Recently, I had an interesting, impromptu lesson in Field Service operations, and all I had to do was travel a whole 50 feet outside my front door.
As a Sales Director for Librestream Technologies, I regularly speak with executive level field service professionals. While many of these people started their careers in the field, solving the problems their departments address on a daily basis, I don’t often have an opportunity to speak with the techs working to fix these issues.
Recently, while working from home, I glanced outside and saw a lineman from one of the local communications/ISP companies pull up to the curb. This is something I’ve seen outside my window countless times, but honestly, beyond basic pleasantries, I’d never had much reason to speak with any of these workers. However, since Librestream has partnered successfully with many public and private companies on their virtual presence initiatives, I thought I’d get a “man-on-the-street” opinion from someone who would be and end user of our technology. So, I grabbed my trusty smartphone, and headed for the curb.
Following a brief introduction, and a promise that I was not out there to complain about service disruptions or a billing dispute, this friendly, hard-hatted gentleman was nice enough to share some of his opinions. I called up our Onsight Connect app, demonstrated some of the features and explained how some of our other field service customers use the platform. Since he was driving around in a cherry picker-equipped truck, I asked him if he thought he would make use of this kind of collaborative technology. He hesitated, and said
“Up there? Not really…but underground? Absolutely.”
He began to explain how he commonly worked in manholes, dealing with modern data connections, but also with decades old copper infrastructure. He’d been on the job for over 10 years, but he said he often came across unfamiliar connections and equipment. This would require getting someone with experience in dealing with this complicated gear, to consult on how to solve the issues. Most of the time, they would need to get this experience in the field. Effective, but time consuming, costly, inconvenient, and even antiquated. I asked if it would make his job easier to have a way for the experienced eye to look at a problem as soon as possible. Without hesitating, he said yes.
To echo my colleague Charlie Neagoy’s thoughts on video communications, organizations are realizing the potential of video communications within their teams. Many factors including changing communications mediums mostly driven by millennials entering the work force, coupled with advancements in smartphones, communication networks, wearable technology including AR software, all influence how an organization will plan for the future. Add to this the ability to capture knowledge visually from seasoned technicians to build a knowledge base for training, and the potential to improve efficiency, customer relations and ROI are limitless.
This blog post was written by Jim Cheney- Director of Sales at Librestream Technologies Inc.