“Most organizations seek the ability to connect IT and the back office to the front office and customer acting teams. Bridging those silos and creating visibility with a rich ESM [Enterprise Service Management] solution will help organizations drive service innovation and visualize the value.”
In two short sentences, Ray Wang, principal and founder of Constellation Research Inc, neatly encapsulated the main drivers for our acquisition of Axios Systems earlier this year. Here we further examine what the purchase of the Edinburgh-based ESM provider can deliver for our customers and how.
Who is Axios Systems?
Axios Systems PLC is a global provider of cloud-based Enterprise Service Management software. Recognized as a leader in IT Service Management (ITSM) and IT Operations Management (ITOM), it’s built a reputation for the quality of its omnichannel service management solution, which many of the world’s most respected brands rely on, including: Aviva, KPMG, FedEx and many more.
Why did we make the acquisition?
At IFS, service and value for customers come first. And in launching IFS Cloud earlier this year, we reinforced our commitment to help our customers go through digitalization and become more outcome- and service-led. Cimcorp is a strong example of a customer on this journey—see our earlier post to learn more about the company’s experience with IFS Cloud. Ultimately, our goal is to help our customers deliver when it matters most to their customers—at the Moment of Service.
Over the years, we’ve invested substantially in our service management business, which grew over 100 percent year on year in 2020. By acquiring Axios Systems, we’re deepening our service management capabilities with new IT Service Management (ITSM) and IT Operations Management (ITOM) functionality. The new capabilities will help our customers improve the design and automation of workflows, drive efficiency internally, and connect data across teams and systems to ultimately create opportunities to better serve their customers. Joining forces with Axios Systems is instrumental in extending our ambition to cement ourselves as the market leader in the Service space.
In our initial discussions with Axios, it soon became clear its leading product capabilities and close customer relationships stand out in the ESM market. What’s more, Axios’s flagship product, Assyst, is entirely complementary to the IFS product stack. And as with any successful partnership, the decision was based on more than just our shared technology capabilities. Over the past few months, we’ve seen strong cultural alignment between the IFS and Axios teams materialize with ease.
What benefits will customers be able to see?
We’ve maintained a stronghold as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management Software every year since 2014. By acquiring Axios Systems—recognized as a Niche Player in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for IT Service Management Tools—we’re accelerating investment in Assyst and adding further specialism to our product and platform. The new proposition will let our customers:
- Benefit from ITSM and ITOM functionality. Customers will be able to improve the design and automation of workflows, drive efficiency internally, and connect data across teams and systems to ultimately create opportunities to better serve their customers.
- Capitalize on end-to-end internal and external service management capabilities, all on one platform. The Assyst solution was primarily built to address internal-facing processes and workflows—combining it with IFS technology results in a complete end-to-end service solution.
- Share a unified employee experience in one common portal. By combining internal and external workflows within one place, we can address more than just the requirements of the CIO and their service management, supply chain, business management or operational needs. For example, we envisage field service workers logging into the common portal and being able to book leave, request a new phone, review their work schedule, or check out the stock needed to complete the tasks for the day. This approach enhances employee productivity and engagement levels.
- Accelerate their digital transformation, by integrating back-office systems with asset, technician, service history, customer, and partner data.
- Leverage the omnichannel capabilities provided by the Assyst solution platform. Customers will be able to engage with IT support across different channels within a single conversation.
How will the new solution be delivered?
At IFS, we offer choice and parity, wherever you deploy. We’re adding ITSM and ITOM capabilities into IFS Cloud, which can be deployed in the cloud or on-premise. Choice is important to all our customers, across a variety of industries, but for some of our service management customers, the range of deployment models we offer is critical. For example, we recognize that for asset-intensive industries in particular, on-premises environments are essential for performing certain field service and remote operations. We will continue to offer a variety of different deployment options and support customers in making the best choice for their particular business needs.
Like all elements of our proposition, you can deploy Axios Systems’ ESM capabilities as a best-of-breed point solution or integrate it with other capabilities built into IFS Cloud. This puts us in a unique position to offer an end-to-end service solution that supports employees internally, and in the field, as well as businesses as they deliver products, outcomes or indeed services. For the first time, customers will be able to connect both worlds and create a new level of visibility across their value chain so that they can delight customers in delivering great Moments of Service.
To give you an example scenario, think of an energy company looking to digitize, where part of their program is the roll out of smart meters. To deliver this, they’d need to combine the following:
- The customer requests—for a smart meter plus the need for broadband
- Field service—for the scheduled installation plus the stock items needed
- IT—to reach out to the original equipment manufacturer for the broadband installation plus the connection of the smart meter by the field technician
- Enterprise resource planning—for billing/cash collection.
This would all be possible through our common platform and user experience. The customer request would come in via our call center solution and will be logged as a ticket. This would then initiate a workflow for:
- IT —to contact the broadband provider and schedule the installation of broadband and set-up for the smart meter
- The field service technician—to dynamically schedule him/her to install the smart meter plus request the stock items needed
- Accounting—to set up the relevant billing criteria
- The setup of the customer profile—to consolidate the overall service and the resulting installation costs plus the monthly billing
- Accounting—to finally invoice and collect the cash.
Great service connects companies to their customers. It creates loyalty. And loyalty impacts margins. Our new service management solution, combined with IFS Cloud, helps our customers rethink their business so they can focus on services and outcomes instead of products. It’s been built to help businesses orchestrate their customers, people, and assets as their business transforms.
But don’t just take our word for it. You can see what Gartner says about IFS, compare different field service management vendors and explore current market trends in their 2020 report. Download the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management today.
Do you have questions or comments?
We’d love to hear them so please leave us a message below.