain expertise, backed by customer references) and the vision of the vendor to support the definition of field service defined in this research. Buyers should focus on the ability to control the terms of the software acquisition for the length of a pilot, as well as the terms and conditions in case the vendor is acquired. Emerging criteria for 2012 included support for the four elements in the Nexus of Forces.
Field service is increasingly viewed as an integral part of a unified customer strategy that's improved over time as part of a careful project. This can also be thought of as service life cycle management (SLM) or service resource planning. It is as integral as sales, marketing and customer support to product-centric businesses. Another factor bringing field service into focus for many North American and European enterprises is the aging workforce, and the challenges associated with passing along process and customer knowledge to new employees, while also reducing head count or keeping it flat. This makes the efficiencies gained by FSM suites and mobile automation key mitigating tactics. Niche Player vendors will need to improve the service orientation of their applications to better integrate with others, or else they will fail.
The market for FSM tools remains highly fragmented (see Note 1) and support for the four factors in the Nexus of Forces is varied. The market is fragmented into four main areas:
- Best-of-breed field workforce optimization vendors, such as TOA Technologies, ClickSoftware and ServicePower
- Vendors that provide most of an end-to-end suite, although not necessarily with all components being best-in-class, such as Oracle, SAP, Astea International and Servigistics
- Niche vendors of field mobility solutions or platforms, with application frameworks that are good alternatives for many organizations that want to innovate their field technician processes, while leaving their back-end ERP systems largely unchanged, such as Antenna, Cognito and Retriever Communications
- Vendors focused primarily on a single industry or SMBs, such as Ventyx and ViryaNet
Software sales in the FSM market can only be approximated because privately held vendors and some ERP vendors do not disclose software sales in this area. Gartner research puts the revenue for packaged field service dispatch and workforce management software applications, not including service revenue, at approximately $308 million in 2011 (this number is expected to rise to $329 million by 2013). We estimate that market penetration for field service applications has reached 25% of the addressable market.
Vendors focused on midsize businesses are almost all regional (one geography) in deployment scope, and cannot, or choose not to, focus on global opportunities. There are vendors that are U.S.-only, serve only German-speaking countries in Europe, French-speaking countries in Europe, U.K.-only, etc.
ERP vendors, in general, have been supporting broad service suites and have acquired best-of-breed functionality to augment their efforts. This year, IFS acquired 360 Scheduling and Metrix, and within the past few years, SAP acquired Sybase and Syclo, and Oracle acquired SPL WorldGroup and Siebel.
Most innovation comes from smaller vendors. ClickSoftware recently released a mobile app store to augment its mobile offerings. ServiceMax continues to deliver additional functionality on the Force.com platform and TOA Technologies has a multitenant SaaS product as well. Although most of the market will remain specialized, reflecting the multiple goals of service organizations, the move toward highly mobile-oriented, loosely coupled FSM applications and SaaS-based offerings is under way.
Software vendors that cater to SMBs will also have to contend with traditionally non-FSM vendors like Google, which entered the low-end market with Google Maps Coordinate, which lets companies view the location of employees to schedule them better. Employees receive notifications on their mobile devices.
The Changing Mobile Field Service Landscape
The software needs to support the tasks above, some of which occur on a website and others through automation (remote monitoring and intelligent device management), phone calls or site visits. Technicians often require some type of wireless mobile device through which to communicate and complete the service process. In field services, there is a lot of diversity in the types of devices, including (in rough order of frequency) ruggedized handhelds, ruggedized or standard notebooks, consumer smartphones, and consumer-grade or ruggedized tablets. For all these device types, except notebooks, the mobile software landscape continues to evolve:
- Among OSs, the iOS and Android are the most often discussed in Gartner inquiries for consumer-grade smartphones, with Research In Motion's (RIM's) BlackBerry a distant third. Nokia is now shipping Windows Phone 7 devices, for all intents and purposes abandoning the Symbian OS. RIM has announced its commitment to QNX, rather than the BlackBerry OS.
- iPads are leading the pack of new tablet offerings that includes Android and other OS options.
- The rollout of Windows 8, which incorporates the design language of Windows Phone, has the potential to revitalize interest in Windows-based smartphones as well as to impact the design of tablet-based applications.
Because Windows Phone 7 is not backward-compatible with older versions of Windows Mobile, for which many mobile applications (including field service) have been optimized, enterprises now have a reason to reconsider the entire client-side software implementation. All vendors surveyed are considering support for iOS and Android devices, although strategies vary. While vendors have not yet announced their plans for Windows 8 support, its introduction has the potential to reshape the nature of tablet-based field service applications by supporting a class of tablets that combine PC-level capabilities with tablet portability and ease of use.
Another disruptive element in mobile is the rapidly advancing interest in HTML5 and the possibility to support disconnected field service applications without having to resort to native code development. While HTML5 has a lot of potential, there are still some current limitations, including the in-browser data store and the lack of access to peripherals such as printers. Some device vendors have created extended versions of HTML to address such issues, and a lot of software developers use hybrid solutions via tools such as PhoneGap to blend HTML5 and bits of native code into a form that can be delivered as a native solution.
Additionally, the mix of device types is changing, with enterprises considering replacing ruggedized laptops with inexpensive media tablets — initially iPads for many organizations. Gartner envisions that business processes will increasingly be shaped to rely on the new capabilities of evolving mobile devices, platforms and applications. By 2014, we expect most vendors to revamp the user experience portion of their offerings to be mobile-first or mobile-only for field technicians. This does not mean, however, that there will be a complete overhaul overnight. Industrial-grade devices still have good support for peripherals such as printers, RFID, USB ports (to plug into equipment diagnostics) and bar code readers, whereas most consumer devices do not. This causes some clunky work-arounds and may also imply a need for certain features in software products and constraints on platform choices. We are seeing a shift away from ruggedized devices running Windows to those running Android; however, again, it's not a wholesale replacement by any means. The adoption and interest in consumer devices is mostly coming from telecommunications, financial services and some areas of high-tech, but we are also seeing interest and receiving some client inquiries from heavy industries, such as oil and gas and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Overall, we expect that, by 2013, the percentage of technicians with wireless access to a formal packaged FSM solution in large enterprises will increase to nearly 50% (see Note 2).
Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Technologies
M2M technologies continue to fuel new business offerings and support a wide range of initiatives, such as smart metering, road tolls, smart cities, smart buildings and geofencing assets, to name a few. Gartner expects that the overall connected device market will grow at more than a 40% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2014. Business development managers and architects in many industries should take a closer look at how M2M can help grow the service business. These technologies fundamentally affect current service models that involve the dispatch of technicians to provide all steps in the service life cycle (for example, inspection, diagnosis, fixing, etc.).
According to author Geoffrey Moore, a market:
- Is a set of actual or potential customers
- Has a given set of products or services
- Has customers with a common set of needs or wants
- Features data for customers to reference each other when making decisions
Markets are sets of potential buyers who view a product as solving a commonly identified need. Market segments are portions of the generic market that are qualified by more exact criteria that group together potential buyers more tightly. Segmentation may take two forms:
- A generic market may be broken down into a recognizable entity for which the rules for defining a market still hold. FSM is a discrete market within the broader service management space, which is a generic market that includes elements of aftermarket service supply chains, EAM, maintenance support, sensor networks, RFID, telematics, FSM, technical support, contract management and PLM.
- Alternatively, a vendor may segment the market to target its products more precisely and differentiate itself from (or avoid competing with) other players addressing the same overall market. In this case, however, the targeted buyers may not know they're part of the same market segment. Such segmentation won't be explicitly reflected in the Magic Quadrant, but it may be reflected implicitly (by placing a vendor in the Niche Players quadrant, for example).
Gartner provides detailed analysis of mobile application platforms in "Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms." This Magic Quadrant reflects the convergence of mobile enterprise application platforms and mobile consumer application platforms. For more information, see "New Directions for Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms: Convergence 2012, Multichannel 2018."
We suggest that clients use the "Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management" in conjunction with the "Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms" and "Critical Capabilities for Mobile Application Development Platforms" as inputs to determining overall field service and mobile strategy, and for creating vendor shortlists. Doing so will leverage insight into the capabilities and direction for the underlying mobile application platforms, as well as support for broader mobility issues that affect mobile FSM, such as management, security and integration.
Ability to Execute
Product/Service: Core goods and services offered by the vendor that compete in/serve the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets, skills, etc., whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/partnerships as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria.
Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization): Viability includes an assessment of the overall organization's financial health, the financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood of the individual business unit to continue investing in the product, to continue offering the product and to advance the state of the art within the organization's portfolio of products.
Sales Execution/Pricing: The vendor's capabilities in all pre-sales activities and the structure that supports them. This includes deal management, pricing and negotiation, pre-sales support and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel.
Market Responsiveness and Track Record: Ability to respond, change direction, be flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customer needs evolve and market dynamics change. This criterion also considers the vendor's history of responsiveness.
Marketing Execution: The clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver the organization's message in order to influence the market, promote the brand and business, increase awareness of the products, and establish a positive identification with the product/brand and organization in the minds of buyers. This "mind share" can be driven by a combination of publicity, promotional, thought leadership, word-of-mouth and sales activities.
Customer Experience: Relationships, products and services/programs that enable clients to be successful with the products evaluated. Specifically, this includes the ways customers receive technical support or account support. This can also include ancillary tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), availability of user groups, service-level agreements, etc.
Operations: The ability of the organization to meet its goals and commitments. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure including skills, experiences, programs, systems and other vehicles that enable the organization to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis.
Completeness of Vision
Market Understanding: Ability of the vendor to understand buyers' wants and needs and to translate those into products and services. Vendors that show the highest degree of vision listen and understand buyers' wants and needs, and can shape or enhance those with their added vision.
Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated set of messages consistently communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements.
Sales Strategy: The strategy for selling product that uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service and communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base.
Offering (Product) Strategy: The vendor's approach to product development and delivery that emphasizes differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature set as they map to current and future requirements.
Business Model: The soundness and logic of the vendor's underlying business proposition.
Vertical/Industry Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including verticals.
Innovation: Direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes.
Geographic Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside the "home" or native geography, either directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries as appropriate for that geography and market.