Slug: ServicePower
Date: 2014 - 04 - 22
Location:  ServicePower, Tyson's Corner, Virginia
Caption: ServicePower - Marne Martin CEO

Industry Leaders: Marne Martin, ServicePower: Part 2

Oct 29 • Features, Interview, Software and Apps • 2129 Views • No Comments on Industry Leaders: Marne Martin, ServicePower: Part 2

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In the first part of this exclusive interview with Marne Martin, CEO of ServicePower we looked at the development of their product suite with the recent launch of NEXUS FSTM giving them a great platform to drive forward with Martin admitting that there will be a big focus on sales execution in the coming year as they see to capitalise on the considerable investment and resources they have put into developing and refining their product.

So in this the concluding part of this interview we ask just what what sector are they looking to conquer?

Well one of the advantages Martin sees ServicePower having over their competitors is that they are ideally placed to work across a broad spectrum of field service organisations.

“If you think of where we are now I like to describe us as in the middle of the triangle.” Martin begins.

You have ClickSoftware at the top and then ServiceMax and Service Bench in the two bottom corners. We sit in the inside of the triangle competing in all those areas. Each corner has slightly different focus but we are able to start looking at the markets and verticals of all three of those.”

“So you have ClickSoftware at the top and then ServiceMax and Service Bench in the two bottom corners. We sit in the inside of the triangle competing in all those areas. Each corner has slightly different focus but we are able to start looking at the markets and verticals of all three of those.”

“It gives us a very broad spectrum if we can compete directly where Click compete, where ServiceMax competes, where Service Bench competes that gives us a lot of business to go after and that is why sales execution is going to be very interesting as we go after that business.” Explains Martin.

It’s a bold strategy, that will see the UK based company, whose US offices are in Virginia taking on all comers, even ServiceMax who they also work with as a partner on occasion and whilst Martin clearly has respect for her Californian

based rivals, she also believes ServicePower are well placed to compete with them for business.

“I think ServiceMax validated that in the field service sector you really can go after the SMBs and the enterprise” she comments before adding “but the issue a little bit with ServiceMax of course is the cost, as a SaaS only solution it is quite an expensive solution and does has both the pros and the cons of being built right on the Salesforce ecosystem.”

“So we worked with NEXUS FSTM to have a technology that is actually very scalable at a lower cost point. That will enable us to go in at a good and attractive price point and demonstrate real ROI to a lot of the SMB segment as well be able to scale that with functionality to the enterprise market as it’s very versatile and modular.”

ServicePower now have a number of patents currently being filed having worked with KPP and Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK – an area Martin believes is a hotbed for emerging technology focussed talent.

However, as mentioned above, whilst the ServicePower team are gearing up for an eventful few years in the short term, Martin has an eye on the long term as well.

ServicePower now have a number of patents currently being filed having worked with KPP and Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK – an area Martin believes is a hotbed for emerging technology focussed talent.

“I’m a little bit of a technology nerd in the sense that I have always been involved with companies that have a lot of technology patents and interest in patents” confesses Martin “I firmly believe there is a ton of excellent technology developed there (in the UK) because there are still a lot of people studying maths and sciences in the UK and the quality of the technology is great there.”

And the area of this investment in technology is all focussed on developing the next-generation of algorithms to drive field service management scheduling forwards.

As Martin explained “Our simulated annealing algorithms is excellent, its very versatile and it works across a broad variety of verticals. But when you think about the future you want to get algorithms that use less meta-data and work faster and more efficiently.”

“You need to start thinking about not just optimising the work-flow and technicians but how do we start bringing in predictive analytics, more integration touch points and all these Big Data elements. To do that you really need to go to the next level.”

“You need to start thinking about not just optimising the work-flow and technicians but how do we start bringing in predictive analytics, more integration touch points and all these Big Data elements. To do that you really need to go to the next level.” She adds.

“That’s where we started doing the investment with some people in Manchester Metropolitan University looking at Quantum Annealing.”

“What’s interesting with the ServiceScheduling product, and this is one of the reasons it has always performed so well, is it never allows a bad schedule. When it optimises in the process it runs through various optimisation scenarios and then only writes that change if it is definitely better.”

“What quantum will do is do this in a more efficient way and faster. If simulated annealing takes an one-minute of optimisation to get to a result, we want something that will take 15 seconds to get to a result.”

“It also will enable us to migrate the product into the next generation.” Martin comments before explaining further

“Rather than a boring discussion on how do you keep re-writing the existing product, when we look forward five years we want to have a new back-end engine based on quantum annealing, so ideally we would have that in two to three years and that will fit in with a lot of the predictive capabilities that are in demand especially by the larger enterprises to day.”

Such vision and desire to innovate whilst also building the business in the current is impressive, however for Martin it really is a simple case of wanting to build a product that will become a significant player within the field service industries for many years to come.

It is also the biggest differentiator she can build between her companies and her competitors who she feels are not pushing the boundaries as much as they perhaps should be.

“Even if you look at SAP and Oracle and other big players, there really is very limited true technology innovation.” Martin states.

“ServiceMax doesn’t use any algorithms, the TOA algorithm is older, ClickSoftware uses so many algorithms that it makes its very complicated when training, or at least it makes it very labour intensive.”

“ServiceMax doesn’t use any algorithms, the TOA algorithm is older, ClickSoftware uses so many algorithms that it makes its very complicated when training, or at least it makes it very labour intensive.”

“We want to keep driving superior results for the field service organisations but do it with technology that makes their life easy not complicated.”

Indeed whilst Martin is eloquent and laid back during our interview, she also clearly has plenty of belief in her product line which shines through our conversation.

“I’m very passionate about our product suite; I’ll put our products up against everybody, especially as we continue finishing off the road map of where we are going.” She states boldly.

“It’s coming together slowly but surely and steadily and us being able to do this across the next 12, 24, 36 months it’s going to be phenomenal.”

“We want to make sure that we are setting up a company that can continue growing in the immediate future but we also want to set up one that can keep growing for twenty years as an exciting field service player.”

Although they may not be ploughing that path alone, as Martin alluded to a soon to be announced partnership with Thingworx to add to their IoT partners, with the potential for other partnerships along the way.

“I am very much a partner person and one of the things that I have always cared about is not thinking business is an environment where I win by someone else losing. Instead we have to find ways with our partners and with our customers where we all win.” She states

“I think there is enough opportunities that even through a partner ecosystem, both should be generating profit whilst still delivering ROI to our customers.”

“I think there is enough opportunities that even through a partner ecosystem, both should be generating profit whilst still delivering ROI to our customers.”

And this is at the core of Martin’s thinking when it comes to partnerships, delivering customer ROI must remain at the very hear of any conversation.

“My approach is I will partner with whomever is going to be a good partner as long as we can deliver real return on investment for our customers.” Adds Martin.

“Those partnerships that are all about window dressing and marketing, that the customers don’t get value from, well they may be nice but in the end its all about customer value.”

With a steady growth trajectory, a desire to innovate continuously and a firm grasp of the most important factor of all – delivering customer value, ServicePower under Martin’s guidance are certainly on the right track.

With an active sales approach being the adopted in 2016 there is a fair chance you’ll be speaking to someone in the ServicePower sales team at some point next year. Given the vision and direction of ServicePower , I’d say that when the call does come, you may well want to listen.

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