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18 Apr 2017

Artificial Intelligence in Field Service Management Software

in Technical Blog by Kae Verens
A recent news article discussed how ServiceMax is using AI in their own software, but didn't go very much in-depth into what's being done. In FieldMotion, we use artificial intelligence in many areas, from the obvious ones such as real-time voice recognition in text entry fields, to less obvious areas such as optical character recognition when analysing uploaded forms. It's surprising how much AI there is in service management software. We are always looking for ways to reduce the amount of work that you need to do. When creating forms, you can upload your own printed forms in PDF or image format, and the system will "read" the image, pulling out any text it finds to create fields for you, so you don't have to type everything in. When filling in your forms on your app, you can click the voice recognition button in your field service engineer software to simply speak into your phone or tablet. It will convert to text for you. When positioning a field into your form reports, you can simply click on an empty space in the form and FieldMotion will figure out the right size the field should be in order to fit into where you clicked. In the timeline view, if you have Dynamic Scheduling enabled, the system can automatically schedule hundreds of jobs for many people, taking into account travel time, costs, types of jobs and skills needed. Behind the scenes, we're always working on new tricks as well. I just finished one over the weekend for ourselves where we can enter a potential client's website into an AI engine, and it will return a percentage "match" for our product based on whether other companies with similar websites use FieldMotion. When I described what I was doing to a cognitive neuroscientist friend, he said "If you wanted to take it further (way too far, probably), you could treat current customer website lexicons as a training set, and use machine learning to categorize the probability of other websites being a customer." - it's like he was reading my mind, as that's exactly how I wrote it! We're also working on a sales prediction system where a sales-person can say that a quote is "hot" or "cold", and the system will assign a percentage chance of successful sale based on the sales-person's history of getting it right or wrong. This allows a more accurate budget forecast. FieldMotion uses many different types of artificial intelligence and machine learning in its field service software, and we're always looking for new ways to improve your work. At its simplest, we offer workflow management and skip logic, but you can see that there's a lot going on that you may not be aware of! Talk to us and we'll help you optimise your business.