Enhancing Field Services by Leveraging Mobile Technology

Enhancing Field Services by Leveraging Mobile Technology

Kinvey, our mobile Backend as a Service (mBaaS) provider, recently announced it has rolled out Mobile Data Connect for SAP, a new tool that connects mobile apps to SAP backend systems.
 
With an industry-leading field services organization, Bell and Howell is one of the first companies in the world to implement this solution that provides lightning-quick field access to data-rich SAP-based enterprise-resource-planning (ERP) and customer-relationship-management (CRM) systems.
 
Anu Gupta, Bell and Howell’s Director of SAP Applications, said this new technology being rolled out via an iPhone app greatly enhances the speed and usage of ERP data.
 
“With Kinvey, we’ve been able to extend our SAP landscape for new use cases, and the performance has been unbelievable,” he said. “I went from 14-second SAP data access down to 400-millisecond mobile-friendly data access.”
 
Since 2005, our field service technicians have used mobile technology via BlackBerrys. However, these devices had limitations on searches and how much data they could display. With the new iPhone app, our technicians can view the history of a machine, share information and images, scan parts, create and view slow-motion videos, and – most importantly – capture true parts history. This allows us to know precisely how many hours or cycles a part has been in use, and preemptively replace it before it fails. It can also tell us if another technician encountered the same issue or has a required part in stock in a nearby city as opposed to the next time zone.
 
As true proponents of the internet of things (and people, as our CEO Ramesh Ratan likes to add), we’re leveraging advances in mobile connectivity to backend systems in order to provide the best service possible to our clients. In a demonstration of full transparency, we’ll even share the data and reports compiled by our technicians.
 
Gupta added that this is new mobile capability is just the starting point.
 
“Our new mBaaS capability makes integration abstract,” he said. “And it will make it easier for Bell and Howell to develop even more sophisticated apps that would enhance our field technicians’ capabilities.”
 
Bell and Howell recently completed the rollout of the new app along with new iPhone 6 units – with large user-friendly screens that allow more data to be displayed – to its technicians across U.S., Canada and Europe. This is just the latest example of how we are using cutting-edge technology to provide our customers with improved responsiveness and better quality for the variety of systems we service.

Author

Jim Feely
Senior Vice President of Global Service Solutions at Bell and Howell. Connect with Jim on LinkedIn.

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