The News Spotlight: March 2020

Mar 12, 2020 • Featuresfuture of field serviceSalesforceservicemaxServitization Conference

The Field Service News editorial team offer analysis on the stories circling in the service sector...


An investment injection from Salesforce is set to advance ServiceMax’s focus on assset-heavy industries such as manufacturing and utlities. Mark Glover spoke to CEO Neil Barua after the news broke...


I initially wanted to use this space to focus on the much needed calls for drone advancement and how it has the potential to postively impact on last mile delivery.

However, news that ServiceMax had received a cool $80 million investment from their long-time platform partner Salesforce came to my attention and with that an opportunity to speak to CEO Neil Barua about the announcement.

“The money was probably the least important part of the news,” he told me. “It’s great to be able to fund our growth and development but it’s the strategeic partnership element and the acknowledgement by Salesforce [that] in asset-centric industries ServiceMax is the chosen leader and they’re supporting our innovation for our customers in those industries. It’s a very monumental time in the industry for that decision to have been made,” he said.

Rumours around ServiceMax’s relationship with Salesforce have been circulating for some time now, with some speculating the software firm were ready to show its platform supplier the door, however this news concretes their partnership.The funding injection, the firm says, will enable them to focus on asset-heavy sectors such as manufacturing, oil and gas and utilities.

But it’s the firm collaboration with Salesforce that Barua was keen to extoll and in particular its place at ServiceMax’s varied board room table. “So we have a very dynamic board structure here at ServiceMax including Silverlake participants, incuding GE partcicpants and we’re now going to add Salesforce to that,” he explained. “So the adults in the room can look at things from a board perspective and make sure the two companies are thinking about what’s best independently but most importantly what’s best for customers.”

We shall see ultimately if this windfall affect ServiceMax’s end-user. Next month however my news focus will be drone-based and how that industry could do with $80 million to propel its offering.


... and Field Service News’ Editor-in-Chief, Kris Oldland, also reflects on what the big stories in the news are for him...


Having reviewed the big stories I think I am acrtually going to do the slightly crass thing and highlight our own involvement at the inaugral World Servitization Conference.

However, in my very best humble brag style, I’d really like to bring your attention to just how impressive the journey has been for my good friends at Aston University and the Advanced Services Group and just what an achievement launching the first World Conference is for Professor Baines and his excellent collection of colleagues.

I have had the honour of attending the Spring Servitization Conference for a number of years as both a guest of Aston University and latterly as a Media Partner for the Advanced Services Group and as such have been a first hand witness to just how the conference has grown over the years. I’ve had the pleasure of attending the conference in various pockets of Europe including Manchester, Copenhagen, Luzerne and its great to see it return home to Birmingham in its latest all grown up iteration.

The world of academia and industry really can flourish when they come together to search out solutions and drive each other forward and the Spring Servitization Conference has been an absolutley pioneering and pivotal point within the calendar where that meeting of minds has been able to take place.

And whilst it may sound like an increase in capacity going from the humble Spring Servitization Conference to the more grandly titled World Servitization Conference, the truth is that the name change should have happened a few years back as this annual meet up of the great and the good of the academic servitization community, increasingly being joined by larger and larger numbers of their industry colleagues, really does attract a global audience.

I for one am extremely proud that we are still strongly associated with the conference and am very much looking forward to working with TIm and the Aston team on this event and for many years to come.