Those working in the corporate sector might find the concept of ‘raising a ticket’ very familiar. If you have an issue, you create a notification in the system that is directed to the concerned technology executive. Got a problem with the software program? Raise a ticket. Is your device not functioning properly? Raise a ticket through the website.
Although the concept seems like a simple one, the process has certain logistical constraints. Field executives cannot constantly carry a system during their projects. Not everyone has access to a laptop or desktop at all times. FieldEZ uses a much more accessible route towards service management – the handphone.
FieldEZ is an award-winning (twice voted the best enterprise mobility solution by Frost & Sullivan in the last two years) on-demand mobile field service management solution.
Jinaraj P G, the Founder & CTO, has over 14 years of software industry experience and has held engineering leadership positions at various organizations, including startups (CISCO, Eka Software, Ketera Technologies Inc., i2 Technologies, and MindTree Consulting etc). He has successfully built scalable SaaS software for large Fortune 500 customers such as Chevron and PepsiCo.
During his tenure at CISCO, he thought of turning a smartphone into a tool for mobile CRM. He worked on a beta version of the product while there. A potential angel investor loved the idea and Jinaraj left CISCO in 2011 to start work on his concept.
At that time it was difficult to track down customer response, monitor performance of field executives who travelled to meet clients, and resolve technical issues. There was scarce documentation of the entire process right from when the ticket was raised to when the problem was resolved. In 2012, FieldEZ was launched successfully to counter these issues. As a sophisticated field service management solution, it has features such as call management and scheduling, lead management, time and location reporting and travel and expense capture.
Their first project was a partnership with Wipro to customize FieldEZ for Dell such that Dell coordinators could route tickets effectively, ensure the field executive was on top of the task and resolved the issue within the stipulated deadline.
The venture steadily increased its user base from 2011 to 2013. Adoption of the app was swift. There were 5,000 mobile users in the Wipro office alone. ICICI had about 15,000 users. Currently, the app has about 25,000 active users.
At the end of 2013, FieldEZ received funding from IDG Ventures and IvyCap Ventures to drive sales in the US and South East Asia besides India. A major chunk of the funds has been utilized in creating advanced capabilities for field force tracking and management. FieldEZ now provides an end-to-end solution for field service management that can compete with the best of enterprise mobility solutions in the world. The venture also channelled a part of the funds towards marketing and developing a user base in North America.
Overcoming challenges and powering through
2013-2014 was a tumultuous year for FieldEZ. Tackling the US market brought a whole host of challenges to FieldEZ. The venture’s primary expertise was to cater to smaller firms but in the US, their potential clients were large firms specializing in various verticals. FieldEZ recruited marketing and technology teams based out of the US. But this move caused a big dent in the company’s income.
The team realized that they had to make significant changes in the way they operated overseas. The technology team was trained in India and worked according to the US time zone. Rigorous training was imparted on customer engagement, configuring the product for American customers and troubleshooting. Last year, FieldEZ managed to build a strong base in the US and has also managed to get AMCOR, a European company (a USD 16.8 billion company) as one of its clients.
Jinaraj states that FieldEZ is extremely easy to customize and that sets them apart from their competitors. New business processes can be added and quick customization helps cater to some of the more complex demands of clients.
The present and the future
FieldEZ has built its application in such a way that it can be modified to suit business needs across various verticals. The application is already deployed in diverse sectors, including pharma, FMCG, construction, and telecommunication. FieldEZ has about 25,000 active users, including customers in India and the US. The venture has marketed its product even on Amazon Cloudware and the application has been used in various locations in Europe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The team plans to make significant inroads into the Middle-east and ASEAN markets in the next six months. They are hoping to raise funds to continue expanding their market presence.
Jinaraj signs off saying that his venture is in a much better place now – it is an established service provider with reputed clients and a huge user base, the application has rich features and has also been hailed by Nasscom as one of the top seven mobile apps at the Nasscom Emergeout Conclave, expansion across the world is the only natural next step.