THE ENABLERS: COMPUTING DEVICES
This category is comprised of all those end-user devices where manual data interaction is a primary feature. For field service and in this article, the tablet is of primary interest for its larger screen size and greater keyboard functionality when compared to using the smaller smartphone option. These particular features tend to offer a more efficient user experience.
For the field engineer, as a tablet end-user assigned on a machine service case, this could also mean having access to useful customer information while out in the field. Such information may include, for instance, machine health data previously transmitted to cloud services via embedded sensors.
And while IoT, as a concept, also offers field service managers remote access to this and other cloud customer data, the challenges presented to the engineer at the case location can be unique in many ways. For instance, while managers may use a consumer-based tablet from the comforts of home or office, the field engineer may require a more ruggedized version as they could be facing a variation of harsh environmental conditions and repair complexities.
As such, a tablet tailored for the field engineer experience can play an important role in helping resolve an assigned case on the first visit. Field service may include anything from maintaining a busy office copier, to repairing a wind turbine that is more complex in size and performance and situated in very challenging environmental settings. Though, in either case, serviceability expectations are that repairs be done efficiently, cost effectively, and with least disruption to operations.