Lots of field service technicians and dispatchers already use Google Maps to get directions to their next job. But now, with the release of Google’s new “Coordinate” program, they can use the same app to receive job details, check in and out, collect information, and have the dispatcher back at the office know exactly where they are.
This is a potentially big deal for field service departments, especially smaller ones that aren’t already using a dispatching service or software. While the features of the program aren’t entirely new — several other companies make a similar product — Google is offering the app well below most companies’ price point. Until September, the company’s offering it for $15 a month.
Aside from Collaborate’s impact on field services, the program’s rollout is interesting in that it seems to signal an interest from Google to break into enterprise software. Google Plus, Google Mail, and Google Docs have all added elements in recent years to make them more business-ready; now Coordinate is aimed directly at the business market.
Besides the low price, Google’s dispatching program offers a few other neat features: Integration with Google’s indoor mapping service, which can offer directions and location even inside of big office buildings, sports arenas, or shopping malls; an optional “invisible” mode for techs on break; and an open API, which will let bigger companies (or just really technically savvy ones) to customize the program to fit their own workflow.
Dispatchers will be able to view all their techs’ location in real-time, as well as create new jobs and assign them right through the app. Technicians in the field can use the app to log travel time, get directions, and even collect data within the app (these fields can be customized based on what kinds of data your company needs).
Does your company use a dispatching software? Would Google Coordinate make sense for you? Let us know in the comments.