When it comes to fieldwork management, smartphones are the perfect way to expand an employee’s capabilities in the field. After all, instant access to the important apps and real-time data is more than a productivity-booster: at scale, it can transform industries.
But as technology becomes more advanced and more central to fieldwork, companies will naturally want more visibility into how these devices actually function in action, including if they’re doing more harm than good to the daily workflow.
As any business knows, data is paramount. It can prove pivotal in the IT department, which aims to keep the technology operational, or in the C-suite, where detailed data can shape the big picture.
The good news is that smart devices, especially those equipped with Samsung’s Knox Suite, can help your business to fill this data gap. Here’s how:
The importance of mobile devices in fieldwork
Fieldwork refers to the tasks that happen outside an office, but are vital to business operations.
Whether it’s a factory, a retail space, or a construction site, each has unique needs. But each benefit from specialized mobile devices.
Rugged Samsung phones like the Galaxy XCover series, for example, have programmable keys which can be customized to launch specific apps and features. One being, push-to-talk to team members, allowing frontline communication on the fly.
The use cases for these devices are broad, giving retailers, first responders, and logistics teams the ability to integrate with separate applications that can track inventory and manage last-mile delivery for customers.
(These devices are easy to roll out, too. The Belgian retailer Colruyt, for example, put ruggedized Samsung devices into the hands of more than 12,000 employees. Knox Suite allowed Colruyt to enroll new devices seamlessly while working with an existing enterprise management tool.)
And because their design is built for rough-and-tumble workplaces, they can prove more cost-effective over time than traditional smartphones or tablets.
But devices are only part of the equation. Often, IT departments need to know how these devices work in real-time, so they can respond accordingly. Knox Suite gives IT administrators the data they need to track these devices in the field.
Enhanced visibility into system data
As both a device manufacturer and a software provider, Samsung has the necessary elements to help your team operate at peak capacity. Knox Suite can offer enhanced visibility into system data that may not be accessible otherwise, such as application usage, battery health, and Wi-Fi usage.
This data allows your team to more effectively detect and analyze issues as they occur. If your team in the field constantly force-quits mission-critical applications, you don’t have to wait for them to tell you. Knox Suite allows IT admins to detect issues on the fly. Even though your IT team isn’t in the field, they have real-time eyes on the devices. Thus, they can work on fast solutions to keep your team focused.
Likewise, if there are levels of high latency between your applications in the cloud and your devices on the ground, you can respond accordingly.
In other words, with the right field services management technology, you can optimize employee experiences in real time.
Combatting mobile device downtime
The ability to optimize devices in the field is more than nice to have. After all, if devices aren’t working, your team members will increasingly face challenges focusing on the tasks at hand.
And the challenges may even be as basic as team members forgetting to charge their devices.
The 2022 edition of the B2M Annual State of Enterprise Mobility Survey and Report shows that employees often face difficulties that impact regular users: fast battery drain (cited by 74% of workers) and network connection issues (cited by 84% of workers). These challenges are annoyances when they happen to consumers, but they can cost companies time and money.
Knox Suite excels at managing these problems as they emerge, especially when it comes to battery life.
Let’s say a battery is experiencing an abnormally fast drain, for example. Knox Suite’s asset intelligence capabilities can generate warnings that help pinpoint different types of battery drain events, such as when the devices see heavy use, what apps are causing erratic battery drain, and when devices have low battery life.
If something seems significantly out of the norm, the data will reflect it, so your team can take action, charging a device that needs to be functioning—and even determining if a device needs to be replaced.
Likewise, Knox Suite can detect and even mitigate application issues, cited by 72% of respondents as a major problem, by keeping an eye out for crashing or battery-draining apps. If an app proves troublesome, IT admins can even remotely block its use.
Knox Suite, through its inclusion of Knox Asset Intelligence, allows IT teams to respond quickly to emerging issues. Knox Suite allows you to set thresholds for devices that can be tracked in the field. Knox Suite can analyze against these thresholds on the fly, notifying your IT team of issues, so they can respond proactively.
And because your team may not be working 24/7, you can also set work shifts, limiting tracking time to certain hours—say, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
As a field management service, Knox offers more in-depth visibility into how applications, wireless connections, and battery life are used daily. That makes it possible to better diagnose and even treat potential headaches.
Device analytics for productivity
While it can often seem like these benefits largely matter to the IT department, other departments can find efficiency opportunities too.
And that can come in the form of productivity. In recent years, the field of “people analytics,” the concept of taking human resources data and operational data and combining them into actionable insights, has gained increasing interest as a management strategy. Alas, many organizations aren’t keeping pace with people analytics.
A 2021 HR Research Institute study sponsored by Oracle found, for example, that only about a quarter of the companies surveyed excelled at implementing it. Meanwhile, 39% of respondents struggled to build traction.
Ultimately, poor data integration might be to blame for people analytics’ limited reach. A 2023 Society for Human Resource Management report, for example, finds that 77% of organizations using people analytics only use basic techniques, such as relying on past data.
Industry analysts blame poor integration between data-rich technology teams and human resource departments.
“People analytics teams must work together with their enterprise-wide technology groups in a rapid and nimble way to institute new technology platforms, evolve existing infrastructure, and maintain consistent enterprise-wide standards,” a 2020 McKinsey & Company analysis stated on the matter.
(The Oracle report supports this, finding that just a fifth of respondents usually integrate human resources data with data from other departments.)
Speaking to the Society for Human Resource Management, people analytics expert Ian Cook noted that workforce analytics data often gets reported after the fact, in the form of reports for executives, despite the potential of real-time data.
“If success is defined solely that the report has been produced, then the impact will be limited,” Cook says.
Samsung’s Knox Suite helps solve the real-time data part of the equation. This all-in-one solution allows companies to assess notable data points like device locations and battery life.
These data points can be used as the basis of dashboards, putting people analytics data points at your fingertips—not in a report a month later. Knox Suite could allow managers to step in when connectivity challenges or unexpected downtime comes into play.
How device usage analytics can give you a competitive edge
Giving your employees highly capable mobile devices is only one half of the equation. Simply put, these same devices can open up analytics capabilities that were once impossible to quantify.
Those capabilities, combined with strong asset management, can do more than give your team members access to critical data in the field— they can save time and money, while cutting down on busywork.
And it plays into existing organizational goals. Unified endpoint management (UEM), the concept of managing technology through a single centralized interface, is an important goal for many companies, especially given its benefits for security, such as remote device wiping and limits on third-party applications.
Gartner estimates that nearly 90% of client devices will utilize some form of UEM by 2025. When implemented at scale, it will allow for IT departments to more effectively automate device management.
Knox Suite unlocks numerous proprietary data points—such as app not responding (ANR) messages, forced closure, battery health checks, and latency between the application server and user devices—that companies can then use to manage device fleets.
Knox Suite can use these data analysis capabilities to detect issues before they become serious problems, saving money by cutting costs and saving productivity.
Knox Suite analytics support fieldwork productivity
Ultimately, if your business wants to ensure it’s making the most of both its employees’ time and the devices they use, Knox Suite, with the help of Knox Asset Intelligence, can help uncover new productivity opportunities.
With fieldwork management, analytics represent more than just mere data points. When applied to areas like IT security, business intelligence, or people analytics, they can change the way your organization operates—while serving your customers faster and more effectively than ever before.