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Implementing Frontline and Field Worker Connectivity

5 steps to assist your customer in implementing Frontline and Field Worker Connectivity

Your customers have decided to implement connectivity for frontline worker and field service workers to realise the many promises of digitisation.

The steps they take next and how they implement a systematic rollout will determine how quickly and thoroughly they reap the dividends from a switch to system-wide connectivity. Even companies who have digitised basic functions such as work order management, stand to gain from an evaluation of their processes and tweaking procedures accordingly. At its most basic, a switch to (or improvements in) field service connectivity involves making key decisions about company-wide buy-in, the hardware and software needed and how to execute the change.

1. Get Employee and Corporate Buy-in

Address employee questions about what is changing, how it will change and how they, as frontline worker and field service workers, will benefit from connectivity. Ensure that every frontline worker and field service worker’s concerns are addressed and that your customers make the workers a central pillar of their transition to connectivity. Make sure the C-suite is also on board with the program, with firm financial backing in place to implement the strategy.

2. Set Up an Accountability Team

Once your customers have buy-in from corporate and employees, set up a task force with members borrowed from various departments. Include representation from all parties, as they can provide vital input into how to fine-tune goals now and in the future. The team draws up a clear blueprint with well-defined business outcomes to be realised from the connectivity implementation.

3. Determine Your Customers Software Needs

Review the input from your customer’s accountability team and determine how they’re going to use the information. What kinds of analytics will facilitate the data sharing that connectivity can deliver? Would a work order management tool improve connectivity on the job site? Will supervisors need to check in on the status of workers throughout the day? Your customers may want to seek a workforce application such as Oracle Field Service, which includes work order management tools that get companies started on the road to connectivity. Because technology changes so frequently, companies may prefer choosing an operating system with an open architecture platform. With accessible application programming interfaces (APIs), the open architecture facilitates the addition of new software and applications that can deliver even more value to the frontline worker and field service worker. AR and VR apps are examples of such advanced and evolving technologies that will find room in the field service worker’s toolkit.

4. Consider Hardware Options

The blueprint for business outcomes will dictate the kind of mobile devices enterprises need for connectivity. Parameters to consider include:

Form Factor

What form factor and screen size are ideal for your frontline worker and field service workforce? Smartphones provide a convenient, compact form factor for quick information access, data capture and field communications. However, workers looking up detailed manuals from the knowledge database and attending to other work order processes while in the field may benefit from the extra screen real estate of an 8” or 10” tablet. Larger screens are also beneficial for leveraging AR assistance applications. Even if the company might not implement these capabilities right away, enterprise teams should keep future applications in mind as they select hardware.

Work Environment

Most mobile devices for frontline and field service connectivity need to be ruggedised to withstand shocks and rough handling in the field. Also, some frontline worker and field service workers operate in hazardous areas such as chemical plants, construction zones or oil and gas fields. In such cases, it’s also essential for the mobile device to be intrinsically safe, preventing the likelihood of a fire or explosion on the job site.

5. Choose the Right Partner

Simply buying into mobility is not enough. Strategise with Data Select’s Mobile Solutions team on how best to execute your goals and measure outcomes. After all, 75% of medium to large field service companies own at least one field service solution but don’t harvest all its benefits.¹ Since mobile devices also need layers of data security, you may want to select a vendor that offers a security package or enterprise-wide Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution. Field service connectivity should not be a case of fix-it-and-forget-it. It should be an ongoing digitisation conversation in which companies periodically take stock of where and how they can improve procedures to increase productivity. The most enduring gains result from incremental efficiencies that add up over time.

Samsung’s Field-Ready Mobility Portfolio The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2, Tab Active Pro and XCover Pro are designed for fieldwork with features including:

Long-lasting battery life

The Galaxy Tab Active2 and Tab Active Pro offer long battery life and pogo pin charging functionality, making it easy for field workers to charge devices on the go. The XCover Pro includes a removable battery, allowing workers to replace empty batteries on the job site for uninterrupted connectivity.

Built-in functionality

Samsung’s ruggedised tablets come with a built-in S Pen and a glove mode option, allowing gloved workers to fill out forms and use task management software easily. The XCover Pro’s two programmable side buttons make it easy for frontline worker and field workers to communicate with the back office at the press of a button.

Apps and integration for frontline worker and field service workers

Samsung’s ruggedised devices are all suitable for integration with apps and software such as Oracle Field Service and BeeKeeper for workflow task management and Scandit for barcode scanning.

Securing frontline workers and field service workers data with Samsung Knox

Frontline workers and field service workers need connectivity to improve productivity, but when they use mobile devices, it is natural to worry about data security. Samsung devices are built on the secure Knox platform, where security is woven into the chip architecture. Also, Knox Platform for Enterprise is a comprehensive mobile device management (MDM) solution that IT can implement as part of an enterprise-wide security strategy.

Knox Platform for Enterprise containerises work, including crucial data about work orders, emails and company information, into an encrypted “sandbox” on the mobile device. IT admins can dictate the kinds of authentication the device will need for users to access confidential information. Two-factor authentication is relatively routine, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active series and XCover Pro include biometric security solutions as well.

Through Samsung Knox, IT administrators can also roll out periodic updates to all mobile devices instead of having to work with each one. If the device is lost or otherwise inaccessible, IT can log in remotely and wipe out proprietary company information.

Field service companies can also take advantage of Samsung MDM services such as Knox Manage, which facilitate a cloud-based solution. No matter which mobile device is part of an enterprise’s strategy for field service connectivity, ensuring the associated data is secure is mission-critical. Samsung Knox delivers on that mission.

 


1. http://info.skedulo.com/