SAP acquired a Swiss-based software company called Coresystems in June 2018. Coresystems is the developer of a field service management (FSM) software of the same name. The deal was an investment by SAP in their C/4 cloud suite, and Coresystems is meant to strengthen the field service part of their portfolio. Now, nine months after the deal and as the dust begins to settle, we could take a look at how things currently stand.
The companies were integrated during the fall of 2018. Perhaps the most visible change since then is that Coresystems has been rebranded to SAP Field Service Management, which is a part of SAP Service Cloud and the C/4 suite. Other than that, except perhaps a couple of SAP’s logos here and there, there are not many other visible changes. The most significant developments are, however, a work in progress and will be under the hood. Before going into the development pipeline, let us first take a look at some of the features that SAP has acquired via Coresystems.
Coresystems in a nutshell
At first glance, you will see that Coresystems is a pure field service management tool, and the positive side of this is that it does that job well. That means that the screens and functionalities have been designed for field service work and that the features are not something that has been built as an add-on at a later stage. There is an HTML-based view for the dispatcher and administrator type of work. The technician will work purely in a native app, available for iOS and Android platforms.
It also includes other features that you can expect from an FSM solution. One pick could be the checklist function that looks especially good. With the help of that, you can create and assign dynamic checklists to service calls that should be filled out by the technician. You also can build these checklists on current active PDF layout format, so you can retain the look and feel of a PDF form, while still being able to capture the data in a structured way.
Coresystems covers the process starting from dispatching of calls to what the technicians need on the field. Besides the traditional FSM features, there are primarily two features I bet that SAP saw potential in when they decided to go for Coresystems. The first is the self-service portal. Coresystems comes with an in-built self-service portal. What they call NOW is a feature where you can allow users to scan a QR code attached to the equipment to access a self-service portal, where they can log a new call with the help of a guided wizard process. They can also,
for example, see the status of open service calls and other information related to the equipment.
The second is a crowd-service feature. If the NOW feature was something for today, then the crowd-service is the feature of tomorrow. Coresystems has an in-built feature where you can handle your partner technicians outside your organization. This feature means that you have the ability to dispatch service calls so that freelancers can pick up your jobs. The vision is that this will be a considerable way for you to scale your service organization in the future. You might already be a little bit fed up by all Uber comparisons, but yes, this is like field service going Uber.
What will we see next?
One question that arose directly after the acquisition was what will happen with Cloud for Customer’s field service? SAP will most likely not remove any feature from Cloud for Customer field service, but it is quite clear on which horse they will bet. It will still probably be a couple of years until the C4C solution will be deprecated officially since SAP still have running contracts with existing customers that they will need to respect. However, Coresystems will get all development resources, and we will most probably not see too much FSM development in C4C.
What is then on the development agenda for Coresystems? One priority of SAP will be to launch integrations scenarios towards back-end ECC, as well as a ticket integration towards ticketing systems (Service Cloud and S/4 CS). You can already now use the solution with a point-to-point connector, but long-term plans include an integration scenario over the SCP integration platforms. The integration scenario consists of both options where you are using C4C as ticketing tool and where you are using the S/4 CS module as a ticketing tool. While we are waiting for these, we can of course also utilize the REST API for connecting other systems.
Besides the integration into the C/4 and ERP suites, it is still a little bit of a guessing game what features will be improved next. EHS (Environmental Health and Safety) features have been, for example, one area where SAP indicated quite early already that they want to cover more extensively. What this precisely will mean, remains to be seen as specific scenarios are already supported.
Something I also hope for is that the marriage with SAP will take Coresystems a couple of steps more in the direction of an enterprise system. Even though Coresystems already works in an enterprise environment, you can see that it has its roots in companies of a slightly smaller size. However, as the merger will probably open up new doors in the larger account segment, I would reckon that we will gradually see improvements in that area as well.
Meanwhile, we welcome Coresystems as an addition to SAP’s portfolio, as the system has the potential to be an FSM solution to be reckoned with.