Back To The Future: Field Service Style

Sep 13, 2017 • FeaturesFuture of FIeld ServiceMark BrewerHololensIFS

Today’s technology is becoming more and more like science fiction - but how can we harness it in the field service sector? Mark Brewer, Global Industry Director, IFS gives us the inside scoop on how they are leveraging HoloLens...

It’s stuff straight out of the movies; Back to the Future, Ender’s Game, or Ex Machina. Imagine a young field service technician in front of an MRI machine at an NHS hospital.

He has arrived to perform preventative maintenance on the machine based on sensor feedback that had signalled a pending fault.

He is wearing Microsoft’s HoloLens, which in addition to giving him the appearance of Geordi La Forge straight of Star Trek, is allowing him to be immersed in the customer experience.

He can access customer history, warranty agreements, sensor data and even schematics, all hands free, in real-time, while he repairs the machine, maximising uptime and all the while avoiding the hassle and stress that inevitably comes with breakdown.

Only that isn’t a movie scene.

In fact, I stood in a room wearing a HoloLens as it fed me information straight from IFS Applications, our ERP backed service management software.

I was able to access and view service history, performance analysis, and temperature levels. In fact, the integration between IFS Applications and the HoloLens will also make it possible to action the data in real time by clicking a ‘work guidelines’ button to access service instructions stored in IFS Applications.

By leveraging the integrated HoloLens camera, the solution also makes it easy to document the asset and the service performed and store the information in IFS Applications for future reference.

Proof of concept today, in the field tomorrow. 

IFS’s innovation think tank, IFS Labs, has developed an integration between the enterprise applications suite IFS Applications and Microsoft HoloLens to reinvent field service management.

By leveraging the Microsoft HoloLens, we can help service personnel navigate complex environments and access critical asset information to realise major benefits such as increased productivity and first-time fix rates.

“We are very excited to present this proof of concept that we believe has the potential to revolutionise the way we think of field service management,” IFS Labs director Bas de Vos said. “By leveraging the Microsoft HoloLens, we can help service personnel navigate complex environments and access critical asset information to realise major benefits such as increased productivity and first-time fix rates."


Field service management is a highly prioritised area for IFS where we have been categorised as leaders by analysts. We will keep pioneering this field with innovative solutions that provide tangible business benefits.”


What does it mean?

It means improved service levels, increased first-time fix rates, and increased uptime. It means truly transformative field service delivery.

A servitization model transforms the concept, expectation and value of service, and technology enhances execution of that product service system.

Technology like the HoloLens allows technicians to do their jobs better, faster. It also helps to bridge gaps caused by an ageing workforce, providing appeal to a younger generation of employees while offering an easy to adopt user experience for your current labour force.

According to Tuong Huy Nguyen of Gartner, “AR is most useful as a tool in industries where workers are either in the field, do not have immediate access to information, or jobs that require one or both hands and the operator’s attention.”

Changing your offering…

It also breeds new opportunity for your service delivery model.

70 percent of consumers expect a self-service option for handling commercial questions and complaints.

Today, fast service isn’t enough for many of your customers. According to Fast Company, 70 percent of consumers expect a self-service option for handling commercial questions and complaints. Not only can an integrated HoloLens offering provide a highly empowered field service engineer, but it can also turn your customer into a field service engineer as well.


Imagine providing your customer with a HoloLens linked to your service management solution when they purchase a product or service package from you.

You are then empowering your customers to act as the first line of defence in the case of failure, regular maintenance, and more, by providing them with the right guidance and virtual support to fix an issue themselves.

Innovative software helps you deliver inspired service

The power of technology ultimately lies in how it is leveraged. Combining the mixed reality capabilities of Microsoft HoloLens with the enterprise end-to-end software solution IFS Applications ultimately empowers field service technicians with innovative tools that boost productivity while creating the potential for organisations to generate new offerings and add value to their customers.

The world we grew up dreaming about in the movies is a world that we are now able to embrace. As end consumers taste the potential of new technology and expect more, field service organisations that embody innovation and leverage new technologies will become the clear leaders.

To learn more about IFS Lab’s latest innovations, email or visit



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