Microsoft and FieldOne have been partners for several years, but on Thursday July 16, 2015 Microsoft took the relationship a step further and completed the acquisition of the industry leading field-service software provider.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM and FieldOne’s Sky platform were integrated several months ago alluding to the possible acquisition,
What does this mean for dynamics users?
Microsoft has displayed an aggressive approach to winning CRM market share in 2015. Every acquisition leads to a more robust Dynamics products for both enterprises and end users.
“Their industry-leading solution specializes in delivering a full set of capabilities that include work order management, automated scheduling, asset contract, inventory and procurement management, workflow capabilities and mobile collaboration – providing enterprises with a comprehensive modern field service solution. ” wrote Bob Stutz, vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in an announcement posted on the Microsoft blog.
Field-service management software is utilized by organizations that need to physically dispatch employees to locations in order to perform on-site support. These platforms typically rely on cloud and mobile technologies, with an increasing use of data science and predictive analytics.
FieldOne’s cloud service was built on Dynamics CRM, runs natively for enhanced user adoption and works across hardware platforms. With the acquisition, Microsoft aims to help companies take a more proactive approach to field service through the combination of FieldOne, Azure IoT andCortana Analytics, Stutz said.
Last year, Oracle made a similar move by buying TOA Technologies, another player in the field-service arena.
“This is a natural form of vertical consolidation that often happens in a strengthening market,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst with Enderle Group.
Using multiple, separate field-service companies can reduce both profitability and customer satisfaction because “they form an information and revenue barrier between the tech company and the customer it serves,” Enderle noted.
You can expect the same aggressive pricing and seamless integration we have witnessed from Microsoft’s previous acquisitions.
Connect with us for more information on taking advantage of FieldOne or other Microsoft products.
Here I will continue my series of posts surrounding FieldOne Sky for Microsoft Dynamics CRM by looking at how to create a work order from a case.
I believe this process is quite a significant one, in a real world scenario it will be common for requests logged in a contact centre to involve creating a case. The case will then have an associated SLA and possibly contract making use of all the standard features found in CRM2016.
Often someone will try to resolve the case without needing to involve a field engineer. (First line support if you like.) But on the occasions when the problem requires the support of a field engineer then the case could be converted into a FieldOne work order.
I have a sample case below; you can see I have allocated the case an incident type. In my example my incident is “Routine Garden Maintenance”, this possibly isn’t the best example in the world. Sorry! But the point here is that with FieldOne installed cases have an additional field called incident type.
Tip: When defining incident types, you can say if they can be used on a case or not. If you select an incident type that isn’t allowed on a case a warning message will be given.
When I’m ready to convert this case into a work order, I simply select the “convert to work order” option in the ribbon bar of the case.
After a short pause a work order will be created that will pop-up in another window. The details of the case will have been carried forward into the work order, including the incident type. At this point the service tasks, service details and products will appear to be blank. Unfortunately, if you need to view or edit these you’ll need to save the work order and refresh the screen.
When you first attempt this process you may see a message like the one below. This is because price list is a mandatory field on a work order. It is therefore important to set a default price list either on the customer or on the work order type.
Also you will need to have defined that the customer pays sales tax and if so what tax code should be applied.