Anecdotal evidence abounds of enterprises discovering different, valuable and often times unique, ways to employ technology solutions beyond their originally designed purpose. With mobile apps for the enterprise still emerging as the next generation technology platform across companies large and small, we are seeing customers finding innovative ways to use enterprise mobile apps to create positive impact to their operations.
The combination of mobile and cloud technologies has unleashed all manner of designed outcomes but has also resulted in some meaningful ancillary benefits that have the potential to become mainstream selling attributes going forward. In the case of our mobile checklist and audit compliance app, EZ FORMS, our customers have reported that field services has become a functional area where variances from intended uses are most common -- and increasingly, a meaningful element in computing solution ROI.
In the world of field services, tracking and monitoring staff has historically been challenging. The distributed, off-site and often remote nature of field service activities has not lent themselves to active and real-time monitoring of field agent behavior, leaving business owners and managers to rely on established reporting structures to assess agent performance. This has been true even as mobile technologies have been advanced into the enterprise. Field agents that are constantly moving are the most difficult to monitor. However, combining the cloud with mobile enterprise apps creates a platform for communication, monitoring and checking on the activity of any and all field service personnel, making it very difficult for staff to falsify their activities by blaming the technology.
The longer our customers use the EZ FORMS solution, the more they realize that collecting data in real-time and sharing with the corporate center and other field personnel is but one valuable benefit of the platform. Though we did not design the app to be a work staff monitoring tool, customers have actively used it to view how field service staff are working, where they are working, when they are working, what they are working on and even whether they are working.
Using the app in this additional way transforms it into a behavioral modification tool that drives greater efficiency throughout operations. When confronted with a report that details field service performance, or the lack thereof, the expected defense is almost uniformly to blame the software – it malfunctioned, I couldn’t log in, it kept crashing, no wifi where I was located.
The mobile app/cloud solution allows the enterprise to counter those arguments with data that details log in history, system disruptions and any network errors that might have occurred.
While there is a certain element of Big Brother in all of this, companies want to know that they are getting what they pay for and having the technology to monitor and manage their field service organization delivers value that can be measured in time and money saved.