15 January 2020
“Solve problems without the need to be onsite”, that statements might sound unrealistic, but with the available technology this is already possible today! For many industries, this can be the holy grail to solve some of their key challenges, as many companies in various industries struggle to find technical qualified staff. Other challenges we see in the market is the need to improve first time fix percentage as well as to improve overall customer satisfaction.
One of the possible solutions is the Microsoft Mixed Reality stack. Microsoft is currently investing heavily in their mixed reality offering and in this blog post I want to explain the capabilities and benefits of Remote Assist (one of the currently 4 available solutions in the Mixed Reality stack). Remote Assist allows (field) engineers to get help from a remote expert. The field engineer uses a smartphone or a Microsoft HoloLens and use Microsoft Teams to call to an expert by using Remote Assist. Then the expert can easily view what the field engineer on location is seeing. With this information the expert can give tips and tricks via Remote Assist.
Empower technicians to collaborate more efficiently by working together from different locations with Dynamics 365 Remote Assist on HoloLens, Android, or iOS devices. Help can be given by using the following options: 3D annotations, taking/sharing photos, sharing documents and video and it is even possible to contact several experts at the same time. With Remote Assist, a subject matter expert don’t have to be on site but still have clear sight on the problem and can help in real time. A good business scenario can be when a less experienced engineer is sent to a customer location but the engineer need help diagnosing and solving the problem. This can be resolved with Remote Assist by “simply” calling a subject matter expert. The costs savings can be huge, on one hand you don’t need to send multiple engineers to a job site, the first time fix percentage will increase significantly and you can send less experienced people to a customer and still solve the issue.
With Remote Assist Microsoft has created an hybrid app which can be used on multiple platforms like iOS, Android and on the HoloLens. With Remote Assist, a subject matter expert of colleague can help solving an issue in real-time which is, of course, a huge benefit. In some case Remote assist on a smartphone or tablet can be sufficient. The benefit of these platforms is that they can make of a 4G (and hopefully soon a 5G) network to guarantee a good connection. However, in some cases, it is necessary to have both hands free and then the HoloLens will help you find better solutions to the issues you are troubleshooting.
All the functionality in the app can solve problems quickly, but it get really interesting if these mixed reality applications are connected with business applications. In the last Remote Assist update, Microsoft has made the first steps to connect with D365 for Field Service. When a remote assist call is ended, the engineer has the opportunity to connect his time to a booking in D365. This will increase the efficiency of both the engineer and the subject matter expert, and the linking of these processes also makes it easier for companies to make the business case to use this new technology.
Using Remote Assist can not only improve your internal operation, it can also be the start of new business initiatives. Many organizations are shifting into “servitization”, meaning they sell a service and not simply a product any more. A key component of selling a service is to include the offering with a SLA to guarantee your customers they can use the product 24/7. When an error occurs, your need to respond quickly and with tools like Remote Assist it is possible to react and solve problems almost directly.
Using Remote Assist can result in huge savings for your organization. This includes reducing travel costs for experts, reducing work hours, shorter lead times and shorter outages of machines and / or services and better utilization of your experts.
Interested in Remote assist? Do you want to experience it yourself? Contact us and we are more than happy to demonstrate the solution to you!
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