Well it’s certainly been an interesting few months…
I think the only place I can start this column is the Service Management Expo which ran in mid June. As a brand Service Management Expo (or Service Management Europe) has been around nearly as long as the Service Management Technology industry has existed. Indeed this was the exhibition’s 30th Anniversary so it is an event that has long served our community.
However, it has been far from a steady ride for what is still Europe’s largest event of it’s kind. The brand has changed ownership a number of times over the years, as well as venues and co-located partner shows. It’s been a standalone show of it’s own, sat with alongside a call centre event one year, facilities management another and this year was part of an all encompassing ‘protection and management’ series which current show organisers UBM put together at the London Excel.
Perhaps this is the problem with our little universe. Whilst field service and service management sit neatly across a whole range of other industries the challenges Service Managers and Directors face, and the solutions to those challenges are largely specific to field service. So whilst field service spans across a huge array of different verticals there responsibility for making that service division run smoothly requires a very distinct knowledge base and skill set. With this in mind it is probably understandable that there was a touch of apprehension as to how Service Management Expo would fare it is new home in London’s Excel as the smallest cog in what was in honesty a behemoth of an event?
As one SME veteran put it ‘a little bit of the buzz was back’ a buzz that had perhaps been becoming conspicuous in its absence for the last few years.
Certainly the area surrounding the Field Service Solutions Theatre which was hosted by our good selves had a great feel about it.
Maybe it was the constant stream of excellent, short presentations that we were very proud to have had a hand in arranging that kept people returning to the small auditoria but there was a definite buzz of conversation in the air for large parts of every day.
For me personally the highlight of the Solutions Theatre was the panel debate I hosted featuring Conor O’Neil, Ian Mapp, and Philipp Emennegger where we discussed the Future of Field Service. In fact I enjoyed it so much I invite them back to take part in the panel discussion in this issue which appears on page 18. Also you can find our coverage of SME itself across starting on page 32
However, Service Management Expo wasn’t the only event to run in June.
After the sad loss of Steve Downton earlier this year, it was fantastic to see a group of industry professionals, headed up by Chris Farnarth come together to put on a very special Service Community event which was both dedicated to the memory of Steve (whose wife and daughter were in attendance) but also had a second goal of discussing with the community itself how we can continue to build on Steve’s legacy and keep the Service Community thriving.
The event itself was a truly remarkable day absolutely crammed with presentations from some very seasoned service professionals including Coca-Cola Enterprise’s Mark Rawding, Siemans’ Graham Coyne and Fujitsu’s Martin Summerhayes (who is also interviewed for this issue which appears on page 12) amongst others. Coverage of the whole event begins on page 42
Perhaps the most fitting testament to the day was when the session headed into a breakout session at the end for those who wanted to be part of the conversation of how the Service Community should continue almost two thirds of the 60 or so people that attend remained. Steve’s vision for a non-profit, knowledge sharing community that supported each other was never more evident and we are very proud to be part of helping the community to continue to grow from strength to strength.
So after much change it seems that when it comes to our industry events it remains very much business as usual and on that theme I turn my thoughts to the other event that has dominated the headlines throughout June – the World Cup.
England are on the plane home whilst Argentina, Germany, Brazil and Holland remain in the hunt for glory. Yep. Seems like it’s a case of business as usual everywhere then…