Yesterday Microsoft announced FieldOne, from Microsoft being ready for purchase and installation directly within O365 by Param Kahlon.
Surprisingly I was just about to start a blog series with FieldOne, from Microsoft – my personal experience during installation and configuration as well as some insights in daily use-cases.
Before kicking things off, let me give you a short background of myself and why I am writing about this topic in specific. Those not knowing me or my blog (as I normally write my articles in german language) – I used to work with Customer Care Service area of Microsoft Dynamics CRM for more than a decade now. I specialized in that area while not loosing my focus on other areas and competitors as well. 3 yrs. ago, I joined FLS (fastleansmart) – a company specialized in Field Service and Workforce Management offering a unique real-time optimization and planning algorithm called PowerOpt. This ISV add-on was built with horizontal focus to enable partners inside service area to lower driving times, costs and optimize field service scheduling mainly by ensuring so called “Domino effects” (based on an algorithm calculated time-windows to allow reassigning worker items instantly).
Not to my surprise, but to be mentioned for sure, this solution could also be installed and “live inside CRM” with FieldOne being used as a vertical industry fitting solution and enhancing this.
With this background it was my pleasure to read about Microsoft making the investment with the acquisition of FieldOne and now having FieldOne, from Microsoft as a horizontal fitting field service scheduling solution/engine to built on top of. So I immediately started figuring out, what an Implementation Partner or an ISV needs to know about offerings, features and entities within current FieldOne, from Microsoft solution and ensure a better field service, a better customer care and in the end a better productivity for all involved parties.
To be honest, I´ve done so many Pre-Sales appointments and trainings around this topic and have seen sales agents talking about so many things that can be done, numbers that should influence a buyers decision or stories that should emphasize users to work with that system. Instead of asking twice about current company service offerings, processes that might need some optimization and of course users that wants to return to productivity – simply by doing what they´ve been asked for – deliver a high quality service to you – the customer.
So my criterias during my “preview” were:
- Do I need special knowledge about installation?
- Do I need to spend hours, before I can use it?
- What minimum data needs to be prepared to setup the system?
- Do I need specific training for end users?
- What is the story being flexible around customizations?
- What process automation capabilities will I find or being able to setup with?
- Will I need more training around scheduling scenarios and what a “domino effect” might be?
Stay tuned for Part II and following to (maybe) get your first impressions and see how better customer care scheduling and follow-up can help increase your sales, motivate your employees and even improve customer loyalty with simple actions – I´m sure we all have been into scenarios where we wished a better customer service would have helped us. If you need inspiration first, than walk on to this article by Tricia Morris.