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Time to raise your game?

Posted by Emily Mason on July 15, 2014

As I write this, Brazil has been trounced by Germany in the Football World Cup, and the Netherlands have lost on penalties to Argentina. Sadly, England’s participation seems a distant memory!

By now, it will all be over. The bitter experience that is the 3rd and 4th place play-off, plus the final itself. And that means the soul searching about what went wrong - and to a lesser extent what went right - in each team’s performance will be underway. In this example, that will be happening all over the world too.

Each will be trying to ‘turn negatives into positives’ and ‘learn lessons’ in order to be better in future tournaments. Do you do similar post-mortems into your teams’ performance? I guess you do. Maybe, you don’t call it that, but reviewing results and planning changes is an integral part of the management process and critical to maintaining or improving your competitive position.

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“Hello Service, my old friend”

Posted by Emily Mason on July 9, 2014

I met with an old friend of mine over the weekend for a much needed catch up. When I asked him how work was going, he launched enthusiastically into the story of the last few months. He works as a service manager for an air conditioning company, which he loves.

“So how come things are so great?” I asked.

“Well it all started a couple of years back…” he replied, going into detail about how he watched the business he adores losing customers day after day through ineffective and inefficient (ultimately bad) service.

“I’d set about finding out how we could improve the way we worked” he explained. “For starters, service is a real-time business - knowing what our workers were doing days or weeks after it happened was just no longer good enough.”

At this point I was intrigued to know why that was.

“Take last Tuesday for example” he said, “one of my guys was called out to a priority 1 call. En-route, he hit heavy traffic from a motorway diversion, and wouldn’t have made the call within the set SLAs. I re-allocated him another job and sent a different engineer who could meet the SLAs.”

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Emerging technology to transform the workplace forever

Posted by Emily Mason on June 27, 2014

This article on ZDNet claims that recent breakthrough technologies, such as smart devices and SaaS are ‘nothing compared to what’s coming’.

Cognito was there from day one of the emergence of mobile technology, early adopters of the ‘new technology’ that allowed mobile workers to always be connected to the network.

Since then, things have moved on a lot, but according to the article, what we’ve got now is just the tip of the iceberg.

Pretty soon, it’s been said that almost every man-made object will be connected over networks through the technologies of the Internet of Things (IoT), effectively the connective layer between the formerly static non-connected world, and the world of PCs, tablets, and smartphones.

In the consumer world, this could mean, for example, a connected washing machine would be able to report energy usage and cycle settings to a smartphone app.

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“Tickets please!”

Posted by Emily Mason on June 26, 2014

During a trip to Service Management Expo in London last week, my colleague and I were travelling on the DLR when we were approached by a ticket inspector. He was using a smart device to check for valid tickets and Oyster cards.

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Delivering truly cross-platform intelligent workflow applications

Posted by Andy Potter on June 19, 2014

It’s great to be out talking to clients, both existing and prospective, about how Fieldforce iQ is put together and the technologies we’ve used to build the platform.

For the most part there is a lot of nodding and expressions of agreement and understanding as I talk about the use of Apache Tomcat for the web and middleware, MySQL for data storage, Rabbit MQ for the service bus, etc. But the more interesting reactions come when we get to talk about the mobile application and how we solved the challenge of delivering truly cross-platform Intelligent Workflow applications. In particular the revelation that our SmartWorker mobile platform uses HTML5!

Now, unless you actively avoid reading any of the vaguely IT-orientated news site or blogs you will have heard of HTML5. A quick exploration on any of the major search engines brings up a whole list of sites purely dedicated to this one piece of technology. There are many blogs with articles discussing HTML5 from every viewpoint. So, with all this information flying around, it is no wonder that the mere mention of this almost magical five letter acronym can elicit a whole range of reactions from surprise, to concern, to delight.

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