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  • Writer's pictureMike Shields

From the Frontlines of Field Service Connect 2016

The Voice of the Customer on Status and Plans to Capitalize on The Connected Service Economy

I’m traveling back from the 2016 Field Service Connect Conference in Austin, TX. While it’s still fresh from the frontlines, I wanted to share some summary observations and insights from these 75 leading company attendees. As a key sponsor, Microsoft and eLogic had the opportunity to connect one-on-one with the manufacturing leaders from about 25 companies. Here are highlights and insights:

1. It's Early. The journey to seamless, connected service is just in its infancy for 90% of these companies (per an interactive survey of attendees). They are struggling to connect legacy applications; and many are anxious to upgrade, without clear migration paths and strategies. Several have major enterprise standards that have not yet reached their businesses.

2. ...Even Earlier for IoT. Connected Devices and IoT integration are even earlier in the development, deployment and adoption cycles. Most companies state that they are early stages of overcoming both device sensoring, monitoring and customer engagement in secure solutions that protect privacy while sharing data/information. Most state that they are certain that the IoT will displace current models over time; but are still figuring out specific business models and economics.

3. Legacy is Falling Behind. Past service software offerings are still incomplete and lack integration of key functions. The market leading software vendors of the past seem to be disappointing these customers at an increasing rate due to incomplete solutions and weak implementation support.

4. Microsoft Has a Compelling Offer. There is a high level of interest in Microsoft’s Cloud and Dynamics 365 offerings. Most attendees were surprised (some even shocked) to see how far Microsoft's business solutions have advanced in a short time – and are interested to learn more about the Customer360 and Equipment360™ model we shared at the conference.

5. The Service Shift is Here. Leveraging the SERVICE opportunities is a business priority in every attending manufacturing company. Proven economics and organization culture shifts present major ongoing challenges for most. Since this is a major transformation, companies know that they face long and challenging organization and process changes. The LEADERS are moving forward now in the belief that they may miss the market if they wait.

My key takeaway is that most manufacturing companies can benefit from a fresh look at how advanced, available and affordable the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Azure IoT offerings have become. It is a lot easier than many companies realize to get started with proof-points and pilots to help build momentum for a change and prove the economics. We are ready to help you get started – from strategy through deployment with a disruptive new approach from Microsoft.

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