Customer expectations are on the rise, exacerbating the challenge for companies facing a higher volume of requests during the pandemic. The issue is acute in field service work, where employees have to work on equipment with varying technical specifications â€” often in confined, bandwidth-constrained, and hard-to-reach spaces. In a recent survey by The Service Council, over 90% of field workers said more knowledge is required to service modern products, while nearly 70% said products are more complex today. Moreover, Â over 80% said their current field service responsibilities require â€œgreater technology knowledgeâ€ compared with when they first started their jobs.
Against this backdrop, Xerox today announced that CareAR, a platform that combines Xeroxâ€™s content management system DocuShare and multichannel marketing service XMPie with augmented reality tools for field service workers, has raised $10 million. The funding â€” which came from ServiceNow â€” values CareAR at $700 million post-money, and ServiceNowâ€™s John Ball says it will be used to expand the companyâ€™s operations and support future product development.
â€œOur customers have never more urgently needed workflows that deliver greater operational efficiencies, better customer and environmental outcomes, and improved safety,â€ Ball said in a press release. â€œOur investment reflects our belief that CareAR has the potential to deliver world-class, enterprise-grade augmented reality (AR). Customers using CareARâ€™s AR to route work through ServiceNowâ€™s leading workflow platform can better solve problems remotely, speeding resolution times and reducing the need for expensive on-site visits â€¦ Together, weâ€™re delivering powerful enterprise service experiences for the new world of work.â€
Image Credit: CareAR
CareAR was founded in 2018 as an AR company focused on field service work. Xerox acquired it in January and said at the time that it planned to combine the â€œcare experience managementâ€ startupâ€™s software with DocuShare and XMPie to form a new business unit.
AR-powered customer service
CareARâ€™s platform, which has over 10,000 customers â€” including Allstate, Nordstrom, Staples, and Verizon â€” 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 which 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 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 chair and CEO John Visentin estimates the service experience management total addressable market to be about $80 billion.
â€œXerox 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 userâ€™s fingertips, all driven by predictive artificial intelligence,â€ Visentin said. â€œBy 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 itâ€™s needed most.â€