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SAP Utility Week: Utilities Core Transformation: Service

Dear Utilities Community,

On Friday, May 15th, we focused entirely on service for utilities. Utilities across the world are transforming more and more towards service providers.

We presented the key drivers and considerations of such a transformation and the key solutions supporting this transformation. A highlight was the live demo of the SAP Field Service Management.The interest was outstanding, many questions were asked and answered in the chat.

Here is an overview of the agenda:

  • Service Management for Utilities
    • Transformation drivers and challenges for the Utilities service business
    • SAP solution portfolio addressing the challenges
    • SAP Field Service Management with live demo

A special thank you to our speakers Friederike Mundt and Bernd Keller from SAP.

Further resources:

Please watch the session on demand here.

When entering the platform, you can download the slide decks from the “Resource List”.

 

In the session, we announced  “The Intelligent Enterprise Innovation and Experience Proposition for the Energy Utilities Industry”. Please send a note to SAPUtilitiesNews@sap.com if you want to have a copy.

 

The interest have been so huge that we weren’t able to respond to all questions. Here are the question and answers which could be of interest for you:

  • Can we have a demo system for hands on?

Partners can get a test, demo and development tenant for SAP Field Service Management from the SAP PartnerEdge portal.

  • Qualtrics is used for customer feedback, what else is the use of this? Can we use this for ad campaigns on social networking sights?

Qualtrics can be used in any scenario where you want to incorporate information from humans on any channel, customers, prospects, employees, etc.

  • Where are we scheduling the jobs?

SAP Field Service Management Scheduling and dispatch.

  • Is planning with external contractors and keeping control be possible with SAP Field Service Management?

External contractors can be planned with Field Service Management either fully integrated as individual resources or with Crowd Service on company level. Status and efforts reported can be sent back from external contractors to Field Service Management.

  • Does SAP’s Field Service Management support the following scenario: We outsource our meter replacement works to a 3rd party contracting company, can the contract company employee responsible for the work scheduling perform the scheduling and dispatching activities in SAP, or does the contracting company need to be treated like e.g an internal department of the utility?

This depends on how many resources the 3rd party company is scheduling and how much percent of workload they are getting from you. We see and support scenarios from 3rd party resources being integrated and scheduled like internal resources to the jobs being sent to the 3rd party service provider and them using their own system to schedule the jobs together with other jobs they are doing. SAP can also offer full access to all scheduling functionality for the 3rd party provider to schedule all their jobs with SAP Field Service Management.

  • Can you use SAP Field Service Management for maintenance orders?

Yes, we have customers using SAP Field Service Management only for maintenance orders or a mix of maintenance and service (and even network) orders.

  • Does SAP Field Service Management support work orders that originate in SAP S/4HANA on-premise?

Yes.

  • Does the SAP’s Field Service Management solution support ESRI maps?

We are just now working on it, a roadmap will be released soon.

  • Is it also possible to have a pull scenario, for situations in which the technician has time left when he is finished with planned work?

With permissions it is possible to allow technicians to see also activities (work) which are not assigned to them and take over these activities with few clicks. These activities are visible in a list or calendar view. That was a pull scenario can be implemented.

  • Are there any sizable SAP customer references in the Utilities industry for the SAP Field Service Management product presented here? If so, can you provide some references?

SAP Field Service Management (FSM) is a fairly new product for the Utilities industry. So we have references for pure service tasks in Utilities. SAP FSM scheduling however can be combined with SAP Asset Manager as the mobile solution, which has plenty of references in Utilities. FSM can be used to schedule and dispatch service and maintenance orders, while all execution can be done either with FSM Mobile or SAP Asset Manager. In addition we have references in non-utilities business executing service and maintenance. For example a telco network company Swisscom, an elevator construction service and maintenance company, etc.

  • What is the middleware for the mobile app? Is there any mobile platform involved?

The SAP Field Service Management mobile apps connect directly to the cloud to get and send data to SAP Field Service Management. There is no middleware involved just for the mobile app. The Field Service Management Cloud synchronizes data with the cackend (SAP ECC CS/PM, SAP S/4HANA Service,  SAP C4C, SAP CRM) via own built connector or integration with CPI.

  • How is the Gantt chart prepared? Where does all this information come from?

The jobs displayed are activities that come from the ERP service order line items, e.g. the service to be executed. Reservations can be created manually in SAP Field Service Management or could be transferred from absences from ERP. Different coloring for worktime is based on worktime patterns defined in SAP Field Service Management per technicians.

  • How was the Gantt Chart generated?

The data displayed in the Gantt Chart is based on the jobs (activities) assigned to technicians and the worktime and absences (reservations).

  • In which part of SAP are the skills of the technician stored nowadays? SAP HR? SAP Success Factors? Another part of SAP?

Different scenarios are still supported. Most current customers use Qualification in SAP HR. Some customers switched to SAP SuccessFactors and transfer the relevant skills from there. Some deals are also positioned now using Litmos with a light integration to Field Service Management. Other customers have built their own integration with another system using the available APIs for SAP Field Service Management.

  • Is SAP Field Service Management embedded in SAP Service Cloud to support customer request in call center operation to have better user experience?

I assume you mean C4C call center? There are two scenarios currently supported with standard integrations

1. SAP Field Service Management (FSM) is integrated directly with C4C. A service ticket in C4C s all the dispatching and service execution and sends back time and material to C4C. C4C is then integrated with the backend for billing completion

2. FSM is integrated with SAP ERP. The service ticket from C4C is synchronized to ERP and the service order is created there and then sent to SAP FSM as service call. SAP FSM does again the dispatching and sends time and material directly back to the ERP for billing.

  • Can you tell me if this process also support meter reading device replacement? Is it possible to enter meter readings in this application?

Field Service Management Mobile does not provide out of the box functionality focused for meter reading device replacement. This can be implemented with Smart Forms and customization in the ERP to update relevant asset data. The optimized mobile solution for meter reading device replacement is SAP Asset Manager which can also be combined with the Field Service Management scheduling solution.

  • Can the field worker return back to dispatcher or add tools from his side if this is required for the given service order?

Currently the field worker cannot add new tools on the mobile. What customers do is that the dispatcher suggests several tools and does not make a hard reservation and the field worker defines which of the tools they actually used because they were available or best suited.

  • Can we pull up the attachment (pictures) when the CSR is pulling up the service order from SAP Service Cloud?

Technicians can add attachments like pictures by using check lists on the mobile. Attachments will be uploaded to backend and are available for further processing and also visible in the order.

  • If the technician finds customer needs during the service, how will the additional service be handled?

Different scenarios are possible. The field technician can create follow up activities to report extra work, for example on another equipment. Also they can simply add additional efforts and material if it is additional work related to the same equipment.

  • Does the solution have auto-dispatch capability to a resource based on location of the resource/work location?

Yes. Auto-Dispatch takes the resource location into consideration. For future planning the work or start place and then based on the route the different locations are taken into consideration. For immediate planning, e.g. in emergency cases it is possible to take the technicians actual real-time location into consideration assuming that they do allow to access their location and have network where they are travelling.

  • As CS and PM becomes service orders in SAP S/4HANA, does SAP Field Service Management become the default maintenance solution (instead of MRS and Asset Manager)?

We have CS and PM orders and we have the new S/4hana service replacing CS. PM will continue to exist. This is independent of the strategy with FSM. FSM has a scheduling/dispatch and a mobile component. For more asset related work the SAP Asset Manager can be used in combination with FSM scheduling /dispatch. On the other hand MRS will continue to be our on premise option for scheduling /dispatch.

  • Can SAP Field Service Management be included into SAP S/4HANA Customer Management for Utilities?

Yes, SAP Field Service Management works on the orders created in SAP S/4HANA (as well as ECC).

  • Is Off-line work on mobile device supported and will data be submitted when connected again? 

Yes, mobile apps work fully offline. Data is synchronized on request. Only exceptions are online customized reports that are generated in the cloud.

  • What are the VR – AR capabilities? 

VR/AR capabilities are available with 3rd party providers based on customer project.

  • Is there expert steering from HQ possible, e.g. someone looking via a camera and advising a junior engineer? 

Remote support like VR/AR have been implemented with 3rd party providers on customer projects.

  • How is IoT information loaded to service system?

IoT information is loaded using APIs provided by SAP Field Service Management.

  • How quickly does the order settle to cost centers? Does it happen in real-time?

This is independent of SAP Field Service Management. Order settlement is an SAP S/4HANA functionality and settlement can be configured by orders.

  • Does SAP Field Service Management include out of the box views for the contact center to check appointment slots prior to issuing the order?

SAP Field Service Management has appointment offering APIs and can be integrated into any front office.

  • Does SAP Field Service Management include dispatch automation capabilities like optimization, rolling dispatch, bundling etc?

Yes, SAP Field Service Management supports auto-dispatching and optimization based on custom plugins that allow these scenarios.

  • Can SAP Field Service Management manage sales management i.e. new installation / new customer?

In general SAP Field Service Management relies on the service order being created in the backend system. This can be an order for a new installation. Scenarios where a technician sells and installs new equipment to new customers without previous service order could be implemented with Smart Forms and customization in SAP ERP but is not a common scenario implemented so far.

  • Is it integrated with “old fashioned” CS service order available in the back end or are supposed to use service management in CRM?

The oldest and most advances integration of SAP Field Service Management is with “old fashioned” CS service orders which is used by most current implementations since more than 9 years. Additional integrations with SAP S/4HANA Service, SAP C4C and SAp CRM were made available in the last 2 years.

  • Where is the bill calculation done?

SAP S/4HANA SD billing, SAP subscription billing, etc.

  • Is there a plan to integrate customer self-serve on SAP Field Service Management with the rest of utility customer self-serve function ?

Currently there is no concrete plan to do that. The idea is certainly there and will depend on customer interest on this.

  • When technician installs a meter in the field using mobile application, will it automatically do the full install in SAP S/4HANA?

This would need customization as part of the implementation project. Instead SAP Asset Manager can be used with FSM scheduling/dispatch and provides out of the box meter management integrated with SAP S/4HANA (IS-U).

  • Is SAP Field Service Management integrated with E(L)AM?

I assume you mean Linear Asset Management. LAM is part of our asset management solution and is covered with the SAP Asset Manager. In case you need heavy asset maintenance and service combined on one mobile solution, we would suggest in such a case to use SAP Asset Manager.

  • Where can I find the SAC Reports? Is there also XM included?

SAP Analytics Cloud reports for SAP Field Service Management are available in the Content Library for SAP Analytics Cloud. For details what is available and how to integrate to SAP Field Service Management see the public documentation available here.

  • Can SAP Field Service Management (FSM) be integrated with SAP ECC? What is the typical implementation cycle of FSM for mid-sized Utilities on SAP ECC?

Yes, FSM can be implemented with SAP ECC. There are no experience average numbers for mid-sized Utilities. In general the typical implementation cycle for a pilot (first country or business unit) for a mid-size company is 6-10 weeks.

  • Does the dispatch functionality account for real-time traffic while calculating estimated travel time?

This is planned on the roadmap for 2020.

  • Any solutions around storing invoices, reports, docs etc. from the field to make them index-able and easier to retrieve through work order history?

Documents are attached to the activities / service order and can be retrieved from there. There is no document management system for attachments available within SAP Field Service Management.

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