|By Jennifer Hutchison||
|February 11, 2013 08:00 AM EST||
Professionals who work in the service field often have to juggle several tasks at once. Service techs have to make sales presentations and deal with customer service and still fix the problem they were hired for. They're basically a one-man show that travels from site to site, the ultimate multi-tasker, with so many projects and phone calls to handle that a person can't help but wonder how most even survive each day. But there's something out there to help these guys out with their busy life. By working in the cloud, contractors and techs can gain an extra pair of arms to make each day count.
When your techs show up to a job they bring their toolbox and a bulky laptop. Their hands are extremely full. Everything they need to know is on that computer but it takes minutes to load, and they have to be on the phone at the same time talking to the office. If a problem should arise, they may have to leave the site and only return after obtaining the information or ordering the parts that they need. Then what happens if there are errors in that information? They have to head back again to the office. The tech wastes gas and the client wastes time. No one's a winner here.
With your current setup, your service techs might not have access to immediate information because it's all manual. The situation could be improved with instant access to what is needed: information. With the cloud, your techs would be able to pull out their phones to access job, client, and other information instantly, not to mention replacing that bulky laptop with a slim smartphone that'll fit in any pocket.
When working in the cloud, there are no risks or compromises, only faster, better, and more accessible tools for communication. The smartphone becomes just as important as the wrench in a plumber's toolbox.
It'll Always Be There
What happens now when a loyal long-term client calls for a tech to solve a problem? The job is scheduled for the next day and files have to be sorted through at lightening speeds to obtain the right info. Sometimes a different worker is assigned to a job and hasn't talked to the previous tech. What if the files were lost or thrown away? If your tech is working in the cloud, going back to visit an old job or obtaining a new job from a loyal client isn't a big deal. They can have previous notes and billing statements available on-demand. All they need to do is open the app on their phone to see every note anyone in the company ever made. The same thing goes for a different tech visiting the same job. Every worker has access to a large amount of data that is available at the click of a button. Managers will also be able to see what projects techs are working on. Never again will your techs say "I wasn't the technician on that job", everyone will be able to work together with the same access to information. Best of all, the information is safe, secure, and always within reach.
Even years later the information will still be there, ready to be used when fixing another sink or repairing more ducts. With cloud providers keeping your information safe, wouldn't it be a safer, better idea to be working in the cloud?
When Hammer Meets Nail
The cloud is growing, and using it to manage your business means simplifying a complex and slow process. Managers can see directly what projects are being worked on and can participate in helping those projects move smoothly.
Say for instance, your company receives a service call from a new client. You make a few notes: "Customer says sink is backed up" or "AC unit won't turn on". You then send a truck to visit the client. With the cloud, the tech snaps pictures and enters notes into his mobile device, and you can read everything he does from your own office computer. You instantly notice that it's a different problem and not the one he seems to suspect. You send him an alert, and together devise a new proposal to hand to your client. You're able to instantly accept the proposal and email or print it out to put into your client's hands. You show the client that you're on the top of your game and secure the job. After they accept, you send out invoices and orders for parts needed for the job. Your consultant puts on his tech hat and gets to work. At every step, you and your tech can stay in touch with each other and the client, just in case more problems arise. There are no nasty surprise additions to the estimate because you have access to all of the information needed to fix the problem.
You are able to communicate with your on-site consultant/tech and together you both achieved your goal: to satisfy the customer with fast high-quality service. There's no doubt that the customer will refer you to friends and family, and will probably call you back in the future if some other problem comes up.
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
Nov. 23, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,251
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
Nov. 23, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,356
We are all here because we are sold on the transformative promise of The Cloud. But what good is all of this ephemeral, on-demand infrastructure if your usage doesn't actually improve the agility and speed of your business? How must Operations adapt in order to avoid stifling your Cloud initiative? In his session at DevOps Summit, Damon Edwards, co-founder and managing partner of the DTO Solutions, will highlight the successful organizational, process, and tooling patterns of high-performing c...
Nov. 23, 2014 02:00 AM EST Reads: 1,044
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from ha...
Nov. 22, 2014 10:00 PM EST Reads: 1,142
Software-driven innovation is becoming a primary approach to how businesses create and deliver new value to customers. A survey of 400 business and IT executives by the IBM Institute for Business Value showed businesses that are more effective at software delivery are also more profitable than their peers nearly 70 percent of the time (1). DevOps provides a way for businesses to remain competitive, applying lean and agile principles to software development to speed the delivery of software that ...
Nov. 22, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,451
Docker offers a new, lightweight approach to application portability. Applications are shipped using a common container format and managed with a high-level API. Their processes run within isolated namespaces that abstract the operating environment independently of the distribution, versions, network setup, and other details of this environment. This "containerization" has often been nicknamed "the new virtualization." But containers are more than lightweight virtual machines. Beyond their small...
Nov. 22, 2014 06:45 PM EST Reads: 1,200
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
Nov. 22, 2014 05:45 PM EST Reads: 1,321
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 22, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,321
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
Nov. 22, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,148
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
Nov. 21, 2014 09:15 PM EST Reads: 1,280
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the ...
Nov. 21, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,353
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
Nov. 21, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,300
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 21, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,231
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
Nov. 21, 2014 06:45 PM EST Reads: 1,190
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
Nov. 21, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,154
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 20, 2014 10:30 PM EST Reads: 1,287
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
Nov. 20, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 1,476
What do a firewall and a fortress have in common? They are no longer strong enough to protect the valuables housed inside. Like the walls of an old fortress, the cracks in the firewall are allowing the bad guys to slip in - unannounced and unnoticed. By the time these thieves get in, the damage is already done and the network is already compromised. Intellectual property is easily slipped out the back door leaving no trace of forced entry. If we want to reign in on these cybercriminals, it's hig...
Nov. 20, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,160
Infor has announced a new feature Infor CloudSuite™ Aerospace & Defense (A&D) to aid compliance with International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The ITAR function will serve as a complementary function for new or existing Infor CloudSuite A&D customers, to facilitate compliance for Infor customers that are creating a US defense article or performing a US defense service and wish to benefit from cloud-services. The ITAR regulation serves to manage handling and access requirements for dat...
Nov. 20, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,294