The technology environment that powers telecom field operations has never been more complex. Legacy systems must work alongside and connect with a growing number of other systems and applications, within a distributed network environment, often involving a mix of cloud-based, on-site, and mobile solutions.
Telecom field operations are also challenged by many pressures—from customers’ escalating demands for fast and reliable service, to aging equipment and network infrastructure assets and evolving regulatory requirements. In this environment, it’s critical that you can deploy your field crews effectively and accurately across a wide service area, so they can maintain your assets and infrastructure efficiently.
To overcome these challenges, telecom providers increasingly rely on GPS-based field workforce management solutions that digitize field operations, reduce manual touchpoints by automating workflows, boost field productivity, and allow teams to provide first-issue resolution to service requests. Capitalizing on these advantages requires not only choosing the right solution and partner, but configuring the platform to meet your telecom’s specific requirements and suit the way you work.
Leveraging the Power of Geospatial Technology and Digitization
Whether they’re installing or maintaining cable, poles, or cell towers, or resolving customer service-related issues, telecom field technicians and the dispatchers who schedule them need accurate, real-time information about field asset location and condition. That’s where robust telecom asset management software makes the difference.
Today’s digitized platforms capitalize on the power of geospatial technology to deliver real-time data on field crews and assets—enabling telecom providers to speed and streamline critical workflows, provide first-issue resolution, and boost productivity.
To deliver these benefits, field workforce management solutions need to capture, sync, and share field operations data in real time and provide an accurate view of conditions on the ground. Within an increasingly complicated telecom network environment, these platforms must be able to process and access field asset data across multiple systems, applications, and devices throughout the enterprise—from back-office servers to cloud-based applications and mobile devices.
It Starts with the Right Digitized Field Operations Platform
The telecom industry’s unique operational demands require infrastructure solutions that are flexible and configurable to the requirements of each enterprise. Before standardizing on a field workforce digitization platform, you need assurance it can evolve as your telecom business does—whether you’re adding or upgrading assets or expanding your service area.
The essential foundation is a field workforce management solution that’s purpose-built for the telecom industry and able to be configured to the way you work. When selecting a telecom-specific field workforce management solution, features like these should be high on the list of criteria:
- A solution that digitizes both asset data and field crew data
- A platform that integrates and communicates with your entire application stack and all your databases, including business process and CRM applications from third parties like Esri, SAP, and Oracle
- Automation of all the workflows associated with field workforce management—from assigning and dispatching crews, to creating work orders, scheduling maintenance, and more
- Real-time, two-way data synchronization between the field team’s mobile devices and the company’s back-end systems and cloud-based applications, with a mobile app that’s compatible with Android, Windows, and iOS devices
- A GIS-based solution that leverages field mapping data for fast, efficient deployment of field crews and other resources
- A holistic, digitized map view of the field service area, automatically updated as work is completed and crews are deployed to the next job
- An interface that streamlines and simplifies the work, with dashboards that provide an accurate view of the service area and drag-and-drop features for assigning crews
Configuring A Platform That Supports How Your Telecom Crews Work
Beyond a feature-rich platform purpose-built for the telecom industry, you need the ability to configure the solution to support how your company works. Since no two telecom providers operate the same way, configurability is paramount to a successful experience.
Configurability features like these are essential when choosing a digitized field workforce management platform:
- Workflow builder. A flexible workflow builder application makes it easy to build, view, edit, and configure the work forms that field crews use on their mobile devices. The best platforms support creating intelligent work forms with appropriate fields and validation rules for data entry and values.
- Optimized scheduling/routing. A configurable field workforce management platform makes it easy to set parameters and rules for how crews are scheduled, dispatched, and routed for high efficiency—for example, accounting for a unplanned sick day or a scheduled vacation day. It’s equally essential to have the ability to segment scheduling by user or by user roles and groups you define, with automated notifications by text or email. The use of Python scripts allows automation of these tasks to be configured in ways that best suit each telecom provider’s requirements.
- Queue mechanisms. A well-designed field workforce management platform will incorporate queue mechanisms for handling long-term processing tasks. For example, creating work orders for telecom field crews requires tracing a fiber optic cable to identify all fibers in need of inspection and/or replacement.
Supporting Your Digitized Platform
Standardizing on a field workforce platform that can be configured to meet your needs today as well as keep up with your evolving needs is vital. Yet it’s equally important to consider the service and support that will back up your chosen solution.
Look for a partner that provides ready access to technical experts with the engineering knowledge and industry-specific experience it takes to support a telecom field workforce management solution effectively. You should expect advice and insights on ways to evolve and configure your platform to keep up with your changing needs.
Your selected vendor also should be fully staffed with engineers, project managers, and other specialists who will work with your team to configure the platform’s features and functionality to suit how you operate. That’s especially critical when it comes to architecting workflows that improve field crew productivity and efficiency. Your platform partner can help bring together the various stakeholders you need input from on the front end, conducting pre-design workshops that ensure your platform is configured to achieve your desired outcomes.
How Epoch Solutions Group Can Help
Making the transition from handling field workforce management tasks manually to digitally transforming the process might sound daunting. But platforms like EpochField make the move smooth and easy.
The EpochField interface is intuitive to use, simplifying the transition for your field crews and operations staff. And with the highly experienced Epoch Solutions Group technical team as your partner, you can be assured your EpochField platform will be implemented in the configuration your telecom company needs to optimize your resources, expedite response times, and deliver the reliable service your customers expect.
Discover how the EpochField platform can transform your telecom field workforce management. Schedule a demo today!