WBR held their annual gathering of senior Field Service leaders - Field Service Connect – at Celtic Manor in Wales in May. Field Service Connect’s Head of Production, Ailsa Hardy, shares a snapshot of the themes discussed, delegates in attendance, and how conservation of the African Rhino through technology is uniting field service leaders even after the event…
The glorious weather and rolling hills of the beautiful Celtic Manor Resort in Wales set the scene for two days of uninterrupted benchmarking, learning and connecting with friends old and new. Hosted by Rajat Kakar, VP Services Business at Fujitsu, day one focused on “being a proactive field service organisation through digital transformation”, with keynotes from Virgin Media Business, IFS, Schneider Electric and GE Power, plus a number of small group, interactive roundtable discussions and Think Tank workshops.
A timely discussion at the Women in Field Service lunch was followed by a lively debate between British Gas and Homeserve to contend whether the future lies in replacing human intervention with technology, which got much audience participation!
Before the drinks reception and dinner overlooking the golf course at sunset, day one closed with our guest speaker Bruce ’Doc’ Watson, Future Technologies Pioneer and TEDx Speaker from Dimension Data, who had the room hanging on his every word as he spoke with passion about the groundbreaking Connected Conservation project they are leading, in collaboration with Cisco, which uses technology to eradicate the poaching of endangered species such as the African Rhino.
"Delegates stayed to compare experiences, swap contact details and even share taxis back to Newport station..."
Since the event in May, several attendees have reached out to ‘Doc’ to see how their companies can get involved in the conservation project. It really is fantastic to see Field Service Connect bringing people together like this far beyond the conference room.
“Unlocking the customer service conundrum”, was the focus for day two, which led to much interaction on an emotive topic. G4S’s Operations Director kicked off the day with “making field service sexy” in the digital era, followed by a great panel on the forgotten workforce with BT, Olympus KeyMed, Whirlpool, and Clicksoftware.
Thales Group delivered a case study on “building and retaining a star team within an ageing workforce”, before a panel with Philips, Canon and Smith’s Detection on “the best way to balance conflicting priorities and expenditure needs with 21st century customer expectations”, moderated by Field Service News’ Editor-in-Chief, Kris Oldland.
Rajat of Fujitsu closed day two with an insightful keynote on “How to implement predictive technologies and automation to give your customers what they want before they demand it” before closing the event for 2019. Instead of the expected rush for taxis and cars, it was testimony to success of the event that delegates stayed to compare experiences, swap contact details and even share taxis back to Newport station, keen to extend the fun for as long as possible.
We look forward to the third annual Field Service Connect in 2020, and hearing how these new connections grow over the next year!