Top Takeaways from the IFS Service Management Virtual User Conference 2020

On September 22nd to 23rd of 2020 IFS held their Service Management Virtual User Conference. The event showcased a number of speakers who covered a variety of topics, including the company’s direction for 2021 and beyond, and how IFS has helped and continues to help their partners pivot to meet the unforeseen demands this year has brought.

The Gartner 5-time Magic Quadrant Leader has a variety of conference highlight videos, with topics we’ll be researching and covering in more detail at a later date—but for anyone looking for a quick review, here are Gogh’s top event takeaways.

What’s Shaping IFS and FSM’s Future

Mark Brewer, IFS’s VP of Service Industries, underscored IFS’s commitment to continued investment in improvement for their clients. What’s shaping IFS and FSM:

  1. Diversifying Focus and Outcomes Based Service
    • Where Field Service Management (FSM) has traditionally been focused on operational efficiency for ROI, they also need to be looking towards their customers for growth and success.
      • This means being able to deliver specific SLA commitments, scaling to meet customer needs and driving profit from that scalability.
  1. The Experience Economy
    • Being able to get what they want whenever they want and track the process along the way means that customer expectations are rising. The FSM industry needs to meet those expectations and IFS will continue to innovate to meet those demands.
  1. Contingency Workers
    • More remote workers and less in-house workers has created the “gig-economy.” FSM will need to refocus in order to accommodate this.
  1. Predictive Maintenance
    • Using the right data to reduce service costs and increase up times will be the new factor in efficiency-based cost savings and customer retention.
  1. The Convergence of Technology
    • Part of the equation for IFS’s innovations for the future is their continued innovations in the realm of single sourced, suite-based solutions
      • Where the introduction of things like CRM and ERP suite software brought consistency, IFS is looking to do the same by continuing to combine and optimize their offerings to provide the option of a more integrated, full-service life cycle.

Mark Rentschler quote: New Customer Demands Following Covid: Reacting Adeptly to New Needs Video

Technology Driven Evolution

Stephen Jeffs-Watt’s, IFS’s VP Service Management, R&D, spoke more about the specifics of what the convergence of technology would mean for IFS users.

  1. Meeting the Accelerated Rate of Change
    • With the rate of change continuing to speed up, IFS is mapping out the conceptual architecture we mentioned in bullet 5, above.
      • This will be a game-changer for clients seeking a fully integrated, all-in-one experience.
      • The focus here is on allowing clients to have exactly what they need, with everything from PSO to advanced scheduling in one place; and even includes things like application services on the platform level.
  1. Evergreen Mindset
    • In order for customers to receive the maximum benefits from new functionality, innovation, and best practices, IFS has reengineered their releases.
      • Releases will be bi-annual and focused on minimizing customer impact, new functionality, and lowering risk and costs, as well as the effort required for updates.
      • The main goal is to make sure things are better and easier for every customer with every release; always green, or always improving.
  1. IFS Platform
    • New innovations were announced, with the theme being built-in and for the cloud.
      • The focus will be on being 100% web-based access, but with residency options and embedded capabilities for open extension and connection.
      • Some core elements of the platform include containerized architecture, best-in-class security, and portability.

Brad Resler quote: Proactive and Outcomes-Based Service Video

IFS’s Take on AI and Autonomous Value

AI is a buzzword with many different connotations, particularly when it comes to user and customer data. VP of Automation, R&D, Bob De Caux, covered not only where AI and automation are going within FSM, but IFS’s commitment to using accountable and transparent AI.

  1. Improving Automation Through Machine Learning and Cognitive Service Interaction
    • The goal being better adaptation and predictions—predicting first-time fixes, where and when a fault will occur; providing adaptive scheduling, warranty to contract conversion, and more intelligent travel profiles.
    • These things will be achieved via a more intelligent knowledge base, which will be
      • Structured, automatically update, easy to access for everyone from call centers to techs, and utilize constant feedback for improvement.
  1. Explainability by Design
    • For out-come based services and an increase in SLA control, AI is needed.
    • IFS will be using XAI, an explainable AI that meets the heavier EU regulations for AI accountability.
      • This means that the processes the AI uses to come to conclusions and make predictions are transparent and easy to understand.
      • It’s easy to audit, and transparency means the data is something users can trust, as the journey to solution is completely laid out.

Leverage our experience and know-how to ensure you have a complete, well thought out digital transformation strategy for your Field Service Management platform. If you’re looking for more information or you could use some advice let’s talk.