Leverage business applications, embedded real-time communications and collaboration to create the connected mobile enterprise

A Mitel Whitepaper

Employees leverage information and analysis that bring relevance to communications with the goal of removing waste, working more efficiently, and bringing the full weight of their company to every customer engagement.

The connected mobile enterprise can bring a high degree of contextual information to communications and decision-making. Organizations search for a full understanding of their customers:

  • Customer’s name
  • Customer’s company
  • Customer’s contact information
  • When the company last served the customer
  • What products the customer previously purchased
  • What the customer’s current problem is
  • What the company’s potential solutions are
  • What previous contact the company has had with the customer
  • Who last talked to the customer
  • How to contact the customer, and with which channels

Real-time business deserves real-time connections While all this information is captured within CRM and various other applications, the company’s employees have the ability to reach their customers with that knowledge and context in the palms of their hands. They communicate in real-time through a single framework, drawing upon business application content that encompasses mobile, office and business communications media. They leverage a simple-to-use framework available to every employee—from the service worker in the field to the administration staff in the office.

Seamless communications and collaboration for the connected mobile enterprise

In a world of seamless communications and collaboration, the connected mobile enterprise has the full context of its business processes with fluid and natural communications that permeate the entire workplace.

The connected mobile enterprise brings a powerful business proposition to the market. An enterprise with this capability can save time per customer-facing employee, create enhanced satisfaction by delighting customers and generate productivity through incremental work or additional demand from the market.

An employee of the connected mobile enterprise does not spend the majority of his
time preparing to talk to clients. He is immersed in customer context and spends most of his
time engaging customers and generating business. The connected mobile enterprise
employee is delighted with the ability to be primarily mobile, while able to use whichever
business communications device (mobile, tablet, desk phone, conference phone) is best
for a given situation. He has access to customer contextual information and an easy-to-use
real-time communications interface. The employee also has the ability to leverage the
full power of every business application and the ability to communicate natively and seamlessly from within those applications.

For the field service worker, this delight is doubly strong. Long gone are the days of having to jump from the field services mobile application to the mobile dialer, to a messaging application, to the mobile video player, and then back to the mobile app to record the details of his business activity. He would simply “tap to connect” and contact his colleagues and customers, record the interaction, and finish his business, right in the mobile app—all in real-time, simultaneously and naturally. He then simply gets on with working
more efficiently, being more productive and generating more business.

Real-time business deserves real-time connections

While all this information is captured within CRM and various other applications, the company’s employees have the ability to reach their customers with that knowledge and context in the palms of their hands. They communicate in real-time through a single framework, drawing upon business application content that encompasses mobile, office and business communications media. They leverage a simple-to-use framework available to every employee—from the service worker in the field to the administration staff in the office.

There has been tremendous advancement in the communications ecosystems in recent
years. Mobile penetration is well over 90 percent in the U.S. and mobile is now the preferred
communications medium. But surprisingly, 85 percent of enterprises have not adopted a mobile enterprise strategy (Webtorials October, 2015).

Unified communications (UC) has delivered on some of the promise of unifying traditional voice communications with video, messaging and (to some extent) contact center. However, most of the UC solutions in the market primarily target the knowledge worker, leaving the service worker underserved.

In addition, with our appetite for detailed contextual information, business applications like
CRM and field service management has evolved and advanced into the mobile space. Over 50
mobile application companies are currently competing in the field service management space
and Gartner has assessed that only 25 percent of field service companies have adopted field
service management tools. This points to future advancement in tools and technology for the
service worker and the field service management market looks ripe for growth.

But with all this advancement in communications, the scope still has been siloed and the number of communications mediums in the enterprise is growing: business phone systems, business collaboration messaging systems, messaging inboxes, email and business application-based collaboration.  As a result, the business user continues to traverse, coordinate, correlate and translate between these independent tools. These difficulties prevent companies from getting the full benefit of the communications media needed to deliver on the vision of seamless communications and collaboration.

What stands in the way of communicating and collaborating seamlessly?

So let’s look at some of the elemental problems with enterprise communications today

Native voice, email and mobile messaging are rarely delivered with complete context. These broadly-used communications media have roots in the consumer market. But now, they’re also becoming mainstream in mobile business communications. Unfortunately, they’re delivered in every instance without context and with limited ability for context to be easily captured and stored within business applications.

Business applications and mobile business applications themselves create multiple channels of context. Business applications, like field service management applications and customer relationship management applications, have evolved tremendously to deliver an improved depth of understanding and context. While the value of each of these applications is undeniable and each stands on its own merit, they each represent another individual domain of information to navigate and manage. Occasionally, some applications have embedded communications within their mobile applications. While this is a step in delivering contextual communications, these advancements have been made primarily within each separate application, independent of other communication forms.

Workstream collaboration applications deliver partially on the vision. With the goal of solving the aggregation of business communications activity, a growing number of workstream collaboration application options have emerged in the market. While these applications succeed in aggregating communications into a channelized workflow, this aggregation comes at a cost. They do not replicate all the capabilities of other applications, and intentionally remove selected capabilities. Users of these workstream collaboration applications often resort to using the native applications outside the workstream channel, leaving the employee in a quandary as to where and what applications or channels to use for which types of communications.

As applications multiply, they amplify the problem. The number of new mobile business process applications is expanding and only going to grow with the increased specialization and entrepreneurial spirit within the mobile applications SaaS provider space. With real-time communications capabilities, more of these applications will support communications-enabled functionality. Each delivers yet another channel of communications to monitor and to manage. The average employee will have to monitor and track email, mobile messaging, social media channels, CRM, business apps, etc. The growth and fragmentation of business communication channels results in imprecise communications, less connected context and ultimately the loss of business productivity and customer focus.

Communications fragmentation in today’s enterprise customer engagement journey

There are numerous opportunities to improve upon the customer journey in the field services example. Consider the following example service flow:

At the end of the process, the customer is relieved that their issue resolved, is less than satisfied, but is happy that they will not be forced to pay for service until the next month. This is obviously not the best outcome for the service company. The current process has many opportunities for improvement. Numerous communications are received without context. Each step, the company has to start over to determine the customer situation to make the next step. While some context is captured across CRM, field service management and accounting systems, this context is isolated to the system of record and disconnected from the communications of the company representatives. As a result, the service duration is extended, customer service is marginal and the job steps are repeated, given the inefficiencies of this typical process.

  • A customer’s initial request into a service company is typically via phone or for the more technically astute company, via a web-based request form or web chat. Typically customer information has to be manually connected, manually input into CRM and manually copied to the field service management application, if one exists. The process is slow and relies on significant human input and manual entry that is prone to transposing errors and inconsistencies.
  • Dispatchers receive input of the new order. Through knowledge of their business and dispatch records, they assess where their field staff will be and assign the job. They call back the client and give them a four hour window when the field tech is available to be at the location.
  • The dispatcher puts the job on the field tech’s schedule for the next available time (often the next day) within the field service management system.
  • Within the course of the day of the job, the tech’s previous jobs run long and the field tech arrives at the customer in the last 30 minutes of the four-hour window. The customer is less than impressed and is in the middle of a meeting and surprised when the field tech arrives.
  • Once the field tech investigates the issue at hand, he is unsure as to the procedure to complete the work. He tries to call the office main number using his personal mobile to ask questions, but after waiting 20 mins without response, decides to give up and return to the office for reinforcements.
  • He returns to the office because he did not have the supplies needed to complete the job.
  • He returns the next day to resolve the issue and completes the job.
  • Once the work is complete, the field tech writes out a paper record and informs the customer that invoice will be sent in the mail.
  • At the end of the week, the field tech turns in his paperwork to the accounting department to mail the invoice, 30 days net receipt.

Our seamless communications and collaboration for the connected mobile enterprise

We begin to deliver upon the vision of seamless communications and collaboration for the connected mobile enterprise with our initial launch of Embedded Communications with FieldAware, a leading field service management mobile application. The solution integrates contact center, CRM, field service management, real-time communications and mobile messaging technologies.

Consider a manufacturing company that experiences an outage in its production line due to a
malfunction of a critical piece of heavy machinery. The operations manager contacts the equipment manufacturer for service. Imagine the service level delivered to this customer if:

  • The initial request via phone, web chat or mobile messaging immediately identifies the customer, matches records and identifies the initial sale of the equipment within the equipment company’s CRM system.
  • Instantaneously, the field service management system has the details of the outage and need of service through integration of the CRM system and the field service Management application.
  • Within minutes, an available and qualified field service technician can be notified of the outage, the location and the potential supply list needed for repair.
  • The location of the field technician is intersected with traffic conditions to notify the operations manager via mobile messaging of the field tech’s name, when to expect him on site and a second notification is received when the tech arrives on site.
  • The field tech has the capability to roam from mobile network to Wi-Fi network coverage to use the field service management application and communications capabilities on a mobile or tablet.
  • The field tech finds available experts within their company, communicates with them, shares video of the problem, and resolves difficulties when conducting repair, so the job is accomplished first time, every time.
  • Upon completion of the work, the field tech closes out the job with the operations manager. The act of closing out the job adds context to the customer’s account and previous work.
  • The equipment manufacturer has a record of all work and communications–whether voice, messaging or video. The company also has location and time stamped records attached to the customer’s file for post-service support or for the next service request.

Each Embedded Communications activity adds additional context to data captured from previous work conducted by the equipment manufacturer. The customer’s expectations are properly set at each stage of service. The field tech has the ability to solve the problem or seek advice with a high degree of information via mobile applications and communications right at the job site. In this example, there is potential for real-time service responsiveness, a better chance to complete the job the first time and greater potential for incrementing jobs into a field service worker’s day.

In summary, the field service tech, dispatcher and administration staff are able to better serve the customer with Mitel- and FieldAware-enabled seamless communications and collaboration because the company has become a field service connected mobile enterprise