Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Greg Dickinson, Dana Gardner, Adrian Bridgwater, Tim Hinds, Jim Taylor

Related Topics: Mobile IoT, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Agile Computing

Mobile IoT: Article

Five Ways Mobile Apps Help Keep Employees Safe

Alleviate worker safety concerns and allow managers and employees to focus on what they do best

Ensuring a safe work environment can be accomplished when individuals work in either a government or private-sector office, but it becomes exponentially more complicated when employees are mobile, traveling from one job or worksite to another. While many organizations implement mobile workforce management solutions to make their operations and staff more efficient, there is another less known, but equally as important, benefit: the ability to offer greater protection of the mobile workforce. Here's a look at five ways that mobile workforce management solutions can help keep workers safe:

Find Your Employees at a Moment's Notice
GPS, or global positioning satellite, technology is standard in today's mobile devices. By providing staff with GPS-enabled mobile phones, managers can use an application to make sure that employees are where they're supposed to be and all work is progressing as planned. GPS also enables managers to quickly check on the location of an employee if he or she hasn't checked in recently and they need to ensure all is well. Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina, a non-profit organization, relies on GPS and a mobile workforce management solution to find drivers who are picking up donations from homes and transferring merchandise from their donation centers to retails stores. If a driver does not arrive as planned, Goodwill managers can leverage GPS capabilities in the driver's phone to see if he or she is en route or at a planned destination.

Know If and When Employees Enter or Leave Specific Areas
Geofencing enables employers to denote a specific geographic territory for their mobile workers. With geofencing, managers can easily set up geographic boundaries where employees are expected to be and have the app send a notification if an individual crosses in or out of that area. For example, public safety organizations, including police departments in major U.S. cities, use geofencing as part of a mobile workforce management solution to proactively identify whether an officer has entered an area where they typically need back up. Once the movement has been identified, additional officers can be dispatched to provide assistance.

Follow Job Progress
By logging job start and stop time, the process of workers informing office personnel when they arrive and depart a location can be automated, and the knowledge of the expected workflow can provide insight as to whether a worker is safe. Job start and stop time mobile workforce management apps that track job workflow can be pre-configured to notify managers if a job is not progressing as planned. With that information, managers or dispatchers can contact the worker to find out why there is a delay and if the employee is safe. This process is commonly used also by departments with workers in the field handling uncertain and potentially risky situations, such as city code enforcers that have to issue citation notices door-to-door.

Alert You to Potential Problems
Text or email alerts are useful capabilities to notify managers immediately of many conditions in the field. Alerts can be set up to be triggered by specific information, such as whether a worker is overdue to start their shift or hasn't clocked out for the day. These types of alerts can be useful for home healthcare organizations, whose workers visit residences that may be unfamiliar to them or in a sketchy neighborhood. If these employees are in a potentially dangerous situation and don't start or finish their jobs on time, managers can be alerted to check on the workers' welfare.

Have Your Employees' Backs
Reporting capabilities that are inherent with many solutions not only help managers make their mobile workforce more efficient, they also offer workers protection from liability and criminal charges. Using historical information, managers can view employee location and activity logs at the touch of a button. This information can provide insight into how an employee behaved on a job and if they were where they said they were at a given time. For example in the private sector, garage door products maker Wayne-Dalton used historical reporting of driver activity to counter a claim against one of its drivers, who was accused of leaving the scene of an accident. The report, which relied on GPS data, showed that the driver did turn around at the next exit and had returned to the scene of the accident.

While the productivity and operational benefits of mobile workforce management solutions are well known, organizations also can take comfort that the use of this technology can help keep their employees safe and protect them from liabilities. By leveraging the information they receive from mobile workforce management solutions used in field operations, government agencies can alleviate worker safety concerns and allow managers and employees to focus on what they do best.

More Stories By Howard Latham

Howard Latham is vice president of sales and customer success at Xora (www.xora.com), a leader in mobile workforce management.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect their organization.
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Akana has released Envision, an enhanced API analytics platform that helps enterprises mine critical insights across their digital eco-systems, understand their customers and partners and offer value-added personalized services. “In today’s digital economy, data-driven insights are proving to be a key differentiator for businesses. Understanding the data that is being tunneled through their APIs and how it can be used to optimize their business and operations is of paramount importance,” said Alistair Farquharson, CTO of Akana.
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
The enterprise market will drive IoT device adoption over the next five years. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Greenough, an analyst at BI Intelligence, division of Business Insider, analyzed how companies will adopt IoT products and the associated cost of adopting those products. John Greenough is the lead analyst covering the Internet of Things for BI Intelligence- Business Insider’s paid research service. Numerous IoT companies have cited his analysis of the IoT. Prior to joining BI Intelligence, he worked analyzing bank technology for Corporate Insight and The Clearing House Payment...
"Optimal Design is a technology integration and product development firm that specializes in connecting devices to the cloud," stated Joe Wascow, Co-Founder & CMO of Optimal Design, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and simplified management of data on complex storage networks. CommVault's exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unp...
Electric Cloud and Arynga have announced a product integration partnership that will bring Continuous Delivery solutions to the automotive Internet-of-Things (IoT) market. The joint solution will help automotive manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators adopt DevOps automation and Continuous Delivery practices that reduce software build and release cycle times within the complex and specific parameters of embedded and IoT software systems.
"ciqada is a combined platform of hardware modules and server products that lets people take their existing devices or new devices and lets them be accessible over the Internet for their users," noted Geoff Engelstein of ciqada, a division of Mars International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.