The Silicon Review
The COVID-19 crisis has catapulted many organizations into a degree of digital transformation that could not have been imagined just a year ago. At the helm of this revolution are service organizations, which have been challenged to keep assets running throughout the past year. Some have pivoted their production to meet the increased need for ventilators, testing kits, and personal protective equipment. Others have ramped up operations to ensure essential goods like food, water, and medicines make it to our doors.
Digital transformation, whether in the form of accelerated implementation of new initiatives, or the innovative use of existing technology, has allowed service organizations to provide a measure of business continuity to their customers while at the same time contain operating costs and minimize the risks associated with deploying employees to the field. One software company that is helping service organizations bring about this change is Pleasanton, California-based ServiceMax.
Customers around the globe rely on ServiceMax’s cloud-based software platform to keep mission-critical equipment running—from MRI machines to turbines to food processing systems—every single day.
We interviewed Neil Barua, CEO of ServiceMax, to learn more about what the company does and how ServiceMax helped its customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.
Q. What was the idea behind starting ServiceMax?
ServiceMax was founded in 2007 with the mission of helping customers keep the world running through our suite of field service management solutions. The field service management industry is a software category serving 8 million technicians globally who install, maintain, and repair high value, complex, mission-critical equipment across dozens of industries, such as medical devices, industrial manufacturing, and oil and gas.
Our focus is on the outcomes generated from the use of field service technology — outcomes that matter and make a positive impact on the business. For us, it has never been just about the ServiceMax products; it’s about what you can gain, whether that is more productive equipment, more efficient technicians, enhanced customer experience or perhaps most importantly, increased revenue. The knowledge that comes with more than 10 years of experience has enabled us to help hundreds of companies around the world.
Q. What makes ServiceMax different from others in this space?
ServiceMax is widely recognized as a Field Service Management industry leader – most recently, we were named a Leader in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management. Our asset-centric approach to field service has enabled us to focus on industries with high value, complex assets and deliver differentiated solutions in areas like assisted scheduling, project scheduling and field change order management, enabling customers to have an unprecedented view into the assets they maintain. Our capabilities make – what appears to be very complex processes – simple, repeatable, and well-managed. We are often praised for our product innovation, customer success and unique market expertise. From the beginning, ServiceMax has delivered many industry firsts, especially in areas of mobility, Internet of Things (IoT), Connected Field Service and asset-centricity. Our Global Customer Transformation team is staffed with industry experts with decades of field service experience, whose job is to help customers improve their processes and realize a strong ROI from their field service management investments. ServiceMax has some of the highest retention rates in the industry with customers expanding to new regions after seeing the value of the solution.
Tell us about your full range of offerings.
ServiceMax offers several offerings that are designed to help our customers maximize asset performance and differentiate with service:
Q. How important are partnerships to your company? Tell us about your special relationship with Salesforce.
ServiceMax works hard to support our dedicated field service network-trusted technology partners and knowledgeable implementation and integration consultants. By extending our Field Service Management platform through innovative partner programs, we ensure successful deployments and stronger service solutions.
Our partnership with Salesforce is separate from our more traditional channel relationships. As a company that chose to build on the Force.com platform from the very beginning, we have always been tightly aligned with Salesforce. Over the last two years, we became even more tightly aligned as we focused on our customer’s needs. Asset 360 was born out of a shared desire to enable the technicians who service critical machines to do so in the safest, most efficient way possible, so manufacturers, hospitals, power companies, telecommunications networks and hundreds of other essential systems can continue to function. This is what our ServiceMax and Salesforce Field Service customers deserve. This “best of both worlds” product is just what the larger market needs to transform. We have seen great momentum already, with several deals already done and a healthy pipeline.
Q. Tell us about the company’s work culture. How do you provide value to your employees at the workplace?
We have a variety of employee resource groups at ServiceMax, including Black Lives at ServiceMax (BL@X), LGBTQ2S+ Network, the Women’s Network, and Corporate Social Responsibility. These groups help foster open and honest communication within the organization and encourage employees to be the best they can be in an inclusive and judgment-free environment. Our overarching Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program focuses on building company-wide programs that support open dialogue on complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion. By encouraging an ongoing dialogue and not tolerating any incongruence with these values of openness, we are building trust, encouraging compassion and open-mindedness, and reinforcing our commitment to a culture of inclusivity.
Q. How have you innovated during these times of the COVID-19 pandemic? How has the pandemic affected the company?
ServiceMax has prioritized developing creative solutions to support customers in response to COVID-19. One of these, COVID customer offers, gave individual customers free and discounted solutions, as well as special professional services offerings, to keep service operations running smoothly.
We have also continued to support our customers by providing industry-leading thought leadership focused on best practices, problem solving and industry trends through our Field Service Digital blog, e-books, and regular cadence of virtual events that keep customers moving forward. Additionally, ServiceMax was able to successfully transition our annual, global user conference Maximize to a fully virtual event with over 700 attendees.
The Leader Upfront
Neil Barua, CEO
He has an extensive background in the technology industry and a proven track record of growing businesses. Previously, Neil was CEO of IPC Systems. During his tenure, he sold IPC and led a SaaS and data transformation of the company. Most recently, Barua served as an operating partner at Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing. Earlier in his career, he was part of John Legere’s leadership team that helped transform Global Crossing through consistent growth.
Recently, Barua signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge and joined the growing coalition of CEOs pledging to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. He understands that diverse and inclusive workforce not only facilitates community, but also drives innovation and creativity. Additionally, in 2020 Barua joined the board of Streetwise Partners, a non-profit that leverages mentorship to increase employment opportunities for adults from under-resourced communities.