Oneserve has reported that the market it operates in is being stifled by the market leaders who are putting their own interests before the needs of their customers. Operating in a service-oriented market, Oneserve is calling this a fundamental flaw, questioning the integrity of such providers and the quality of the service they deliver to the mobile field market, suggesting that, “the dominant business model lacks the flexibility to adjust to the prevailing market demand, and subsequently, opens up a field of discontent.” Oneserve’s sales and marketing director, Chris Proctor explains further; he said:
Many of the large players in this market have grown wildly out of control, meaning that customers are now experiencing appalling levels of service and in many cases are paying extortionate amounts for professional services that shouldn’t be needed, thereby increasing the true cost of ownership and hindering their ability to develop and grow.
There are too many of these lumbering dinosaurs in our sector. They are falling so far behind the ball in terms of where the market should, and will, be heading over the next few years that extinction seems to be only round the corner for them. For too long, the business model of selling cheap licences and then pushing hugely-expensive professional services has been the tried and tested method of securing sales. But this is changing; it has to be about a true SaaS offering, a flexible approach that allows technology of different types to talk to each other and giving customers what they really want; a self-service model that allows them the freedom to use the solution as they see fit, without having to purchase extra services on top.
The financial turnover of a number of these dinosaurs in this market is impressive. What should be so worrying for them and their customers is that despite this, many are making huge losses. This, combined with their lack of appetite or ability to change, is adding to the momentum of the huge meteorite that is speeding towards them. There is no sign that this momentum is slowing down. Unless they are able to turn their business proposition upside down, which is not easy with such huge losses and multiple VCs piling on the pressure, there is a real chance that they’ll be wiped off the face of the market.
The world of field service management is, like most, changing dramatically. The advances made in technology can make a difference to the way that organisations can manage, monitor and analyse their field forces. However, this is causing even more issues with so many companies in the field service management sector jumping on and over-hyping new technologies and trends such as the internet of things without getting the basics right first.
The core issues that customers are crying out for, such as self-service, are largely being ignored. There are many customers who want to buy the solution and run it themselves and not be held to the whole swathe of professional services that too often accompanies any purchase in this sector.
Companies need to understand and reflect the fact that the role of a field-based workforce has changed dramatically over the past few years. Field service management can no longer be a rigid structured solution; it has to be a flexible one that embraces the many aspects of what a mobile workforce needs. The self-service approach is absolutely what customers want and need. They are no longer satisfied being tied to hugely expensive additional services, but instead want to buy the solution and grow and develop without ‘forced’ assistance.
The world has changed and a new breed of faster, more agile and innovative companies are taking the places of the out-of-date lumbering dinosaurs that have dominated our sector for so many years.
Chris Proctor is the sales and marketing director at Oneserve.