If you’re in the field service business, it’s not news to you that the industry has undergone major shifts over the past year.
What’s more helpful to know, however, is where field service is headed, and who the ideal software vendor is for getting you there.
The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management is on a lot of companies’ reading lists when they’re seeking the right FSM provider for their operations. Not only does the report evaluate more than a dozen of FSM’s biggest players, it also identifies key considerations companies ought to make in selecting the platform that will run their mobile workforce.
That’s why we’re excited that CSG has been included, for the first time, in the 2021 Gartner® Magic QuadrantTM for Field Service Management. We feel it validates our belief that CSG is the #1 technology provider of choice for communications service providers (CSPs), and we’re bringing our decades of experience into new industries with our CSG Field Service Management platform.
If you haven’t seen this year’s Magic Quadrant yet, access it at this link (Gartner client login required). Once you’ve viewed the report, read the rest of the article here as I’ll share some of our exclusive takeaways from the report.
Prioritize CX—By That, We Mean Your Experience Too
One of the biggest trends Gartner identified in this year’s Magic Quadrant is how the customer experience (CX) capabilities of FSM platforms have improved across the industry. That’s good news: field service organizations are under increasing pressure to satisfy and retain their end customers, and they’re going to need increasingly better tools to do it.
But what about your experience as an organization working with an FSM provider? Has that improved? Are you getting the attention you need from your provider, and when you request fixes, changes or new functionality, how responsive are they?
The report’s Vendor Strengths and Cautions section will give you an idea of what it’s like to work with each of the providers. Do they do their own implementations? Do they offer attentive training and support? Some providers might not budge their product roadmap if you need something different out of their platform. Others have solutions with steep learning curves, but without the easy-to-access knowledge resources or support you’d want for navigating them.
The end-customer experience is a big part of why companies want a more sophisticated FSM solution. But the total experience is what determines if that solution is even successful.
We can tell you from experience that strong customer support translates to success. CSG Field Service Management had 100 percent customer retention in 2020, and it has a 100 percent implementation success rate historically. For more details on what our customers think, you can visit our Gartner Peer Insight Reviews.
Scalability That Lets You Think Big
Managing tens of thousands of field technicians is a different ballgame from managing several hundred. The Magic Quadrant identifies FSM vendors that have scalable platforms that can handle increasingly complex schedule optimization and integrations. We think large and/or growing field service organizations should give extra weight to that capability.
Is that platform going to grow with as you expand to new markets? Will it work for a diversifying base of users that includes third parties and subcontractors? Is it going to continue to play well with your field service tech stack if that grows? Because if it can’t, that’s how organizations can end up with a patchwork of FSM solutions, which can be a mess. A scalable FSM solution can serve diverse regions consistently, successfully configuring to each distinct market a large organization needs it to.
When your FSM solution is scalable, that can have other benefits. CSG Field Service Management serves several large organizations, and it’s allowed us to fine-tune the solution’s efficiency and develop best practices for implementing it under all kinds of scenarios. Plus, the solution is hosted in Amazon Web Services for additional scalability and availability.
Field service operations grow more complex as the organization itself grows. That’s why it’s so valuable to have an FSM provider that can help you smooth out those transitions as they come.
Expertise Goes a Long Way
Since field service cuts across so many industries, you’ll find all sorts of FSM providers that specialize in one type of business or another. On the other end of the spectrum, you find providers who apply their solution across a range of industries. But domain expertise matters in FSM, and in the Magic Quadrant, Gartner identifies vendors who are strong in that area, whatever their domain happens to be.
It often means your FSM provider can offer you deeper functionality that’s tailored to the minutiae of your business processes. Or, on the human side, they can support smoother implementations because they’ve established best practices and can help you anticipate obstacles.
Another reason domain expertise matters: it’s how your FSM provider can help you apply new technology in the most effective ways for your business.
It’s nice to have AI, AR, analytics and other tools to leverage in your field service operations. But too often we hear of providers who tell customers, “Here’s an AI engine. Go do what you want with it.” Do they know how AI can actually help you solve specific problems, like reducing truck rolls or raising first-time fix rates? Maybe the FSM vendor can help you gather data on reasons for truck rolls, or parts ordered. But without domain knowledge, they might not know how to apply these tools in ways that add value, like enabling the average technician to complete one additional job per day and save the company $1.6 million per year. If your FSM provider is going to teach you a business case for AI, they’ve got to know your business.
CSG has especially deep expertise with communications service providers (CSPs), which is how we understand and even anticipate FSM needs for cable/telco brands of all sizes. And while CSPs are what we’re known for, we have a cloud-based platform that’s modular toward a variety of industries that manage mobile workforces.
FSM isn’t a one-size-fits-all market. So regardless of whether your FSM provider has deep expertise in your industry, we believe they should at least focus on your business problem, and provide the right technology to solve it.
If you haven’t yet, be sure to download the Gartner Magic Quadrant report to learn more (Gartner client login required).
Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Field Service Management, Jim Robinson, Naved Rashid, 31 August 2021
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