The Big Discussion: Augmented Reality - Part 4.

Aug 07, 2019 • FeaturesAugmented RealityFuture of FIeld ServiceWorkforceIFSskillsThe Big DiscussionOverITLibrestream

In the Big Discussion we bring together a panel of industry experts and focus on one key topic within the field service sector.
In the final part of our forum on Augmented Reality, contributors including Stephen Jeffs-Watts, Senior Advisor Service Management, IFS, Francesco Benvenuto Product Marketing Manager, SPACE1 by OverIT and John Bishop, President, Librestream offer their advice on what service professionals should ask an AR vendor when considering an AR solution.

What is the one key question you would advise a field service director to ask an Augmented Reality vendor when potentially seeking a solution to implement within their business?

There will be many questions the field service director will be asked by colleagues, customers, or supply chain partners. Addressing the questions upfront is very important and the AR vendors should all be able to answer them. For example, you need the answer to questions like ‘how do you handle privacy issues’? Or, more basic than that, ‘when I move beyond the pilot phase, will IT let me deploy?’

We felt it was important to identify the common challenges we’ve experienced with customers during deployment. We worked with customers and analysts to develop the Remote Expert Industry Guide

Our longevity in the AR space has made it clear that sharing video or capturing data digitally can be a touchy subject, especially when end customers are involved. Field service directors and their colleagues need reassurance that the vendor they choose can provide the solution.

I would like them to ask: “Do you provide an AR App or an Augmented Reality product?”

An Augmented Reality product, such as SPACE1, is a no-code authoring platform, which allows non-technical users to create intuitive and visual work instructions, making them virtually available to any technician. Furthermore, it enables collaboration for training and maintenance purposes.

Any company, looking into AR, should consider only products offering crossplatform support for handhelds, desktop and AR wearables where both realtime remote assistance and access to pre-built AR work instructions can be
served simultaneously, in one single application.

Moreover, decision-makers should select only solutions providing secure data handling in compliance with IT requirements and online/offline capabilities which make the information technicians need available, regardless of any potential connection issue.
Last but not least, features to capture images, annotations and screenshots, add documentation and record live support sessions under the expert guidance (both verbal and supported by visual annotations) are particularly useful in view of future use and sharing.

“What areas of my service delivery organisation will be affected by deploying AR technology and how do I manage change effectively to ensure successful adoption of your product?”

You can read the first instalment of this Big Discussion here, the second here and the third part here.