The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to make dramatic changes to how we live and work. One area is in the field of maintenance and repair services, where connected products can effectively order their own repairs or replacement. Skyresponse has been working with wireless connected product pioneer Thingsquare to demonstrate how this works and bring a practical, costs effective solution to market.
As an example, consider what currently happens in a typical city with street lighting. A broken streetlight can go for days or weeks without being fixed, with only a periodic inspection or a complaint from a member of the public before a repair is booked. This represents significant cost (in terms of the inspection teams, and booking and despatch of the repairer) as well as impact on those affected by the broken lamp.
The automated callout solution demonstrated by Thingsquare with Skyresponse enables the detection of the lamp failure and the subsequent maintenance service callout to take place immediately the failure happens.
Thingsquare’s IoT platform enables the easy wireless deployment and management of connected products (such as lamps) – even where there is limited internet coverage. It does this with the use of an innovative mesh networking solution. Thingsquare’s platform was able to detect events (such as a power failure or a lamp failing) – and could even generate text message alerts. However, the solution was not able to guarantee a response to the event or to track the progress of a response to the alert (such as the scheduling of repair personnel). Skyresponse provides this missing component by ensuring the delivery of the alert to the right responder.
The solution offers a simple workflow for handling of notifications and trouble reports – without having to be deeply integrated into IT systems of participating service organisations. This allows multiple companies and repair teams to participate and offer their services. A threshold alarm is always sent to the correct technician, based on their skill, location, and time of day. If no one takes a job to respond in a given time, alarms can be escalated to a central response center.
Cost savings can be achieved as the inspections and scheduling involved is eliminated and the available workforce’ time is optimised. Much shorter response times of the approach will also improve the quality of service provided.
Auto callout service will enable new services business models for manufacturers as well as those managing maintenance and repair in smart city scenarios with potentially multiple third party service providers competing to offer SLA-based maintenance services. With full traceability of events being distributed by the solution management (and appropriate response teams) can have full visibility, in real time of actions being taken.