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  • Justin Pittman

Connected Field Service at the Microsoft Digital Transformation Academy

The eLogic team was out in full force at the Microsoft Digital Transformation Academy (DTA) in Las Vegas last week, showcasing game changing Connected Field Service experiences leveraging Microsoft technology. Utilizing Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service, Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, IoT Central, and HoloLens, we created an end-to-end interactive demo for attendees to experience the value that advanced service processes can provide to manufacturers. From auto-correcting smart devices to remote assist enabled technicians, we had it all on display! Here is an overview of what we demonstrated live at the eLogic booth:

One of the first steps to Connected Field Service is connecting & monitoring your equipment. Our demo scenario included a smart water mixer, which is designed to maintain exact water temperature in commercial applications. The sensor captures streaming telemetry data, like temperature + vibration, and sends it to Azure IoT Central for monitoring.

To kick off the demo, we simulate a temperature drop on the device -- outside of acceptable limits -- triggering an alert in IoT Central.

The alert automatically takes a few actions to improve the service process and reduce potential downtime:

  • Sends an email to the customer + assigned technician for the device to make each group aware of the issue.

  • Creates a Case in Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, enabling the service team to troubleshoot using their visibility into contextual data for the water mixer – with environmental properties, streaming telemetry data, alert details, & service history all at their fingertips.

  • Remotely sends a command to the water mixer to enter "limp" mode to prevent an immediate failure of the device.

In our demo scenario, the case could not be fully resolved remotely by the customer service agent. So, we create a work order in Dynamics 365 for Field Service & dispatch a technician. Using the native mobile application, the technician receives work order details & driving directions to begin investigating the issue. The tech also has access to the service history & current device readings from their mobile device to prepare for the onsite visit and increase odds for a first-time fix, driving higher customer satisfaction + reduced service costs.

Now, what if the Field Service tech gets onsite & there is a part that they don’t recognize, or suspect belongs to a competitor? eLogic has an App for that! Our team built an app on PowerApps called Part Finder™ that uses AI and image recognition to identify parts in the field.

To continue our demo, the Field Service tech takes a photo of the questionable part with a mobile device. Once recognized by AI, the Part Finder™ app retrieves part details from a matching record in the Dynamics 365 Products database. The field tech clicks the “Details” link, routing them to the product-specific e-commerce site for specs, literature, & immediate ordering.

While onsite, the field service technician has another tool at their disposal should they need expert assistance. Due to increasingly complex equipment & technician turnover, Manufacturers face a knowledge gap in their workforce. Microsoft Remote Assist on HoloLens help solve this issue by increasing the impact that experts can have on the rest of the team.

In our demo, the tech starts a “call” with the expert and shares exactly what they see. The expert provides verbal instructions + virtual annotations on the equipment and helps identify a faulty pressure regulator as the root cause. The technician can then replace the part, verify optimal operation, and close the work order. Once resolved, the customer is notified via email that the case is closed and automated billing occurs per the service agreement.

This connected field service scenario is just one application of our IoT, Field Service, and AI solutions for manufacturers. subscribe to our blog & stay tuned for a feature post soon about Microsoft’s announcement at Envision regarding Azure Digital Twin and how it can help you gain additional insight into your physical products.

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