An inclusive service offering you the services you need; training, help desk, devices and management are all available as you require.
Coverage or no coverage, bandwidth or no bandwidth, any network, your mobile workforce can still get the job done
Designed to exploit the latest cloud and mobile technologies such as Android & iOS
Allocate work without constraints: no matter your industry; logistics, service, inspections, healthcare visits … You define compliant workflows for your mobile workforce to follow or document exceptions to. Essential for standards conformance and SLA reporting
The mobile workforce are effortlessly collecting detailed activity records, geo tagged photographs, accurate timestamps and signatures to prove your service delivery & reduce service disputes. Evidence of any service refusals, exceptions or deviations are easily to hand to facilitate speedy resolutions
From the potential of automatic scheduling and dispatch of work through to account system integration for timely no touch invoicing. Your business as usual functions will run with minimum intervention allowing you to focus on exceptions, deviations and improvements.
Here are some of the features we were asked for and delivered.
Whilst benefiting from the use of the latest mobile, web and development technology Hillwalk’s straightforward architectural design has been proven in multiple large scale deployments of many thousands of users.
The field application is designed and configured to ensure that the application is straightforward and compelling for the field users. This is achieved by applying Hillwalk’s experience in successfully designing, deploying and operating numerous mobile worker applications.
The screen layouts and ordering will be configured to provide the user with a logical and relevant view of the tasks to be performed in the order and at the level of detail required at that stage in the task.
One compromise when using hand held technology is the limited screen ‘real estate’. Hillwalk has built up a great deal of expertise in ‘pixel sweating’ to make the best use of the available screen. Techniques such as ordering the text in columns to ensure the most significant data for the mobile user is initially displayed and where businesses and disciplines have their own commonly used codes or abbreviations, these are exploited to maximise the information displayed on these summary screens. Likewise, icons and colours can convey a significant amount of information with relatively few pixels.
The design will consider the user’s environment at the stage of information presentation. Whilst mobilising to a task a user is likely to be carrying their equipment and only able to devote one hand to the device, which could possibly be gloved. By providing interface elements as appropriate, large touch buttons that can be selected one handed and with gloves, in this instance, the application becomes another tool and not a hindrance.
To minimise the use of data entry via on-screen or device keyboards the use of selectable options via drop down lists, sliders, standard short codes and selectable buttons is maximised.
Finally, the application will manage its own ‘affairs’ in the background. Retrieval of visit details and the sending of progress and data captured will be handled in the background without any routine user intervention.
The Hillwalk Mobile Application Server (HMAS) is the central hub of the system managing the data flow from your back-office systems to and from the mobile devices and serving the real-time data to the web application. The server is hosted in one of a number of UK data centres used by Hillwalk. Each data centre is both physically secure and the security and operational policies are in accordance with ISO27001/2.
HMAS retains a medium term transient data set within a local database. This database acts as the data source for the mobile devices for downstream data and as a secure store for upstream data captured on and received from the mobile devices. If required, process can be developed to regularly extract historical data into an open standards archive database/warehouse for permanent storage.
When data is required to be sent to a mobile device HMAS flags the data for delivery to the mobile device. This delivery mechanism varies according to the operating system on the mobile device and ensures that if the device is out of coverage then a trigger is delivered as soon as the device returns to coverage to collect data.
Downstream data transaction statuses are recorded at each state change in order to provide visibility of field user activity via the back-office web application. As each transaction with each mobile device is recorded, the HMAS database can be used as a source for regular and ad-hoc reporting in respect of operational and technical matters.
The distributed nature of the architecture means the system is highly resilient. The advanced lead time for appointment distribution to the mobile devices, combined with the ability of the mobile application to continue to operate as a standalone process, prevents any individual failures from becoming business critical.
Adding a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system to the devices is a mandatory feature of successful mobile workforce solutions. This provides three key benefits to the mobile solution:
It is this ability to painlessly and reliably upgrade the mobile application that makes the flexible, innovative, iterative development techniques pioneered by Hillwalk in this technical sphere viable
Access to, and training on, the MDM system can be given to the customer’s support staff. This will enable them to support users directly, if required, and immediately the user feels there is an issue. With MDM Hillwalk has found that a vast majority of field issues are, in fact, business process issues when viewed in real-time via a remote viewer and can be immediately addressed with advice. Issues not resolvable by the customer’s support team and issues from the back-office team can be escalated to Hillwalk for level 2 & level 3 Hillwalk business hours support.
All customer data stored on the mobile device and sent to/from the device is encrypted. Mobile device access control is enforced by the MDM system which also provides a means to wipe the customer application and data from the device if it is lost or stolen. The device time is synchronised to one or several of mobile network, GPS system or MDM server in order to ensure accurate time stamping of activity events like site login & logouts.