Utility Week

Utility Week 13th October 2017

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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UTILITY WEEK | 13TH - 19TH OCTOBER 2017 | 19 Operations & Assets T wo-thirds of utility employees work in the field for most of their day, and equipping them with effective mobile IT systems has proven successful in creating efficiency gains and cost sav- ings. Here are some key consid- erations for procurement teams looking to refresh mobile technology for field workers to ensure maximum productivity, reliability and longevity. 1. Security Security is among the top crite- ria when selecting technology. Field workers generate huge amounts of highly sensitive data which must be protected against hacks or infiltration when at rest, in use or in tran- sit. Encryption and security measures improve the ability to control devices, enforce security policies, provide audit trails and enhanced reporting, while reducing support and cutting maintenance over- heads. 2. Fit for purpose Field-worker equipment faces drops, vibrations, spillages, extreme temperatures and chemical damage. Mobile rug- ged devices undergo standard- ised tests to assess their tough- ness. IP ratings and military standards (MIL-STD) are the most widely recognised ratings because they tell a lot about the reliability and performance of a device in the field. 3. Consumer vs enterprise devices Consumer mobile devices have become smaller, lighter, thinner and more powerful, but will quickly fail in harsh utility environments. Today, rugged devices offer more of a consumer-like experience and boast the same powerful technologies, but offer greater protection. 4. Integration Devices must integrate well and run the proprietary soware and applications that field workers need to do their jobs. Staff need real-time access to a host of information and tools such as fleet track- ing, accurate site location, job management, images, 3D map- ping, vehicle checks, customer surveys, mobile printing, RFID, scanning, camera, watermark- ing, signature, asset manage- ment and stock control. 5. Total cost of ownership Oen the price of a rugged mobile device is higher than consumer grade devices, so simply looking at list price is an ineffective means of understanding the total cost of ownership. Utility organisa- tions should consider longevity (usually rugged devices are built to last five years), shared use (shi workers, for exam- ple), support for connectors and components, soware support, updates and add-ons, as well as warranty options. Utility organisations can now rely on technology to respond to problems faster, improve operational efficiency, keep customers informed in real time, and comply with stricter safety and environ- mental regulations. Putting the right rugged mobile technol- ogy in place can significantly improve field worker produc- tivity and efficiencies, as well as customer engagement, by arming them with better and more timely data and devices that can support a range of tasks all day long. Chris Bye, president, Getac UK Visit: en.getac.com EXPERT VIEW CHRIS BYE, PRESIDENT, GETAC UK Technology catalyses change for utilities Department in the 1890s to provide clean drinking water for Birmingham. Four dams were built at the turn of the century and the fih, the Claerwen dam, was opened by Elizabeth II in 1952 in one of her first official engagements as monarch. If you have an asset or project you would like to see featured in this slot, please contact: paulnewton@fav-house.com

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