Connected Field Service is a system that integrates IoT data with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service for proactively monitoring equipment using sensors, and then creating Cases and Work Orders when components are outside of acceptable thresholds, for example if a server gets too hot, or a vending machine’s cash drawer is full. Connected Field Service relies on the Internet of Things, or IoT for short, which is a network of internet connected devices which can send data back to a central platform where it is processed.
Microsoft’s platform for managing this data is called Azure IoT Central and provides an overview of the readings from the sensors in IoT devices:
Using this data, we can then set up rules to control when alerts are issued, for example when a temperature reading is too high:
These alerts can be simple emails, or they can create Cases and Work Orders in Microsoft Dynamics 365 to despatch an engineer with the appropriate skill set to rectify the problem. Additionally, rules can be configured so that the equipment can try to fix itself, for example restarting if it has crashed, or speeding up a fan if it is too hot.
Once an alert has been received in Microsoft Dynamics 365, sent using Microsoft’s Flow platform, we can then choose what to do with it. A Case can be created so that an engineer can investigate the issue, or a Work Order can be created so that a remote engineer can be despatched to identify the issue:
Based on the type of device and issue, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service can look at your engineers and pick an engineer with the right skill set and availability to fix the issue. They can then be scheduled in to complete the work using the Schedule Board:
Engineers can then use their mobile app to receive the job information and post back updates about the work they’ve done to fix the issue:
Using Microsoft Remote Assist, a remote engineer can use HoloLens technology to be assisted by another engineer in a different location, augmenting their view over the top of what they can see in front of them:
Bringing together the Internet of Things using Azure IoT Central and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Connected Field Service allows you to proactively monitor equipment in any location and identify and fix issues proactively, minimising the amount of field resource you require and improving your customers’ satisfaction levels.
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