Stephan Scholl, senior vice president and general manager at Oracle, said that one of the key enhancements the company delivers with Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management 2.0 is an end to the artificial boundaries that other mobile workforce management applications impose on a utility's ability to plan and schedule field work.
'We provide the foundation for an enterprise approach to utility field work that can improve efficiency, cuts costs and gives utilities full visibility into mobile workforce performance,' Scholl said.
One of the functionalities in newest version include a computational grid that feeds up to a year's worth of planned maintenance and inspection field activities into the system to assign the right crew at the right time, in any area the utility serves.
Company officials said that in the field, the application helps shorten routes and reduce truck rolls, while in the office, multiple departments can share the same view, breaking down work silos and helping to share field resources.
Additional functionality includes an automation of routine assignments and full-context decision support for dispatchers. Company officials said that the application creates schedules based on complete data sets about each technician's qualifications, experience, availability and work history, and also utility work rules and key performance objectives.
Also, when situations require human judgment, the application passes the decision to a dispatcher with full context, said company officials. Moreover, this new 'context-oriented dispatching' helps each field task address a utility's strategic business objectives, as well as decreases the dispatcher-to-field worker ratio.
With Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management 2.0, dispatchers and supervisors can use a single interface to communicate with field workers, regardless of the device in use.
Company officials said that utilities can upgrade all devices at one time, regardless of device or network. Plus, the ability to communicate via SMS/text messaging lets utilities use common, low-maintenance devices like mobile phones.
Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management 2.0 will help utilities meet their objectives more easily, as they prepare to make the transition to the smart grid, said Warren Causey, vice president for strategy, research and analysis at Five Point Partners.
Causey believes that this release should 'significantly' strengthen Oracle's competitive position in the mobile workforce management solution space.