Kris Oldland deliver’s his editorial leader in issue 17 of Field Service News where our theme was the ever changing nature of field service…
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Now any regular readers of this column will know that I’m a big fan of change.
Not that I think change needs to be wholesale and sweeping. No I subscribe much more to the journey of continuous improvement method of change. I like the concept of constant refinement, of being in constant Beta.
As a result of such an outlook I do tend to focus on innovation quite closely, which is a happy coincidence that there seems to be constant innovation within the field service sector too.
Even, the changing skill-profile of the field engineer as an incoming generation replaces an ageing outgoing one.
But the change referred to in this edition of Field Service News is actually a completely different type of change and for once I found myself wondering if such seismic change within our industry is good for us.
“The message from almost all camps is that it is business as usual just with bigger expectations, and quicker developments. On the surface it all sounds great…”
In the last 18 months we have seen most of the big names in field service management solutions being acquired. Tesseract, IFS, ServiceMax, ClickSoftware, Telogis, and most recently ServicePower have all been bought up and that’s just a few from the top of my head.
There are many, many more.
The thing is that all of these companies had a common thread that allowed them to thrive in our industry. They were all independent companies who truly understood and cared about field service.
If I recall correctly the redesign of Solarvista a few years back took 3 MILLION lines of code, more than it takes to send a shuttle up to the space station, there are far easier sectors to enter, far easier places to make money as a software provider.
But it was the passion to help drive service forwards that was at the heart of many of these companies’ success.
Colin Brown former MD and founder at Tesseract for example came from an engineer background himself, so he got the challenges that companies were facing and was able to tailor that into a series of industry first solutions (i.e. first windows based solution, first browser based solution, first SaaS solution).
Similarly, Dave Yarnold, CEO at ServiceMax has spoken at great length about the importance of service – even going as far as to described ServiceMax once as a Field Service Enablement company who happen to use technology to do so.
And while Yarnold, remains on board in ServiceMax’s new guise as part of the GE Brand one just hopes that is infectious enthusiasm for great service delivery isn’t diluted by being in a bigger pond.
Indeed, the message from almost all camps is that it is business as usual just with bigger expectations, and quicker developments. On the surface it all sounds great and I must admit that it is fantastic to see the field service sector become such hot property globally – it’s just when so many great independent companies are bought within quick succession of each other it does make me a little nervous.
All Change maybe fine, just not at once, is all I’m asking.