This century has not only witnessed the development of innovative new technologies. It has also seen the reimagining of new technologies for uniquely new functions. The field services industry has taken huge leaps forward into the 21st century by embracing these top six tech trends of 2017.
#1 Virtual Assistants: Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality
It is hardly surprising that the wearables industry is set to be worth over $34 billion by 2020 considering how many companies are rethinking their business models to incorporate this technology into their strategies. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) make it possible to work in virtual or augmented spaces to investigate issues and test out solutions by, for example, gathering additional information about a machine simply by looking at it (through AR glass perhaps) and determining how a machine might work before it has been manufactured. This technology is revolutionizing field services by, for example, giving field service technicians the opportunity to look inside of a machine and assess potential problems before dismantling it, or even consult with experts in virtual meeting spaces if they need assistance with an issue.
For more information about AR and VR we suggest the following article: Enhancing Field Sevice with Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
The Internet of Things denotes the trends towards connectivity between devices and machines using online communications. By 2020, there will be 24 billion IoT devices operating around the globe and close to $6 trillion invested in IoT solutions. That amounts to the amassing and collection of large amounts of valuable data on people and machines. A big tech trend in 2017 has seen the field services industry exploiting this data to vastly improve the provision of services. In particular, field service managers have seized on the opportunity to usher in the age of predictive maintenance: using data provided by machine sensors to detect potential breakdowns before they occur. This technology, which has been hugely successful at preventing operational shutdowns, is helping many field service providers satisfy their customer satisfaction KPIs.
Also Read: 5 IoT Facts Which Influences Field Service
#3 Digital Twins
Thanks to this 2017 tech trend, which has fused sensor technology with simulations, tech companies are able to use virtual digital clones to determine how a device will behave in different scenarios without first manufacturing it. This helps minimize potential defects or issues in the production process. In addition, upon completion of the final product, the virtual clones can be connected to sensors on the finished machines. Field service managers have also been using the information collected and analysis thereof by these digital twins to detect future technical problems and offer predictive maintenance to customers. As you can see, predictive maintenance is one of 2017’s biggest breakthroughs in the field service’s industry.
For more details about digital twins read the article: Tech Trend 2017 - The Advantage of Digital Twins in Field Service
#4 Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic since way before 2017. However, the latest enable field service managers to capitalize on the masses of data by implementing AI scheduling into their business strategies. This kind of intelligent planning is making it possible to quickly pair the best available service technician to the problem at hand. It takes into account the service technician’s skill set, availability and location to ensure that the best service technician shows up for the job. This increases first-time fixes and minimizes time wasted shuttling between field service locations leading to greater customer satisfaction and company revenue.
Do you want to learn more about AI and the difference to artificial general intelligence and artificial super intelligence? Then read this article: The Difference Between Artificial Intelligence, Artificial General intelligence and Artificial Super Intelligence
#5 Voice Recognitation like Amazon’s Alexa
Amazon’s Alexa is becoming a symbol for smart home technology. A quick command to Alexa, which uses IoT technology to connect home and mobile devices, can turn on lights, start up Netflix, and even create a shopping list. The most innovative field service providers are seizing on this device’s potential to facilitate the customer experience by allowing them to schedule field service appointments by issuing a command to Alexa. No more calls to the customer service center, or online forms, or even mobile devices. A quick request to Alexa and an appointment is scheduled.
Watch the video with a live demonstration how a service call can be scheduled at the date and time of choice simply by giving the details to Alexa: Video
# 6 Crowd Services
All of the above mentioned innovations have one major point in common. They have made it possible to detect and react quickly to customer issues. However, being able to recognize technical problems is hardly a benefit if a field service provider lacks the manpower to address these issues. That is why many successful field service providers have turned to the crowd service solution: a network of qualified and certified service technicians made up of business partners and subcontractors as well as freelancers. This concept gives field service providers access to a workforce that is 5-10 times larger with no additional fixed costs. But, more importantly, it makes it possible for them to satisfy the ever-increasing customer demand for real-time field services.
Read the white paper: Understanding Crowd Service Solutions: The Evolution Of Field Service to discover why the only way forward is to combine FSM with crowd service technology.