For over the past two decades, corporations worldwide have invested millions of dollars in long drawn out multi-year programs implementing large scale enterprise applications such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Systems), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), MRO (Maintenance and Repair Operations) systems. Over the years the footprint of these applications have grown in maturity, accuracy and have for most practical purposes are believed to have served their purpose well for most organizations who have embarked on these programs.
Business processes have been re-engineered with increasingly lean models, generating higher efficiencies, lower cost of operation, reducing cycle times and waste and providing significant benefits when coupled with the state of the art enterprise applications. At the root of such improvements you will hear phrases such as single-source-of-truth, system-of-record, real-time-system-integration, workflow automation, data governance and stewardship, audit trails, data accuracy and the like. These controls and measures have done are still continue to deliver massive gains for corporations globally.
However all of these enterprise applications are reliant on alphanumeric datasets and in some cases “blob” objects if the underlying database supports such data types. In cases where the database supports “blob” objects at most you are talking about recorded multimedia files such as videos, pictures or even audio clips being captured through a variety of capture devices and somehow being uploaded in the database to be connected to the appropriate transaction. Very rarely do applications support meta-tagging of such multimedia in order to make them searchable through search algorithms for future analytics and reporting. Lack of such tagging or data mining algorithms renders these multimedia content grossly under-utilized.
In no circumstances however, have any of these enterprise applications in the ERP, CMMS, MRO, LIMS, CRM suite of products, achieved any level of maturity in their support for collaboration through live streaming of real time scenarios, to solve real life business problems occurring in field operations. The reliance for these applications for live collaboration is in asynchronous CRUD (create, read, update, delete) transactions, stretching to live chat / messenger services, phone calls or Heaven-forbid low resolution Skype / Facetime calls. Technicians on location or the customer making a support call has to make a valiant attempt to verbally explain the presenting problem to a remote supervisor. The supervisor in turn has to make judgment calls based on a text based or verbal description – quite a risky propostion and prone to errors. There is nothing more immersive than a direct audio visual view of the presenting problem.
This is exactly where Remote Assisted Reality wedges in to fill the void of the installed enterprise application software suite. RAR does this by extending the static alphanumeric data of a service ticket into a rich and immersive experience of the situational intelligence streamed live, securely, in high definition audio/video from location to one or many remote experts duly qualified to assess the problem and provide the most appropriate solution. The RAR application can be integrated from a master data and transactional data perspective to the backend ERP, MRO, CMMS, LIMS or CRM system over REST or SOAP web services and even ODATA, offering a seamless switching of control from one application to another.
From a user experience perspective the RAR application appears to be an embedded functionality of the application that the users are already used to – only enhanced significantly with the live streaming functionality. From the user perspective launching the RAR application from the primary enterprise application only requires a one touch or a single click. The underlying integration layer takes care of all the heavy lifting of rendering the content and the functionality of RAR.
Every live interaction in RAR can be recorded in the RAR secure server under full control of corporate IT and be accessible in the transaction history with a one touch launch from the main enterprise application. Every recorded multimedia content in RAR can be tagged for future searches and even be included in an extended version of the Transaction Analytics or Big Data analytics.
The ramifications of an integration of RAR to the multi-million dollar investment that corporations have already made over the past couple of decades on ERP, CMMS, MRO, LIMS, CRM systems are many and the benefits becomes clearly evident. The ability to collaborate with multi-disciplinary experts anywhere in the world from any internet connected device equipped with a web browser through live streaming of high definition audio/video content is a significant cost saver. Being able to use junior technicians on location and yet leverage senior experts remotely increases operational efficiency. Quicker problem resolution metrics by using RAR integration significantly boosts customer satisfaction. Corporations can extend their sales and service territories knowing that support can be delivered more efficiently from an operations and financial perspective leading to larger economies to scale and hence leading to higher competitive advantage in the market.