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What’s in Store for Field Service Management in 2014?

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We cannot believe it is already nearly the middle of October 2013.  With nearly the whole year behind us, Realise Data Systems has sat down to reflect on what 2013 has brought the field service management industry, and what might be in store for 2014.  Our glass ball prediction as of now (even though you may be rolling your eyes and thinking it’s a bit early) is well, more of the same, but bigger, and faster, and perhaps even stronger.  We will elaborate more a bit later.  For now, here are the highlights of 2013 so far, and some things we might expect for 2014.  Disagree with us?  Be sure to strike up a conversation inthe comments section so we can improve our fortune telling or perhaps just our observations.

2013 Highlights

GOOGLE GLASS

Back in May, RDS published a blog about how Google Glass might transform field service mobility.  The highlights?  Google Glass can be used for field service training, support, and new street level routing.  Service Max went on to elaborate on our post with their own blog post “Google Glass in the Field? No Joke — 5 Ways It Could Impact Your Business.”  Lastly, in September, the MWFM company Vipaar posted the blog and video “What Google Glass Means for Mobile Video for Field Service” demonstrating how real service techs can use Google Glass.  While the subject hasn’t been fully covered yet, it looks like a topic to watch for 2014.

THE CLOUD

The cloud has become a big topic over the past couple of years and 2013 has seen the continuation of that.  Additionally, more field service management software providers have begun to offer new cloud solutions, particularly via the Salesforce.com platform.  ServiceMax, TOA Technologies, and ClickSoftware all offer SaaS solutions on the Salesforce platform.

SOCIAL

Field service management software providers have integrated the latest social apps into their solutions to help service organizations provide a higher level of communication and customer service to their customer base.  Whether that be Facebook appointment booking, or the new social communication tool Chatter by Salesforce, field service management software providers are empowering their customers to in turn “delight” their customers by means of the latest, greatest ways of communicating globally.  In fact, ServiceMax just recently ran the webinar “5 Ways Field Service Can Use Social Technology to Delight Customers” and RDS published a blog titled “The Power of Social Media in Field Service” in April explaining how field service organizations can benefit from social interaction and adoption.

2014 Predictions

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

Business Intelligence has been growing and advancing with businesses and technology over the last few years, but what organizations are really waiting for is true intelligent, business intelligence.  RDS thinks that predictive analytics, automated forecasting and even artificial intelligence is on the way in 2014.  ClickSoftware has even given us a taste by introducing us to ClickButler, which anticipates what a mobile user needs and acts on it proactively.

BIG DATA EXPLOSION

Organizations are already grappling with how to create a proper data strategy and what to do with big data, but we predict that by the end of 2014, the majority of enterprise organizations will have adopted a comprehensive data strategy and will be working to use big data in new and promising ways.  One question we expect to see asked and address is how does an organization manage and track their data properly?  Data auditing is bound to become a big topic of conversation in 2014.

CHANGES TO THE GARTNER MAGIC QUADRANT

We expect to see a big shake up on the 2013 Gartner Magic Quadrant for FSM, with cloud based solutions taking a more prominant spot on the famous quadrant.  Why?  It’s out with the old complicated on-premise solutions with lengthy implementations and in with the new lighter cloud solutions.  Technology is simply changing too fast and on-premise legacy solutions can no longer keep up.  Organizations these days are looking for an adaptable, fast solution without major commitments.

So what do you think of our predictions?  What sort of trends has your organization noticed over the past year?

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