“Complex” – that word can be scary, and mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. In the context of technology purchases, it is often taboo – no one wants their software to be complex – we want easy and simple! But the same breath, the decision maker will also provide a long list of system requirements that must be met for success. We all want simple, but simple is a moot point if the reasons you need the software in the first place are not met. Asset and equipment-centric field service providers commonly have complex service needs. And it requires a solution that can meet those complex needs.

In the context of field service, “complex” is not a bad thing. On the contrary, some of the biggest areas of ROI for field service management are areas we consider part of complex service. And a lot of different words are used to describe complex service. At ServiceMax, we use the term asset-centric or asset-centricity. Gartner has used complex service, asset-centric and equipment-centric to describe these same types of needs. Whatever they are called, these areas are so important that the recent Gartner “Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management, 2020”, its companion report, “Critical Capabilities for Field Service Management, 2020”, both give ample air time to covering it. It is one of only three use cases that Gartner has scored in the Critical Capabilities report (the other two are high volume scheduling and equipment as a service).

Gartner’s definition of the “Complex Service & Support” use case states “heavy diagnosis and planning is needed to scope work orders, while on-site resolution by staff or subcontractors requires significant time and/or support. Organizations with this use case service complex equipment.” (pg 26, Gartner, Critical Capabilities for FSM, 2019) In 2020, they added, “Individual technicians are very specialized and technician enablement via mobile apps is often most important.“ (Page 3, Gartner, Critical Capabilities for FSM, 2020)

Just how important is this complex service use case? Gartner notes in the Magic Quadrant that understanding whether this use case is important for you is the primary way you should be narrowing your list of potential vendors. “Prospective customers should first narrow their lists of potential suppliers according to the nature of the service required. At the highest level, most organizations fall into one or both of the following categories:

  • Organizations with a high volume of work orders per technician per day and high schedule volatility
  • Organizations with complex, or both complex and high-volume, service requirements”*

ServiceMax also believes that complex service is critical. So much so that we have focused the majority of our recent R&D efforts on areas that fall under the complex service bucket. We are incredibly proud to report that ServiceMax was scored highest for Complex Service and Support in the Gartner Critical Capabilities for Field Service Management, 2020, with a score of 4.04 out of 5 – the highest individual use case score given to any vendor in all three use cases.

What is in complex service?

  • Support for emerging maintenance models (for example, usage-based, outcome-based service, equipment as a service)
  • Preventive, proactive and predictive maintenance
  • Warranty management
  • Depot repair
  • Parts logistics, planning & sourcing
  • RMAs/reverse logistics
  • Multi-experience support channels such as chatbots
  • Real-time technician collaboration
  • Technician pre-trip preparation and safety
  • Knowledge management
  • Mobile platform and app extensibility
  • Support for complex or regulatory mobile forms
  • IoT data orchestration
  • Performance management (dashboards and reports)
  • Subcontractor enablement and management
  • Customer engagement
  • Workforce engagement

Interested in reading more about what Gartner has to say on Complex Service? These reports are available on ServiceMax.com in our analyst reports section under Resources.

ABOUT Susan Tonkin

Susan TonkinSusan Tonkin is the former manager of analyst relations and product marketing at ServiceMax and a regular webinar speaker and writer on field service topics. Susan joined ServiceMax in 2011, spearheading analyst relations and product launch activities as ServiceMax grew exponentially. Prior to joining ServiceMax, she spent more than a decade managing product marketing at Cloud and Enterprise software companies such as Saba and Extensity; working regularly with customers, analysts and partners to bring exciting products to market. Susan holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration from Saint Mary’s College of California.