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6 Posts authored by: Deirdre Yee Employee

Earlier this week, we announced our plan to relaunch our ServiceMax Community on a new platform: Lithium. Nicole Guzzo shared some exciting project details, like how we’re opening up our discussion forums to the public and how we reorganized our structure to better enable solutions and to better segment topics.

 

Last blog, Nicole focused on the customer feedback we have gathered. That was just one stop in our journey. Today, I want to highlight a little more of our history, how we have collaborated with customers in the past, and how we have gotten to where we are today.

 

The Beginning

 

We launched our ServiceMax Community in 2014. Over the next few years we added content around events, user groups, the Ideas Exchange, NPS Updates, Training Videos, and more. And our users played a huge part in building up a great library of questions, answers, suggestions, best practices, and things to look out for.

 

In 2017, Jive-X (Jive’s external community business) was acquired by Lithium, a software company that helps businesses connect with their customers on social media and digital channels. You can read more about the acquisition here.

 

What did this mean for ServiceMax?

 

There wasn’t an immediate change to our platform or our support. The Lithium/Jive-x team continued to support our customer community, and we remained focused on building programs, content and new ways to continuously improve the customer experience.

 

We eventually learned that Jive-X would no longer be innovating on their platform. This means that the team would continue to provide bug fixes and maintenance, but there would be no new features.

 

In their Jive-x Customer Welcome FAQ, they shared:

 

To reiterate what we’ve been saying publicly since the acquisition announcement, the Jive-x platform will continue to be supported by Lithium for as long as customers choose to remain on it. While we are not planning to develop new features for Jive-x, we will continue to maintain the platform to ensure it remains a viable product for our customers.”

 

This wasn’t going to be enough for us. We invest in our customer’s experience, and part of that is providing a solid support tool like the ServiceMax Community.

 

According to Socialnomics, 78% of customers trust their peers, while 14% trust advertising. The point of the ServiceMax Community is to give our customers a place where they can exchange advice and stories and support one another. We couldn’t provide first-class community experience for customers to connect if we were on a platform that was no longer evolving.

 

Loving Lithium

 

As I shared in my last blog, Lithium’s ability to address the features our customers wanted to see was key in why we chose their platform. The company also has a long roadmap ahead of them, so our users think of new ideas and ways to improve our community, Lithium will be doing the same.

 

Another key factor was how Lithium could migrate all our users and their content over to the new platform without any major issues. Potentially losing five years of content was not an option for us or our users! Your activity since 2014 will be in the new platform.

 

Other reasons include:

  • The modern look and feel, and how easy it is to configure
  • Their focus on external communities
  • The plethora of knowledge articles and best practice pieces available
  • The success of their own customer community

 

Serving Your Company

 

Along the way, we decided that this community relaunch was the perfect time to introduce a new theme. We know the purpose of our community is to discuss and connect on all things field service and asset service management. Users were asking for more challenges, more fun, more genuine connections across your peers. In response, we wanted a theme to tie together our gamification, our emails, our community spirit, and off-topic discussions and challenges.

 

We are very excited to share with you the theme for our relaunched community:

 

The ServiceMax Community Kitchen: The perfect recipe for field service success.

 

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A lot of thought went into this theme and we considered others like traveling or sporting events, but we truly wanted to be original and give our users something fresh.

 

The idea here behind the theme is whether you’re in the field, or in the kitchen, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes to get to that final, flawless product: a working asset, an amazing meal. Your teams are working hard, and we want to provide a true community where you have peers you can rely on to support them and your customers.

 

Check out our community video below to see how we blended the field service kitchen together.

 

 

We’re debuting our relaunched community on the first week of March. That means we'll need to set the community to read-only mode for a brief period while we migrate users, content, and data. The community will be in read-only mode from March 1st at 12 PM PST until March 5th, when we launch the new platform.

 

We’re very excited for this new chapter, and we hope you are too.

 

More details are coming next week in our Community Migration FAQ blog post!

 

Please share your thoughts and feedback in the comments!

Happy 2018! At the ServiceMax Community team, we are pleased to welcome the new year with a new look, new projects on the horizon, and renewed enthusiasm to host our fantastic, engaged community members.  If you've logged in since December 4th, you won't have missed our new look: we're donning GE blues and are pleased with the new set up here in the community.

 

 

In 2018 we want to make more adjustments, add more spaces, enable more members to join, and do what we can to make this community an open, useful, and enjoyable platform for your continued collaboration and support.  Openness, Transparency, Ease of Use, and Valuable Content are some of our 2018 community tenets.

 

As we begin January, I got to thinking about resolutions. If you are anything like me, you may find the slew of resolution-related 'news' and blogs exhausting and not terribly interesting - a bit like when holiday decorations emerge the day after Halloween here in the US. It can feel a bit gimmicky.

 

At the same time, this time of year provides a great reminder to reflect on the previous year's projects.  I recently underwent a week-long planning session that included reporting data, a refresher on the last year's goals, highlights, gaps, errors, and lessons learned. This collaborative session let our team reflect and then spend a solid chunk of time looking at the next 12 months and beyond. It was hugely beneficial and probably the least gimmicky way to think about future planning. It's hard to carve out time to step back and plan strategically. How often do you get the chance?

 

With the spirit of an empowering future planning as well as our new guiding principles, I took another look at New Year's Resolutions.

 

This article points out that people historically don't do well with New Year's resolutions: Tips for a successful New Year’s resolution | WOTV.com. The Huffington Post says about 100 million Americans make resolutions every year, but only 45 percent follow through with them. That's a pretty big drop off rate and they offer a few tips to keep up with your resolution. One tip suggests that instead of setting a New Year’s resolution for an entire year, you should break it up into smaller segments, like monthly goals.

 

Neil Pasricha has even more dire statistics on resolution achievements in his article in the Toronto Star. He cited the University of Scranton, who showed that only 8 per cent of people actually maintain their New Year’s resolutions and US News reports that 80 per cent of all resolutions end up being dropped by February. Pasricha's article is all about setting up personal dashboards instead of traditional resolutions. His dashboard setup is compelling in it's simplicity, it reminder me of some of the illustrations from The One Thing by Gary Keller. Pasricha's color coded achievement matrix is also based on monthly goals and measures, and this reflects our direction for the ServiceMax Community as well.

 

We are embarking on a new program of Monthly Community Goals for 2018. We think this will be a great way to stay on track with the top things we want to deliver on this platform, taking time to try something new and innovative, incorporate feedback from our top members, and have a bit more fun, not to mention rewarding collaborative members who help others and share knowledge with more badges and points. Stay tuned for details on the first goal, later this week. And give us some input on what you want to see!

 

  • What kind of things would you like to see more of in 2018?
  • Who do you want to meet or connect with more?
  • How should we foster more helpful collaboration?
  • If you could get one thing out of your collaboration with other ServiceMax customers this year, what would it be?

Have you heard of resiliency planning?

 

Instead of just focusing on recovery, communities and businesses are shifting gears to look to keep the lights on, figuratively and literally during high-demand, high-impact events. This week, I read in the GE Reports about technology that becomes relevant during natural disasters to keep the infrastructure up and functioning.

 

Weathering The Storm: This Tech Will Help Utilities Keep The Lights On - GE Reports

 

The blog post explores the emerging trend of “resiliency” planning, which emphasizes preparedness and infrastructure immunity to disaster. “Self-healing” electrical systems, for example, identify failing sections of the power network, isolate them and re-route power from other parts. A system built by weaving together a host of microgrids into a sturdy, quilt-like grid difficult to bring down is another solution. They could be immensely helpful in minimizing disruption when disaster strikes.

 

Field service organizations are the branch of the company that is on site with your customers most often. Your field service strategy will likely combine proactive, planned service visits and urgent, reactive break/fix scenerios. What technologies are in place? Is IoT in play to predict service needs? What about those times when urgent service is needed, across a wide portion of your customers?

 

Let's talk about your field service organizations in resilience and recovery modes.

 

How important is your field service coverage to your clients and their customers? What is at stake?

What are the events that lead to urgent influx of service requests?

And what are the people, process, and technology tools and tactics that you employ to keep things running and support recovery efforts?

As we wind down from holiday celebrations in the last hours of 2016, it’s helpful to look back at our body of work this year, as well as the accomplishments, goals, challenges, successes and failures. Here at ServiceMax, we are always looking at important data from analysts and field service surveys to plan for what comes next for the industry. What did we find out in 2016? What does 2017 have to offer in the world of field service?

 

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Workforce Changes:

Field service will remain a people business in the new year, even accounting for the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT). Customers will still expect a trained and knowledgable professional to show up at their door when something breaks. For so many of our customers, the field servie technician remains the face of the company for years after the initial sale. However, with retiring talent and the consistent need to update skill sets, it’s becoming a challenge to maintain a strong service team. We now see some organizations turning to freelancers to substitute their full-time workforce.

 

 

New Technologies

Regardless of who’s doing the work, the job responsibilities are evolving more and more. Service can now involve leveraging mobile and social platforms, augmented reality devices, and the Internet of Thing. Nearly every service organization is looking at these tools, and thinking about where they might fit into their future. In a webinar with Bryan Coddington, Vice President of Cloud Technology at USDM Life Sciences, he explains how field service systems are evolving, and which emerging technologies are in the future for medical device field service teams.

 

 

Internet of Things in 2016:

Even though 2017 is right around the corner, wrapping up 2016 is not just about preparing for the future, but reflecting on the 12-months that have passed.

 

This year saw how the Internet of Things can be a game changer. If you are promising your clients quality, proactive service, our 2016 blog explores how, IoT provides new tools and helps teams deliver with a combination of automated alerts and ticket creation, real-time data, proximity-based alerts and predictive maintenance.

 

At the start of 2016,  Aly Pinder, Jr. surveyed over 200 service and manufacturing organizations and found, among other insights, that compared to the industry average, top-performing companies are 50 percent more likely to dispatch service techs based on automated remote data. This Aberdeen Research report shows how the Internet of Things is clearly revolutionizing the world of maintenance service and creating opportunities for the future.

 

 

Research on Field Service: Coming Soon!

 

Research that centers on surveys of service organizations is always valuable to the informed field service technologist and strategist. In April 2016, according to an independent study from Vanson Bourne, commissioned by ServiceMax, almost all (96%) of the IT and field service decision makers surveyed report that their organization could see gains through the adoption of connected devices or sensors.

 

So while you may be seeing the benefits of IoT, your competitor probably is too. In early 2017, we will introduce a new research report that reflects the most recent data from field service organizations.

 

  • What is the impact of your field service technology?

 

  • How does it compare to others?

 

Keep an eye out here on the ServiceMax Community for the latest research on the impact and KPIs of successful field service organizations.

It’s always fun to share good news.

 

We’re really proud of our customers’ achievements, and when they go above and beyond to make their customers happy. A huge part of Field Service is the customer satisfaction rating. Some say best in class field service organizations are always engaged in a delicate balancing act between cost, performance, and customer satisfaction. Metrics and dashboards and the human touch help keep that balance in tune.

 

A large part of my role is partnering with customers and helping them tell the story of their field service journey. It’s about collaborating some, about the field service network too. It’s also about helping you brag. Some of the most enjoyable stories I get to help tell are all about our customers’ customers. When excellence in field service leads to a game changing business impact and the clients can tell. That’s my favorite kind.

 

ServiceMax has our own bragging rights today. I’m very pleased to share that we are being named a Leader once again in the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management. And that’s not all. Read the report for more details, we are so pleased to be recognized and positioned as a leader of field service software providers by this highly respected analyst firm.

 

Access the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service*

 

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And back to the bragging topic, this is a great opportunity to further your field service story with your customers, executives, and in your sales cycles.  As a ServiceMax customer, you are hyper-focused on superior service. Your team is innovative and looking to the future as you commit to drive measurable results for your own customers.  This is objective proof in the market that you have invested in Best-in-Class cutting edge field service technology with your customers’ success in mind.

 

Now that’s a story that can show off your competitive advantage in service.

 

What stories, anecdotes, and examples do you have of customers showing they are over the moon with your service?

 

How do you prove that service is important to your business?

 

Does your sales team talk about your excellence in service?

 

*Gartner, “Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management”, Jim Robinson, William McNeill, Jason Wong, Michael Maoz, November 3rd, 2016

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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Happy New Year, ServiceMax Community members!

 

Here are some great recent posts from across the internet around Field Service thought leadership. Our fantastic executive team has shared some thought leadership including a great piece authored by our own Athani Krishna and Forbes has featured innovations within the Field Service industry. To participate in the conversation, click to access the community discussions below and weigh in throughout 2016!

 

Quotes and Field Service Thought Leadership Around the Web

 

THE STATE OF FIELD SERVICE: MOVING TOWARD AN ENTIRELY NEW BUSINESS MODEL

THE INTERNET OF THINGS AND WEARABLES ARE CHANGING FIELD SERVICE AUTOMATION AS WE KNOW IT

3 STEPS TO ELEVATE YOUR BUSINESS BY TRANSFORMING YOUR SERVICE ORGANIZATION

Discussions about 2016 and beyond here in the Community

LOOKING AHEAD: SERVICEMAX FEATURES?

DEFINING TERMS: WHAT DOES "CONNECTED FIELD SERVICE" MEAN TO YOU?

PREDICTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR: INTERNET OF THINGS IN 2016