Airwave, the provider of critical communications for the emergency services, has worked with Manchester-based software developer Spaggetti, to design and bring to market a cutting edge and secure workforce management tool called Fissara. It is designed to enable the smooth installation of millions of smart meters by 2020.
Spaggetti’s market research identified many similarities between the emergency services network management challenges at Airwave, and the utilities sector that are gearing up for the UK-wide smart meter rollout. This is why Fissara is aimed at engineering service companies that are now bidding for installation business with the ‘big 6’ energy providers.
Fissara securely and intelligently manages the day-to-day work of any organisation with a mobile workforce. It recognises the importance of effective mobility in the utilities market where the engineer’s workday can change unexpectedly with minimum disruption of service to the public, whilst demanding a duty of care to comply with stringent industry regulations.
Used by Airwave for over two years, Fissara is currently used to schedule and programme all planned work for the team that maintains Airwave’s TETRA Emergency Services Network (ESN) throughout Great Britain. The inbuilt efficiencies of the tool have recorded significant improvements in response times and service levels.
Jon Holttum, director at Spaggetti, explained: “This system will benefit any business whose people are out and about, combating the problem of getting real-time information to a workforce in the field.
“From a local team of engineers to a large utilities company with thousands of contractors, it allows a fully customisable smart phone app to communicate with the head office to give everything from job-to-job directions, instructions, tracking, reporting, secure data transfer, form-filling and any other functions the mobile user needs
“This can be done even from inaccessible locations where challenging technical work may be taking place. It can also be updated by the worker in real-time, eliminating the need to go into an office or a central hub,” said Holttum.
“With Government regulations coming into force meaning that all homes must have a smart meter installed by 2020, utility contractors are battling in what has been described as a gold rush.”
Holttum continued: “Coupled with a new code of practice for energy providers who install meters, to protect consumers from a range of potential problems including data protection and miss-selling, there is going to be added pressure on all involved to perform effectively and efficiently and we know from past experiences that Fissara can increase levels of efficiency by 40%
“Being a new entrant to the market, we are able to provide advanced technological solutions for a fraction of the cost of our competitors. We have created an in-house bespoke system that gives users real flexibility that can be configured to fit their organisational processes in order to meet the complex nature of the smart meter rollout,” asserted Holttum.
Fissara is also built with predictive capability for smart decision making, which is a foundation for introducing artificial intelligence. For example, estimating new job times based on past data; pinpointing the nearest individual with the appropriate skills for any given job; or predicting problematic situations.
This, coupled with dynamic views of business performance, will give organisations far more control over their operations to optimise efficiency. Fissara also employs a high level of security features, vital in a sector where the location of assets can be a matter of national security.