The differences between mobile platforms and mobile solutions
Field service has many areas where technology is not always enough and should be combined with powerful logic and flexibility to work with different policies.
Let’s take emergency handling as an example:
For many of us, emergency calls means a piece of information that should be pushed to the mobile device ASAP to shorten the response time and be handled by the user immediately when it gets to the mobile device.
It’s true, but from my experience it’s clearly not enough:
Push is everywhere: RIM has it, Microsoft, Google, and Apple has it, MEAPs enable the capabilities to push information to the mobile apps, even McDonalds has it!
Unfortunately in order to better handle emergencies, a complete solution is required, which should include the following:
The push capability is a required part of the solution, ensuring there is no waste of time from the second the emergency call comes in, to the second it gets to the mobile device.
A true synergy with the back-end systems:
A true synergy with the back-end is required to monitor the activities, and in the case of emergencies, make sure they are handled (and if not – raise the proper alerts).
Decision making must be available in cases where the user did not respond fast enough to the emergency task, or couldn’t accept it. In such cases, an action must be made to resolve the problem (re-assigning the emergency to another user, raising another alert to the people monitoring the field activities etc.)
End user workflows:
Workflows must be well represented in the mobile application;
In our case, the field user who just received the emergency call must be able to instantly suspend all current activities within a single click (bypassing the manual process of closing all open documents, filling administrative forms etc. which typically takes long and often raises validations etc.), and head over to the emergency location.
The mobile application must not cause any delays, and should support, by design, such kind of situations, where suspended jobs, with partial information can be stored, and eventually find their way to the same user or another person to complete the work without a loss of the work that was already done.
The above characteristics, present the ClickSoftware approach to mobility; not just technology, but a combined offering that takes the best technologies, together with powerful decision making tools, integration with back-end systems and real-time monitoring tools.