What Does the New iPhone Offer Field Service?
Guest author: Kerry Doyle
The latest Apple release has made news for a number of reasons. The new iPhone 5S offers updated capabilities consistent with Apple’s naming criteria and features a faster processor, improved camera flash, fingerprint sensor, longer battery life and the iOS7 mobile operating system.
The newest iPhone features enable technicians to more easily perform their tasks. As a result, they can focus on the actual work at hand as well as on customer relationships.
The introduction of a less expensive device (iPhone 5C) also offers the potential to considerably expand Apple smartphone use, especially in field service. According to a recent Research.net report focusing on field service organizations, nearly 50 percent of companies surveyed indicate that a smartphone or handheld is the primary device used by their employees.
Since the introduction of iPhone and iPad field service mobile apps, technicians are able to perform critical management tasks both on- and off-site. In general, the lack of easy functionality on rugged devices has contributed to a comparably slower adoption. Issues related to rugged device adoption include longer boot-up times, problems with smooth signature capture and undependable Internet connectivity.
In contrast, the iPhone 5S and previous versions have minimal integration issues, errors and bugs. The devices offer innovative but now standard smartphone features. For example, the new iPhone 5S camera provides an increased f/2.2 aperture and larger pixels (1.5 microns) for better image resolution.
Moreover, field use of the iPhone adds an element of professionalism to operations. This is true especially on job completion when a technician presents an Apple device for signature capture and clients are emailed a copy of the paperwork.
When it comes to iPhone usage for field service, MDM (Mobile Device Management) solutions help avoid security risk scenarios which include compromised data or device use for things other than work. In some respects, minimal leisure use is a small price to pay for committed iPhone adoptions on the part of technicians.
That’s because when field service workers claim personal ownership of a new smartphone, they take better care of it. Additional protections such as an Otterbox-brand protective case help bolster durability to make the iPhone 5S comparable to rugged devices. Also, the new fingerprint sensor significantly improves overall security.
As a low-cost alternative to the more expensive Apple iPhone offerings, the affordable iPhone 5C will offer higher ROI potential for field service companies. The new 5C device features a plastic case instead of aluminum, and is similar to the iPhone 5. While lacking the fingerprint sensor featured on the iPhone 5S, the 5C features Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 7.
The new iPhone 5C is considerably less in price compared to the cost of a standard iPhone. For field service professionals who employ teams of technicians, a less costly device will offer a unique competitive advantage. In terms of scheduling, field processes, alerts, information (photos, schematics, video, etc), invoicing and more, an iPhone functions as the technician’s link to the rest of the company. It provides a level of functionality that’s just right for field service tasks and offers a tool which technicians will actually enjoy using.