Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Success Story : How a Telecom Technology provider is saving thousands of man hours with Vitamap's Field Force Automation for a large installation project

Any telecom project roll-out across a distributed geography in a tight timeline throws up innumerable project management challenges.

>>The delays/slippages mostly happen less due to planning but due to execution tracking, data collection and delay in submission of work completion reports. T

>>This leads to poor customer satisfaction, penalty for project delay and invariably payment collection delays due to lack of reports/data causing working capital issues.

A leading Telecom Technology provider for a large telecom ISP won a project to deploy wireless equipment across 8k+ sites across country. Their earlier experiences in project coordination let them to review their approach to implementation and how they can improve productivity across the board.

They turned to Vitamap to help them automate their whole field activities of Site Survey, Installation & commissioning and Acceptance test management. The activity had to be completed with hundreds of partner technicians across the country completing tasks in parallel.

Using our cutting edge Field Force Automation platform mEdge, we were able to rapidly configure the entire workflows, data capture requirements and automatically generating digital pdf reports according to their customer compliance. Team ensured that concept to go live was with in a matter of couple of weeks.

The workflow automation involved capturing the whole process of Site Survey with guided data capture mostly location tagged photographs and key data points through simple menus.

Installation & commissioning automation ensured accurate capture of install base information including model, serial number of the multiple routers/switches/power devices, length of cables & accessories used. This ensured install base of every site was created as the installation progressed ensuring a seamless migration to O&M operations in the future.

The acceptance testing workflow involved checking the connectivity and signal strengths which again were automated with mEdge mobile app extended with abilities to test wifi signals, connectivity and upload/download bandwidth.

The whole process in earlier projects involved coordination over phone/email, manual data capture (back of a paper), images in phone, continuous follow up and hand created completion reports using word/other utilities. This process was error prone with inaccurate data, coordination delay and the biggest overhead of manual reports.

With our platforms Report designer, a well drafted pdf template was created which mapped data collected to the visual images and in line with the telecom ISPs manual completion report.  This automation saved a minimum of 2-3 hours of work per report in Data collection,Preparation Validation & coordination/Rework and sharing/Submission to customers.

Whole project is expected to save upwards of tens of thousand hours of manual work through our cutting edge Field Force automation solution in addition to the benefit of ontime completion, reduced penalty overhead, accurate data for partner payment and improved customer satisfaction. Automated business context alerts ensured timely intervention by project team at HO to prevent slippages and provide support to field teams.

With the success of this initiative the Telecom Equipment provider is keen to expand usage of the solution across their various projects in the country.

If you are facing challenges in your large scale installation project or an independent service provider for telecom companies write to us now at sales@vitamap.com and #befieldsmart

What's New : Sep 2018 new mEdge release, security & performance updates, multiple FSR support and many more

It's been a busy past few months for us as we made some rapid progress in adding new customers, solution for solar/renewals segment segment & new product/infrastructure updates.

mEdge updates:

version 3.4.0 released, provides key performance & security improvements, bug fixes and new features.

  • An improved token based authentication ensuring between mEdge and CT ensuring still further security for your users/data
  • New version ships with https only mode by default 
  • Improved location performance for newer Android versions
  • Support to download custom pdf reports in mEdge
  • New data collection form widgets of checkbox/switch and multi select interfaces
  • Experimental widgets to Test wifi strengths, connectivity test and bandwidth test automation 
  • Improved querying options for data stored locally in mEdge for usage in Forms

Cloudtrac updates:
We have worked hard to improve security, mobile usage experience and a host of feature improvements.

  • Faster loading of the app with better dashboard & widgets experience in both mobile and desktop browsers
  • Pivot support when accessed from mobile browsers
  • Improved Message Inbox experience with support for targeted to individual or multiple mEdge users
  • Configurable Ticket/Job Id generation to ensure they can be user friendly and mapped to their data -> Eg now your ticket ids can consist as combination of Site IDs, PM periods, Equipment Types etc
  • Business validation during Ticket/Job creationCreate rules to ensure duplicate jobs are not created based on time line, job params (like site/location data/IP address/status etc)
  • Token based authentication for mEdge users with configurable refresh interval
  • Support for re-open of a ticket/job from Cloudtrac users with configurable timeline
  • Support for multiple custom FSR/ PDF reports based on workflow status 
  • Now you can generate FSRs for each of your field visits
  • Support for recognizing and excluding spurious location data from reports/maps. Its common for mobile phones to provide spurious locations due to errors from the service provider like google. This affects operation metrix calculations and workforce utilization information. Our algorithms now detect for such spurious issues, do retries to get better location and flag then. 
  • Now you can configure to exclude these locations in maps and reports.
  • Improved creation creation interface in Cloudtrac with support for master select at the top
  • Eg if you intend to create a ticket for a site/customer, configure them to be on top and system reads rest of the data from master to view and create
  • Improved alignment of data in the creation form with support for dropdown options
  • Strong password enforcement, password change schedule and Password reset support for admin users and 
  • Support for configuring multi select, switch, javascript & wifi test widgets from configuration interface
  • Improved pdf report designer interface
  • Improved data sources for reports and widgets 
  • Workflow support for Project Management & Solar/Renewable Energy Sectors (more about this in the coming days !)
  • A brand new automation/bot platform extension to provide custom business validations, notifications, in app dash suggestions and scheduled events (more about this in the coming days !)

Reach-out to your account manager today to know more and how you can make best use of the new improvements.