Q&A

Meeting Customers Where They Are With Mobile Technology

Source: Panasonic Corporation of North America
Mobile Computer

Field Technologies Online talks with Panasonic’s Chad Hall about how rugged mobile solutions can close the gap in customer experience, increase workforce optimization, and level-up productivity for utility workers.

Q: What are the top challenges utility workers face today?

Hall: Our workforce is digitally transforming at a fast rate, and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) have a role to play in addressing customer needs and pain points. This challenges utility companies to rethink how work gets done and pushes customer experience to the forefront of how we all do business.

As an industry, utilities have long been known for relying heavily on legacy operational technology. However, with the increasing need for digitization and real-time visibility into field operations, the industry must be able to adapt quickly to meet customers no matter where they are and to facilitate more streamlined information flow and data sharing. This also means building an agile, smart grid ecosystem that allows the industry to react quickly when the unexpected happens and to take actions accordingly, as quickly as possible.

With our workforce becoming increasingly more distributed and the need for connected devices more prevalent, a challenge that the industry is facing is data security. In the utilities and energy industry, data is the lifeline of field workers and grid operators. The federal government and private institutions are working closely together to put a more standardized security framework in place to ensure the network infrastructure is protected and data is secure.

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