Field Service

Picking A Tablet For Field Service? It’s All About the Apps

As bloggers debate the merits of emerging tablet models and business applications, one thing’s for certain: The tablet craze is shaping the enterprise in ways the Smartphone never even dreamed of. On Mobile Enterprise, James Harnedy, CEO of Appesque, an international mobile applications company, takes a look at why Smartphones and laptops never enjoyed the coveted 15 minutes of fame tablets are currently relishing, and suggests a few things to consider when deciding which hardware and software to use.

Security

Harnedy explains: “Decision-makers should consider ease of deployment, security, and integration of these tablet platforms into the enterprise. Issuing iPads could be a beast, which is something worth investigating for those without previous experience deploying iPhones. How secure is your tablet platform? How robust is its native security features? Will add-on security solutions be required? And last but not least, how well will the tablet platform integrate with your mobile device management processes and systems?”

Screen size

Field service workers need large screens, long battery life and constant internet connectivity. Tablets such as Apple’s iPad and BlackBerry’s PlayBook stand up well in the field, providing user friendly, intuitive operating systems on-site techs can use to research and diagnose problems and manage their schedule.

App

However, “the apps are as important as the hardware,” Harnedy says. There are already a handful of great apps out there that help service companies fine tune their operations. But some managers will choose to start from scratch, perhaps with the help of a company like Harnedy’s, in building applications designed to meet their specific needs. Many apps don’t have to be fancy to do the trick. Harnedy suggests reviewing the paper-based operations already in place in your organization to assess where and how a tablet could fit in.

The full potential of these tablets is yet to be realized but already they’ve surpassed the power of Smartphones in the enterprise. By providing long-lasting portability, large screens and tailored applications, it’s obvious why companies that never jumped on the Smartphone bandwagon are making the switch.

More about tablets on The SmartVan.

More on ServiceMax.

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