The Future of Utilities: Mobile Field Workforce Management Webinar
A few months ago ClickSoftware, with the brilliant minds at IDC, put on a Webinar that discussed the future of Utilities and where Mobile Workforce Management adds value. The Panelists were experts on the subject: Roberta Bigliani the Associate VP, Head of EMEA from IDC Energy Insights and our own Utilities-Guru Mike Karlskind. . The Webinar included both industry insights from IDC and our own customer data here at ClickSoftware to give an assessment of how Mobile Workforce Management will affect the Utilities industry in the future.
There were four high level discussion points:
- Smart meter deployments
- Empowering customers
- Storm management
- Need for agility in tomorrow’s utility
Let’s delve in a bit deeper to review the contents of this valuable webinar. Since this is a recap, you might want to come back and watch the full webinar here.
What are the Top Priorities for Utilities?
Roberta started the presentation with some priority data that IDC has accumulated from their ‘IDC Energy Insights Survey, 2014’ in which it shows the Top Priorities for Utilities. It’s no surprise to see Mobility and Big Data/Analytics at the top as more and more Utilities are using Mobile Computing to leverage real-time visibility to drive a better customer engagement. In a NetMotion Wireless Survey, Lee Johnson, senior market development manager says, “We recently surveyed 100 top utilities in the U.S. about the value of mobile devices. More than 70% of the respondents indicated that their field workers, particularly field technicians, became more productive and could complete more work orders per day.”
Executing on a mobile strategy has become absolutely necessary for Utilities and will continue to be a contributor to innovation and a better customer experience in the future. Roberta calls to the value that Mobility brings to Utilities in the slide below. In the ever changing world where customer feedback can be given in real-time, Mobility is solidifying its place at the top of priorities for Utility organizations.
Empowering Customers with Value
Mike Karlskind, Vice President, Product marketing here at ClickSoftware talked about the value our mobile solutions add for Utilities by allowing them to empower their customers. A customers’ experience when dealing with their Utility at a time of need is a critical factor for satisfaction or frustration. The Internet of Things is already changing the way we manage ourselves and our businesses according to an article in the Huffington Post. Customers expect appointments via the Internet, their phone, or even Facebook, and regular status updates via multi-channels of their choosing. Mike broke down the smart ways in which ClickSoftware’s product can solve these problems for Utilities, offerings include:
- Truth-based appointments based on the actual schedule
- Enhanced customer profiles for field technicians before arrival
- Mobile surveys at the customer site
- Upsell opportunities for service contracts
Mike goes on to explain these in more detail in the full webinar.
Iconic Installations have Shaped Our Solution
Since our first installation back in the ‘90s we have grown to over 100 installations in the Utilities industry. This growth has fed all the knowledge back into the product in order to give utilities a best-in-class solution to their workforce challenges. The leading industry analysts such as Gartner and Info-Tech Worldwide recognize ClickSoftware’s vision and ability to execute implementations at the largest Electric, Gas and Water utilities. And IDC recently completed the ‘IDC MarketScape, Worldwide Utilities Mobile Field Force Management Software’ report where you can see a list of all the market leaders for utilities, including ClickSoftware.
This is what a best-in-class solution should include in a mobile workforce management solution and what utility companies have asked for in their implementations:
Enhanced Regulatory Compliance – Higher Authorized Return on Equity (ROE) and Higher Customer Satisfaction Scores (J.D. Power).
Reliability Centered Solutions – Lower cost and time of restoration per customer with increased reliability and safety compliance for natural gas and water utilities.
Lower Cost to Serve – Customer Service and Operations optimization to reduce overall OpEx and CapEx cost for Utilities’ financial viability.
Environmental Compliance – Reduce carbon footprint, and GHG emissions for utilities mitigating the cost of penalties related to EPA standards.
Smart Metering Deployment Optimization – Best practice approach for Smart Meter Implementations, reducing overall cost of deployment, enhanced customer engagement and risk mitigation.
Grid OT/IT- Storms Management – Maximize resources (internal, contractors, and mutual aid) for restoration purposes at the lowest cost and in the shortest estimated restoration times (ERT), as safely as possible thereby improving the customer experience and mitigating regulatory penalties.
Is your utility ready for the future?