Field Service Management: Software Comparison

Discover the ultimate guide to Field Service Management Software Comparison, for choose the perfect solution for your business needs.

Table of Content

    In an age where accuracy, efficiency, and customer expectations are everything, field service orgs can’t afford to put off critical FSM investments any longer.The right field service management platform serves as the backbone for all operations. It streamlines workflows, maximizes resource utilization, and takes service experiences to new heights.Our go-to FSM recommendation is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service, but that’s in large part because, well, we’re a long-time Microsoft partner. Hey, it’s the platform we know. Still, there are many other options out there – all promising to “transform” operations and help you lock down a competitive edge. So here, we provide a quick overview of today’s leading FSM platforms  and how they compare to Dynamics 365 Field Service. We also link to our FSM software series, which pits each of the platforms in this post against D365 Field Service.

    What to Look for in a Field Service Management Solution

    We won’t go into too much detail about the selection criteria here. However, it’s important to note that your main goal is to build an ecosystem that can support your entire business. You want to create a stack that allows everyone in your organization to do their best work and actively drives the desired service outcomes. This includes field service operations, as well as all the behind-the-scenes functions like finance, HR, IT, sales, customer service, and the support desk. Before starting your search, here are some basic things you need to figure out.

    Alignment with Business Requirements

    Finding an FSM platform that aligns with proven business needs is easily the most important part of this process. You’ll want to perform a business needs analysis to better understand your requirements and identify capabilities gaps so you can find a platform that can fill them. Next, you’ll want to define clear goals for this investment. From there, you can start looking for solutions with features that tackle your unique set of requirements. While you should expect a certain level of customization, you want to choose the platform that best aligns with your needs out-of-the-box. What we’re getting at, is that building an FSM stack can get pretty personal. That said, here are some of the more “standard” features you should look for: 

    • Scheduling & Dispatch. Scheduling and dispatching capabilities are an FSM cornerstone. They help providers deliver timely service and drive positive outcomes by matching the right technicians to the right jobs. In D365 Field Service, all customer, asset, and appointment data are stored in one central hub. This enables them to coordinate visits, assign work, and communicate scheduling updates to field techs and customers.
    • End-to-End Visibility. End-to-end visibility is vital. It’s the foundation that supports everything — from scheduling and resource management to advanced field service automations. Platforms like D365 provide a comprehensive view of the entire service lifecycle. And, they connect all FSM data processes with the rest of the business by integrating with ERP, CRM, project management, productivity apps, and whatever else you’re using. 
    • Work Order Management. Building on our last point, FSM solutions should also include centralized work order management capabilities. You want to make sure you can monitor and manage everything — quotes, contracts, customers, assets, services, staff, inventory, etc. — in a single view. 
    • Workflow Automation. FSM software should include baked-in automation capabilities. At minimum, you need something that lets you automate manual tasks like data entry and allows you to build guided workflows for things like inspections, repairs, and reporting. But, ideally, you should look for something that supports more advanced automations — route optimization, IoT-enabled troubleshooting & booking, skills matching — even if you’re not quite there yet.
    • Field Service Mobility. Mobility is huge for field service management. Your FSM platform should keep technicians connected to customers and their colleagues back in the office, from any device or location. Look for tools with online and offline access, knowledge management features, and the ability to design data flows and guided sequences that help techs do more in less time. 
    • Remote Assistance. Remote assistance and mixed reality technologies are on their way to becoming essential to the FSM stack. These tools help field techs provide fast and effective service by connecting them with experts and resources that make it easier to navigate repairs and inspections. Additionally, more field service orgs are using things like AR solutions to serve customers remotely. 
    • Connected Field Service & IoT. Building a connected, IoT-enabled network allows providers to deliver proactive service to customers. Many platforms supports these increasingly essential capabilities, but do so in very different ways. Dynamics 365 Field Service, for example, includes out-of-the-box asset management, scheduling, and resource management tools that can be extended with Azure IoT Hub. Oracle has its own dedicated solution, IoT Applications. Meanwhile,  you can integrate IoT capabilities with Salesforce via 3rd-party integrations or APIs.
    • Integration & Customization Options. You want to make sure that your FSM tools are compatible with any existing solutions you’d like to keep using. 

    In a separate series, we take a deeper dive into field service software capabilities, one use case at a time. Access the overview page here, then follow the links to learn more about individual FSM solutions like inventory management, time-tracking, asset management, and more. 

    Pricing & Licensing

    There are FSM solutions for literally every price point. Determining exactly how much you can spend on this investment early on will make it easier to narrow your search and balance cost with value. Keep in mind, you’re not just looking at licensing fees and monthly subscriptions. You’ll also need to think about the costs of implementation, training, and customization, as well as partner services and any add-ons or integrations you might need in the future.

    Strength of the Ecosystem

    Field service involves a ton of moving parts, and you’ll need a unified digital ecosystem to ensure that they all work together like they’re supposed to. The biggest names in the game — Microsoft, SAP, Oracle — have invested heavily in building their own ecosystem solutions. All three companies offer end-to-end coverage through a collection of interoperable ERP and CRM apps, along with various add-ons, integrations, and services. Other providers, such as ServiceMax and Salesforce, approach interoperability through strategic partnerships, integrations, and API libraries. 

    Ease of Use

    You might find an FSM platform that, at least on paper, checks all the right boxes. But — it might come with too steep a learning curve for your employees. Beyond cost considerations, you’ll also need to think about ease of use and compatibility with existing systems and processes. 

    Vendor Support & Training 

    Support resources are another thing you’ll need to consider before committing to a new solution. Having the right support — from your vendors, as well as any tech partners you plan on working with — is an important step in ensuring a smooth transition to your new platform and lasting success.

    About Dynamics 365 Field Service 

    Dynamics 365 Field Service is a holistic field service management solution, designed to work with Microsoft’s modular, interoperable ecosystem of apps. While the platform is industry-agnostic, it is designed for enterprise organizations already using D365 Finance & Operations to manage finance, supply chain, and other core processes. D365 Field Service aims to equip field orgs with the tools they need to deliver proactive service, improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the overall customer experience. Key features include work order management, service agreements, inventory management, mobile productivity, IoT connectivity, and sup

    port for mixed reality tools. You can read more about them on our D365 Field Service page.

    So, What Else is Out There?

    To help you get a better sense of whether Dynamics 365 Field Service is right for you, let’s look at some competing solutions and see how they compare to D365’s FSM platform. 

    Dynamics 365 Business Central + ExpandIT

    Dynamics 365 Field Service is an enterprise app, designed to build on the core capabilities found in the D365 Finance & Operations apps. 

    Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t offer a comparable solution for its SMB subscribers. Instead, D365 Business Central customers looking to level up their field service management capabilities must look toward ISV solutions like ExpandIT to fill critical gaps. ExpandIT brings a suite of FSM tools into D365 BC including work order creation, planning, dispatch, invoicing, and mobile support. 

    In this product guide, we’ll look at how D365 BC + ExpandIT compares to D365 Field Service and the enterprise stack. 

    Acumatica Service Management

    Acumatica Service Management is an integrated FSM platform that comes with a robust suite of features including scheduling & dispatch, call center management, project management, and a dedicated repair center. Like Dynamics 365 Field Service, Acumatica Service Management was designed to extend the capabilities of the core ERP and integrate seamlessly with a broader ecosystem. While the two platforms have many features in common, Acumatica Servi

    ce Management is built for a more industrial crowd than D365 Field Service. Read the full post to learn more about Acumatica’s approach to FSM and whether it makes sense for your org.

    ServiceMax

    ServiceMax is a comprehensive FSM solution, designed specifically to support the needs of asset-centric field providers. Unlike Dynamics 365 Field Service, ServiceMax does not offer ERP or CRM solutions that support other lines of business. It does provide connectors to Salesforce and SAP solutions, giving users the ability to build a comprehensive digital platform that covers the same core areas as D365. 

    We’ll be honest, we don’t love that ServiceMax forces companies to rely on multiple vendors, but there are situations where this path makes sense. The platform offers some really impressive FSM tools that go deeper than most out-of-the-box solutions. 

    Read the full comparison to find out how ServiceMax stacks up against Dynamics 365 Field Service and whether it’s right for your business.

    Zoho FSM

    Similar to D365 Field Service, Zoho FSM is a cloud-based field service module designed to bring end-to-end field service management capabilities into your existing tech stack. Zoho FSM boasts a robust feature lineup that spans work order management, invoicing, inventory management, scheduling & dispatch, and field mobility. That said, the Zoho ecosystem looks a lot different than Microsoft’s and is built for a much different audience. Where D365 is built for the enterprise, Zoho is an affordable solution more in line with the needs of very small field service operations.  You can read more about how Zoho FSM compares to D365 Field Service in this side-by-side comparison.

    Oracle NetSuite

    NetSuite is a modular ERP and CRM platform that’s often positioned as the most obvious competitor to Dynamics 365. Both Microsoft and Oracle offer comprehensive cloud solutions that can be tailored to a wide range of industries as well as the needs of individual users. Now, while there’s a lot of overlap between Dynamics and NetSuite, there are some important differences between the two platforms. Each provider has a different approach to customization & integration options and modules are packaged in very different ways. Beyond that, NetSuite doesn’t offer a dedicated FSM module. Instead, users must look toward SuiteApps and add-ons to access critical FSM capabilities. Read our full breakdown to learn more about using NetSuite for field service and how it compares to D365, 

    Salesforce Field Service 

    In addition to its best-selling sales and marketing CRMs, Salesforce offers a dedicated service module that aims to nurture customer relationships by focusing on field service operations. According to Salesforce, the platform tackles some of the biggest challenges facing the field services sector — fragmented CRM processes, departmental silos, inadequate support, and resource management. Salesforce Service Management provides all front-line teams – field techs, support agents, dispatchers, and service managers – with a 360-degree view of all customers, cases, and assets. Inside, you’ll find some impressive capabilities – AI-powered scheduling, resource optimization, mobile workforce enablement, and more. Like D365 Field Service, Salesforce Field Service works best when combined with the other solutions in its ecosystem. But,  unlike D365, and some of the other solutions on this list, Salesforce solutions don’t cover the entire stack. Read the full post to find out how the two compare. 

    SAP Field Service Management

    Like Dynamics 365 Field Service, SAP Field Service Management is a field service module designed to integrate with your core ERP. SAP FSM supports end-to-end field service management, and includes features like service planning, technician tracking, call handling, and more. SAP’s field service platform is probably the closest competitor to Dynamics 365 Field Service. Like D365, SAP FSM extends the capabilities found in the core ERP. But, the two platforms provide very different user experiences and follow different approaches in terms of things like integrations and customization options. Check out the full post to see how SAP FSM compares to D365 Field Service. 

    Intuit Field Service Management 

    Intuit Field Service Management is an FSM solution that aims to help small service and installation businesses (think – plumbers, electricians, HVACs, and other independent contractors serving their local communities). manage day-to-day field operations. Given that this is an Intuit solution, the platform integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks. That means, users can unify finance and accounting processes with FSM activities like dispatching, routing, and inventory management. 

    We should note: Intuit Field Service Management doesn’t compare to Dynamics 365 Field Service for the same reason that QuickBooks doesn’t compare to D365 BC and D365 F&O. It’s an entry-level platform that might work for some mom-and-pop service providers, but is missing many core capabilities that belong in any decent FSM stack. In this article, we’ll look at Inuit’s benefits and limitations, as well as how it compares to a more robust enterprise platform like D365 Field Service. 

    Final Thoughts

    While we’re partial to Dynamics 365 Field Service, all of the solutions on this list have their own unique strengths, weaknesses, and target use cases. 

    Velosio is a veteran technology partner with over 30 years in the game. Our field service experts can help you build an FSM ecosystem that  aligns with your goals, addresses your toughest challenges, and evolves alongside your business for years to come. 

    Contact us today to learn more about our field service practice, solutions, and service offerings.