This is the fifth post in a five-part series exploring field service optimization thru technology. In the last post, we looked at the why despite Google removing their Glass Explorer program in field service at least the future of Glass and other competitor products is very much alive and well. Now in the fifth part of the series we continue our exclusive interview with Pristine IO CEO Kyle Samani as he outlines some very significant savings that can be made through the correct application of smart glasses in field service…
Indeed when it comes to genuine cost savings the early statistics from Pristine make a very compelling case for adoption. Something Samani is clearly keen to get across in our conversation. His business is built on offering significant savings to their client base. “I think the ROI of implementing smart glasses actually delivers far more than a smart phone or tablets did when they first appeared.” He begins
“Our data is still young but looking at our primary customers these companies are going to save millions of dollars by using our technology.”
What is particularly compelling about the smart glass argument, and Pristine’s approach is that such savings are far more tangible than those discussed when we talk about other devices such as smart phones, laptops, tablets etc.
As Samani puts it “It’s not all theoretical efficiency gains, this is money going right back on the bottom line. This is cash.”
“Our general line in the sand we’ve drawn is if the cost of downtime is above $2,000/hour then we get really excited because we know we can deliver you an awful lot of value.” He surmises.
Perhaps we are putting the cart before the horse here though.
Of course such talk of tangible cost saving is attractive to any company, but what exactly does the Pristine product do and how can it be used to offer such significant rewards?
Samani describes the Pristine app as the only pure solution to stream live audio and video from Google Glass (or any other smart glasses) to any other device within the world in a secure capacity so it can be deployed in an enterprise setting.”
Basically the app in combination with a pair of smart glasses will provide a true “see what I see” experience which will in turn enable people to collaborate remotely, whilst the engineer (or even customer) on site are able to keep their hands completely free.
In Samani’s own words “Rather than actually sending a technician to a site now customers can put on the Glass and walk through what the problem is whilst being is remotely connected to a service centre.”
“If field service companies can centralise their workforce somewhat then their field workers can get a better quality of life and their customers are getting better customer support in every case.”
“The goal here is to save field service trips, so to save cost and also to help companies deliver a better customer experience.”
With such remote access tools becoming readily available, this could genuinely open the doors to many companies centralising their operation, bringing their most experienced engineers into a central hub,
One immediate thought around such a proposition is that this could literally change the way field service operations are structured.
With such remote access tools becoming readily available, this could genuinely open the doors to many companies centralising their operation, bringing their most experienced engineers into a central hub, and outsourcing a large amount of work to less skilled (and therefore less expensive) local workers, or even getting the customer to take on the work themselves.
This is certainly something that Pristine are seeing within their growing customer base.
“We’re seeing our customers equip both their existing customers and their existing field engineers with the technology. The goal is to deliver a player to every single case.” Samani explains.
However, the benefits of such a move aren’t solely financial there is also the soft benefit of improving the work/life balance of existing engineers.
“If field service companies can centralise their workforce somewhat then their field workers can get a better quality of life and their customers are getting better customer support in every case.” Samani asserts
“They [the field engineers] used to fly around 50 weeks a year now they fly around 20 weeks a year – it’s a totally different lifestyle for these guys and they spend more time with their kids and their families.”
A noble, if exceptionally forward thinking sentiment of course.
However, there are certainly the seeds of not just change but revolution being sowed as smart glass manufacturers, empowered by companies such as Pristine turn their focus onto field service.
This is a good point to bring up the fact that whilst Google are the most prominent manufacturer of smart glasses they are certainly not alone.
In fact both Epson and Vuzix sit proudly on the Pristine website front page alongside Glass. Pristine already work with pretty much every manufacturer of Smart Glasses available – a market Samani believes will continue to expand.
“Just Like there are 100 different mobile phone makers there will be 100 different manufacturers of Smart-glasses.” He explains “We’re going to be rolling out lots of different hardware to our customers. Our customers are going to get cost benefits from there being more choice and competition and they are also going to be able to choose the device that is right for them and right for their needs”
Of course developing a product to sit across a number of devices has it’s own challenge and as our recent research outlined there is a preference amongst field service companies for native applications (i.e. applications that are developed specifically for the device it is to be used on rather than device agnostic apps).
Is this a potential issue for a developer working in a fledgling market that is, by it’s definition, going to be fragmented as a number of companies release their own products?
Well it would seem that here smart glasses have been able to take advantage of the evolutionary path of the smart phones that went before them.
In short for Samani and his team at Pristine the variety of devices doesn’t raise too many issues. Outlining their working process in greater detail Samani commented “Whilst we are not using HTML5 we are using some web technologies, however we are using primarily Android type platforms. Basically we are now starting to see the types of decisions the device manufacturers are likely to make and are able to design for that.”
“Generally we find that our platform will work out of the box with most devices but if it doesn’t it’ll take one business day of tweaking to get it right.. We’ve encountered most of the variables of change and we don’t expect there to be that many more as the market evolves” He adds It all sounds rather exciting. (Something that is also clearly detectable in Samani’s voice is not just the passion he has for his product but the general excitement that smart glasses will change the world in the not too distant future) But let’s not forget the huge amount of excitement when Glass was first announced.