Noventum and Salesforce help to take Field Service to the next level

On Thursday, 22 March 2018, Noventum and Salesforce hosted a series of roundtable discussions, as well as a demonstration, on why organisations should elevate their field service to the next level, and how this can be accomplished. The event was held at the Classic Park, a classic car museum in Boxtel, the Netherlands, and participants came from a mix of organisations operating in many different industries, ranging from health care providers to machine manufacturers.

The participants were first given a brief introduction on what both Salesforce and Noventum do in the area of Field Service. At the first roundtable discussion, Hilbrand Rustema, Managing Director of Noventum, explained Noventum’s Service Maturity Model and why product-oriented organisations need to become service driven. Through discussions and the use of examples of organisations that have already gone through this transformation successfully, participants got to share where they were in terms of service transformation, the challenges they face, and how they intend to address them.

The second roundtable discussion addressed business and technology trends that impact service organisations. What emerged from this discussion was that several organisations find it challenging to find qualified technicians/staff, but that technology such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can help address this issue. Some companies in fact, have already started using AR and VR. One example is a company that uses smart glasses to assist technicians and in the future customers, onsite. Another example is a company that uses 3D printing to create parts for older machines being that these parts are difficult to obtain.

The Salesforce team demonstrated an end-to-end field service scenario of how the Salesforce Internet of Things (IoT) cloud and Salesforce Field Service Lightning work together. A case was automatically created from an event received from a device, in this case a motion sensor. In turn, a work order was generated, scheduled, planned and assigned to a field technician. The work order was then fulfilled by a technician using the Salesforce Field Service mobile app.

For the third and final roundtable discussion, Noventum’s structured service design process was presented which led to a discussion about the approach companies have used to date to develop (IoT-enabled) services, and the challenges they encounter while doing so. The interactive afternoon ended with a guided tour through the museum. This was followed by drinks.

Key take away from the roundtables include:

1. Service organisations need to transform from a product to a service driven organisation. Several companies are heading in this direction but have taken different approaches. A more structural approach, however, would be needed to deliver real results.

2. Companies are aware of the megatrends that impact the service business and are looking for ways to address these by adopting technology. However, what this exactly means, the potential impact and the best way to address it, is not clear.

3. A flexible and scalable technology platform such as that provided by Salesforce is a key enabler to become a customer-oriented and service driven organisation, and to be able to anticipate the megatrends.

Is ‘work harder and cut costs’ the only option?