The availability of small, high-resolution cameras in mobile computers, wearables, smart glasses, and other devices is opening up new ways for technicians to better serve customers and improve their own efficiency and first-time fix rates.
The field service automation segment is much more complex than it used to be. In addition to traditional field service or work order management systems, service organizations now have access to a wide variety of mobile solutions and apps that can help improve their operations.
Augmented reality (AR) technology is still a bit of a novelty in the service space, but more companies are rolling out solutions that utilize heads-up displays or smart glasses to provide hands-free access to schematics, instructions, and other service information to techs in the field.
The pace of activity around the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the field service space continues to accelerate. We’ve written about these trends before (see our previous blog on service/IoT convergence here), as major technology providers like GE, Oracle, Salesforce, and others have announced initiatives.
NetMotion Software and Samsung announced a new security partnership that could help better protect enterprises using Samsung Galaxy Android devices.
Boeing has launched a new venture capital division, and made one of its first investments in a field service technology company.
A lot of field service companies have deployed consumer smartphones for their mobile applications, but often find that the upfront cost savings are quickly eaten up by device replacement costs when the phones are damaged. Rugged computer manufacturers have responded by releasing their own rugged and semi-rugged smartphone and PDA-style devices, and new competitors are entering the market with ruggedized phones.
Fujifilm North America is making technology a center piece of its newly reorganized field service operation. The company, which sells and services imaging and photography equipment, is combining its North America field service teams of its Imaging Division and Graphic Systems Division to create the Fujifilm Technical Services Group as of April 1.
Analysts at VDC Research have posted their thoughts on the technology on view at the 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this month. As expected, 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) were a big focus, but business case justifications were scarce. According to VDC: “The net effect was a greater emphasis on mobile solutions and application opportunities. However, as a result of this transition, what was lacking was any meaningful ideas around business model innovation to deliver these solutions and the financial implications of building out these next generation networks.”
As more connected ‘things’ join the network, security concerns are on the rise.