Microsoft and Nokia have beaten Apple iOS and Google Android powered rivals to clinch a deal which will see them overhaul the mobility strategy of Australia's largest glass company.
O'Brien will roll-out Nokia's Lumia 625 smartphone across its 500-strong mobile workforce, which it is hoping will increase the productivity of technicians on the road.
The glass repair company is also developing a mobile app that staff can use while on the road to manage every step of the customer process from quote to invoicing direct from the Lumia 625 smartphone.
O’Brien director of information technology, Matt McKenzie, said the automation of its paper based processes was a clear win from an operational and technology perspective, with the ability for technicians to collect payment in the field being key.
“Choosing the right smartphone to facilitate this transition was critical as we wanted to future proof our digital strategy by ensuring we could deliver a consistent experience across any mobile device,” he said.
According to a company statement, O’Brien looked at Windows Phone, Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems.
McKenzie said the iPhone was never seriously considered for its field force due to the difficult nature of using it in the corporate context and Android devices weren't able to deliver the consistent experience required across desktop, tablet and mobile.
“For us the choice was clear cut. Windows Phone offered the only consistent experience that could be rolled out across devices, while Nokia Lumia offered a feature rich smartphone with great form factor and wasn’t as fragile as other devices in the market which was a key decision point for us," he said.
“The screen size of the Lumia 625 also made a lot of sense, plus the ability to use the touchscreen with gloves on is a big win for the guys on the road.”
McKenzie said early benefits included the in-built HERE maps and the ability to view all of the day’s jobs on one screen, rather than having multiple pieces of paper.
He said sharing photos with the wider mobile technician team had also proved to be a big help when fixing difficult or unusual problems.
“The roll-out is well underway and has already made a big difference to the productivity of our mobile workforce," McKenzie said.
"The support provided by Nokia and the Microsoft teams has made the switch easy and we’re on track to roll-out all the Lumia fleet by the end of the quarter.'
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