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Customer expectations and needs are on the rise, exacerbating the challenge for companies facing a higher volume of customer requests during the pandemic. The issue is acute in field service work, where employees have to work on equipment with varying technical specifications — often in confined, bandwidth-constrained, and hard-to-reach spaces. In a recent survey by The Service Council, over 90% of field workers said that more knowledge is required to service modern products while nearly 70% said that products are more complex today. Moreover, over 80% said that their current field service responsibilities require “greater technology knowledge” compared with when they first started their jobs.
Against this backdrop, Xerox today announced that CareAR, a platform that combines Xerox’s content management system DocuShare and multichannel marketing service XMPie with augmented reality tools for field service workers, has raised $10 million. The funding — which came from ServiceNow — values CareAR at $700 million post-money, came from ServiceNow, and ServiceNow’s John Ball says it’ll be used to expand the company’s operations and support future product development.
“Our customers have never more urgently needed workflows that deliver greater operational efficiencies, better customer and environmental outcomes, and improved safety,” Ball said in a press release. “Our investment reflects our belief that CareAR has the potential to deliver world-class, enterprise-grade augmented reality (AR). Customers using CareAR’s AR to route work through ServiceNow’s leading workflow platform can better solve problems remotely, speeding resolution times and reducing the need for expensive on-site visits … Together, we’re delivering powerful enterprise service experiences for the new world of work.”
Above: CareAR’s field service platform.
CareAR was founded in 2018 as an AR company focused on field service work. Xerox acquired it in January, and at the time said it planned to combine the “care experience amnagement” startup’s software with DocuShare and XMPie to form a new business unit.
AR-powered customer service
CareAR’s platform, which has over 10,000 customers including Allstate, Nordstrom, Staples, and Verizon, lets agents see what users see for real-time troubleshooting. Technicians get AI-powered AR visual assistance and guidance tools, while IT service staff gain a portal from where they can remotely resolve incidents. Companies can use CareAR to create AR-based instructions for self-guided and animated step-by-step flows. Moreover, they can tap the platform for insights into specific assets, issues, and resolutions.
CareAR competes with TechSee, which also offers a platform that guides agents and customers through product setup and troubleshooting steps. Other rivals include Aquant and Neuron7, which leverage AI tools to automate field service across a number of different types of devices. Even tech giant Salesforce offers a competing product in Field Service Lightning, which orchestrates technician work with automated triaging and remediation tools.
But Xerox believes that CareAR, which is sold directly by Xerox and via channel partners like Accenture, Deloitte, HCL and Tata, is differentiated by its integration with ServiceNow, which provides AR guidance for customers, employees, and field workers.
Xerox vice chairman and CEO John Visentin estimates the service experience management total addressable market to be about $80 billion.
“Xerox has positioned CareAR to deliver capabilities that service-intensive industries need, with real-time instruction, visual tools and access to data at the tip of any user’s fingertips, all driven by predictive artificial intelligence,” Visentin said. “By creating a platform that is intuitive to a digitally native workforce, and with investment from ServiceNow, we believe CareAR will define and grow the Service Experience Management category, disrupting industries at a time when it’s needed most.”
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