Table of Contents
Mobile Prepackaged Applications for Service Workers in the Field
The North American mobile workforce management (MWM) market is in a state of flux. New participants, ongoing technology advancements, and more educated customers are resulting in steady growth in both users and revenues. These software solutions locate, manage, automate, and optimize mobile field service workers and their tasks. High-potential users include field service organizations, home health care agencies, distribution and courier services, and the public sector. Analysis is based on the interviews with vendors, channels, and end-customers, as well as secondary research. Metrics include user, revenue, pricing, and channel forecasts, in addition to market opportunity sizing.
- The North American mobile workforce management (MWM) market is a dynamic entity exhibiting constant forward motion on an impressive number of fronts, including accelerated merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, new end-user markets, cutting-edge technologies, and reimagined alliances. Annual revenue from prepackaged solutions is expected to grow from an estimated $ million to $ billion by 2019, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of percent.
- While field service management (installation/maintenance/repair) is a key market for mobilized remote workforce management solutions, this is not a single-use product category by any means. Other verticals—such as home health care, distribution (pick up and delivery), utilities, and the public sector– are expected to increasingly mobilize their own remote field-based employee management and optimization effort over the forecast period.
- This is a market in transition, with larger late-entry software vendors looking for mobility and cloud expertise, and finding both by acquiring and absorbing a number of the smaller mobile-first app developers that created the MWM category over a decade ago.
- Channel and technology partnerships have been major factors in the development of this market, however, recent M&A activity could cause a significant shift in alliances. For example, Frost & Sullivan will be monitoring the impact of the recent Xora/ClickSoftware/Francisco Partners series of purchases on the MWM strategies of Xora’s key distribution channel partners--the three Tier 1 U.S. wireless carriers.
- Exciting technological developments are becoming strong contributors to this market’s growth. The injection of increased R&D funds by larger, well capitalized participants is resulting in new capabilities to improve customer care in the field, including artificial intelligence (AI) tools, 3-D visualization and augmented reality, predictive analytics when paired with machine-to-machine (M2M) and sensor technologies, the first MWM apps for the new wearable form factor (smart watches and smart glasses),
- Originally targeted at smaller and mid-sized businesses (SMB), prepackaged MWM solutions are also proving to be very popular with larger enterprises that prefer to avoid creating apps from scratch by purchasing off-the-shelf MWM offerings and then customizing the last - percent of design to address their companies’ specific needs. However, this adoption trend may be jeopardized as more of today’s mobile app development platform vendors are moving away from complex coding requirements and instead presenting a new “low-code, no-code” approach that allows a business to create a % customized MWM solution in an affordable and quick fashion.
- Other barriers to adoption have the potential to slow prepackaged MWM growth, such as customer concerns regarding implementation costs and return on investment (ROI), worker privacy concerns, data security and a lack of internal resources to properly manage and maintain the solution. Cloud-based MWM applications are increasingly popular primarily because they neatly neutralize the majority of these concerns.
- Current MWM users are the vendors’ best advertisement as they continue to register high levels of satisfaction and report an impressive list of positive business impacts—including improved response times, faster problem resolution, reduced paperwork, more accurate billing, and enhanced customer engagement. According to the latest Frost & Sullivan survey of North American mobile and wireless decision-makers, over half of current MWM users plan to expand their deployments during the
- With the exception of the smallest of businesses, the decision to purchase a mobile workforce management solution remains a multi-party undertaking. The field service organization is more likely to take the lead, however, the Information Technology (IT) organization is closely involved (ensuring proper security and backend integration) as should be the actual end-users of the solution.
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