I did a Q&A in April with Neal Ratner, manager of business innovation at Applus + Energy and Power titled “When An Apple Fan Is Forced To Choose Android.” Neal and I discussed the fact that, while he’s an avid Apple fan, there were some important reasons that, for his company’s use, he simply couldn’t recommend the use of the devices. Here’s what he had to say:
“While Apple products are, in my opinion, easier to use, we still have to support the devices and the applications our workforce uses to get their jobs done. Field technicians need support while on site to be able to complete the work they are there to do. The last thing we want to happen is to have to tell our customer ‘Sorry, our tablet isn’t working so I will have to come back another day.’ So, that means we need to be able to support many technicians in many locations, and the best way to do that is via remote viewing or even control of their device from centralized locations. That way, we can see an issue in ‘real time’ and assess how to resolve the problem so that work can continue.”
Ratner emailed me recently to inform me of a product he’d found called TeamViewer that enables iOS screen sharing. According to TeamViewer’s website, the product enables more effective remote tech support to iPads and iPhones by providing companies the ability to view remotely the screens in real-time — which alleviates the biggest issue Ratner had with using the devices at Applus.
Ratner isn’t the only person I’ve talked to that has had this specific issue with the use of iOS devices within his organization. While different iterations of remote support were possible before, they were limited to employees providing screen shots — rather than a real-time, live view. According to TeamView, it is the world’s first official provider for iOS screen sharing.
The ability to support iOS devices in this way could be a game changer for some of the organizations, like Ratner’s, that liked Apple products but for which this issue was a deal breaker. Many companies I’ve talked with feel that iOS devices have some strong advantages for the mobile workforce, including the intuitive design of the devices, the fact that many employees use iOS devices for personal use and therefor prefer the device for work use, and the idea that training employees on the use of iOS devices is easier because of these things. While these benefits are mentioned frequently, the issue of support has been a deal-breaking drawback for some companies — until now. If yours is one of the organizations that has found iOS support to be a barrier to leveraging the devices for your workforce, you may want to take a look at this solution and evaluate its ability to solve the problem.