Salesforce Field Service vs. Dynamics 365 Field Service
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare Salesforce Field Service vs. Dynamics 365 Field Service and what each brings to the table.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare Salesforce Field Service vs. Dynamics 365 Field Service and what each brings to the table.
Table of Content
Salesforce Field Service and Dynamics 365 Field Service stand out as leaders in the crowded FSM landscape.
Both are powerful, AI-driven FSM platforms that use big data to fuel service operations and drive customer outcomes.
Both provide a unified workspace for managing customers, communications, service requests, and ever-changing schedules.
And, both offer robust customization options, allowing providers to make the software their own.
Yet, the two FSM platforms are pretty far apart on several important fronts.
Salesforce and Microsoft each follow very different ecosystem, integration, and customization strategies. And, the two companies seem to have a different idea of what it takes to help customers reach critical FSM goals.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll shed some light on these two powerhouse solutions and what each brings to the table.
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Salesforce Field Service (SFS) is a cloud-based platform that streamlines and optimizes the customer-facing aspects of field service.
The platform focuses primarily on aligning call center agents, dispatch, and field technicians. But, its main selling point is that it connects field service with other front-line functions like sales, marketing, and customer service.
While this isn’t a comprehensive list of everything SFS does, here’s a quick rundown of its core capabilities:
SFS boasts a ton of impressive customer-centric capabilities. The problem is, it’s missing a lot of the essential tools that come standard in most FSM platforms.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service includes all the capabilities found in the SFS platform. So, AI scheduling, customer & resource management, field mobility, and a whole lot more.
D365’s built-in inventory management system monitors real-time stock levels and tracks inventory movement, helping providers manage materials more effectively.
IoT integration enables real-time diagnostics and proactive action, reducing costly repairs and downtime.
Support for mixed reality tools like Remote Assist and the HoloLens 2 headset help drive success in the field. Techs gain remote access to experts, visual overlays & holographic diagrams, and a host of other valuable resources. These tools also enhance skills, boost asset performance, and improve customer satisfaction.
The biggest difference between SFS and D365 Field Service is the scope of their respective ecosystems.
The Microsoft ecosystem was designed to cover all essential business functions. Dynamics 365 Field Service extends the capabilities of the core D365 Finance ERP. And, it integrates with the rest of the D365 modules like HR, Customer Engagement, and Project Operations.
You can also work with D365 Field Service data from Microsoft 365 like Teams and Excel. And, you can use field insights to build custom solutions in the low-code Power Platform suite.
Like Microsoft, Salesforce has built a comprehensive digital ecosystem, allowing customers to pick and choose which specific capabilities to include in their stack.
SFS integrates with all Customer 360 apps, which includes Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, and the Einstein AI platform.
But — while D365 offers both CRM and ERP solutions that span the entire org, Salesforce only makes CRMs.
This means, SFS users will need to rely on integrations for core functions like finance, accounting, and backend ops. They also stand to face several challenges stemming from those patchwork solutions. These include data silos, security issues, and delays. They might also have trouble finding a technology partner that can provide adequate support.
By contrast, D365 users start with a complete platform. That way, they can start optimizing their FSM capabilities upon implementation.
When D365 users look toward ISVs or custom solutions, it’s usually because they’re looking for something outside of what’s typical within the field service sector.
For example, solutions might help them tackle niche challenges. Say, managing concrete pour testing. Or, they might introduce hyper-specific features for a certain business model.
For example, this ISV offers a comprehensive facilities management suite for providers serving residential communities.
One key difference between Dynamics 365 Field Service and Salesforce Field Service is the user interface. Dynamics 365 Field Service has a more modern and intuitive UI, while SFS has that “classic Salesforce” look and feel.
If we look only at individual features, the SFS vs. D365 Field Service debate boils down to the subjective. Both platforms are attractive, user-friendly, and loaded with impressive AI-enabled features.
That said, you’ll want to look beyond aesthetic preferences and the learning curve associated with each platform.
For example, Dynamics 365 Field Service, as a standalone app, is more complex than Salesforce SFS. But, that’s because it’s designed to support the full spectrum of field service ops.
You might need to spend more time configuring processes in D365 Field Service. Say. designing data flows that link field ops to other functional areas (finance, sales, HR). You might also need to provide more upfront training and support to employees with D365 than SFS, which has a much more limited scope.
That said, Salesforce’s limitations will not make things easier in the long-run. Many orgs, particularly those operating within complex, process-heavy environments, will need to lean on patchwork solutions to meet all requirements.
Once you’re up and running, Microsoft’s holistic ecosystem approach makes it easy to manage everything in one place.
You can manage work orders, capturing all the essential details about each job and tracking their progress in real-time. You can ID process inefficiencies, fill functionality gaps, and scale up or down on-demand. And, you can design processes that empower field techs, enable predictive service, and nurture lasting customer connections.
All of this, together, enables field service orgs to increase operational efficiency, leading to lower costs and higher profits.
Both platforms provide a wealth of customization and integration options.
But Dynamics 365 Field Service is an end-to-end field service solution that connects to the D365 F&O ERP and SFS is a service-centric CRM that connects to other Salesforce CRMs.
So, again, with SFS, these options are often more about necessity than optimization.
Salesforce Field Service allows admins to customize several out-of-the-box features. For example, you can customize dashboards and screens, page layouts, and set up custom actions and automated workflows in the platform’s mobile app.
But, if you’re looking to big, structural changes to SFS (or Salesforce in general), you’ll need to subscribe to Salesforce Platform – a suite of low-code dev tools that allow you to build apps, bots, and automations, secure your stack, and use AI/ML to get more from your data.
That said, Salesforce does offer a dizzying array of customization options via the expansive AppExchange marketplace. Inside, you’ll find integrations for popular apps like Slack, Workday, Adobe, Shopify, etc.
You’ll also find field service solutions that fill gaps SFS doesn’t cover. For example, ServiceMax Asset 360 brings comprehensive asset management capabilities into SFS. This allows providers to leverage IoT data to improve service delivery and take advantage of built-in processes that enhance productivity and enforce industry best practices.
There’s also Optima Pro, which adds features like inventory and parts management to the stack, as well as niche solutions like ServiceTracker, which handles workforce and service management for pest control companies.
Dynamics 365 Field Service gives users more room to design the platform they want. Users can customize out-of-the-box reports, dashboards, and process flows. Or, they can build the exact capabilities they want using the low-code tools in the Power Platform suite.
You can use Power Virtual Agents to build an AI chatbot that troubleshoots equipment issues or Power BI to deliver actionable information via mobile app – ensuring that field techs are always working with the freshest data.
Dynamics 365 users can also extend the core FSM platform by purchasing ISV apps from the AppSource store. There, you can find pre-built solutions for managing equipment rentals, handling inspections, or streamlining field service project management processes.
Salesforce Field Service plans range from $50 to $150 per user, per month, depending on license type.
Dispatchers and technician licenses are $150 per month, but provide context-based access to the full range of SFS capabilities, making it the best fit for permanent employees.
Contractor plans cost far less, as they only give users access to the specific tools they need – creating a separation between external collaborators and the core business. Download the data sheet to compare SFS licenses in more granular detail.
Salesforce Service Cloud subscriptions are billed in a slightly different way. Service CRM plans range from $25 per user, per month (Essentials) to $300 per user, per month (Unlimited), and users have the option to add more modules at a discounted rate. Field service and Einstein plans start at $50 per user, per month, while the digital engagement add-on starts at $75 per month.
Microsoft approaches its pricing model in a similar way. Most D365 apps are licensed on a per user, per month basis, including D365 Field Service. Providers can also choose from a selection of license types that grant different levels of access to different types of users.
“Full” D365 Field Service plans start at $95 per user, per month. The price drops down to $30 per user, per month with another “qualifying app” like D365 Finance, Customer Service, or Sales.
Still, it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about Dynamics 365 or Salesforce, considering individual plans in a vacuum is a waste of time.
Your FSM solution represents one part of a broader ecosystem – so your total cost will include multiple modules, apps, and services – plus equipment, infrastructure, and implementation costs, among many other expenses.
Microsoft and Salesforce both offer a wide range of resources to customers. These include online guides, downloads, tutorials, and virtual training courses, as well as community forums, detailed documentation, and knowledge base content that goes deep into every feature and potential use case.
Microsoft and Salesforce also offer direct support to paying customers via phone, chat, or email that need help troubleshooting basic issues or answers to common questions. Both companies also offer paid support plans to enterprise customers or those with specific needs.
Microsoft’s Professional Direct Plan is $9 per user, per month, and offers the same benefits as the Standard plan – but faster. This option is best for those looking for quicker responses to avoid things like outages or production shutdowns.
The Unified Enterprise plan is more comprehensive, and provides customized, end-to-end support across all MS products. Pricing is based on several different factors – size, sector, what solutions you’re using, etc.
Salesforce offers a few different “Success Plans.”
The Standard plan is free with all licenses and gives users access to exclusive self-service resources. The Premier Success plan costs 30% of the customer’s net licensing fees and includes hands-on coaching, training, and advisory services, 24-hour chat support, and targeted insights aimed at helping get the most from SF investments.
Signature Success and Professional Services plans provide more personalized and proactive support than the lower cost Premier plan. Pricing for both options is based on complexity and scale.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we’ll admit to a certain amount of bias. But, generally, working with a certified technology partner is the better bet here.
Since both companies have such expansive partner communities, customers usually get more specialized support from a certified provider.
With the vendor plans, you will gain access to experts that really know the tech. And, that’s vital for things like configuration, troubleshooting, upgrades, and security protections. But, often, they lack the industry knowledge that unlocks the full potential of your FSM stack.
As always, the choice between Dynamics 365 Field Service and Salesforce Field Service depends on your existing tech stack and the specific needs and pain points you’re trying to solve for.
As a standalone platform, SFS has a lot to offer. AI-driven scheduling and dispatch, journey orchestration, seamless integration with the Salesforce ecosystem, the list goes on.
The problem is, it’s too easy to end up with a bloated, complex system. And, unfortunately, that will prevent you from tapping into the full potential of SFS (or any integrations linked to your CRM).
Velosio can help you avoid these potential pitfalls by helping you find and implement the Microsoft solutions that belong in your unique FSM stack.
Contact us today to learn more about our field service practice, solutions, and service offerings.