ClickSoftware brings real-time field scheduling to utilities, telco, tech and now…The Olympics!

Field service scheduling has come a long way since the days of printing out a route sheet at the beginning of the shift with the field tech’s entire day already planned. In preparation for various Green Support projects I have in the hopper for Fall, I had an update briefing today with ClickSoftware, whose solutions are helping companies drive up field tech productivity, increase appointments per shift, and decrease miles driven to lower the carbon footprint of field service operations.

Five years ago it seemed the CRM vendors were going to take the lead in mobile and field service solutions, but that never came to pass.  As CRM/ERP players began to focus solely on platforms, we stopped hearing about mobile devices and real-time scheduling from most of them, and that lack of focus opened the door for specialists.  This is well demonstrated in ClickSoftware’s revenues, which have been growing steadily, with 23% growth in 2007, and guidance of 20-25% revenue growth in 2008.  ClickSoftware has partnered with some CRM providers to provide ‘out of box’ integrations, including Microsoft CRM and SAP’s Netweaver. 

Today ClickSoftware’s revenue is evenly split between North America and Europe, though now with offices in Japan and partners across India and China, they are seeing rapid growth in Asia/Pac as well.   Utilities/energy, telco and high tech remain their biggest industries, with some impressive growth in utilities in both the US and Europe.  One of their most recent deals put ClickSoftware in charge of scheduling over 1500 technicians responsible for installing and maintaining the technology infrastructure of the Bejing Olympics.

The tie-in to Green Support are advancements in real-time scheduling and mobile operations.  When a field tech completes an appointment, the system dispatches them to their next appointment based on current location, the location of pending appointments, traffic conditions, as well as available parts and skills.  With GPS, the field tech can be given exact directions to the appointment to minimize time and fuel costs.  There are some good customer examples, and impressive ROI stories, from both mid-size and large companies, including some big brands like Best Buy, BSkyB and Telstra.

Looking forward, ClickSoftware will continue to expand the capabilities of real-time decision making.  With a large customer base of small and medium sized companies, a new solution targeting SMBs is great news for smaller companies wanting sophisticated field scheduling at a lower cost.  Also, look for in-house and shift scheduling products, a huge hole in the market since the specialists targeting this space stumbled or disappeared in the dot-com bust (like Xtime).

I will be scheduling more time with ClickSoftware later this year for a full demo of the product and to learn more about their mobile applications–a long time interest area of mine–so members of the SSPA and AFSMI who want to know more, shoot me an email or open an inquiry and I’ll get back to you with more details.

Thanks for reading!

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