Mobile workforce management for E&U
from IBM and Cisco

Executive summary

The goal - Meet services needs with a productive workforce

A highly-productive mobile workforce can help ensure your utility networks deliver continuous service and meet customer service standards. When outages occur, speed of response and public safety are paramount. Connect mobile workers with the information and human resources they require with the comprehensive, IP-enabled mobile workforce management solution from IBM and Cisco Systems. Automate processes to increase efficiency. Boost field service and dispatch productivity. Speed problem resolution and help ensure effective communications in emergency situations.

The advantage - Facilitate effective fault identification, efficient dispatch

IBM and Cisco are collaborating to deliver a state-of-the-art mobile workforce management solution based on a security-rich, reliable IP-enabled network. It leverages IBM's leadership in delivering the enterprise hardware, software and services which drive transformational business solutions, and integrates Cisco's leading wire-line and wireless network infrastructure to support real-time data, voice and video communications. We bring these components together to help enable an intelligent "sense and respond" network, which allows personnel—from the line truck to the edges of remote field operations—to access actionable intelligence and share a single information view with key stakeholders. The IP-enabled communications infrastructure integrates sensor, security and tracking devices to seamlessly achieve last mile connectivity. It supplies virtual real-time information to immediately allow intelligent decision making at the field level.

The benefits - Collaborate and resolve problems faster

Our mobile workforce management solution can improve the quality of information your organization uses to manage operations. The solution is designed to:

A December 2004 Yankee Group study showed that IP telephony (IPT) solution providers need to focus on the basic features that make IP telephony work in corporate environments. The Yankee Group IP Telephony YankeeBrand Monitor indicated that attributes such as stability, reliability and quality outweighed future benefits, such as being the technology leader and innovator. Cisco Systems and IBM Corporation ranked number one and number two, respectively, in the study for deployment preference in 2005 and 2006. ¹

Business view

The goal - Keep workers safe and productive

Improve productivity and safety of utility field workers. Connect your mobile workers with the information and human resources they need for efficient dispatch and problem resolution. Mobile workforce management from IBM and Cisco Systems equips utility field technicians with wireless technology that integrates with work management, outage and supply chain processes.

The advantage - Leverage our combined experience

IBM has implemented mobile workforce management solutions at major utilities around the world. In fact, IBM implemented one of the world's largest, proven field force automation solutions internally. We outfitted 6,500 of our field service engineers with handheld RIM (857) Blackberry devices. Our field service engineers now have "always-on" access to corporate applications, peer-to-peer communication and information exchange.

The experts in the Cisco Global Energy and Utilities Practice have more than 60 years of collective industry experience. They combine strategic and practical hands-on experience to achieve dramatic customer results in these markets. Recommendations are grounded in Cisco's own track record of achieving 15 to 20 percent annual productivity gains for the past 10 years.

The solution combines IBM's proven enterprise security solutions with Cisco's leadership in network security. The integration of these security products delivers an end-to-end network security solution that is manageable, scalable and integrated with overall IT security.

The benefits - Minimize service downtime

Mobile workforce management provides utility field workers with mobile access to critical information so they can speed resolution of problems and minimize downtime. The solution can help energy and utility companies:

The approach - Envision the "Truck of the Future"

By providing mobile workers with an IP-enabled "Truck of the Future" as their mode of transportation, the vehicle is converted to a rolling hot spot through the use of a Mobile Access Router. This enables bidirectional real-time communication with the field worker and addresses several challenges.

The financial advantage - Lower your operational costs

IBM and Cisco are engaged in developing mobile workforce management solutions that help energy and utility companies realize a quick return on investment. We can help you:

Technical details

The issues - Secure your network

Connect utility field technicians to your back-end systems using wireless devices. Provide your mobile workforce with real-time information access and visibility across your organization. The mobile workforce management solution integrates security products from IBM and Cisco to deliver a comprehensive, IP-enabled network solution that is manageable, scalable and integrated with overall IT security.

The benchmark - Benefit from our leading technology

Mobile workforce management leverages IBM's in-depth industry knowledge, technology leadership and experience in implementing mobile workforce management solutions. It also leverages Cisco's leading wire-line and wireless network infrastructure to support real-time data, voice and video communications.

The components - Build a complete mobile workforce solution

Mobile workforce management from IBM and Cisco may include the following components.

IBM offers several services to support the solution, including:

The implementation - Power company improves communication

A large government-owned power company in Australia increased the efficiency of communication between its field technicians, enabling more coordinated, effective service, when it engaged IBM Global Technology Services to implement a Radio over Internet Protocol (RoIP) communications network.

Using Cisco Systems networking equipment for routing and switching, radio-enabled gateway routers, repeaters and dispatch consoles were installed at the company's base stations. This technology converts standard radio voice signals into Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) packets suitable for transmission over the existing IP network. The solution also incorporates wide area voice environment (WAVE) software from Twisted Pair Solutions, which provides a convenient graphical user interface (GUI) for dispatch consoles. Dispatchers use the WAVE technology to easily view all available communication channels and to immediately contact any field technician, all from a single console.

The cost of ownership - Keep costs down

Mobile workforce management is built around best practices designed to lower your cost of ownership and protect your investment. Our solution can help energy and utility companies:

We're here to help

Questions? Contact an IBM-Cisco specialist.

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