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June 20, 2016 Issue

The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information


Global Enterprise Software Company Providing Mobile Workforce Management Solutions for Field Service Industry



Marne Martin



ServicePower PLC



Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – June 20, 2016


CEOCFO: Ms. Martin, would you tell us about ServicePower?

Ms. Martin: We are an enterprise software company with I believe the most longevity in the field service industry. We have been offering field service solutions since 1996.


CEOCFO: What are some of the challenges in the field service industry that are not recognized by most organizations?

Ms. Martin: Field service actually has a lot of technology needs and demands. When you are thinking about being able to track all of the components of field service, you are talking about the assets on which you are doing the service, the nature of the customer relationship as well as the details of the work order, the technician skills, parts availability, all of which becomes a sophisticated use case. Enterprise software that you may have thought of in terms of customer relationship management, or financial accounting system, handle only one portion of the process that a field service platform needs to handle. Our software is quite sophisticated and looks at the end-to-end needs of what a technician in a company needs to meet the customer expectation while onsite. We do some things that are unique in the sense that we are able to maximize the productivity of your field force in terms of the number of jobs per day. We offer the only tool on the market which enables clients to intelligently blend labor resources, which means you can use your W2 employees as well as independent contractors depending on the specific business requirement.


CEOCFO: Is it unusual for a system to be able to do the blending?

Ms. Martin: It is unusual, as well as the fact that we can handle a lot of different types of jobs. When I talk about the fact that we can optimize or maximize productivity, one of the other things that we do uniquely here at ServicePower, is many of the software solutions that you see in field service might be best at one type of job whether it is preventative maintenance or installation work or break, fix and repair work. We also are good at managing all the different types of jobs and driving maximized or optimized schedules that create the most efficiency for both our customer who is using the software, as well as the end customer whether business or consumer.


CEOCFO: Would you give us an example of an engagement?

Ms. Martin: For example, there is a large appliance manufacturer that has been using our solutions for more than ten years. In this case, once they have sold the piece of equipment, that equipment is then installed either in a business or consumer’s place of residence or their office location. You then do what is called warranty work and then eventually out of warranty or extended service contract. A field service solution is able to take in the bill of materials, the product information and then perform service management. You might have SLAs with certain priorities which must be meet, like freezers in Florida being repaired within 4 hours to prevent food loss. Our software initiates the work order. It will transfer over the relevant information that the technician might need. It can track parts availability. The technician goes on site to manage the consumer experience with either our technology or integration with the CRM. The technician performs the work, they can close it out and bill the customer if needed or the manufacturer or service contract administrator. They can update the master record related to the assets or work order. In the end there will be a satisfied customer. Mobile technology is also a big part of the process because you want to make sure that the technician is trackable as they are driving around doing their jobs, and that they are able to query parts, schematics or repair guides and update the jobs on the fly. The goal is that the process is simple and the technology simple so the tech can use it to complete everything required to take care of the customer.


CEOCFO: How do you ensure that your system is intuitive?

Ms. Martin: You start with your internal product management and your lead users. You do testing and interact with customers and then eventually when you get into an implementation or when we are actually configuring the solution, we do a lot of workshops and engagement with the customers. Our software is very configurable, which means that it can be adapted. There are times when our customers will come back to us and request a change in the software to support additional use cases. It is an engagement process through workshops, conversations with the customer, getting feedback as well as our own product management team looking at the overall industry. It all comes together to enhance the product. If there are additional pieces of functionality that are needed or UIs require modernization, that is a continuous evolution that we do here at ServicePower and in fact, any software company should do.


CEOCFO: Do many of your clients take advantage of the full range of services?

Ms. Martin: We have quite a diversified group of industries. We are actually in twenty-seven different industries and with a large range of customer sizes as well as locality. We are seeing increasingly that the customers want to use all the products or close to it all of them because the service delivery model is changing and being influenced by emerging technologies. There are times when they might not need all the products. For example the larger enterprise might have made other technology choices in the past and either they are not yet ready to migrate entirely to a mobile workforce management solution. One of the things that is unique about us is that our functionality and our software was developed in a modular fashion. If you were to go in to a Greenfield customer, we can provide them all the end-to-end functionalities that they need. But it may be that they want to continue using some of the software that they have already integrated. In that case, we can work with them to determin when mobile,optimization, field service management, warranty management or third party contractor management software is required to support their evolving business. In that case, we can still fill the gaps within an enterprise and slowly over time,  migrate them to the end-to-end solution. That is optional; we value being able to provide the best return on investment in our software. We recognize that some of our customers have already invested in a different software solution. We recognize that they will only migrate when they have the budget or we give them an ROI case to do that.


CEOCFO: What is your geographic reach?

Ms. Martin: Right now, we are installed in about ten countries and within the next twelve to eighteen months we should be installed in probably a total of twenty.


CEOCFO: Why expansion now?

Ms. Martin: We are not going to create a number of far-flung offices. In the past a lot of multi-nationals made did not make decisions on a consolidated basis but allowed country managers to choose technology solutions at their own discretion.. Now, many multinationals are looking for standardized business processes and to get more economies of scale across their global portfolio. That is what is driving a lot of the expansion of our territory. Many of our large multinational enterprise customers are looking to get the productivity benefits or return on investment that they have seen in the initial countries that they have installed ServicePower in and they want to see those benefits elsewhere, or they have new a global deployment strategies that dictate all of their operations be on the same technology.


CEOCFO: What is involved with an implementation?

Ms. Martin: You have different aspects of an implementation. You have what I call the knowledge sharing or the knowledge workshops where you need to learn about the use cases of a given customer. It is important and one of the things we pride ourselves on is that our software fits the customer. We do not make the customer fit our software. There is some standardization. Because of our longevity in the industry we actually cover such a broad degree of use cases that we can fit to the customer. You also have the period of which we are configuring the software. We are configuring the software in its hard and soft parameters to fit how the given customer of ours wants it to run. You also have the integration phase in which we are integrating into other third-party software solutions like CRM or ERPs. That is sometimes done in-house; sometimes it is done by third-party systems integrator, with whom we also work closely. There are times when integration might take longer than the business configuration phase.


CEOCFO: How do you stay ahead of the changing technology?

Ms. Martin: You need a strong product management function in your company that is not only thinking of internal feedback but very outward looking. You need to be thinking about the use cases, the technology trends that are coming in the industry, what your competitors are doing as well as what are the interesting pulse-points in neighboring ISB investments that perhaps do not fit exactly with what field service needs. One of the best ways to continue driving forward is having engaging discussions with your customers because when you cover such a broad variety of industry verticals like we do, our customers are not standing still. The more we listen to our customers the more we can think about where they want to go with IOT, where do they want to go with additional productivity enhancements, how do they want their software to be configurable, the look and feel etcetera.


CEOCEO: What are some of the newer features that you have added?

Ms. Martin: For enterprise software with long QA cycles, three to six months is a very short time. In general, we’ve released  improved inventory management, asset management, optimization on demand, SaaS based field service management expanding software, adding more web based user interfaces, adding in more long and complex jobs, different optimization option technology, just in the last six months.


CEOCFO: Are you based in England? What is the business structure?

Ms. Martin: We have different trading entities. The head office is based in the UK. We operate as a Delaware Corporation here in the US. The public company headquarters are in the UK. The trading entities depend on the local of our customers and the branch to which they report. About 70% of our commercial activities are in the North America.


CEOCFO: Is there much difference in the needs of the countries around the world?

Ms. Martin:  There are differences in language and customs. You have differences in address data that you need to be able to handle. You also will have differences in union rules. Those are the main ones that have a fixed impact. There are also different business practices, configurations, the ways they want to run the business. There are little things like whether people want to work more overtime and have fewer employees or do they want to have more employees and no overtime. You also have different cultural approaches depending on whether people want to maximize or minimize employment in certain countries. One of the advantages of our software is that a lot of other software packages even if they are deployed on a global basis, mandates one size fits all. We actually have the ability to configure by country. We do not require that a customer has to run their global business exactly the same, they can tweak the business to fit the different customs, practices or business goals in the different countries to be somewhat different even on the same technology solution of ours.


CEOCFO: How is business?

Mr. Martin: Business is good and with the new products releases, new partners and new competitive cooperation, and improvements within our sales structure, it is continuing to get even better.


CEOCFO: Why should the business & investor communities take note of ServicePower?

Mr. Martin: It is the fact of the longevity. One of the advantages especially for an enterprise customer when they are looking at software is you want a software company that has the depth of experience in the industry. The fact that we have twenty years of doing this means that our software from a feature function perspective is more robust than a lot of the newer upstarts in the market. We’ve also taken advantage of that longevity and of our relationships with partners and competitors to ensure that our software is architected to support the largest enterprise organizations. Our software does not limit the business through inability to handle large, simultaneous schedule volume or an inability to scale. We work with some of the largest organization in the world, sending thousands of scheduling requests at the same time. The other thing is we have proven in the last one to two years especially the pace of innovation and we are actually entering into a growth and expansion. Even though we have longevity, we are still hungry and excited about innovation and where we are seeing demand in the marketplace both in our core territories as well as the rest of the world. I think the fact that we do things well that are hard to duplicate plus the fact that we are actually still hungry to expand the breadth of our software and meet customers’ needs, are all what I think makes us unique a ServicePower.


“We are actually still hungry to expand the breadth of our software and meet customers’ needs, are all what I think makes us unique a ServicePower.” - Marne Martin


ServicePower PLC



Jenniffer Breitenstein


ServicePower PLC

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