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The Smart Field Service Prototype powered by SAP FSM and Wechat

In this blog I will introduce a prototype regarding a Smart Field Service prototype recently developed by our team. The aim of this prototype development is to give our local partners a demonstration about how SAP FSM is flexible enough to integrate with popular mobile application framework to achieve a more modern user experience.

SAP FSM is named as VISIONARIES in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management.

See the report in Aprial 2019.

And till 2019 Q1, Wechat has more than 1.1 billions active users per month. The Wechat users finds out that more and more of activities in their daily life could be achieved within Wechat itself by “subscription account” and “mini program”, without installing any additional mobile application. Wechat has almost become a sort of “mobile application platform” in de facto standard.

So it would be very promising if both could be combined to make customer life easier.

We design such a scenario: suppose a customer has bought an equipment from a given company, and need to finish the equipment installation by a technian some days later.

Traditional way for field service reservation

That customer has to call equipment selling company, discuss with the service agent via the phone, schedule a technian and determine the field service date and time. All of such discussion has to be performed online via phone.

And for the service agent who has picked up the call, he/she has to manually create every record in SAP FSM, such as service calls and activities. It’s time consuming with poor productivity.

Innovation way for field service reservation

(1) The customers can directly make reservation themselves via self service provided in Wechat. No additional application required.
(2) The self service in Wechat is developed with a frontend web application and a backend proxy server leveraging SAP FSM nodejs SDK. When customers choose the appropriate date time, specify a technican and confirm the reservation, the request is sent to the backend proxy server, which then calls SAP FSM Restful API via nodejs SDK, to create service calls and activities automatically.

In this way, no human service agent is needed any more.

Below is more detail about this demo scenario.

(1) After the customer has bought the equipment, he/she subscribed the official subscription account of the equipment selling company, in our demo it’s “SAPCX数字创新空间”.

Once done, the menus provided by the subscription account is available. Click “预约(Reserve)” to start book a time via self-service way.

Then the web application developed by our team is displayed in Wechat.

“预约地址”:the address of customer who currently uses Wechat for booking, which is automatically filled by GPS API call. Manual change is still available.

“联系电话”:customer mobile phone number.

“上门时间”:  the actual time that customer would like to book the field service.

Once service time is determined, the web application will fire a query request to SAP FSM to fetch technicians list who are available for that very booked time.

The available technicans are rendered in Wechat via list format, with each technican’s name, title, employment length, user ranking etc. Then the customer can choose a technician based on these information.

Once the customer confirms the reservation, our proxy server will call SAP FSM Restful API to create corresponding service calls and activity in the system:

Here below is the created service call in SAP FSM triggered from Wechat:

Here below is the created activity in SAP FSM:

In order to let customers can check the appointment anytime after this successful booking, once our web application receives the response from SAP FSM API call, we will push a “reservation confirmation”  to Wechat:

Click this notification and customers can review reservation detail in Wechat:

Now a day later, it’s time for the selected technician to travel to the customer site. Once the technican starts, the customer will receive a “real-time position sharing” initiated by the technician in customer’s mobile phone:

With the support of location tracking, the customer can have a rough estimation when the technician arrives.

Now let’s switch to technician perspective for the time being. Once the dispatcher employee presses the “Release Assignments” button on the installation task created by SAP FSM API call in the dispatching dashboard,

The technician will receive a notification message from the SAP FSM application in his phone:

Click the FSM mobile application and the technician can see what exactly should be installed for the current field service:

where do two items (installation service and accessory list) in task view above come from?

Two templates are created in advanced in SAP FSM, tile “Smartforms and Feedback”:

The binding relationship between the activity which the technician see in the mobile and the two work items is achieved by an API call to assign the two templates into the created activity in the runtime.

Once technician has finished installation service, in our prototype, a bill will be pushed to customer’s Wechat application containing detailed price:

The customer can open the bill detail, review it and press the blue button “支付账单(pay the bill)” in the bottom.

Wechat Pay is one of most popular payment method currently used in China. We simply bind a credit card in Wechat and then can perform payment directly using Wechat.

Once the customer pays the bill, a user survey will be sent to the Wechat to collect feedback about this field service experience.

We have developed a web page leveraging Qualtrics survey API. The survey result will be sent back by API to generate correesponding Qualtrics Response for futher analysis.

In summary, using our prototype, customers can now perform all necessary steps for a typical field service process purely in Wechat. Neither phone call nor other application is needed. This prototype demonstrates how flexible and powerful SAP FSM Restful API in regard to integration with third party software and how Wechat can be involved to bring an enhanced user experience of SAP FSM.

I have uploaded a demo video in youtube:

Hope it can inspire you a little bit.

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