VSI Putting Its Service Management Feelers Out




For many manufacturers, aftermarket sales and service is where they cement a valued customer experience. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution providers are beginning to recognize that manufacturing companies now view aftermarket service as a strategic initiative. Along these lines, several ERP firms have announced partnerships with Vertical Solutions Inc. (VSI) to extend their solutions for companies to connect back-office and service operations. VSI develops VServiceManagement (VSM), a post-sales service management solution that manages the entire service lifecycle, including maintenance repair operations (MRO) and field service management (FSM), for business processes such as service requests and service level agreement (SLA)/entitlement management, dispatching, and “store and forward” field mobility.
 
VSM is available as a traditional on-premise solution, via private cloud, or as a SaaS/public cloud solution. The suite’s key features include the following:
 
  • inventory visibility, workload balancing, and SLA adherence;
  • service contracts and warranty entitlements management;
  • business process management (BPM) functionality;
  • fully integrated dispatch and scheduling using technician skill sets, work load, inventory, request status, predictive maintenance programs, SLA, travel time, and other constraints;
  • integration with numerous contact channels, including unified communications (UC), for service request creation;
  • integration with multiple enterprise systems, including inventory, logistics, and ERP; and
  • HTML5 online/offline mobility supporting iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
 
VSI in the Microsoft Dynamics Ecosystem
 
There were three VSI partnership announcements at the recently held Microsoft Convergence 2014 conference. Cincom Systems will resell VSI's enterprise service lifecycle management (SLM) solution VSM to enhance its Cincom Business Suite. VSI’s Cincinnati software peer Cincom Systems is a Microsoft Global independent software vendor (ISV) for manufacturing, and the Cincom Business Suite is an advanced version of Microsoft Dynamics AX designed specifically for manufacturers of highly engineered products.
 
In addition, Blue Horseshoe has added VSI’s VSM solution to its supply chain solution stack for Microsoft Dynamics AX. The firm will resell the VSI solution, and team with VSI to deploy the integrated solutions to joint Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 customers. Blue Horseshoe sells and implements Microsoft Dynamics, and also develops the Supply Chain Suite for Dynamics AX, a business process platform comprised of advanced supply chain management (SCM) solutions that extend the base functionality of Microsoft's Dynamics AX ERP solution.
 
Last but not least, VSI is integrating live streaming video from Vidcie within VSM. This joint solution aims to enable companies to bring issues to experts, rather than simply dispatch experts to the field, sometimes on a fishing expedition only. Companies can now better leverage senior and expert technicians, improving both call resolution times and customer satisfaction.
 
Vidcie’s streaming video solution connects technicians and experts in real time, is hands-free, and operates across all mobile networks. Field technicians will be able to simply click a button from within VSM on mobile devices to connect via live video stream to one or more of their company’s expert resources for help with troubleshooting and repair. Supervisors will be able to log in, monitor, and watch any service call. Each interaction will be able to be recorded and saved in the client record within VSM, as well as repurposed within the company’s knowledge base.

 
Built for NetSuite Too
 
Most recently, VSI announced that its flagship VSM solution has achieved 'Built for NetSuite’ verification. Built for NetSuite is a program for NetSuite SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN) partners that provides them with information, resources, and a method to verify that their applications and integrations, built using the NetSuite SuiteCloud Computing Platform, meet the latest NetSuite standards and best practices. The ‘Built for NetSuite' program is designed to give NetSuite customers additional confidence that SuiteApps (such as VSM now) have been built to meet these standards.
 
With these high-profile relationships generating additional demand for SLM solutions, VSI’s new customer pipeline is reportedly quite healthy, which will likely mean some significant headcount expansion in the foreseeable future. At the moment, the privately held company has about 40 employees and customers, and those numbers should significantly increase down the track.
 
 
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