On July 12, 2017 Salesforce announced its new, Einstein-enhanced version of Field Service. This release brings mainly three innovations to the already strong Service Cloud, which is the leading Customer Service solution according to Gartner Group.
Here the complete wording of the press release, in case you did not want to follow the link but still are interested in it:
Salesforce Delivers Einstein AI and Analytics For Field Service Lightning
Built on the Service Cloud Platform, new innovations for Field Service Lightning arm the mobile workforce with image recognition technology, smart equipment management and deep analytics to bolster productivity and efficiency
Companies including Atlantic Energy are harnessing the power of Field Service Lightning to deliver insight, onsite
SAN FRANCISCO—July 12, 2017—Salesforce [NYSE: CRM], the global leader in CRM, today introduced Einstein AI and Analytics for Field Service Lightning, empowering companies to deliver a smarter onsite customer experience that is built on the world’s #1 customer service platform. Field Service Lightning now brings together the insights and intelligence mobile workers need to increase productivity, boost onsite efficiency and drive revenue.
The Salesforce Service Cloud has redefined customer service across every major technological shift—cloud, mobile, social, messaging and more. And last year with the introduction of Field Service Lightning, Salesforce extended the power of Service Cloud to create a full service platform for managers, dispatchers and mobile workers. However, as the multi-billion dollar field service market expands into new industries—including finance, healthcare, manufacturing and retail—there is even more demand to deliver onsite service. Field service technicians have to deal with complicated equipment, don’t always have the right parts and often lack insight into pre-existing customer issues. This leads to confused employees, frustrated customers, and in the end, multiple trips to resolve customer issues.
Field Service Lightning Brings Insights, Onsite
Now, Salesforce is taking field service a step further, arming mobile workers with the intelligence and insight they need to be more productive and improve first-time fix rates. With three new innovations, Field Service Lightning enables a service organization—managers, dispatchers and mobile workers—to move with speed and efficiency. New innovations include:
- Einstein Vision for Field Service harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to bring image recognition to field service. Companies can leverage pre-trained image classifiers—or train their own custom classifiers—to handle a vast array of specialized image-recognition use cases. For example, with similar looking parts and serial numbers, dishwasher repairs are often complex. Now a dishwasher repairman who needs to replace a water inlet valve can simply snap a picture of the valve, and Einstein Vision for Field Service will quickly identify the exact product type—saving time for the customer, repairman and company.
- Equipment and Inventory Management leverages scheduling automation to ensure the correct work crew, equipment and trucks are always where they should be. Managers and dispatchers are able to send technicians into the field with confidence, knowing they’re armed with the equipment and knowledge they need to complete any job during the first visit. For example, a cable company dispatcher is able to use Equipment and Inventory Management to automatically see which technician is closest to the customer and has the correct cable splitters necessary to get the customer’s television set up successfully.
- Field Service Analytics provides actionable insights for managers to improve productivity throughout their mobile workforce. Service managers can now integrate all of their data into one easy-to-use application for a complete view of their mobile workforce. And then, they can take action right from their dashboards. For example, a service manager at a medical device company can quickly see that several of her technicians are struggling to install an EKG machine, enabling her to identify classes and set up times for them to shadow senior technicians to get on-the-job training.
Comments on the News:
- “For nearly a decade, Salesforce has paved the way for innovation in the service industry,” said Adam Blitzer, EVP and GM, Sales and Service Clouds, Salesforce. “Today, we’re excited to bring our innovation a step further. With the introduction of Einstein and Analytics for Field Service Lightning, our customers will be able to deliver a smarter, more efficient onsite customer experience.”
- “At Atlantic Energy, our goal is to create a cleaner, more energy efficient world,” said Noel Zammit, CIO, Atlantic Energy, LLC. “With Field Service Lightning, we’re able to arm our technicians with the intelligence and insights they need to service our customers faster than ever — reducing energy consumption and costs around the globe.”
- “While the direct customer experience has benefitted from digital transformation, field technicians still struggle to deliver a modern onsite experience. Customer expectations have escalated across the board, and so have expectations for in-the-field diagnostics and issue resolution,” said Mary Wardley, Program Vice President, Customer Care and CRM, IDC. “With features including image recognition, automated equipment tracking and analytics baked into the field service process, digital transformation is reaching the field and will enable companies to run their field service organization faster and more efficiently.”
About Service Cloud
Service Cloud, the world’s #1 intelligent customer service platform, enables companies to transform the customer and agent experience with an AI-powered, agile platform built for the modern era. Whether engaging customers via messaging, video, communities, web chat, in-app, email, phone or even communicating directly with IoT-connected products, Service Cloud helps leading brands use service as a competitive advantage by delivering personalized, connected customer service experiences across every channel and adapting service operations to business needs quickly. Companies that have deployed Service Cloud have seen an average of 31 percent faster case resolution, an average of 28 percent increase in agent productivity, an average of 26 percent increase in customer retention, an average of 22 percent decrease in support costs, and an average of 35 percent increase in customer satisfaction, according to a third-party research report sponsored by Salesforce. Salesforce has been recognized as a leader for nine consecutive years in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Engagement Center.
Pricing and Availability
- Einstein Vision for Field Service is currently in pilot and is expected to be generally available in the first half of 2018.
- Field Service Equipment and Inventory Management is generally available today with any Field Service Lightning license, which starts at $150 for organizations that have at least one Service Cloud license in Enterprise Edition or above.
- Field Service Analytics is generally available today with any Service Analytics and Field Service Lightning license.
- To learn more about Salesforce Field Service Lightning please visit: https://www.salesforce.com/products/service-cloud/features/field-service-lightning/
- To learn more about Service Cloud, please visit: https://www.salesforce.com/service-cloud/overview/
- Discover how Service Cloud can help companies deliver personalized service to their customers via Trailhead: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/trail/service_cloud
Connect with Salesforce
- Like Salesforce on Facebook http://facebook.com/salesforce
- Follow @salesforce and @servicecloud on Twitter
Salesforce, the Customer Success Platform and world’s #1 CRM, empowers companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.
Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” For more information please visit http://www.salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.
These three innovations shall enable customers to drive revenue by increasing field service personnel effectiveness and efficiency plus giving managers actionable intelligence about field service operations and assets. This encompasses the following main features:
- Einstein Vision helps techs identify a part that they do not quite recognize. Einstein responds with details, including the part number, a description and, importantly, a recognition confidence. Field technicians simply take a picture of the object in question and upload it to the Chatter feed. Einstein needs to be trained with around 100 – 150 images of an object from various angles and lighting conditions in order to identify an object.
- The solution got additional ‘smarts’ to help with optimizing equipment and inventory management. This helps to optimize the scheduling of crews, equipment, and trucks.
- Lastly, there are a number of new management dashboards that allow a drill down and analysis into the organization performance and KPI’s that are intended to give managers actionable insight into what is happening in their realm of responsibility.
The first two releases are supporting the field technicians by being part of the mobile apps that they use, while the third one is helping the managers.
The mobile enhancements are available on iOS whereas Android is still in a beta phase.
This release, according to Mark Bloom, Senior Director Strategy and Operations, Service Cloud, is the continuation of Service Cloud’s journey covering social, mobile, video, in-app messaging and, since March 2016 also Field Service.
This release seems like an incremental evolution of the existing functionality. For me the most relevant innovation is the improvement in the equipment and inventory management in combination with the new analytics capabilities that are exposed by the dashboard.
Of course the image recognition capabilities are amazing, too, but I would put this more into the ‘sex sells’ bucket. It surely can help (junior) field service technicians identify a device but I see only limited value for it unless augmented by more functionality, e.g. an AR overlay rendered into some glasses that helps the technician to safely replace a broken element while keeping the hands free to actually do the work.
The equipment and inventory management component has been mainly there before but now has some additional intelligence that helps in making sure that the right materials are available to the technician when (s)he needs it. This is some intelligence under the hood that should help in avoiding unnecessary roundtrips or in getting to the shortest way to resupply.
The management dashboard shows a lot of interesting data and analytics, including travel time that will help a manager analyzing what is going on in the team. This is again something that was there earlier, too, and in my eyes is lacking an alerting component. Not every technician that has long drive times or takes long time to fix an issue is a problem. This may be the specialization and/or the locations of the jobs. I would have wished for an alerting component here that looks into anomalies and drives the managerial focus there.
Lastly, I am missing a predictive maintenance component here. After all this is something where AI can excel. Unluckily this is something that is only on the roadmap, maybe because it also needs cooperation with the IoT team.
Overall I’d say we see a solid round off with Einstein Vision being a nice eye catcher here, as opposed to a big leap. Having said that, the integration of AI technology into the business functionality is mandatory in order to enable a number of scenarios that are not yet possible to deliver. I am curiously looking into future releases of Service Cloud.