By Jarrett Banks
Software company ServiceMax plans to merge with Pathfinder Acquistion Corp. (Nasdaq: PFDR), a special-purpose acquisition company. Exec Edge sat down with CEO Neil Barua to find out more about the field service management industry and going public.
Exec Edge: What does ServiceMax do and what kind of companies do you work with?
ServiceMax is the leader in asset-centric field service management. We enable the servicing and availability of complex equipment across mission-critical industries like healthcare, manufacturing, construction, oil & gas and utilities. Every second, a work order is processed using our technology. For us, it’s never been just about the products; it’s about what our customers gain, whether that’s more productive equipment, more efficient technicians, great customer experience or perhaps most importantly, increased revenue. The knowledge that comes with more than 10 years of experience has enabled us to help hundreds of companies around the world.
Our mission is to help our customers keep the world running with our asset-centric field service management software. When it comes to who we work with, we have hundreds of customers across the globe, representing more than a dozen industries. Our customers range in size from the largest global brands – Philips, Sony, Bayer, Pitney Bowes – to mid-sized organizations looking to grow their service businesses and outshine the competition.
Exec Edge: Could you talk more about your technology and what innovation looks like for the field service management industry?
Our technology was born in the cloud and features mobile forward, asset-centric applications and software. Our mobile apps and cloud-based software solutions provide a complete view of assets to our customers’ field service teams. By optimizing field service operations, our customers across all industries can better manage the complexities of service, support faster growth, and run more profitable, outcome-centric businesses. Over 200 million work orders have been processed on the ServiceMax platform, by hundreds of thousands of technicians, in more than 90 countries around the world so far. Our approximately 350 customers with over 300,000 licenses, or seats, use our platform to service tens of millions of work orders a year.
When we look at innovation in our industry, it’s responding to the massive shift to cloud and mobile applications. As more and more of the workforce is remote or on-the-go, having a mobile forward approach to technology is the only way to stay ahead. Advanced technologies like cloud and AI are also key to our business as the ability to access data and applications anywhere and automating basic tasks to free up field agents save our customers both time and money.
Exec Edge: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the field service management industry overall? How has it affected your business?
Like many industries, the field service management industry had to deal with a remote workforce and supply chain issues following the initial phase of the pandemic and lockdowns. However, field service management is essential to keep the world running and we were able to help our customers by utilizing mobile applications and cloud technology to help keep their assets working continuously in any environment. The applications and solutions we offer to our customers allow them to make sure that the job gets done, especially during times like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Exec Edge: Silver Lake has a majority stake in Service Max and you have a strong relationship with both Salesforce and GE as well. What do these relationships mean for ServiceMax and what kind of benefits do they deliver for your business?
Anytime you can be associated with blue-chip, global companies like Silver Lake, Salesforce and GE, you know you are doing something right. To have the backing and investment from these three organizations means a lot for ServiceMax and validates our business model and technology.
Since Silver Lake acquired a majority stake in our company from GE in 2019, they have worked with our management team and put us in a position to complete this business combination and become a public company. I do want to clarify, however, when we become a public company these three companies will remain investors. We consider these companies strategic partners and we look forward to working with them in the future.
Exec Edge: You recently entered into a SPAC merger agreement with Pathfinder Acquisition Corp. Why did you decide to go the SPAC route over a traditional IPO?
We decided to go public through a business combination with a SPAC for several reasons, chief among them being the speed to market aspect and the ability to bring established public market veterans onto our board following the merger. The time is ripe for ServiceMax to become public as companies realize that they can’t expect frontline workers to do their jobs without giving them the software and tools to do so. We’re seeing a strong tailwind off the back of this realization and need to move now to capitalize on the growing $9B market opportunity in front of us.
Exec Edge: You also announced the acquisition of LiquidFrameworks at the same time as your SPAC merger. What does that acquisition mean for the company?
Our acquisition of LiquidFrameworks enables us to expand our field service management solutions to meet the unique challenges of the energy sector. While ServiceMax already has a foothold in the oil & gas sector, the acquisition of LiquidFrameworks will accelerate our ability to claim an even larger share. Market conditions have forced the oil and gas industry to become more capital efficient and oilfield service providers must transform their legacy field operations management processes to digital systems. For example, field technicians working long rotations on an offshore platform with limited connectivity are still responsible for delivering service to the customer along with operating new digital systems aimed at maintaining assets, improving productivity, and growing revenue. The acquisition of LiquidFrameworks will allow us to meet the demand for digital service execution in this industry faster. Combining ServiceMax’s modern field service platform with LiquidFrameworks’ industry expertise better equips us to provide oil and gas companies with the tools they need to ensure consistent, reliable service, and maximize asset performance.
Exec Edge: What’s next for ServiceMax? Will anything change once you become a public company?
Becoming a public company on the Nasdaq will allow us to scale to meet the evolving demands of our customers and focus on innovating within our industry. I will continue to run the company and we will continue to operate as ServiceMax. We are also currently in the process of making key hires and getting our company ready for our transition from private to public.
When we look at what’s next, we will continue to invest to capture what we see as an attractive and growing market. In a lot of cases, this will be organic growth and include more deeply penetrating our current markets, expanding our partner network, expanding into new, emerging markets and continuing our track-record of product innovation. And where it makes sense, we’ll evaluate M&A to further accelerate our growth.
Jarrett Banks, Editor-at-Large