Microsoft Dynamics CRM is continuing to expand and improve through updates, new features and even whole new products being integrated. We’ve had a look at one of the new service offerings: FantasySalesTeam in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which extends the sales capabilities of CRM. Microsoft also acquired FieldOne last year to extend the service capabilities.
What is FieldOne?
FieldOne is a solution for field service management, which helps manage and streamline field agent activities. When installed (which has to manually be activated), it sits as a separate section of the Dynamics CRM ribbon, alongside Sales, Marketing, Service and Settings (and any other additional preferred solutions). While it has its own set of features, it also uses out-of-the-box CRM functionality, such as Workflows, Contacts, Dashboards etc.
Who is it for?
FieldOne was created for businesses with field agents; those that go off-site to install, fix, inspect, deliver – anything on the road and out of the office. While these business could previously use Microsoft Dynamics CRM for this functionality with customisations, there is now out-of-the-box field service management functionality. FieldOne states that is aimed at businesses with 50+ field agents and complex scheduling needs, but if it is remains included with CRM Professional licenses, then any sized business should take advantage of this functionality.
At the moment, FieldOne is available as part of CRM Online Professional (and Enterprise). This solution is available as a preferred provider solution that your administrator can add from the Office 365 CRM Admin Center. There are plans to add this capability to CRM on-premise but no more information is currently known. On-premise instances will always experience a delay in receiving updates and new features due to how CRM releases work and Microsoft’s rapid release cycle – you can read more on this at Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Change your update approach.
FieldOne helps to automate and manage tasks that are commonly required of a field agent. As it feed into Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it means that you can take advantage of all the robust features within Dynamics CRM including the powerful reporting – as well as the field service-specific abilities.
The features of FieldOne include:
- Schedule management – Increase efficiency through automated service scheduling where the system calculates route times and availability to match the best engineer to each case to maximise resources.
- Asset Management – Manage and track customer equipment to keep a clear audit trail.
- Knowledge Base – Give field agents access to one, centralised and updated knowledge base with all required resources to help them do their job more effectively.
- Stock control – Organise stock and inventory and use workflows to automatically re-order items once they reach a pre-determined level, so reduce pressure on staff and remove any chance of human error.
- Notifications – Receive clear notifications via text, email or phone to ensure clear communication
- Work Tracking – Field agents can easily record their progress and status to show order acceptance, travelling, work commencement and completion – plus book nay follow-up work required.
- Service contracts – Agents can view service contracts and SLA’s (service level agreements) to ensure targets are met.
- Reporting – Managers can track progress, get instant updates, view detailed insights and even use Advanced Find.
- Mobile app – Benefit from the complete mobile app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, which allows agents to check schedules, receive text alerts, gain driving directions, collect customer signatures and more. Note: The mobile app is free but limited to certain entities - for full mobile app functionality, you need to buy a separate Resco license - you can find out more on this on the Resco website.
All these features will give a field service organisation the following benefits:
- Increased efficiency across the business
- Improve customer service through efficient service delivery
- Allow a fully mobile experience across all operating systems
- Improve the life of staff through route calculations, directions and more efficient schedules
- Maximise resources through automation
- Allow powerful yet simple reporting
- Give complete visibility to staff and managers
- Increase profitability thanks to the increased customer service, efficiency and productivity
FieldOne is a powerful addition to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM family, bringing fantastic benefits for field service management. For those in field service management, it provides an out-of-the-box solution to allow these organisations to enjoy the above benefits that are tailored to their business. For all other businesses, it shows that Microsoft is continuing to expand its xRM solution into different verticals quickly and that we will no doubt see more additions in the future.
If you are interested in seeing Microsoft Dynamics CRM in action, contact us today so we can give you a demo or give you a free trial.