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Enhancing Field Service Productivity By Meeting The Evolving Communication Needs Of Today's Field Service Workforce

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Field service workerAs the pace of business accelerates, the productivity of your field service workforce and the success of your organization is dependent on their ability to connect with the people, information and applications needed to do their job. The key to productivity is an enhanced level of connectivity, one that provides field service workers with seamless voice and data communications whenever and wherever needed. In the drive to increase productivity, many of you have deployed mobile field service management applications to automate functions such as work order, scheduling and asset management for technicians in the field.

Equally important to field technician productivity, however, is the availability of fast, secure, reliable group and one-to-one (1:1) communications wherever they maybe, whatever network they are on, and whatever device they are using. What’s less clear, however, is where to find the solution that meets these requirements.

Traditional cellular services provide the “everywhere” coverage required and the device flexibility, but its group communications isn’t fast or simple. Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks provide instantaneous group communications, but do not meet the need for ubiquitous coverage or access to broadband data applications. Email and voicemail may be just fine for group and 1:1 communications but lack the immediacy as well as the context needed for effective collaboration. Texting certainly provides short, focused communication but isn’t reliable or secure, and in many areas cannot be used while driving.

So, where do you find the solution that fills this gap, and offers the best attributes of all cellular, LMR, email/voicemail, and texting? The answer is a portfolio of carrier-managed broadaband push-to-talk (PTT) services, including Broadband PTT, LMR Interoperability, and PTT Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

Broadband PTT

Broadband PTT is truly voice for the digital era, providing short, focused communications that combine the efficiency of texting with the power and versatility of voice. This combination of power, versatility and efficiency makes the process of conveying thoughts easier, faster, and more transparent than it ever was with texting or traditional phone calls.

Broadband PTT delivers fast, reliable, and secure individual or group communications over nationwide carrier LTE/4G/3G/Wi-Fi networks. Having instantaneous 1:1 and group communications available at the push of a button makes it possible for field technicians and others to collaborate wherever they may be, whatever network they are on, or type of device they are using.

And don’t forget that shorter calls equal faster answers. Studies have shown that the average cell phone call lasts 1 minute 40 seconds, where as the average PTT call is 27 seconds. Saving 73 seconds per call provides a significant boost to worker productivity and efficiency, and makes it easier to get the information needed when it’s needed.

LMR Interoperability

LMR Interoperability enables seamless communications between users on land mobile radio networks and broadband PTT, making the geographic and technological limitations of LMR a thing of the past. For field service organizations that currently rely on LMR for mobile communications, LMR Interoperability can:

  • Extend the coverage provided by an LMR network, delivering group or one-to-one communications at the push of a button on 3G/4G/LTE, LMR or Wi-FI networks, wherever connectivity is available;
  • Open push-to-talk communications to a new class of users, allowing executives, administrators, and others who cannot or will not carry a two-way radio to seamlessly communicate with those who do;
  • Allow field technicians to use one device for access to broadband data applications and LMR PTT communications.

By complimenting LMR communication with broadband PTT, field service organizations can expand users, extend coverage, and enhance the functionality of the LMR network without the cost of adding new sites or frequencies.

PTT APIs

PTT APIs makes it easy for third-party developers to add push-to-talk voice communications to new and existing field service management applications. Adding sub-second voice communications, presence, contact/group management and alert capabilities to existing workflows reduces ambiguity and clarifies instructions, decreasing the time to communicate and increasing productivity for field service workers.

PTT APIs also make it possible to build applications that have an awareness of people’s context, reducing the delays and other barriers that frequently complicate communication between individuals and groups.

The Carrier Integration Advantage

Carrier Integration enables an end-to-end view of the broadband PTT application and the network. With an integrated solution, carriers can provide 24x7 support for both the network and the application, identifying and addressing potential issues before they impact users. Carrier integration also makes it possible take advantage of network capabilities to deliver an enhanced user experience, such as accessing the Rx interface to provide prioritized access to network resources. And carriers offer a one-stop shop for billing/performance questions or concerns.

Summary

Field technicians are using information in more creative ways than ever before to do their jobs more efficiently. A carrier managed portfolio of broadband PTT, LMR Interoperability and PTT APIs provides field service workers with fast, secure, reliable group and 1:1 push-to-talk communications, unbounded by coverage area, network technology or device type. That constant level of connectivity and seamless communications means faster and richer collaboration for your workforce and enhanced productivity for your business, all without the capital expense associated with the purchase and deployment of a new network.

About the Author

Michael Doerk is senior manager of content marketing at Kodiak. He has extensive experience with telecommunications solutions, having previously held marketing and management positions with Nortel Networks, Ericsson, Intervoice and DSC Communications. Mr. Doerk holds a Master of Business Administration from The University of Dallas and a Bachelors in Engineering from the University of Central Florida.

 

Read original article: http://www.fieldtechnologiesonline.com/doc/enhancing-field-service-productivity-0001

 

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