Acquisition Confirms Demand for Field Service Suites
01 May 2015
Michael Maoz, William McNeill https://www.gartner.com/doc/3043318/clicksoftware-acquisition-confirms-demand-field
The ClickSoftware acquisition points to the need for broader suites in service management. Directors of field operations looking at Click should consider the future scenarios for these products.
On 30 April 2015, Francisco Partners Management announced that it was purchasing field service optimization vendor ClickSoftware Technologies for $438 million in cash. When the deal is finalized in July 2015, ClickSoftware will be taken private after being delisted from Nasdaq.
Following the acquisition of TOA Technologies by Oracle in July 2014, pressure has mounted on competitors in field service optimization to develop a broader set of components or be viewed as silos. Other acquisitions over the past five years pointed in the same direction of consolidated field service management suites. TOA Technologies, @Road, Antenna Software, Ventyx, Metrix, Servigistics and Viryanet are just a few of the field service management companies that have been absorbed by larger software suppliers in the past decade. Gartner had predicted that 65% of the vendors would be acquired, as businesses both modernize and simplify product portfolios.
The next phase for ClickSoftware, as a private company, will be to complete its migration to a cloud-based platform with more advanced mobile functions, after which Gartner believes it will be sold to a company with a business application suite with weaknesses in field service management. The business application suite vendor that ends up without a leading field service optimization capability will be the eventual loser in this scenario, as it will need to buy a second-tier product or develop its own. At least three software providers fit this definition. Until it is clear into which enterprise application vendor ClickSoftware might be absorbed, there are no fewer choices available to prospects than there were before the proposed acquisition.
We expect the core development team to remain stable post-acquisition, and do not expect any near-term threat of a slowing in product development or product support. The acquisition does not make ClickSoftware a better or worse fit for evaluation, nor does it change evaluation weightings for features/functions or viability. We will monitor the company’s retention of developers and professional services personnel over the next 12 months.
Directors of field operations and IT managers working on field service projects:
If you are rolling out ClickSoftware, lock in current pricing to mitigate upward pricing risk; do not expect ClickSoftware to make immediate changes to pricing or support.
If you are seeking advanced scheduling for complex field forces and prefer a cloud model, shortlist this product while also evaluating alternatives.
If you already own ClickSoftware and it is deployed on premise, but you wish to migrate to the cloud, consider this product along with others from vendors that have already completed the acquisition process.
If you are evaluating ClickSoftware for the first time, consider alternatives along with ClickSoftware.