The Utility Source May 2015 - Page 10

Utilities’ Mobile Workers Finally Becoming Mobile By Bob Ashenbrenner, Solutions Architect, Xplore Technologies Why Feedback from the Field Is the Key to Future-Proofing Almost any worker that supports the utility industry – whether a utility employee or contractor – will agree they are a mobile worker. They spend most of their time away from a traditional office either setting up, managing, maintaining or repairing assets all across their territory. That could include laying fiber in a small rural county, climbing a telephone pole, installing a satellite dish on a home or even inspecting pipelines that span an entire state. Oftentimes, field service technicians’ capabilities are tested most after disasters when they learn quickly whether they have the right tech in place to respond immediately, communicate immediately and make decisions immediately to get assets back up and running. Regardless of their specific job, though, utility industry workers are without doubt mobile workers. When speaking about mobility today, the ultimate goal is to get the right technician sent to the right location with the right tools – the first time. These guys are in the field more than not, and they need to have a truly mobile platform that allows them to simplify both planned and unplanned fieldwork, whether that work is an inspection, repair or maintenance workflow. They also need to be able to streamline safety audits and meet compliance requirements; extend the lifecycle of assets and improve customer service; and even have a solution that allows them to integrate inventory management and asset tracking from a single device no matter where they are working. 8 The Utility Source • May 2015