Monday, February 28, 2011

Building Compliance Features into Your Enterprise Mobility Solution, Part 2

Monitoring activities
This is Part 2 in this series on building compliance features into enterprise mobility solutions.  You can read Part 1 here.  This article looks at ways to configure best practices and other compliance requirements into mobile applications.

Sales and Marketing

It has been demonstrated many times that the trusted service technician that is standing in a customer's kitchen is a far better sales person than an unknown telephone sales person calling at dinner time. So how can you build processes into mobile applications that help your field services engineers be as effective as possible selling products and services?  Wouldn't it be nice if there was an automatic prompt that told the field services engineer what to discuss with each customer?

I have personally purchased extended maintenance warranties from my own HVAC service man several times over the past few years. They show me how I can save money and get better maintenance by being on the plan. I trust the experience of my service technician.

Mobile Enterprise Applications

When companies first begin considering an enterprise strategy for mobility, they often do not consider the role and value “compliance” layers can play. Even mobility vendors have not yet realized the true value. For the most part, enterprises are still thinking of mobile applications as a way to provide quick and mobile visibility to reports, notifications, approval processes, email messages and to replace paper forms. These are all good features, but there is much more that can be accomplished with mobile enterprise applications than has often been considered.

Mobile enterprise applications and smartphones have the ability to record many details and business processes in remote locations and document and report compliance or non-compliance. Here are a few of the ways smartphones can assist in these processes:

  • Date and time stamps
  • Before and after digital phones
  • Task lists with alerts and reminders
  • Defined and automated mobile workflows
  • Voice memos
  • Digital video
  • GPS tracking
  • Start and stop times
  • Length of time between documented tasks
  • Digital signatures
  • Mobile alerts to remind the mobile worker of specific tasks
  • Business process sequence monitoring (set up safety barriers around job site first, then photograph the safety barriers, before continuing on to the next task).  
  • Confirm a task is completed and sign name
  • Ask customer to confirm a task is completed by providing a digital signature
  • Document events with photos, signatures, memos and confirmations, and measurements (Bluetooth enable measurement equipment can feed data into mobile enterprise applications that can be used to document job site findings)
How might compliance layers look in a mobile enterprise application? I think it would be useful to include a library of compliance features and ways to incorporate them into mobile applications.

Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
Phone +1 208-991-4410
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.