Butlers for Field Service Technicians?
Author: Moshe BenBassat, CEO
The New Way- Intelligent Butlers
ClickButler technology is designed to improve the built-in “intelligence” of mobile software by anticipating what the user needs and acting on it proactively, automatically, and within the right context, like the classic English Butler. Let’s take as an example a service technician working with our ClickMobile software guided by the ClickButler technology. Upon entering the car at 8AM for the first job, ClickMobile, knowing the schedule of the day, asks, “Going to Ivy bank at 1 Main Street?” When the technician clicks “Yes,” the turn by turn travel instructions start automatically. Next, 10 minutes before arriving at Ivy bank, the software prompts, “Your contact people at Ivy bank are (a), (b), (c). Click on the one you wish to call.” This ensures the contact will be waiting at the reception desk to accompany the technician into the bank.
The Old way
The above intelligent dialogue is in contrast to the way most other mobile software for service management works. That is, upon starting the day, the user swipes to the task manager app and finds out that his first job is at Ivy bank on 1 Main Street. To get driving directions to Ivy bank, the technician copies the address, open to the navigation app on his smartphone and pastes the address in the destination field. He then proceeds to follow the directions. Once he arrives at the address, he now must open his contacts to find and touch his contact’s phone number, so that he will be greeted by him at the lobby.
Switching between apps and manually transferring data from one app to another is cumbersome, time consuming, error prone and annoying. If we can save 12 minutes per call for a person who on average delivers 5 jobs per day, we gain one extra hour per day! This is what the ClickButler technology enables. With ClickButler the mobile device becomes the user’s intelligent personal assistant instead of being a dumb servant that needs to be told what to do every step of the way.
Sounds simple? Not quite. For example, a fundamental pre-requisite for any of the butler capabilities is context awareness, which in the business world requires far higher sophistication than in the consumer world, e.g. the context in a field service world may include parameters such as customer SLA, job type, job urgency, next task, proximity to peers and their skills, and more.
The roots of ClickSoftware are in Artificial Intelligence, and in developing the ClickButler technology (Patent Pending), we are leveraging many of the tools and infrastructure that already exist in the ClickPlatform and all of our other intelligent optimization products.