Field Service Palm Springs is North America's largest conference for field service and support professionals. Last week was their 20th anniversary. We had the pleasure and privilege of sponsoring and speaking, alongside our friends at Lone Star Communications.
Lone Star installs and services critical communication infrastructure in healthcare and schools across the United States. We took to the main stage to showcase TechStar, Lone Star's in-house app built for field technicians, by field technicians.
You can read more about TechStar and Lone Star Communications in their Glide customer story.
Showcasing Lone Star and TechStar wasn't our only goal. Our team was also on the ground to listen. We wanted a crash course on the needs of the industry. The more we know about industry challenges, the better we are at baking solutions into Glide.
So, what did we learn?
Highlights from Field Service Palm Springs 2023
Data is the next frontier. Data informs proactive, predictive, prescriptive, and preventative actions that make field teams more effective and efficient. Data itself is also valuable as a potential new source of IP and revenue for organizations sitting on large networks of connected assets.
There's a talent shortage. Experienced techs are on their way out. Conventional methods of recruiting, training, and retaining new talent don't work. In response, companies have overhauled their approach to make the industry more appealing to the next generation. That means getting in front of students as early as high school.
Technology ties it all together. Companies are connecting their assets — hardware, software, and people — to build smarter, more efficient, and more effective field service & support operations. That only works when field techs cooperate. The next generation of techs want to work with what they’re familiar with, which means increased adoption of BYOD and mobile apps.
Hearing this directly from industry leaders validated what we've seen from our own customers:
Field teams use Glide to capture and share data. They can connect to a familiar data source like Excel, or do it natively with Glide Tables. Forms built in Glide support the usual text field inputs, along with photos and even scanned barcodes.
Field teams create custom apps their techs want to use. You can't gather data from the field if your techs don't use your software. The next generation of techs are digital native; their expectations will be even higher. Glide apps look and work great across all their devices.
Field teams quickly build test and new features. With traditional enterprise software, teams are restricted by what the vendor makes available. With Glide, teams have building blocks to create the solutions they need. Lone Star does this with their TechStar app by bringing techs into the process by asking for suggestions and feedback.
Bottom line? The industry is at an inflection point.
Field service, support, and operations teams are going through a period of unprecedented change. Legacy break/fix models aren't enough anymore. There's more technology, more data, and more complexity to contend with. Experienced technicians need a new set of skills, and the industry needs to recruit a new generation of technicians to manage it all.
While this may seem daunting, it's also ripe with opportunities for teams who can adapt and move quickly. (We met quite a few of them at the Glide booth.)
Thanks for an amazing #FSPS
Field Service Palm Springs 2023 was our first big conference of the year. We couldn't do it alone.
Thanks to Brian and Cliff from Lone Star Communications for joining us on stage. Thank you to Dr. Ian Barford from Clearly Apps for sharing your expertise with curious Glide booth visitors. Thank you to the conference organizers and coordinators for putting on a great event, and thank you to the amazing staff at JW Marriott Desert Springs for your hospitality.
See you in 2024! 🌴