Inside Look at the Success of Cloud Field Service Provider ServiceMax-Part 1




TEC’s recent article on IFS’ recent success in the field service management (FSM) market by no means implies that other FSM players are not prospering. Indeed, one of those players is ServiceMax, which is garnering quite a bit of attention in the field service market, and more than doubles its revenues, receivables, pipeline production, and bookings each year. It also provides one of the most vibrant applications on the salesforce.com’s AppExchange marketplace. AppExchange currently features more than 1,700 solutions with 1.6 million installs and $700 (USD) in total revenue for salesforce.com’s ecosystem. Reports indicate that 70 percent of the Fortune 100 companies have installed an app from the marketplace. And TEC has recently reported on other Salesforce Platform–based AppExchange products such as Rootstock Software (see the post), Vana Workforce (see the report) and Inforce by Infor (see the report). 

ServiceMax Background

In the late 1990s, ServiceMax’s three co-founders founded Maxplore Technologies. Maxplore was a consulting company focused on customer relationship management (CRM) and specifically field service software implementations. In the mid-2000s, one of Maxplore customers was implementing salesforce.com and asked Maxplore whether the company would be willing to build a field service module on the Force.com platform. When the project was completed early and under budget, the Maxplore team knew they were onto something. They proceeded to build a fully functioning field service application (from contract entitlements to scheduling and workforce optimization, to inventory and parts logistics, and real-time customer and partner portal access) and listed it on the AppExchange in 2007. Later that year, they entered the solution in the “AppExchange Challenge” at the Dreamforce 2007 conference and won $2 million (USD) in funding from Emergence Capital. They then changed the company name to ServiceMax and launched the company as we know it today.

Most recently, ServiceMax completed a D round of funding ($27 million) with Crosslink Ventures. The company currently operates with 150 employees in its Pleasanton headquarters near San Francisco, California, and offices in New York, London, and Bangalore. ServiceMax provides global businesses with support for multiple currencies as well as 11 languages, including English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified & Traditional), Portuguese (Brazilian), Korean, Dutch, and Italian. In last six years, the vendor has acquired 180 customers ranging from globally recognizable brands to small and midsized businesses. Customers include large enterprises such as DuPont, Electrolux, and Elekta, and smaller companies such as McKinley Equipment and Kinetico.

Cloud, Social & Mobile FSM Transformer?

ServiceMax’ success can be partly attributed to salesforce.com not having its own field service solution, though the latter company’s Service Cloud offering is its fastest-growing business. This is not surprising in this so-called “service economy,” as overall manufacturing revenue from services has increased from 8.9 to 42.2 percent from 1990 to 2005. Many sales cloud customers need field service software, as field service is everywhere—in homes, offices, factories, hospitals, etc. ServiceMax customers can be found in several industries such as hi-tech manufacturing, industrial manufacturing and equipment, life sciences and medical equipment, utilities, communication equipment, and residential and home services.

In a nutshell, ServiceMax provides an end-to-end FSM suite in the cloud (see figure 1). The vendor has large multinational enterprise clients using ServiceMax Suite, as well as service provider clients with small, local teams of technicians using the ServiceMax Orange edition. The ideal prospective customer is rethinking its strategy for delivering service in the field, not just cutting costs in a single area such as scheduling or inventory management. The “traditional” players in field service have typically fallen into the following two buckets:

  1. “Specialist” vendors with a single area of expertise (e.g., scheduling), but that are incapable of supporting the full field service lifecycle, e.g., ClickSoftware, ViryaNet, and TOA Technologies.

  2. FSM suite or ERP vendors offering broader capabilities, but that lack sufficient innovation for providing mobile, social, and cloud operability, e.g., SAP, Oracle, PTC, Astea, Ventyx, and IFS.


 sm_product_graphic_rev2_high_res.jpg

Figure 1

With its broad suite of cloud-based, collaborative, and mobile field service applications, ServiceMax enables its customers to optimize their operations. For example, with the ServiceMax iPad app, field service reps can quickly provide current status of their appointments and collaborate on contracts and customer warranties in Salesforce Chatter–based ServicePulse, bringing together technicians and data feeds from assets into a dynamic conversation thread to maximize scheduling and efficiency. In addition, ServiceMax' cloud subscription model is ideal for service managers operating with limited access to capital budgets and heavy initial information technology (IT) investments.

Recent Developments

ServiceMax has been delivering new features at a breakneck pace since 2007. It has unveiled its own HTML5-based set of mobile applications that meet the demands of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon. ServiceMax’s iPad app is still native to Apple iOS (see figure 2), but its core solution uses HTML5, allowing for deployments to any device or platform through a browser, as well as a consistent user experience on a browser, tablet, laptop, and smartphone. The company’s mobile apps are agnostic to the operating system and carrier, and can be designed once and deployed anywhere on Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and iPad.

 ipad.png

Figure 2

Another recent development is an enhanced OptiMax module for workforce scheduling optimization. There is reportedly a great deal of interest in the market for OptiMax. Several of ServiceMax’ top enterprise customers (e.g., Pitney Bowes and Tyco) with large field service workforces have purchased and made plans to rollout OptiMax in the second half of 2013. The majority of customers (both in the enterprise and mid-market segments) generally address their scheduling needs using ServiceMax’ current basic scheduling capabilities, and plan their OptiMax implementation as phase 2 and 3 rollouts.

Prospective customers that are not Salesforce Platform shops and/or interested in the cloud-only model may not opt for ServiceMax; however, ServiceMax has been successful at building a strong pipeline for its solution outside of the salesforce.com’s installed base. The pricing model can sometimes be confusing when trying to determine which modules of ServiceMax and Service Cloud are needed. But ServiceMax has made this easier for customers by negotiating an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement that enables ServiceMax to include ServiceMax and necessary capabilities from Service Cloud for one price. Finally, at this stage, ServiceMax’ reverse logistics and advanced scheduling optimization engine (OptiMax) are still unproven with references, giving IFS, TOA Technologies, Click Software, and other competitors some maneuvering space.

In part 2 of this blog post series, we discuss the aforementioned issues and ServiceMax’ current state of affairs with Stacey Epstein‚ vice president of marketing at ServiceMax. 

Recommended Reading
 
comments powered by Disqus