IBM & Samsung team up to empower field technicians to work from anywhere

By | 4 minute read | October 25, 2017

When a product or piece of equipment needs maintenance, we rely on field service technicians to fix the problem quickly and at minimal cost. To do this effectively, mobility has become a driving force for the future of field service management (FSM). As we discussed in a recent post on mobility and innovation for FSM, the market growth is staggering.

Estimated to grow from $1.78 billion in 2016 to an impressive $3.61 billion by 2021, Gartner also predicted that by 2020, two out of three large field service organizations will have equipped field technicians with mobile applications. This will enable the ability to generate new revenue streams, improve efficiency and increase customer satisfaction.

To meet this growing demand, IBM & Samsung announced a partnership to accelerate the digital transformation of industries among key verticals like transportation, public safety and manufacturing.  The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2, a new business-rugged tablet built directly for business through a customer-centric design, will come equipped with IBM Maximo, the world’s leading enterprise asset management (EAM) software. 

Understanding where EAM & FSM intersect

Industries such as transportation and manufacturing are very asset-intensive. This means that they typically operate in highly competitive markets, manage high-value facilities and equipment, and have an extensive volume of assets to manage. They must do this all while balancing costs, safety and resources. In these types of industries, each failure is disruptive and costly.  Maintaining optimal availability, reliability, profitability, and operational safety is therefore essential for an organization’s success.

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) addresses the entire lifecycle management of the physical assets of an organization. Field service management is the ability to optimally plan and dispatch field resources and their vehicles to a specific location in a timely manner in order to deliver against their service commitments. This includes executing work orders against assets managed in Maximo. See Figure 1 for more detail on how EAM and FSM intersect.

Figure 1. Intersection between EAM & FSM


Simplify the daily lives of field technicians

Mobility is critical in allowing dispatchers and technicians to communicate in real-time. Having the right functionalities on mobile devices makes it easier and more efficient for workers to perform tasks, regardless of the complexity of the environment they are working in.

For example, a technician in the field receives notifications of new work assignments. They then view details of the assignment and access the work order to log time and materials. They also provide progress updates and note when a job is completed. Dispatchers see these updates in real-time and view progress made by labor and crews on a map. If an interruption to the planned work for the day occurs, due to severe weather or other circumstances, the dispatcher can make adjustments to the schedule and assignments. This way, crews stay informed and resources are utilized effectively.

With IBM Maximo, we are delighted to bring to Samsung, for the first time, industry leading asset management features for field workers to simplify their daily lives.”  – Suk-Jea Hahn, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics’ Global Mobile B2B Team

Delivering mobile work management

Maximo Anywhere is an integrated solution for managing mobile work and assets. Using this functionality, organizations can maximize both their resources and the lifecycle of their assets. It works in tandem with IBM Maximo Asset Management Scheduler so that field- based work processes are streamlined. Key capabilities include:

  • Managing work orders — Manage work execution, including submitting of actuals, follow-up work and delegation of tasks.
  • Managing field crews and technicians — View and execute optimized service routes and assigned work
  • Supply Chain management — Control stock rooms and truck stock, inventory issues, re-orders while managing purchase orders, and the receipt of materials
  • Asset management — Record service address, work, time and material details; view work locations on a map, complete with turn- by- turn directions to help improve technician productivity

Enabling field technicians with tools to work where and how they do

With the Economist forecasting 10 billion mobile devices to be in use by 2020, the proliferation of mobile technology cannot be denied. It is fundamentally changing the way people think, work, act and interact. Mobile applications, or “apps,” enable people to be more productive from anywhere. In fact, 92 percent of organizations believe that adopting mobile apps will give them a competitive edge. They also believe that not doing so will be harmful.

Mobile devices help organizations of all sizes get the right information to the right people at the right time. This improves service quality, increases customer satisfaction and reduces the costs and complexities of daily operations. Figure 2 shows the improvements in performance of best-in-class organizations who have embraced mobility versus those who are lagging behind.

Figure 2. Mobile technology improving compliance rates and reducing paperwork. Source: Aberdeen Group, 2015

With this collaboration, IBM Maximo and Samsung are solving ever-changing business requirements for industrialized mobile devices. In addition, they are empowering field technicians with new tools designed to work where and how they do. 

To learn more about this collaboration, read the press release.

For more detail on IBM Maximo, visit the marketplace.