The unique — often adverse — working conditions facing utility field workers require unique mobility solutions. Not only do workers in these roles spend the majority of their time on the road, their work often takes them to places where the weather and terrain is less than hospitable. Despite all of the challenges facing this large mobile workforce, new tablets and other mobile devices are increasing productivity and reducing downtime for workers.
Field workers need a device that supports them whether they’re on the road or in the office. A recent RCR Wireless guest blogger summed up the needs of utility field workers by comparing them to the “front lines” of an organization:
Field workers are at the front lines of customer service ... and therefore need to be empowered to better serve customers. They require mobile applications that offer easier access to information that resides in corporate data centers.
Previously, this “easy access” to data centers was limited to service center offices and some mobile applications and devices. Now, however, advances in tablet technology enable workers to take a mobile office with them everywhere they go.
Tough Tablets for Tough Jobs
With numerous tablets and mobile PCs on the market, it’s difficult to determine which mobile solution provides the best experience for the unique working conditions of field workers. In order to move through their work, these users need a device that combines durability, connectivity, security, and speed.
Principled Technologies recently reviewed an Apple iPad Air, Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2, and a Motion Computing R12 to determine which tablet yields the most benefits for utility field workers. After comparing performance among the devices with regards to common scenarios field workers face on a daily basis, one tablet emerged as a clear favorite for this workforce.
While the iPad and Galaxy feature thin profiles and sleek frames, the Intel-powered Motion Computing R12 received an MIL-STD-801G impact resistance rating from the U.S. Military as well as international accreditation (IP-54 rating) for dust and water resistance. The device also hit the mark with its biometric security features and hot-swappable 8-hour battery.
Communication between utility workers and dispatching offices is often the key to a successful work day. Among the three tablets, the Motion Computing R12 was the only device able to handle a Skype call and open and edit an Excel document simultaneously. This kind of multi-tasking ability works seamlessly on this tablet because it runs Microsoft Windows 8.1 natively on a fast Intel processor and also boasts 8 GB of RAM (compared to 1 GB in the iPad and 3 GB in the Galaxy).
At the end of the day, having the right device can lead to more work orders completed and better working conditions for field workers. Empowering field workers with the right tools can remove many of the technical hurdles that they face and lead to increases in productivity and reduced inefficiencies.
To learn more about the Motion Computing R12, click here.