Microsoft has reached an agreement to acquire FieldOne Systems, a provider of field service management solutions that allow organizations to better manage and deliver service to their customers in the field.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM corporate vice-president, Bob Stutz, announced the acquisition in a blog post,
He wrote: "In today’s connected world, people expect to engage and be engaged by organisations in new ways, in ways that are most convenient for them. To help businesses respond to these changing expectations, we are committed to providing the most comprehensive customer service offering, and this includes the best field service capabilities.
"Field service management is a specific but critically important area of customer service, providing companies with the ability to deliver end-to-end field service. This is a unique, and transformational point in time for these solutions as enterprises look to improve their responsiveness to customers with service in the field – taking service directly to the customer anytime a service cannot be managed by phone or other channels."
Stutz said that in this critical area, FieldOne stood out. It had the baseline functionality that organisations needed to drive a more effective field service operation. it was a leading provider of end-to-end solutions that enable businesses to drive revenue, reduce costs and deliver great customer service.
FieldOne's solution specialised in delivering a full set of capabilities that included work order management, automated scheduling, asset contract, inventory and procurement management, workflow capabilities and mobile collaboration – providing enterprises with a comprehensive modern field service solution. This gave companies the ability to do things such as adjusting routing on the fly and delivering service arrival estimate times within a smaller window, which is essential for more personal customer engagement.
"FieldOne is a great fit for Dynamics CRM adding to our extensive customer service capabilities – which includes chat, knowledge management and self-service functionality from Parature which we acquired in January of 2014.
"Like Parature, FieldOne is offered to customers as a cloud service. It’s built on Microsoft technology for fast integration, it already works great with other Microsoft productivity offerings like Office 365 and SharePoint, and has cross-platform capabilities meaning it can work on different devices enhancing the mobile experience which is so critically important in field service management. FieldOne was built from the ground up to leverage Dynamics CRM, and this means that our customers can take advantage of its capabilities right away," Stutz said.
Local FieldOne specialist, Dialog, welcomed Microsoft's acquisition of the company.Read more: Telstra goes up a gear with 4G Car Wi-Fi device
Dialog Dynamics Field Service Solutions national practice manager, Terry Ryan, said, “This acquisition is tremendous news for us and all our clients as it reinforces the decision to adopt the FieldOne solution.
"Microsoft’s purchase of the FieldOne means Field Service Organisations now have a mainstream best of breed solution to adopt which will improve service efficiencies, customer satisfaction and grow revenue.”
In a press release, Dialog said that, in 2013, it recognised customer demand for field service management software was being driven by the need for mobile software, Cloud-based solutions and was looking for a solution for its own clients.
FieldOne, with its deep functionality and flexibility derived from being built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, made it Dialog’s choice, and so a strategic alliance as its A/NZ partner was formed.
FieldOne's growth captured the attention of Microsoft which selected it earlier this year to join its Strategic Global Independent Software Vendor (ISV) program.
Microsoft has since identified field service management software as a rapidly growing market, and as such made the decision to acquire the company, Dialog said in the statement.
Since then, Dialog’s FieldOne team has been responsible for the successful rollout FieldOne solutions here in A/NZ.
Stutz said that the acquisition reflected the investments Microsoft is making to deliver true systems of intelligence – enhancing its current offerings with predictive learning and analytics to deliver an intelligent, proactive customer engagement solution.
"Field service businesses are aggressively trying to move away from a reactive break-fix model to a predictive service based model. With this acquisition, Microsoft can help companies tap the potential of predictive service by bringing together the powerful combination of FieldOne, Azure IoT and Cortana Analytics. That means that organisations can use insights that effectively provide servicing proactively while streamlining the provisioning of service to significantly reduce costs,"he wrote.