The IoT (Internet of Things) is gradually increasing its presence in our day to day lives as more and more everyday items (think your home thermostat or office copy machine), transition to world of “smart" devices. With these ever-improving technological advancements, comes another rising concern: will the Internet of Things work with or against field service software? We think these two are a match made in service heaven and here's why:
A little Background: What exactly is the Internet of Things?
The term “Internet of Things” was coined about 15 years ago to describe an idea proposed by British technology pioneer Kevin Ashton. His idea, in its simplest terms, is giving “things” the ability to communicate with systems, people and other “things.” This one term many other names and synonyms that you may have heard thrown around lately; Connected Devices, Industrial Internet, Machine to Machine Communication (M2M), and anything with the added title "smart" are referring to give or take the same technology. Many smart devices like this are already in existence and continue to evolve each day, for popular examples check out the smart thermostat Nest or the expanding market for wearables (Google Glass, anyone?).
How can the Internet of Things benefit field service?
Right, now let's connect this back to field service software. Instead of being solely reactionary and scheduling visits to customers when something has gone wrong, field service companies and their technicians can become proactive and more efficient with preventative maintenance software. Machines will be able to notify field technicians on how they’re being used, when they need routine maintenance, and if an issue may be imminent. If an issue does occur, smart machines will be able to notify the connected field service software immediately, possibly without the customer even knowing there may be something wrong. With this type of real-time communication between machines and humans, companies can make decisions that are more efficient and productive for unprecedented customer service.
Time is a valuable commodity, and not all issues need on-site maintenance. Some can be corrected remotely and the data collected can be sent by the troubled machine to reduce or eliminate unnecessary visits and costs of those visits. IoT will also be helpful in the case of necessary on-site maintenance for field service. Through specific and accurate information coming directly from the machine and field service software, dispatcher’s and field technicians’ jobs will be made easier.
The field service industry has much to gain with increasing technological advancements and the Internet of Things will no doubt help shape this future for service organizations.
What do you think about #IoT and #fieldservice software? Tweet us using those hashtags @EuclidesTech
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