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More than 50 per cent of a company’s sales team are required to pass the APS professional registration assessment to gain the coveted award. TomTom Telematics’ pass rate, across its UK sales force, was 100 per cent and its sales team now appear on the APS professional register, which is open to public scrutiny.
The award was presented to the fleet management and connected car solutions specialist at the Commercial Vehicle show, at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.
Receiving the award, Beverley Wise, Director UK and Ireland for TomTom Telematics, said: “TomTom Telematics prides itself on a commitment to best practice across all areas of the business and this is exemplified in our investment in on-going staff training and development. “We are extremely proud of our excellent sales team who are dedicated to demonstrating the very highest standards of business ethics, integrity and service. This award recognises and reinforces these standards, which ensure our customers can put their trust in us to advise on the right solutions to meet their business needs.”
Andrew Hough, APS Co-CEO, who presented the award added: “Well done to the dedicated sales team at TomTom Telematics UKI. Their enviable 100 per cent past rate is a credit to their professional skill and knowledge. We look forward to working with TomTom Telematics over the coming years and applaud their leadership. We know that organisations which develop strong sales teams focused on ethics, standards and continuous professional development build strong customer relationships. “Trust is at the heart of good business partnerships and the APS quality mark is an important differentiator to show customers that they are dealing with ethical salespeople.”
The launch of Digital Vision for Mobility was marked with a keynote address by Atos UK & Ireland SVP for Strategy & Communications and former Transport Advisor to the Mayor of London, Kulveer Ranger, to an audience at University College London on 4 June.
Introducing the paper to illustrate the future of transport in London, the address to business management students underlined the profound transformation experienced across the mobility industry, underpinned and enabled by digital technology.
“Increasingly with population growth and denser metropolitan conurbations, we see the need to support the mass movement of people and goods with efficient, effective and integrated multi-modal public and personal transport systems,” said Kulveer Ranger. “Transport operators are beginning to rely heavily on data: harvested both from within their own networks and systems and from the personal mobile devices of individuals. To realise a vision of truly personal mobility, vast amounts of data will need to be aggregated. This will be a huge technological feat for innovative integrators and digital architects.”
The Atos Digital Vision for Mobility paper sets out how digital technology has transformed the UK’s transport sector and considers the role of AI, automation and blockchain in determining the mobility solutions of tomorrow for road and rail, broader public transport and logistics. Contributions from ITS-UK, Google, Siemens, KPMG, Worldline, TfL, MyTaxi and TechUK explain how data is being used as a driver for intelligent infrastructure and how developments like IoT can be strategically deployed to create more reliable services and more convenient access for transport users, including the rail network.
Commenting on the launch of the report, Adrian Gregory, Atos Senior Executive Vice President and CEO, UK & Ireland, said: “More change is now underway across the transport and logistics industry than at any time since the invention of the combustion engine. Vastly increased computing power and hyper-connectivity are helping to transform the operation and maintenance of vehicles and national infrastructure.”
Mark Ferrer, Operations Director – Digital Railway, Siemens Rail Automation UK, added: “Digital technologies are integral to the future of rail, enabling train operators and infrastructure owners to safely increase the capacity, reliability and efficiency of their networks and assets whilst increasing levels of passenger satisfaction. For operators and passengers, digital signalling and control systems together with advanced data and analytics are key to meeting intense demands while driving down costs – which can only be good for the UK’s economic future.”
Epson have announced Epson Moverio Assist – an easy-to-use, “see-what-I-see” remote assistance and inspection solution using Moverio smart glasses for difficult repairs or work tasks out in the field. By enabling real-time collaboration between remote experts and on-site field personnel, Moverio Assist helps make repairs quicker and with fewer mistakes, leading to increased productivity, improved customer satisfaction and reduced travel costs.
“Most popular remote support solutions today are phone and tablet based, and thus not hands free. There is a real market need for an affordable, turnkey, easy-to-use remote support solution for smart glasses that allows companies to connect in-field personnel with remote experts to collaborate on tasks,” said Leon Laroue, technical product manager, Augmented Reality, Epson America, Inc. “Our new solution is optimized specifically for Moverio® smart glasses to easily and efficiently connect experts with field personnel for real-time communication, inspection, instruction, and sharing of documents and videos.”
When assistance is required, a field technician wears the Moverio BT-300 or BT-350 ANSI smart glasses with built-in camera, powers it on to connect to the Internet using Wi-Fi® or a mobile hotspot, and then launches the Moverio Assist app to initiate the call to company experts logged into MoverioAssist.com via a Chrome™ or Firefox browser. Unlike those using handheld tablets or smartphones, field technicians wearing Moverio glasses have their hands free to make repairs while collaborating in real-time.
Powered by Epson’s breakthrough Si-OLED display technology, Moverio smart glasses allow field technicians to view instructions, photos, PDFs, and videos in high quality, while also giving them a wearable display that minimizes visual obstruction and can be virtually transparent when necessary. Available on a per-glasses, monthly subscription basis, Moverio Assist offers an affordable, hands-free remote assistance and inspection solution for small, medium and large enterprises.
Berg Insight estimates that global cellular IoT module shipments increased by 16 percent in 2018 to a new record level of 221 million.
Berg Insight estimates that global cellular IoT module shipments increased by 16 percent in 2018 to a new record level of 221 million.
Annual revenues grew faster at 24 percent, reversing the previous trend of decreasing average module prices. The 3GPP standards for LTE – Cat M and NB-IoT – will contribute substantially to growth in the next coming five years.
These new standards are designed to be less complex to limit power consumption and are priced more favourably to address the mass market and make it viable to connect entirely new applications. In the first half of 2019, several vendors announced 5G NR modules that will become available to developers in the second half of the year. Early adopters will include companies active in the PC, networking and OEM automotive segments.
The results of Berg Insight’s latest cellular IoT module vendor market share assessment show that the four largest module vendors have 61 percent of the market in terms of revenues. “Annual module revenues for the four largest market players Sierra Wireless, Sunsea AIoT, Gemalto and Telit increased by 13 percent to US$ 1.85 billion, with the total market value reaching approximately US$ 3.0 billion”, says Fredrik Stalbrand, Senior Analyst at Sweden-based IoT analyst firm Berg Insight. Sierra Wireless leads IoT module revenues, followed by Sunsea AIoT and Gemalto. Sunsea AIoT leads in shipments and Quectel is number two in terms of volumes and in fifth place in terms of revenues. Fibocom reported the highest growth of 122 percent during the year, reaching US$ 189 million in cellular module sales.
The year marks the first in which a China-based vendor ranks as high as the second largest cellular IoT module vendor by revenue and six of the top ten vendors were from China in 2018. Sunsea AIoT emerged as a new major industry player in 2017 through the acquisitions of Longsung and SIMCom, which had been the market leader by volume for three consecutive years. While there has been some consolidation among the larger suppliers, the long tail of companies with activities in the cellular IoT module market is growing. A number of new players have been attracted to the market, particularly in the emerging NB-IoT and LTE-M segment. Notable examples include the major Bluetooth LE SoC vendor Nordic Semiconductor and the Japanese electronics company Murata.
National Grid is a British multi-national electricity and gas utility company headquartered in the UK where it operates and owns the high voltage electricity transmission networks in England and Wales and is the electricity system operator for Great Britain.
In addition, it owns and operates the national gas transmission network in Great Britain. In the United States National Grid serves more than 20 million people through its electricity and gas networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Atos will deliver the latest Digital Managed Workplace Services technology and data analytics to digitally empower National Grid employees and improve end-to-end employee experience and service. This will be achieved through a support network, including a global enterprise service desk, device management and printing services, as well as a Proactive Experience Centre.
The centre will be a dedicated employee experience improvement resource with a focus on integrating automation and AI solutions. Atos will work with National Grid’s business to optimise its operational performance by implementing new and smart workplace services solutions in support of its strategic priorities.
Adriana Karaboutis, Group Chief Information and Digital Officer (CI&DO), National Grid, said: “We chose Atos primarily because they shared our vision for digital end-user excellence. Atos has an excellent reputation with other leading UK and US companies and I am excited about our partnership and the transformation ahead.”
“We very much look forward to working with National Grid to achieve a step-change in employee, and ultimately, end user experience through a true partnership with Atos,” said Adrian Gregory, Atos Global Senior Executive Vice President and CEO UK & Ireland. “The comprehensive plan of improvements underpinned by innovative technologies will have a positive impact right across the organisation, enabling National Grid to work smartly and more efficiently”
A strong presence and rich experience within the energy and utilities sector means Atos is well placed to implement tailored Digital Managed Workplace Services for National Grid.
Previous investment in the 5G testbeds and trials programme has driven work in the healthcare, tourism, transport and broadcasting sectors. The latest investment will support similar work in the logistics and manufacturing sectors. Projects will trial ways which can help these sectors increase their productivity and output, boosting the UK economy. The trials could cover different manufacturing processes as well as across road, air, and sea based freight logistics.
The funding was announced by Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright at the 5G World Conference as part of London Tech Week. The latest round of investment is through the £200 million project to test 5G technology that’s up to ten times faster than 4G and able to support more than a million devices per square kilometre.
Wright said: “As part of our modern Industrial Strategy, we’re making sure that Britain has a telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future. “5G is about more than mobile phone consumers having a fast and reliable connection anywhere in the country. It’s a vital piece of technology that can be used to improve the productivity and growth of our industrial sectors. That’s why we’re excited to develop new trials in areas such as manufacturing and logistics that can really benefit from 5G.” In addition to the new funding, the Government has confirmed that it will consult on proposals to simplify planning processes in England to both support the further roll-out of 4G and aid the faster introduction of 5G.
Hamish MacLeod, Director at Mobile UK, said: “Getting the planning system right for future 5G and today’s 4G networks is critical to ensure the UK continues to lead the world in digital connectivity. It is right that the Government has announced it is to look at simplifying planning processes and we stand ready to work in partnership to ensure this can happen as quickly as possible to aid the continued rollout of mobile networks.”
This is part of the Government’s long-term strategy for meeting its digital connectivity targets, outlined in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review. The plans involve tackling barriers to deployment and creating the right conditions for investment to deliver better network coverage that supports the way we live and work today. A key part of this is making new spectrum available to increase capacity for mobile connectivity.
The Ministry of Defence, in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has committed to making 168MHz of new spectrum available to facilitate the deployment of fixed and mobile networks. This means the Government has already exceeded its target to make 500MHz of public sector spectrum available for commercial use by 2020, and will continue to work with departments to explore opportunities for more spectrum to be made available.
Rapid early momentum and enthusiasm for 5G has led Ericsson to forecast an extra 400 million enhanced mobile broadband subscriptions globally by the end of 2024. The June 2019 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions – up from 1.5 billion forecasted in the November 2018 edition – an increase of almost 27 percent.
Other forecasts have also increased notably as a result of the rapid 5G uptake. 5G coverage is forecast to reach 45 percent of the world’s population by end of 2024. This could surge to 65 percent, as spectrum sharing technology enables 5G deployments on LTE frequency bands.
Communication service providers in several markets have switched on 5G following the launch of 5G-compatible smartphones. Service providers in some markets are also setting more ambitious targets for population coverage of up to 90 percent within the first year.
The strong commitment of chipset and device vendors is also key to the acceleration of 5G adoption. Smartphones for all main spectrum bands are slated to hit the market over the course of this year. As 5G devices increasingly become available and more 5G networks go live, more than 10 million 5G subscriptions are projected worldwide by the end of 2019.
The uptake of 5G subscriptions is expected to be fastest in North America, with 63 percent of anticipated mobile subscriptions in the region being for 5G in 2024. North East Asia follows in second place (47 percent), and Europe in third (40 percent). Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, says: “5G is definitely taking off and at a rapid pace. This reflects the service providers’ and consumers’ enthusiasm for the technology. 5G will have positive impact on people’s lives and businesses, realizing gains beyond the IoT and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
However, the full benefits of 5G can only be reaped with the establishment of a solid ecosystem in which technology, regulatory, security, and industry partners all have a part to play.” Total mobile data traffic continued to soar globally in Q1 2019, up 82 percent year-on-year. It is predicted to reach 131 exabytes (EB) per month by the end of 2024, at which time 35 percent is projected to be over 5G networks.
There are 1 billion cellular IoT connections globally, a figure that is expected to rise to 4.1 billion by the end of 2024, of which 45 percent are represented by Massive IoT. Industries using Massive IoT include utilities with smart metering, healthcare in the form of medical wearables, and transport with tracking sensors. The June 2019 report also features three articles written jointly with service providers that offer a glimpse of the progress being made in markets that are on the verge of, or already deploying 5G.
With Telstra in Australia, Ericsson explores how to manage the ever-growing demand for data and video while maintaining consumer experience, particularly for live content streaming. MTS in Russia helps to describe how mobile networks should evolve to ensure the level of network performance that will meet customer experience expectations during preparations for 5G. The article co-written with Turkcell in Turkey looks at how network performance and service offerings are managed in a successful fixed wireless access (FWA) implementation.
XOS UK previously used the server-based solution Service Accent, the precursor to Asolvi’s cloud-based Vantage Online solution. With market pressures mounting, they found that Service Accent wasn’t efficient or versatile enough to accommodate their future success. They needed faster processes, superior reports, a clearer way of seeing information and the ability to work remotely anywhere and anytime. When Vantage Online was launched to replace Service Accent and be the growth platform they were looking for, the decision to migrate was a simple one.
“The transition was painless,” says Bob Cudmore, operations director for XOS UK. “No major issues arose regarding data migration. Naturally, this was a project that needed careful management on the part of both XOS and the Vantage team, but with excellent communication and clear project goals and timelines the migration was delivered on time, on spec and on budget. Downtime was also kept to virtually zero.”
Cutting out clicks
Vantage Online does everything Service Accent did, but better. Interfaces are more intuitive and about 50% fewer clicks and screens are required to complete key processes such as work control, stock management, contract administration and meter billing.
Sales order processing (SOP) and purchase order processing (POP) are quicker and easier thanks to increased levels of automation. For example, if XOS sell 10 of the same order, they no longer have to build each order manually 10 times in the system. They simply duplicate the order instead. Now a multi-machine deal takes the same amount of time to process whether it’s for two or two hundred machines. Additionally, Service Accent used a more laborious “find, add” process for attaching accessories such as trays and staple sorters to an order. Vantage Online, on the other hand, produces an automated list of compatible accessories for each machine.
Meter billing is also a more streamlined process in Vantage Online, involving fewer clicks. For example, XOS can now select different invoice types and consolidate them into one, a feature that was missing in Service Accent.
From paper-based reports to live analytics
Before upgrading to Vantage Online, XOS used Crystal Reports, which was integrated with Service Accent and displayed information on screens designed to be printed. It wasn’t particularly flexible or quick and none of the data was live. Now XOS are benefiting from a totally re-imagined reporting system, with dynamic dashboards displaying key data such as volume trends, KPIs, margins, costs and profitability in real time.
Having this data at their fingertips means that users are no longer required to compile as many reports. And when a report does need to be compiled to send to a stakeholder, the information is easily exported as a CSV file to Excel or other programs for further analysis. In effect, it is lightning-quick for XOS to get the information they need, when they need it, in the form they need it in.
XOS' favourite feature: The integration with their data collection agent
Before Vantage Online, XOS weren’t experiencing the full benefit of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity. This is because the integration between Service Accent and their fleet management system, XSM, was more limited in scope. In particular, meter readings were only inputted automatically into Service Accent if they came from certain in-scope devices. For the rest of their fleet, XOS were required to manually enter the data from XSM into Service Accent.
“Perhaps our favourite single feature [of Vantage Online] is the integration with XSM, where meter readings are seamlessly transferred into Vantage Online from all our connected devices,” says Bob Cudmore. “This massively speeds up our billing process.”
Easier remote access
The fact that Vantage Online is a more proactive system with fewer screens, more automation and a better user interface is only half the reason XOS decided to upgrade.
The other half is that it’s cloud-based. Service Accent was a server-based Windows-only application which needed to be physically installed on a computer to be accessed. While remote working solutions were available, they needed to be configured and maintained by an office-based IT team with a solid understanding of server infrastructure. XOS simply didn’t have the resources necessary to do that.
As a cloud-based solution, Vantage Online eliminates IT support burdens by shifting the responsibility for maintaining the software to Asolvi. Remote working is much easier to facilitate because there is no server-based infrastructure that needs configuring or maintaining. A remote worker is good to go as soon as they have login details.
Scope to do more
By increasing the speed and efficiency of their processes, Vantage Online has given XOS the scope to do far more for their customers than they could using Service Accent. This has made them more attractive as a dealer, inciting significant growth of their customer and machine base. They have also expanded internally, taking on more technicians to deal with the extra demand and deliver the enhanced level of service they now offer.
According to a new research report from IoT analyst firm Berg Insight, global shipments of NB-IoT devices reached 53 million units in 2018.
Annual shipments are expected to almost triple in 2019 reaching 142 million units. Commercial deployments are essentially confined to China, where the semiconductor companies HiSilicon and MediaTek account for a large part of the NB-IoT modem volume.
“NB-IoT device shipments will ramp up quickly on the European and North American market in the next 18 months”, says Fredrik Stalbrand, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. “While early deployments have so far been focused on traditional verticals such as smart metering, we expect to see NB-IoT being integrated into a broader set of products in 2019–2020, including home appliances, door locks and smoke detectors”. Combining low power consumption and the inherent security of cellular connectivity, the NB-IoT standard provides multiple benefits to the connected home and building segment.
The transition from 2G to 4G is a global trend, accelerated by NB-IoT. The major North American carriers were late adopters of the technology but are now adding or trialling NB-IoT in their networks as a complement to LTE-M. T-Mobile was the first to launch an NB-IoT service in 2018 and was followed by Verizon and AT&T in the first half of 2019.
In Europe, the leading mobile operators are making good progress towards ubiquitous NB-IoT coverage. Vodafone has been among the leaders in the development of NB-IoT and will roll out commercial services across all its networks until 2020. At the end of 2018, the operator had live NB-IoT services in eleven countries, including Germany, Italy, UK, Spain and the Netherlands. Deutsche Telekom launched in Germany and the Netherlands in mid-2017 and offered coverage in five additional countries at the end of 2018. Telefónica has launched its first NB-IoT networks in Spain and Germany.
Other mobile operators offering NB-IoT in the region include Orange in Belgium, TIM in Italy, MTS in Russia, Telia and Telenor in the Nordics, along with a number of national mobile operators. Australia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey and the UAE are other examples of countries where network services are available.
HomeServe is the UK’s second largest boiler installer and the operations have two distinct components. First, a sales surveyor will conduct a video, telephone or in-home survey to assess what kind of boiler a customer needs, recommend one, and produce a quote. Secondly, field engineers will attend a customer’s property to install a boiler once a quote is accepted.
This presents a complex mix of sales surveyors who attend many jobs in one day and engineers with one job that could require one day or several days for installations. So, when searching for new scheduling and route optimisation software, HomeServe needed a tool that could do both.
More than white-space-filling
Sparking the search for a new scheduling solution was HomeServe’s desire to work smarter, not harder. In particular it sought to bring greater efficiency to the way it scheduled its workforce and remove some of the pressure from its back-office staff.
Richard Wilson, IT Director for HomeServe boiler installations, explains, “Previously we had always relied on the personal knowledge of our planning team to know which sales surveyors and engineers would be best suited for a job in terms of geography, availability and skill set. We wanted software that could make smarter, faster decisions than our planners were equipped to.” It was on speaking with other field service and scheduling solution providers that HomeServe first heard of FLS.
Richard says: “A lot of the scheduling tools we looked at were just about filling white space. In other words, finding gaps in people’s diaries to fit in appointments. We wanted a more dynamic tool, one that could continuously optimise, looking at every appointment and every field worker collectively and scheduling everything in the most optimal way. The providers we talked to said, ‘We can’t really do that, but we know a solution that can: the one offered by FAST LEAN SMART.”
A tool that thinks on its feet
Richard and his project team investigated FLS and discovered that its real-time scheduler and route optimiser, FLS VISITOUR, was the solution it was looking for. An intelligent tool that evaluates a company’s entire resource pool and effectively ‘thinks on its feet’, VISITOUR makes smarter, quicker and more efficient decisions than humans and other scheduling technologies.
It works in conjunction with FLS’s platform-independent mobility solution, FLS MOBILE, to ensure that field-based staff get to where they need to be and have the information they need when they get there. Together they cut the administrative burden considerably and automate a process. The company proceeded with the proof-of-concept pilot project that FLS offers all new customers.
This demonstrates the value of VISITOUR in terms of functionality and versatility, in particular its ability to integrate with existing back-end systems.
Richard explains: “Integration was a key requirement for us. We needed to know that VISITOUR could integrate with our service management software. This is why FLS’s pilot projects are so helpful. They’re not just demos where you have to guess and imagine how it’s going to work in the context of your business. With an FLS pilot, they wire it all in and prove it to you. We saw immediately that FLS lends itself to integration. We were also able to see first-hand how feature-rich and multi-faceted VISITOUR really is.”
Richard goes on to refer to a feature that has proved particularly useful for HomeServe: the ability to link jobs. When HomeServe installs a boiler, it needs to schedule a field engineer to do the installation and an electrician to do the wiring. FLS will link the two jobs, even if they take place on different days. This means that if the installation appointment needs to be changed, FLS will move the electrician appointment simultaneously. “Most software will do about 80% of what you need or really want it to do,” says Richard. “The ability to link jobs is a great example of the fact that VISITOUR will do a lot more.”
Winter is the busiest and most challenging time of year for HomeServe boiler installations. The company needed to go from concept to pilot to live very quickly, so that everything could be in place before the temperature dropped and the calls for new boilers started flooding in. Implementation happened in a much shorter timescale than normal. Thanks to strong teamwork between FLS and HomeServe’s in-house developers and back office teams, VISITOUR was live, integrated and scheduling hundreds of multi-disciplined field resources within just weeks.
“We’re so pleased by how well everyone worked to get VISITOUR in place for autumn,” Richard says. “It was a big team effort and FLS really helped us get it in the air. Our back-office staff deserve a lot of credit, too; they worked very hard and very quickly.”
He points out one reason why FLS is generally a quicker-to-implement program than many other scheduling software packages: “FLS is very good on configuration without the need for customisation. We didn’t have the appetite, time or the resources to develop our own boutique functionality. We needed a solution that was already fully functional, which we could tweak to fit our requirements without writing code. That solution was VISITOUR.”
A growth facilitator
HomeServe went live with VISITOUR in September 2018. Since then the company has been scheduling its people more optimally and cost-effectively and planning better, smarter routes to each appointment. This has enabled HomeServe to get to customers quicker. “FLS saves us time in the office, gives us total visibility of who is doing what, and has enabled us to get to our appointments 25% quicker than we were,” Richard says. “It’s really highlighted how efficient your scheduling can be when intelligent software does it for you. We see FLS as a growth facilitator. The efficiency gains are such that we’re now in a position to scale up.”
HomeServe plans to adopt more FLS functionality to better serve its customers, including form-capture on FLS MOBILE and automated email/text functions. “We’re a customer-centric company,” he explains. “That’s ultimately why we’ve done this. We wanted an easy, smart and efficient way of reshuffling appointments so that the customer gets a survey or installation appointment at a time that’s convenient for them. Now that we’ve enabled this, the automated emails and texts will be to keep customers in the loop at all times. We’re all about improving the customer experience and we’re grateful to FLS for helping us do that.”