A growing number of companies are deploying speech recognition technology in areas of the enterprise, outside the contact center, in environments where costs can be reduced and worker productivity enhanced through the use of speech. One of these growth areas for speech is in enterprise mobility for field services.
Research shows that customer service is just one high growth area for speech recognition technology.
While enterprises have long focused on the benefits of streamlining internal operations, the deployment of field force automation solutions has lagged. Now, as we enter 2007, consumer adaptation to speech as an interface is laying the groundwork for even greater expansion of speech’s role in the enterprise. This is helping drive investments in speech-enabled field service applications.
Datamonitor defines mobile field services as the combination of technology and services that enable field workers full access to enterprise data repositories at the point of service. In the context of speech-enabled field services applications, speech provides a complementary interface that enables mobile field force workers and mobile devices to complete multiple transactions in a defined workflow. For example, a utilities mobile field force worker is able to input information via speech input through his/her mobile handset in real-time and in doing so create, update and close various work orders.
Companies are under constant pressure to reduce overhead costs across the board and mobile field force operations are no exception. In fact, the costs of equipment and training needed to support a mobile field force worker can be very expensive when taking into account the business applications, laptops, mobile handsets and other devices.
Progressive companies such as Bell Canada, Energy South, GE Medical Systems and Rotary Lift have implemented speech-enabled self-service solutions for their field force and are achieving remarkable cost reduction and productivity improvements.
Global enterprise spend on speech-enabled mobile field force solutions is expected to more than triple from $20 million in 2006 to $72 million by 2010.
There are several factors that will affect the market trajectory for speech-enabled mobile field services. These include integration of speech in enterprise applications by enterprise software vendors, increased systems integrator focus on speech for service transformation and mobility enablement, and the addition of speech-enabled solutions in pure-play mobile offerings.
Companies that have field service operations should closely evaluate their current mobility strategy and consider using speech recognition as a means to reduce costs and risks.