For many years Sumair Dutta, Vice President, Product Marketing at ServiceMax, has championed the role of field service leaders, particularly in asset-intensive industries where the manufacture and sale of equipment is merely the beginning of the customer lifecycle. Often, maintenance and service is the most lucrative offering.\n\n\u201cEven among the best-known manufacturers, we often find that service leaders are responsible for up to 30% of business revenues, and the margins they deliver are two or three times greater than those of the product team,\u201d said Dutta. \u201cThat is why service-oriented digital transformations are prevalent. But when it comes to extending the influence of service leaders and the data they possess beyond their own departments, they often encounter hurdles.\u201d\n\nDutta notes that most organizations today lack a common data platform or \u201cdata language\u201d that enables disparate functional teams \u2013 including sales, marketing, manufacturing, product development, design, customer care, and executive leadership \u2013 to access, share and act on data generated by the field service team.\n\nInstead, different departments often initiate their own digital initiatives that trap data in silos and negate efforts to achieve a digital transformation organization-wide. It\u2019s a growing problem given the changing focus of many businesses.\n\n\u201cAmong our customers there is a desire to focus on business outcomes and this requires manufacturers to take an entirely different approach,\u201d adds Dutta. \u201cFor example, you may make and sell printers, but what you are really providing is printing capability. That\u2019s when you begin to appreciate how the marriage of a customer-centric with an asset or equipment-centric approach that draws on field service data can radically change your business.\u201d\n\nIndustry leaders are moving toward this goal by consolidating their customer-facing data and communications with their asset-oriented intelligence \u2014 such as information on service calls, repairs, parts, warranties and predictive maintenance \u2014 onto one common data platform. Everyone benefits from having all of this information in one place where it is actionable, including those in operational, commercial and strategic roles.\n\nEveryone wins with this customer- and asset-centric approach. Take for example a service agent who is notified by a customer that their printer has jammed. By viewing the printer\u2019s service history, the rep knows it often requires onsite repairs for a component that breaks when the machine operates over capacity. At the customer\u2019s site, the agent fixes the machine and before leaving, advises them that although they saved costs because the printer was under warranty, they might want to consider a more robust model.\n\nThe sales team is then alerted to a new upsell opportunity; marketing is given insight into a potential business case for larger machines; and the design team is given details on a part that may be strengthened, which resonates with the corporate office\u2019s ESG team because it could lead to a retrofitting and exchange program. Also, the service rep\u2019s quick fix is shared with other team members and customer service so they can speak knowledgeably to other customers who experience the same situation.\n\n\u201cWe know customers are most likely to be retained and highly satisfied when they reach companies via the communications channel of their choice and employees are armed with intelligence that conveys a deep understanding of the customer and their interactions,\u201d said Tim Long, Director, Solution Engineering at Salesforce.\n\n\u201cWhen you layer deep service automation and intelligence capabilities into one common data platform,\u201d he continues, \u201cit makes servicing customers simple, easy and frictionless. Your understanding of the customer is also magnified when you understand the equipment they use, how they use it and why it\u2019s important to their business. In that way you build a bridge between sales and service that drives revenue and customer satisfaction.\u201d\n\nFor more information on how to drive business forward with a common data platform, watch the webinar \u201cAsset + Customer-Centricity: The Keys to Digital Success\u201d and read about the new solution jointly offered by ServiceMax and Salesforce.