Once the leadership in an organization decides to automate functions that employees do outside the office like service technicians, property managers, clinical trial managers, and others, there are many considerations. The selection of a Field Service Management (FSM) solution is an important decision that should be carefully considered. Depending on the size of the organization and its needs, the requirements will be different. Still, there are five critical features/functions that need to be included in the solution for the organization to realize the maximum benefit of automating field service operations.
"Seamless integration with Accounting, CRM, ERP, Inventory, and other in-house custom applications are critical to maximizing the potential benefits of automation"
The Native Mobile Platform
When you think about it, you want and need true mobility to support employees that are mobile/in the field. To do that you need a native mobile platform, one that leverages the robust processing power, applications (Siri, mapping, photos/videos, time-aware), and embedded devices (video/ still cameras, flashlight, etc.) of today’s smartphones and tablets. Doing so enables the organization take advantage of the features/functionality on mobile devices, regularly updated, rather than recreating the wheel and being subject to a myriad of vendor upgrade cycles. And, with a native mobile platform, field workers can operate even when cellular network coverage is not available; data is cached and synched once a signal is present. In contrast, an HTML application running on a mobile device cannot achieve this functionality.
Cloud-based and Secure
True mobility requires access to back office systems at any time and from anywhere, which means that a truly mobile platform needs to be cloud-based.
It’s important to make sure the solution provider’s platform is based on a highly reliable, scalable and secure cloud environment. Amazon Web services for example has a 99.5% reliability service agreement; the field service management solution.