It’s not easy managing a large workforce of service employees — particularly when that workforce is spread across cities, states, or even countries. The idea behind Skedulo, then, is to simplify the ordeal with cloud-based workflows that integrate with customer relationship management platforms (CRMs) like ServiceNow, ADP, QuickBooks, and others, and it’s gaining traction.

Cofounders Matt Fairhurst and James Davies can attest to that. Today, they revealed that the San Francisco company has secured $28 million in series B financing led by Microsoft’s M12 corporate venture arm, with participation from returning investors Blackbird and Costanoa Ventures. The fundraising round — which comes after a $2 million seed raise in October 2014, and which will see M12’s Priya Saiprasad join the board of directors — brings Skedulo’s total raised to $40.5 million.

Skedulo, which currently counts over 120 companies among its customer base, including Easterseals Bay Area, Achieve3000, and Area Wide Protective, will use the capital to roll out new analytics and machine learning features to its workforce management engine and build in support for more enterprise systems of record, such as human resource management, financial management, electronic health records, and payroll systems. Additionally, it plans to expand its headcount by 118 percent across its four offices, which will include 60 new employees for Skedulo’s Australian offices in Brisbane and Sydney.

Skedulo

Above: Scheduling workers within Skedulo’s dashboard.

Image Credit: Skedulo

“Since day one, Skedulo has been focused on helping companies overcome the significant challenges of managing their deskless workforce,” Fairhurst, who serves as CEO, said. “This is an increasingly complex problem … that Skedulo is committed to addressing at scale — something no other solution provider has ever done. We’re inspired every day by our customers who use Skedulo to engage with their workforce in new and innovative ways, from managing schedules to driving productivity.”

Skedulo pitches its software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution as a unified alternative to the mix of spreadsheets, calendars, and emails the bulk of companies use to keep tabs on their mobile employees. Fairhurst estimates that 2.7 billion workers worldwide — or 80 percent of the total global workforce — are “deskless,” and points to a survey published by Markets Research Future forecasting that the mobile workforce management industry will reach $9 billion in revenue by 2022.

“The way people work is changing, and enterprises that capitalize on these changes through modern platforms like Skedulo will be best positioned to compete and lean into rapidly changing customer and employee expectations,” he said. “We look forward to helping our customers become the next class of industry disruptors with [our] transformative technology.”

Toward that end, Skedulo’s software matches full-time, part-time, and contract workers to single and recurring jobs, intelligently accounting for factors like skills, capabilities, and task complexity. Managers schedule, dispatch, route, and execute fieldwork in a drag-and-drop visual dashboard replete with swim lanes and Gantt charts, where they can drill down into workers’ and groups’ profiles using filters to see their certifications (including expiration dates), work histories, preferences, and more.

Skedulo

Above: Keeping tabs on workers with Skedulo.

Image Credit: Skedulo

All the while, via Skedulo’s mobile app for Android and iOS, workers receive schedules and job details via text and push notifications and submit required photos, notes, and signatures inline. (The app works both online and offline — if workers lose cellular or Wi-Fi coverage, any entered data is stored for automatic syncing when they’re back within range.) And Mastermind — Skedulo’s optimization engine — supplies suggestions that might reduce travel time, like clustering appointments by proximity or making jobs available to multiple workers on a “first come, first assigned” basis, and can optionally schedule jobs automatically.

Analytics is Skedulo’s core competence, and the dashboard doesn’t disappoint in this regard. After a job is completed or dispatched, admins can analyze workforce capacity, utilization, and distribution, and use that info to forecast roadblocks and shortfalls in resource availability. Moreover, thanks to Skedulo’s built-in tracking and mapping features, they’re able to explore jobs’ and workers’ real-time and historical locations for current and future route planning, and to group schedules by job type.

Skedulo says it’s helped to facilitate over 5 million appoints to date and that its service currently reaches over 50,000 mobile workers, and it claims its clients have seen a 48 percent reduction in time to schedule and 8 percent increase in customer satisfaction.

It’s impressive momentum, but Skedulo competes for business with Oracle’s Utilities Mobile Workforce Management product and startups like FieldAware and MyGeoTracking. For its part, Salesforce recently beefed up its Service Lightning Cloud SaaS with IoT Insights, which enables mobile technicians to receive critical alerts and identify hardware devices that require servicing or fixing.

Skedulo

Above: Tracking availability in Skedulo.

Image Credit: Skedulo

But Saiprasad, for one, is confident in Skedulo’s growth potential. “[It] makes it easier than ever for modern businesses to manage a mobile workforce, providing customers the tools and resources needed to empower their employees on the go,” she said. “We’re excited to support the Skedulo team in its efforts to better serve customers by enhancing the way employers engage with their employees.”

Skedulo’s Schedulers plan pricing starts at $79 per month per user, and includes the ability to book appointments based on capacity, dispatch work to resources with notifications, manage leave and unavailability, and collaborate with field teams in real time. Subscribers who add the $59 per month per user Mobile Workers tier gain the ability to complete mobile forms, connect and synchronize with calendars, and submit leave and unavailability, in addition to other features.

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