As mobile communication technology adoption becomes more prevalent, utilities are seeing more productivity in the workforce. This month's Utility Products brings you several informative feature articles to help increase efficiency and improve recovery after power outages. Jim Menton's article, "For Utilities, Mobile Early Adopters Realize Efficiency Gains in Field Workforce," addresses the advantages of adoption: increased worker productivity, improved customer support and faster recovery after critical events.
In "Common Denominators in Mobile Service-What Field Service Organizations are Looking to Solve With Mobile" by Joanna Pfahler, the five common denominators companies want from mobile are outlined. Understanding what other organizations want can help ensure you get a mobile solution that addresses all your needs.
Contributing editor Paul Hull's article, "Staying in Touch," discusses how it's the message rather than the messenger that is most important in mobile communications. There are many communications devices that are promoted as the latest, most efficient, etc.-and the majority of them are good. "Good communication is essential to successful business, any business," Hull reports. "For those of us who work in the power and telecommunications sectors, good communication means that everybody knows what should be done, that it is done, and that our customers know we are doing the right thing."
"Why Mobile Workforces Should Get 'Social' With Smarter Communications," by Jeffrey Wartgow, outlines what social networking has to do with mobile service technicians getting the job done in the field. According to Wartgow, social networking is about planning, collaborating, event coordinating and problem solving-functions that are all applicable to field service, as is instant access to primary groups of people, which then generates into secondary groups. "Rethinking social networking in the terms of planning, collaborating, event coordinating and problem solving, utilities will be well served by social-style tools," Wartgow reports. "Forget the social aspect or it-think of its potential to make a mobile workforce more efficient and productive through real-time, targeted communications."
And don't miss the "Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference 2014 Preview." The 61st Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference (EUFMC) will be held June 1-4, 2014, in Williamsburg, Va. Included in this year's EUFMC are educational and best practice sessions on a variety of topics by fleet managers, suppliers and experts about electric utility fleet issues; an equipment drive-through demonstration and an outdoor equipment display of more than 60 exhibits; and extensive networking opportunities. You can also meet with 100 utility fleet professionals and over 270 representatives from more than 100 manufacturers and service providers. In addition to a variety of conference activities, there will be events for the entire family.
Utility Products' product focus section also offers a great lineup of articles. Learn more about safely transporting cargo, a new wireless mobility software solution that improves mobile workforce productivity, delivering a personalized customer experience, rugged computing systems, how hybrid solar and wind power solutions can enhance power reliability for off-grid systems, and improving grid resiliency and reliability with leveraged technology.