Benefits of Mobile Collaboration for Effective Field Service Results
Guest author: Kerry Doyle
Recent developments in mobilization offer advantages for field service optimization. These advances include increased broadband access, diverse applications, Cloud services (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS), and a multiplicity of Unified Communications tools (IM/texting, VoIP, Web-based video, etc.).
For field service organizations, controls such as Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Unified Messaging software that transparently integrates all communication services in one device will also help to simplify systems management. An IT staff can offer better support to mobile users and remote workers as well as quickly adapt to dynamic communications needs.
In addition, the mobile communication potential for technicians in the field can translate to tangible results, including improved time management. Collaboration also enables better logistical responses and facilitates interactions for creative problem-solving, optimal resource management, effective future proofing and improved scheduling, to name a few.
Moreover, increased mobility means that productivity enhancements can extend to every level of an organization, particularly as trends such as BYOD become the norm. While IT policy enforcement in this area is crucial, increased user interaction via Social Media and related platforms make it easier than ever to maximize response times to clients and colleagues. That’s because there’s a more diverse range of communications tools to access.
Keeping your current communications system intact while gradually adding new components, such as mobile devices, offer the following benefits:
- Minimize capital outlay
- Simplify user BYOD adaptation through step-by-step implementation
- Formulate optimal combinations of point products through mixing and matching
- Leverage pre-existing communications infrastructure investments to extend the life of your system and increase ROI
- Devise company-wide plans for gradual BYOD adoption or company-sponsored mobile device adoption
Increased mobile collaborations also provide greater awareness of developments across an organization as well as out in the field between technicians. According to a recent CIO Magazine State of the CIO Survey, CIOs for companies of all sizes are poised to execute strategic and transformational initiatives for updating communications infrastructures.
They also expect to focus intensely on Customer Service in the next three to five years, especially in the areas of sales and marketing, project management and development. While it’s hard to put a dollar value on things like improved productivity and customer responsiveness, there’s little doubt that success in these areas can have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.
And mobile collaborations are increasingly effective in making that happen. While it might seem like a broad generalization, open communication drives customer success. More resources can be quickly convened to respond to issues, brainstorm resolutions, gather additional resources and preserve a business reputation.
This approach can be applied across the board to organizational issues, but applies particularly to technicians in the field. That’s because of the daily challenge of scheduling, driving and maintaining contact. Synchronizing appointment schedules, creating task records, accessing GPS, collecting data, and supplying logistics are just some of the capabilities that have improved through mobilization.
The collaboration potential enabled by smart devices adds one more layer of efficiency. While security measures and device proliferation controls should be enacted, it makes sense that increased field service collaborations through mobilization offer the potential for further streamlining operations.