Field service is an inherently mobile industry. You have technicians and teams driving all over the place to respond to service calls or maintain your customers’ equipment through service contracts.
With all those moving parts, the majority of field service businesses are adopting some sort of mobile solution to manage service in the field. In fact, according to TSIA’s Field Services Benchmark Survey, 81% of companies have already implemented mobility platforms in the field.
So you’re ready to go mobile, but how do you know which platform is right for your field team? Which devices should you purchase? Or should you go with a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy and let your employees decide for themselves?
Read on to see how Android can deliver the mobile tools you need to run your field service business.
1. Android for Work takes enterprise mobility to the next level
Android recently announced its enterprise mobile management environment, Android for Work. Designed to make the platform safer, more manageable, and business friendly, Android for Work opens up new opportunities.
In an interview with Google At Work president, Amit Singh, Business Insider uncovered some big goals for Android for Work and revealed what Google hopes to accomplish by bringing their cloud and mobile platforms to the enterprise realm: “the vast bulk of computing is still on-premises…we want to provide cloud infrastructure,” said Singh.
After transitioning businesses to the cloud, Singh pointed out a second goal—a shift to complete enterprise mobility.
“[The] movement from desktop to mobility at work has lagged consumers. Consumers are mostly on their phones now. I think that will come to work a lot faster, and we want to make sure Android is a first-class citizen: secure, manageable, etc.,” he said.
As more and more field-based businesses make the shift to mobile, Android for Work could be a good option to keep their mobile work data organized and secure for techs working in the field.
2. Android has many rugged device options
Even Android’s consumer grade devices are more durable that other mobile devices on the market. Some even have rugged features like the Galaxy S5, which is dust and waterproof.
In addition to tough consumer devices, many of the leading rugged field service business devices run on Android. Caterpillar’s new Cat Phones — a line of rugged devices — gives service organization protection from water, sand, mud, snow, ice, and potential drops on hard surfaces.
According to Cat Phones Director of Sales, Kevin McCutchan, Cat Phones run on Android because, “Android is the world’s number one operating system in shipments and install base and it offers the perfect mix of open source flexibility and great user experience.”
3. Free and Open Source Operating System
One nice perk to running your business on Android, is the operating systems is basically free. In addition to being affordable for any business, Android’s OS is open, meaning there are fewer restrictions in place which makes for easier customizations and a quicker path to implementation.
If you’re working with a software company for customizations, Android’s flexible API allows them to share proof-of-concept and beta phases with you directly. Your changes get turned around quicker without lengthy processes or delays.
4. It’s the most popular consumer platform
Globally, Android has been the most popular mobile platform for years (though this may be shifting). Because Android devices are popular for consumer use, many of your technicians will be familiar with the interface and features. Whether you choose to implement a BYOD policy or deploy Android devices to your workforce, you’ll have less training to worry about by running your software on popular consumer Android devices.
5. Runs on multiple devices and is compatible with several manufactures
Because Android runs on so many devices and works with so many manufacturers, service organizations are sure to find something that fits their needs and budget. Android’s wide device selection is great for businesses because they’re not locked into any one device or carrier, unlike iOS, which only runs on Apple devices.
Considering Android for Enterprise Use?
While there are other options out there, deploying your mobile workforce on Android offers your field service business plenty of flexibility in terms of software customization and device selection. And now, with the release of Android for Work, you can manage and secure all aspects of the service and billing process.
What are you using in the field? Does your field service software have an Android-compatible mobile app? Leave a comment below, and let me know if Android has been the right call for your business.
Header by Abby Kahler
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