Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Ken Schwaber, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Mobile IoT, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Agile Computing

Mobile IoT: Article

Five Ways Mobile Apps Help Keep Employees Safe

Alleviate worker safety concerns and allow managers and employees to focus on what they do best

Ensuring a safe work environment can be accomplished when individuals work in either a government or private-sector office, but it becomes exponentially more complicated when employees are mobile, traveling from one job or worksite to another. While many organizations implement mobile workforce management solutions to make their operations and staff more efficient, there is another less known, but equally as important, benefit: the ability to offer greater protection of the mobile workforce. Here's a look at five ways that mobile workforce management solutions can help keep workers safe:

Find Your Employees at a Moment's Notice
GPS, or global positioning satellite, technology is standard in today's mobile devices. By providing staff with GPS-enabled mobile phones, managers can use an application to make sure that employees are where they're supposed to be and all work is progressing as planned. GPS also enables managers to quickly check on the location of an employee if he or she hasn't checked in recently and they need to ensure all is well. Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina, a non-profit organization, relies on GPS and a mobile workforce management solution to find drivers who are picking up donations from homes and transferring merchandise from their donation centers to retails stores. If a driver does not arrive as planned, Goodwill managers can leverage GPS capabilities in the driver's phone to see if he or she is en route or at a planned destination.

Know If and When Employees Enter or Leave Specific Areas
Geofencing enables employers to denote a specific geographic territory for their mobile workers. With geofencing, managers can easily set up geographic boundaries where employees are expected to be and have the app send a notification if an individual crosses in or out of that area. For example, public safety organizations, including police departments in major U.S. cities, use geofencing as part of a mobile workforce management solution to proactively identify whether an officer has entered an area where they typically need back up. Once the movement has been identified, additional officers can be dispatched to provide assistance.

Follow Job Progress
By logging job start and stop time, the process of workers informing office personnel when they arrive and depart a location can be automated, and the knowledge of the expected workflow can provide insight as to whether a worker is safe. Job start and stop time mobile workforce management apps that track job workflow can be pre-configured to notify managers if a job is not progressing as planned. With that information, managers or dispatchers can contact the worker to find out why there is a delay and if the employee is safe. This process is commonly used also by departments with workers in the field handling uncertain and potentially risky situations, such as city code enforcers that have to issue citation notices door-to-door.

Alert You to Potential Problems
Text or email alerts are useful capabilities to notify managers immediately of many conditions in the field. Alerts can be set up to be triggered by specific information, such as whether a worker is overdue to start their shift or hasn't clocked out for the day. These types of alerts can be useful for home healthcare organizations, whose workers visit residences that may be unfamiliar to them or in a sketchy neighborhood. If these employees are in a potentially dangerous situation and don't start or finish their jobs on time, managers can be alerted to check on the workers' welfare.

Have Your Employees' Backs
Reporting capabilities that are inherent with many solutions not only help managers make their mobile workforce more efficient, they also offer workers protection from liability and criminal charges. Using historical information, managers can view employee location and activity logs at the touch of a button. This information can provide insight into how an employee behaved on a job and if they were where they said they were at a given time. For example in the private sector, garage door products maker Wayne-Dalton used historical reporting of driver activity to counter a claim against one of its drivers, who was accused of leaving the scene of an accident. The report, which relied on GPS data, showed that the driver did turn around at the next exit and had returned to the scene of the accident.

While the productivity and operational benefits of mobile workforce management solutions are well known, organizations also can take comfort that the use of this technology can help keep their employees safe and protect them from liabilities. By leveraging the information they receive from mobile workforce management solutions used in field operations, government agencies can alleviate worker safety concerns and allow managers and employees to focus on what they do best.

More Stories By Howard Latham

Howard Latham is vice president of sales and customer success at Xora (www.xora.com), a leader in mobile workforce management.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Providing secure, mobile access to sensitive data sets is a critical element in realizing the full potential of cloud computing. However, large data caches remain inaccessible to edge devices for reasons of security, size, format or limited viewing capabilities. Medical imaging, computer aided design and seismic interpretation are just a few examples of industries facing this challenge. Rather than fighting for incremental gains by pulling these datasets to edge devices, we need to embrace the i...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walked through how Octob...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...