Retriever Communications Commisions New Study With UTS to Examine Use of Innovative Technology in Field Services

Study will observe real-world mobile applications using emerging technology in industrial and logistical settings

Sugar Land, Texas, UNITED STATES

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwired - Jun 20, 2017) - Retriever Communications, a global provider of mobile automation solutions for enterprises in the industrial space, announced today that it has sponsored a program of work over the next two years with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to gain deeper insights into the actions and preferences of field technicians when working with emerging technologies. The study will rely heavily on real-world observations and in-depth interviews to assess the use of innovative technology and its effectiveness and efficiency in a natural workflow.

Over the course of the next 24 months, the researchers will work with industrial and manufacturing companies to examine technology use in two key areas:

  • User experience: the fundamental research question is whether new technologies improve field user productivity, or are they immature and an encumbrance? For example, what is the impact of using voice technology as a replacement for data capture within specific points of a jobs workflow and how does augmented reality assist in problem resolution?
  • Industrial Internet of things: it is already established that better data allows better decisions to be made. This area of investigation will be how to best integrate and present data from machines, such as air conditioning meters, for the best end user acceptance in an industrial setting. Additionally, the study will question a current market discussion regarding centralizing experience and down-grading field skills to a purely operative level assisted by AR and remote instruction -- is such an approach workable or rather will it have a negative effect on either productivity or quality?

Like the 2016 heuristics study on mobile applications, the research will be led by Assoc. Prof. Andrew Johnston who states, "we have a strong, practice-focused team in interaction design here at UTS and we are very pleased to continue our successful collaboration with Retriever Communications in this second project. We're looking forward to exploring the use of new technologies in real-world contexts, mapping out their strengths and weaknesses, and considering how they can best be used to improve the experiences of mobile field workers in the future."

With this study, UTS will take a deeper look at how new technologies will impact field worker practice and the future practices of the industrial enterprise. The first publication is expected by Q4 2017.

"With the exciting emergence of new technologies, the fundamental question in our industry segment has become how they can be used effectively by field staff," said Mary Brittain-White, CEO of Retriever Communications. "History has demonstrated that the best technologies are completely ineffective if not designed centric to the field worker. This is more important than ever, as field staff serve as the front line of communication with customers in a world where differentiation is hard to achieve."

About Retriever Communications
A global expert in Field Service Management headquartered in Sydney, and with additional development and support in the U.S. and staff in Europe. For 20 years, Retriever has been partnering with clients to drive operational efficiency by mobilizing workforces, advancing delivery of service and improving asset management. Retriever provides off-the-shelf and bespoke mobile applications which are built to work in or out of coverage alongside a scheduling solution for efficient job planning, crew assignment and work-order planning. With a 100% deployment success rate, Retriever tailors and configures solutions for industries from Utilities to Environmental including field service maintenance, inspections, environmental testing, OH&S whilst integrating to GIS, Engineering and ERP systems.

About UTS
A new era of productivity and innovation. At UTS Engineering and Information Technology, we value collaborative research that tackles real-world problems. Our researchers are recognized globally as innovators with a strong reputation gained from working closely with governments, organisations, businesses and communities to achieve results. Whatever the challenge, partnering with UTS means timely and effective solutions that deliver benefit to society on a local, national and international level.

Contact Information:

Media contact
Irena Boostani
LEWIS for Retriever Communications

Grainne Murphy
Media Officer
UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT
+61 2 9514 2355