Dina Apostolou - Sr. Director, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Product Marketing
Field service technology is transforming quickly, evolving at an accelerated pace, and that evolution is significantly impacting how we work, what we work on, and how we best serve our customers. As technology speeds forward creating greater efficiencies, it is also pushing cutting edge technologies into the mainstream. These technologies not only streamline processes and reduce costs, they also differentiate a service organization from the pack. It is these differentiators that have elevated Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service as a driving force within the field service community.
On that note, we are thrilled that Gartner has positioned Microsoft as a Leader in its 2020 Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management. Positioned as a Visionary in 2019, this new, improved position as a Field Service Leader reflects our ability to execute and completeness of vision. Products evaluated include: Microsoft Azure IoT (Hub and Central), Microsoft Power Platform (Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Common Data Service), and mixed-reality (Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist).
- Azure IoT Hub and Azure IoT Central. With the addition of Azure IoT Hub or Azure IoT Central, field service is transforming the costly traditional break-fix model to a proactive and predictive service model. By combining IoT diagnostics, scheduling, asset maintenance, and inventory all on the same platform, field service organizations (FSOs) can reduce downtime by diagnosing problems before customers are even aware there is an issue. Connected Field Service lets you address issues faster by remotely monitoring devices, and the service data can help in making better decisions around dispatching technicians with the right experience, availability, and location to the customer.
- Power Platform including Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Power Automate, and Common Data Service. For starters, Power BI provides intuitive data visualizations, Excel integration, and customer data connectors so you can achieve the best results. The next generation Field Service mobile app is built on the Power Platform, empowering technicians with an easy-to-use mobile experience to view assigned jobs, record work performed with photos and video captures, bar code scanning, and digital signatures. Plus, it affords access to information when visiting remote destinations without internet connectivity. Power Automate can be easily integrated to create flows to improve process automation and Common Data Service lets you securely store and manage data used by business applications. App makers can then use Power Apps to build rich applications using this data.
- Mixed reality apps including Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist. Mixed reality is a combination of realities—augmented, virtual, and real world, where the user can interact with all views. It’s safe to say that mixed reality is creating not just ripples, but a tsunami of change within the field service landscape since the advent of COVID-19. FSOs face unique challenges balancing the health and safety of technicians while maintaining business critical functions and continued support of customer needs. Dynamics 365 Remote Assist leverages mixed reality to access information and experts from anywhere, contact-free, by using Microsoft HoloLens and Android or iOS devices. Onsite workers can share real-time views of a repair, share knowledge and related documents, and perform inspections and audits to help accelerate the process.
Dynamics 365 Field Service capabilities
Many of the field service capabilities Gartner highlighted are pivotal in providing world-class customer care. Microsoft pioneered cutting edge technologies that have led to the development of rich features that empower technicians and increase productivity, optimize resources, and enhance customer satisfaction—together helping FSOs quickly realign operations to strengthen business continuity while building resiliency within a changing economic landscape.
A shining example is NAVCO, an electronic security system provider, who needed to improve responses to service requests to meet strict SLAs. Receiving hundreds of thousands of service requests each month, NAVCO chose Dynamics 365 Field Service. Leveraging its resource scheduling feature, NAVCO streamlined its service request and routing process, gaining a clearer view of individual jobs. Now NAVCO resolves customer service requests with an average of 1.1 trips. Its dispatch team easily manages incoming issues, and customers have greater visibility into their service requests by using the customer portal.
Dynamics 365 Field Service capabilities are mapped to three distinct pillars: proactive service delivery, resource scheduling, and ensuring technician success. In April, our release wave 1 provided enhancements that aligned to these pillars. We debuted new feature capabilities and offered a preview of AI-based suggestions for IoT alerts and incident types, and shared ongoing enhancements to resource scheduling and optimization capabilities. We also demonstrated our commitment to further invest in proactive service with Azure IoT and shared a deeper alignment with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.
What’s ahead for Field Service
We’re not done by a long shot. We’re continuing to enhance this leading end-to-end field service solution, further transforming field service organizations from a state of reactive to proactive with built-in predictive modes. But that’s just the beginning. We’re also broadening the possibilities of additional business models such as outcome-based service or “anything-as-a-service.”
With the release wave 2 coming this October, we’re continuing to add intelligence to Dynamics 365 Field Service including a new dashboard for monitoring key KPIs. We’re creating the ability to automatically send customers work order satisfaction surveys using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Voice. FSOs will have the ability to quickly capture and accurately calculate work order completion metrics—even metrics like a Broken Promise %. Furthermore, we’re aligning additional enhancements to FSO business outcomes:
- Proactive service delivery. Asset hierarchy and functional location, productivity enhancement for complex entities such as work order, and extended integration with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.
- Resource scheduling. Optimizer embedded in next-generation schedule board, predictive technician travel time based on traffic patterns, and enhancements for skills-based matching and travel outside working hours.
- Technician success. A new mobile app based on Power Apps enhancements, a technician locator for end customers, and virtual onsite inspection capabilities.
Ahead of the curve
Most field service organizations typically consist of a “boots on the ground” labor force making service calls and often ordering much needed parts and rescheduling site visits to complete the repair. But FSOs are transforming and this business model is changing—and it’s changing for the better. FSOs are evolving into profit centers by redefining their business model to a proactive service delivery, supported by leading edge solutions like Dynamics 365 Field Service, with rich features that optimize resources and empower technicians to succeed.
We’re delighted to be positioned as a Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant Leader for Field Service and are committed to bringing you the best field service application imaginable. You can depend on Microsoft Dynamics 365 to help reduce customer downtime, drive insights for new products and services, and turn your service cost centers into profit centers.
- Read the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant Report for Field Service Management
- Learn more about Dynamics 365 Field Service
- Check out the release wave 2 notes for Dynamics 365 Field Service
- Watch the “Transform field service with Dynamics 365” demo video
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.