I was glad to see our friends at True Wireless have recently jumped into the blogging world. For those not familiar, True has been a respected leader in the wireless world since 2004, managing the major aspects of the the wireless lifecycle including procurement, billing, deployment, helpdesk and MDM. Some of the recent content from the blog includes:
- Why you shouldn’t tackle a large mobile deployment on your own
- 5 reasons to outsource mobility management
- Security strategies for BYOD
Be sure and check out some of their new content at truewireless.com/blog
Posted by brettwagner on May 23, 2013
As noted in a recent article from Stein Soeleberg at KORE Telematics, the buzz around the “Internet of Things” has been heating up lately. He states:
The term, coined by a technology pioneer, refers to uniquely identifiable objects (things) and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure. Brought into the mainstream in waves, the chatter around the Internet of Things has been steadily growing and can be attributed to large companies, such as Google and GE, jumping on the bandwagon. Those companies, not surprisingly, think everything from your refrigerator to your window blinds will all be connected and remotely controlled and monitored to improve the quality of our daily lives.
But what impact, if any, could the Internet of Things have upon enterprise mobility? Soeleberg suggests 3 verticals that could benefit from the emerging technology:
- Supply Chain – critical intelligence can protect the quality of delivered goods
- Smart City – navigating the logistics of traffic, utilities, or public service as well as cost saving efficiencies
- Healthcare – information gathering and critical care monitoring
Read the article in its entirety here.
Posted by brettwagner on May 15, 2013
An recent infographic created by Zendesk, pulls together some research from Businessweek, Forrester, Gigaom Pro, Frost & Sullivan, and a few others, about the influence of mobile apps in the enterprise. A couple of interesting findings:
- 72% of small businesses use mobile apps in their operations
- Sales of web-enabled mobile devices have surpassed sales of web-enabled laptops, notebooks and desktop computers
- 43% of businesses report plans to incorporate mobile more in the future
You can view the infographic with all the findings here.
Posted by brettwagner on May 8, 2013
The latest issue of Field Technologies magazine is out and within it, Sarah Howland provides a concise overview of simple steps that can be taken to ensure a successful mobile deployment.
- Define Clear Goals for Your Mobile Solution – Rushing into technology selection before you have clearly defined objectives for the solution may save time on the front end, but ultimately will end in failure. Taking time to think through the current challenges of the existing process and what you are looking for in a new solution is critical. But stopping here is not enough. You could call it shoe shopping for a growing teen-age boy. Sure, it fits today – but give it a month. Too often companies invest in a technology solution that fits today’s process, but what will that process look like in 1 year, 5 years, 7 years? Is there other workflows that should be considered? Will a upfront investment in a new process actually enable your company to be more successful as a result?
- Do Your Due Diligence in Technology Selection – It is understandable why some companies want to rush through the evaluation and selection process simply because the options can be so numerous, but you’ll be doing yourself a disservice. There are many wrong reasons to land on a specific technology solution (cheapest, most expensive, household name, never heard of them, etc) versus it being the best fit to clearly defined goals you have already defined (the right reason). Don’t rush this process. Stick to selecting the solution that best addresses the goals you’ve outlined.
- Don’t Ignore the Need for Change Management – Regardless if this is your first mobile solution, or upgrading from a current process, it is still a change. Anytime you are introducing change into the organization and asking your team to do a familiar process in a different way, you will need to manage this change. Without this oversight, even the best solution (see #1), will end up being a flop.
Posted by brettwagner on April 17, 2013
The Field Mobililty 2013 Report is out from Field Technologies and it contains some helpful research and analysis for many ares within Field Service. Of note, the data on Field Service Software provides some interesting insights. Here is a sample of some of the survey data:
Do you currently use a service management/automation solution?
The top 5 features/functionality within Field Service Software:
- Integration with back-office systems
- Mapped to workflow/UI
- Ability to configure/customize
- Ability to work offiline
28% of companies NOT currently using software plan to invest in the near future. Here is the to 5 areas of functionality they will be seeking:
- Dispatch/workorder assignment
- Service/workorder management
- Basic scheduling
- Customer interaction/management
- Customer history access/knowledge management
Download the complete guide here.
Posted by brettwagner on April 10, 2013
In a recent interview, James Mylett, VP and GM of field and business operations at Johnson Controls, shares some lessons learned from a recent rollout of mobile technology. Two very simply yet foundational take-aways are worth mentioning:
- Culture Will Eat Strategy for Breakfast – taking a page from Peter Drucker’s book, Mylett insists that culture, how things really get done, what people really believe and what people really value, ultimately impacts whether or not your strategy will stick. If the culture is factored into the strategic planning, then strategy often struggles to gain traction.
- Bring in the End Users to Help Define the Process – by taking in feedback from existing field technicians they were able to develop a mobile strategy that the technicians felt would help them perform their jobs better. Employee engagement is critical to success.
You can read the entire interview here.
Posted by brettwagner on February 25, 2013
The results of The Service Council’s Field Service Benchmark Survey reveal some noteworthy trends around strategic actions being undertaken by a majority of field service organizations. Those of note:
- 72% Investing in mobile tools to provide real-time access to required data and information in the field
- 67% Integrating new technologies into existing field service operations
- 62% Improving planning & forecasting related activities
- 61% Providing additional training to field service technicians and/or dispatchers
- 56% Automating existing manual field service processes or activities
- 52% Increasing customer involvement in the field service process via web-enabled self-help
The big idea: many within the field service community are recognizing that despite the increase of technology and mobile devices, it is still pretty much back to the basics with respect to running a successful and profitable field service organization. Mobile technology is only as good as the operational processes it supports!
Posted by brettwagner on February 12, 2013
As noted in a recent article from Field Technologies Online, a disruptive storm is steadily disrupting internally managed hardware,
software systems and processes as the mobile cloud moves along. These are the conditions:
- The internet is everywhere – more than 94% of the US has broadband internet coverage
- Smart phones are the cultural norm – nearly half of all adult Americans now own either a tablet or smart phone
- Cloud services, such as Amazon and others are faster, cheaper and safer than on site storage and processing
- Software as a Service (SaaS) has become the go to choice for virtually any organization in the past 10 years. Owning your own on-site servers and software is quickly becoming cost prohibitive and restrictive
Like any disruption in status-quo it brings a whole new assortment of possibilities to the market place:
- Secure mobile-cloud platforms that let you centralize data storage and easily access, manage, analyze and report on that data anywhere, anytime.
- Configurable software platforms that let you adapt and optimize business processes continually and bring the agility needed to compete in today’s rapidly evolving landscape.
- APIs in the cloud that let data flow openly between mobile devices and backend systems.
- Software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that let you get started quickly and inexpensively, without on-premise installation, provisioning, maintenance, or setup and then scale-up as you grow.
With that in mind, here are a couple of tips: Read the full post »
Posted by brettwagner on January 23, 2013
A good insight from Sarah Howland in the recent issue of Field Technologies Magazine:
The reality is that mobility can be used to transform businesses in many ways, to accomplish a variety of objectives — and mobility is often being deployed for a combination of reasons, not just one. While improving productivity of your workers is a common goal, and a very valid one, the potential for what mobility can do reaches beyond that narrow view.
When you sample the marketing material and websites of most mobility companies the usual features and benefits boilerplates are front and center. Profitability and productivity are the usual suspects, but mobility can do so much more. Case in point:
Trimble published a report this year titled The Road Ahead Report: The Future of Field Service Delivery, for which it surveyed 100 field service managers and directors in the UK (you can view the report at http://bit.ly/S1zGjz). According to this report, it seems that — at least for some organizations — productivity gains aren’t the only objective in mind when it comes to optimizing the mobile workforce. In fact, a majority — 68% — list improving customer satisfaction as the number one priority of their service organization. Increasing profitability came in at 43%, and improving productivity/employee utilization at 41%. So while the respondents felt increasing mobile worker productivity was an important strategic objective (88% said that’s the case), the results show that these companies realize improving productivity can’t be the sole focus.
The big idea here: mobility can quickly become pigeonholed into the all too familiar benefit buckets of industry-speak, but thinking through the downstream effects of a well designed mobile process can open up a world of benefits.
Source: Field Technologies Magazine
Posted by brettwagner on January 8, 2013
Inc.com has put together a few numbers that are good reasons to be (cautiously) optimistic for the upcoming year.
Check out the article here.
Posted by brettwagner on December 18, 2012