Field Service Roadmap highlights and priorities
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service integration
Resco’s mobile platform is integrated into Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service and provides robust mobility for field technicians. This integration is our priority, as our partnership with Microsoft continues to provide unparalleled mobile experience in the field.
Field service scenarios greatly benefit from utilization of new technologies such as IoT devices (to get measurements directly from devices), voice control (for situations when the user’s hands are busy), augmented reality (when the field of vision can be enhanced) and image recognition (to quickly identify assets).
Resco Inspections are a great complement for any field service operation. Making sure that technicians are following pre-defined scenarios or completing quick customer surveys can significantly boost effectiveness. Our goal is to provide a simple way of enabling Inspections on top of existing field service processes.
All features and details
Inspection processes are quite often present in field service scenarios. Therefore, Resco Inspections – a separate product from Resco – can effectively complement any field service operation. Making sure that technicians are following pre-defined scenarios or completing quick customer surveys can be a part of the tasks users perform on site. Resco Inspections can provide a backbone for these actions. To enable Inspections in these situations, we’ll improve the ways of using the standard Resco Inspections app and make sure that utilizing multiple apps is as seamless as possible.
Grid design for forms
To effectively use different screen sizes and form factors – especially large ones – Resco will introduce a grid design for forms. With this layout, fields can be structured in a table/grid on the screen (instead of a linear form layout available now), so that multiple fields can be displayed in one row. Flexible spanning allows for one field to occupy multiple rows or columns if necessary. Form grid designer – similar to the Mobile reports designer will be added to Woodford for this purpose.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service integration
The Field Service module for Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one of the top field service solutions in the world. It covers all aspects of the process: scheduling, management, field work and much more.
The field technician’s mobile experience is built on top of Resco’s robust mobile platform and ensuring that the needs and requirements defined by Microsoft Field Service customers is our top priority. Based on the multi-year partnership between Resco and Microsoft announced in 2018, Resco will continue to work closely with the product team – so that Dynamics Field Service Mobile stays up to date and follows similar release cycles as Resco, while incorporating the latest technologic advancements.
Effective scheduling is usually at the core of every successful field service organization. Many backend systems offer heavyweight schedule boards (such as Dynamics 365 for Field Service). Resco’s own customizable Schedule Board can be used for many different use cases – even beyond field service – and is already quite feature-packed. It will be extended with the following options:
- Customer based scheduling – offers an option to automate the scheduling process based on pre-selected criteria, e.g. generating visits according to a specified visit frequency
- Combination with Route Monitor – the visits are simultaneously displayed on the map to increase the effectiveness of planning by utilizing location awareness and geographical proximity of jobs/records.
- Single User Mode – allows planning for one user
- New design
Integration of IoT devices will enable faster and more efficient field service by offering remote monitoring and automated actions (e.g. trigger a service request when a monitored asset signals failure).
There are many different scenarios where the mobile user’s hands are not free, and many of them would benefit from displaying information in the user’s field of vision. Augmented reality devices, such as Microsoft HoloLens and others, could prove useful. User’s forms – or items on forms – could be visualized one by one, schemas or manuals could be displayed as the work is being performed, and a video chat could be initiated right from the interface. User’s head movement can indicate input values (yes/no) or could launch the voice recognition.
Images represent a valuable data set, especially when combined with advances in the field of artificial intelligence. The already existing database of pictures of products, assets, or machines can be used in conjunction with image recognition to identify the object captured in the photo. This can be then used in a lookup field to select the corresponding record (product, asset, etc.) by taking a picture and/or to start the whole process by it. Utilizing Azure Machine Learning (Azure Custom Vision) should provide a convenient technological basis to build this feature.
Maps are essential for effective mobile operations. The ability to outline records on a map based on available geographic information is a stand out feature as it provides immediate value to the mobile workforce. To enrich their use in Resco’s technology, we’re planning the following enhancements:
- Private locations stored only on the device or in the user’s records (e.g. home address).
- Geocode-plugin allowing to run geocoding (translation of an address to latitude and longitude – or vice versa) as an automatic background process on the server.
- Configurable Legend within the map.
- Generic Address commands to allow better management of addresses (e.g. translate entered address to GPS).
- Configurable buttons on the map for custom actions.
Route Plan improvements
The Route plan component allows creating a plan for the day visually on a map. Select records (Accounts, Contacts, etc.) and add them to your route plan, which upon saving generates appointments (Appointments, Visits,etc.). This will be extended further:
- Start creating a route plan from anywhere in the application: “Add-to-my-route” button available to be configured on a form or view to quickly add the selected record to the route plan.
- Fixed appointments which can’t be rescheduled by auto optimization algorithm.
Resco’s Roadmap might be subject to change. The outlined features may be modified or updated before commercial release. Resco makes no warranties with respect to the information provided.
The work on this feature has already started. The expected delivery date in next release (usually March, June, September or December), but if the feature is more complex it might require two release cycles to be completed.
The feature has been implemented and will be released in Resco’s forthcoming release (next: June 2019).
This feature is on Resco’s roadmap and is waiting to be picked up by the development pipeline to get implemented.
The feature has been released in last Resco’s release (Version 12.0 – March 2019).