Top 5 Characteristics of a Smart Mobile Workforce Platform

Modern mobility solutions are designed to enable field workers to communicate with anyone within and outside the enterprise. Organizations are witnessing significant gains by deploying mobile field service solutions that increase productivity and profitably.

To get that point, organizations must find a mobile solution that successfully integrates into existing enterprise applications while being able to transmit data anytime, anywhere. Meeting these two criteria involves careful consideration of a number of factors, including your choice of hardware.

The right device for your technicians can help make or break the success of your mobility solution. Without acceptance from your field workers, you cannot successfully integrate field data with your enterprise applications.

With so many choices, what makes the most sense for your business? That really depends. According to the Field Technologies report, Field Mobility 2013, 79% of respondents believed that some level of ruggedness was essential. In the same report, 64% said they could not afford downtime when discussing level of ruggedness required.

While there’s a dizzying array of devices on the market to choose from, consider the following key characteristics to help narrow your search:

1. Easy to Integrate
The hardware platform should allow the integrator to customize the solution to ensure easy integration into existing enterprise processes, while providing off-the-shelf software applications to enable common functions. The organization can then maintain the flow of critical data, increase productivity, lower operating costs, improve security, reduce shutdowns, and eliminate operating delays.

2. Modular, Flexible & Network Ready
Even a cellular-based hardware solution should not leave coverage reliability to the mercy of a single data network. The smartest solutions are modular in nature, allowing you to plan for coverage issues from the outset, and to address requirements with options for cellular, Wi-Fi, satellite, and Ethernet networking.

3. Programmable & Configurable
Programming, configuration and protocol restrictions compromise access to smart data. Devices based on open protocols and customizable scripting languages provide the flexibility needed to develop and deploy a truly custom mobile workforce solution.

4. Reduces Airtime Costs
Smarter devices allow for advanced analytics and exception-based reporting at the edge, and allow field workers to access critical data without prohibitive roaming charges. For example, the ability to serve up e-forms directly from a device via Wi-Fi can streamline operations while improving customer service.

5. Device Agnostic
Compatibility with a variety of web-enabled devices simplifies and streamlines access to intelligent data. This device-agnostic compatibility can facilitate a variety of custom workforce automation applications, increase productivity, and ensure continuous communication with remote assets, vehicles and personnel.

To learn more about smart workforce automation, including the 4 Keys Steps to Mobile Strategy Success, download the White Paper.

Mark Kuiack is Director of Digital Marketing for ORBCOMM. He is responsible for the strategic direction of ORBCOMM's web and social media presence, and has over 15 years of experience in marketing and writing about various technology applications.

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