Remote Field Service Innovation, Accelerated by the Pandemic and Forever Changed for the Better


As the vaccine rollout continues and the end is in sight for a managed pandemic, the continuing impact of COVID-19 has seen many workers, students, and others resign themselves to their homes with mandates restricting them for months. To accommodate this, the turn to growing virtual productivity platforms from the onset of the pandemic has been tremendous, with many businesses using this to their advantage. It allowed service providers to fix problems proactively and therefore avoid on-site services that may compromise employee safety or just be impossible due to lack of access to closed buildings. The enormous value of this technology in relation to the pandemic made it useful throughout many industries that caused an expansive growth in Connected Field Service (CFS) that might have otherwise been embraced at a much slower rate. 

Benefits of connected field service
Now a part of the majority of people's daily lives, Connected Field Service has become a prerequisite for the success of various industries. Transitioning from the typical break-fix model, Connected Field Service has revised this into an entirely proactive and predictive service model that utilizes multiple facets of asset maintenance, IoT diagnostics, scheduling, and inventory management on a single platform. By using Connected Field Service, companies can:

  • Address and even resolve issues more effectively through remote monitoring of devices and better customer communication
  • Connect IoT devices to diagnose issues before they become apparent for customers to reduce possible downtime
  • Utilize diagnostic device data to aid in making alert decisions around service maintenance, thus increasing productivity

FSM market size projected to increase
As an obvious choice for customers hoping to maximize their productivity and safety throughout the pandemic, the use of Connected Field Service has become exceedingly widespread at a constantly accelerating rate, as stated in a 2020 report on Fortune Business Insights, "the global Field Service Management (FSM) market size was USD 2.54 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 7.09 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 13.8% during the forecast period." The report then goes on to suggest that "technologically developed field services would address the challenges and risks of COVID-19. Cutting-edge technologies and the adoption of mobile-based and connected FSM solutions are allowing field workers to complete their job from remote locations. So, mobile workers can complete field tasks by maintaining their safety and well-being during the pandemic time."

Covid-19 acceleration of innovation
As CEO of Israel-based Cloud of Things, a provider of Connected Field Service technologies that include various devices, gateways, and management software delivered through Microsoft Azure Cloud, Avner Ziv had this to say on how COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of connected field service. "IoT and connected operations have been a buzzword for a decade; this year, it came out of the "Consider and Evaluate" corner into the "Actual work plan" position. We see lots of product companies understand that they cannot keep shipping un-connected products to the market; they need to provide remote assistance and on-line operations as part of their basic offering. Cloud of Things has the most practical way to get there without "breaking the bank." Every week we show product companies how they can turn their product into a "Smart and Connected" product in no time at all."

Harnessing the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud of Things is offering the DeviceTone Genie, which enables manufacturers and service companies to improve their competitiveness and overall revenues through improved visibility of products and customer usage. In combination with Prodware's implementation and consulting services for market-leading Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service, the DeviceTone Genie brings together plug & play "smart" device technology to set up and run connected maintenance operations.

As an end-to-end service value proposition, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service caters to a variety of stakeholders within company infrastructures, including technicians, customers, and operators. 

Corporate Innovation Director for Prodware, Arik Center, states, "Connected Field Service is no longer an option but something that every company with a field service practice should add to its services mix for business continuity, additional revenue streams, and happy customers. COVID continues to teach a global lesson, and in this case, it is about embracing innovation now, not just to grow but to stay alive.  We are having interesting discussions with our manufacturing and field service customers on how they can make that shift, and that's why accessible tech like DeviceTone Genie is so welcome to break down barriers."

Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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