Friday, 12 June 2015

From Google I/O 2015: whats in store with Android M & more

Android Mobility AppGoogle I/O 2015 is over and its time to look back (or forward..). One of the most exciting updates for us for sure is the "Android M" with launch expected in Q3 of 2015. Features like native support for fingerprint sensors, better app-to-app communication, offline access to maps and new power management features can disrupt the way apps are built and consumed.


mEdge on Android
Conserve with Doze
Although the improvement seem to be incremental rather than disruptive, they can have significant impact on how our users can benefit.

As our users tend to be on field for a really long time with minimal access for charging, the new battery mode 'Doze' could be a value adder. With M, Android uses significant motion detection to learn if a device has been left unattended for a while. In this state, Android will exponentially back off background activity, trading off a little bit of app freshness for longer battery life.
mEdge on Android by Vitamap
Native Finger Print Support

Next up is Android Pay which could be of limited impact in the near term, generic finger print access could herald a new security paradigm in enterprise use of the Android solutions.

mEdge by VitamapOffline access to maps could be a real boon, as most of of our users are on field and sometime network connectivity could be really flaky. This can enable field users to look out for customer location and their plan on maps even with limited or no connectivity. Android needs network access for loading the map tiles and determining the location. We will have to wait and watch to see how this will transpire.

There seems to be availability of maps API on wearables, which can add interesting possibilities to when on the move. 

The new app permission scheme could be a little concern as it seems to take us back to the Nokia days, where majority of actions/access required permission in run-time.

Read the full google announcements here

All in all an interesting set of things do ahead. We will keep you posted once we get our hands dirty and update how things are shaping up !

- Prasad Nagalapura



The future of field collaboration : Social

Excellence in Field service is no longer measured by how efficiently a field worker can be scheduled and routed. The focus has shifted to customer satisfaction and companies are focussing on providing collaborative tools for communication now more than ever. As this Aberdeen report rightly points : ‘In 2015, not much moves faster than social media, and organisations have begun to better understand the business use of social to deliver information and resolution.’


With a range of information at hand, customers have more power and have begun to demand improved service. If their expectations are not met, they have social forums to communicate under performance to the world at large.

In a September 2014 survey, 82% companies (n=213) indicated that mobility is to be an important strategic initiative for the next 12 months. This continued development has brought to the fore social collaboration with mobile devices that are in the pockets of most technicians.



Field Service Mobility App

Social collaboration on the field is not limited to Facebook and twitter, it extends to product forums,chat, IM and online video which can connect field teams internally. The industry average stands at 56% companies increasing investment to support social channels for their field workers.





The mercurial nature of social makes it a tough task to control all messages and information, which is why it is important to understand that social collaboration brings together customers, the organisation and field teams with another channel to get the work done. The largest advantage will be that companies can train on the fly, provide support from experts with  real-time insight on what is happening in the field. It provides an exciting new future for field workers to be an expert in real time.

Power of real-time information : A case study

A large multinationals’ IT Business Unit in India runs a 24x7 field operations. A team taking care of critical power and cooling systems installed at various data centres across India. It is imperative to have a highly efficient and well-coordinated team in order to meet the strict Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) given the critical nature of their customer operations. The service team needed a mechanism to streamline and manage the new opportunities being identified by the Field Service teams.

Best Mobile App for Field mEdge

In their ongoing effort to achieve excellence the team adopted Vitamap’s mEdge for operations in January 2012. All the Field Service Engineers (FSE) are enabled with mEdge the Field Service mobility App. The Call centre team, service coordinators and inventory team are connected to the Field Teams through Cloudtrac a middleware.


With this system, Field Team was enabled with:
  • Real time notification of breakdowns to Field Teams
  • Complete details of the issue and customer contact at site
  • Ability to schedule visits and coordinate with support and inventory teams
  • Identify issues at site and communicate part requirements
  • Notification about delays and ensure better planning
  • Notifications about part availability and shipments
  • Closure of issues at site and collection of customer feedback
  • Lead collection mechanism by speaking to customers and ensure their timely closure.
  • Accurate insights on SLA compliance, part movements and team productivity


#sellsmart

Connecting customer interaction points directly to their systems not only increased customer satisfaction, but, also resulted in higher revenue generation as fewer leads were dropped off after the field engineers visit. Engineers are now bringing back important leads to the sales teams for prudent follow up and closure.  





Successful deployment and adoption of the systems has ensured improved coordination, real time operation visibility, customer satisfaction, employee productivity & satisfaction and customer satisfaction and improved brand recall.
The ease of adoption and user acceptance has made inroads with other business units and also geographies choosing to include mEdge in their operations.
Vitamap strives to innovate continuously, bringing in newer possibilities like integration with remote management systems, service report digitization, wearables, location insights will ensure continued value creation and benefits to all the stakeholders in the customer’s ecosystem.