Verizon Helps Workers Connect
For workers in the field, connectivity can be key to staying in touch with the office and getting the job done efficiently. Today, workers have many choices for connectivity, all of which can help them gain access to the tools they need, no matter where they happen to be working.
A true mobile workforce requires mobile tools. To this end Verizon Enterprise Solutions, www.verizonbusiness.com, has released enhanced versions of two of its products: Field Force Manager and Fleet Control. These products feature new offerings designed to keep workers connected in a mobile world.
Field Force Manager is a workforce management application that companies can use to keep track of employees in the field. It offers workers tools they can use on mobile devices, and a major new enhancement is compatibility with 4G-enabled smartphones and tablets. Some of the tools employees have access to include electronic forms, location-based services, mobile timecards, and job dispatch.
For example, a field worker could clock into his shift or submit photos and documents, all using a mobile device. Using cloud computing technology, managers can access the data and perform timely actions, such as rerouting a worker to the closest job.
According to Abdul Abdullah, director of transportation solutions at Verizon, Field Force Manager is “compatible across multiple platforms, iOS included.”
Additionally, Verizon will be offering Field Force Manager to customers for use with rugged enterprise handheld devices and with M2M (machine-to-machine) data plans.
Abdullah also says Field Force Manager has the capability to do barcode scanning, signature capture, and is Verizon’s turnkey solution for workforce management.
Another product with new enhancements is Fleet Control, a fleet-management application designed to provide benefits for drivers and managers. The latest version can now be used in conjunction with secure, enterprise-grade tablets that are also ruggedized for use in the field. The tablets are a “blank slate” that can be customized according to user needs. Drivers can then use the devices in or out of the truck.
With Fleet Control “we’re offering a secure enterprise-grade tablet,” Abdullah says. “It’s important because it’s a purpose built—the industry is calling it a blank slate tablet. Think about how other manufacturers and OEMs develop tablets that come preloaded with consumer-grade products and consumer-grade applications. This slate … is going to be completely blank and we’re going to load it with purpose-built applications, and those applications are going to be bundled together.”
The Fleet Control system allows drivers to eliminate much of the paper traditionally used to record information. The data can also be recorded for use in maintaining compliance with government regulations, such as CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability). It provides automated validation of payroll and geofencing, as well as turn-by-turn directions and route optimization for the driver.
Bringing connectivity solutions to workers allows them to stay in contact with managers and other employees, while also making it easier for them to do their jobs. Smartphones and tablets are definitely not just for consumers, but can function as important enterprise tools when supplied with the right applications.