While there are lots of great off-the-shelf field service software applications on the market today, from the likes of Oracle, Microsoft and Salesforce, a custom application is sometimes more useful for companies with industry-specific requirements.
Nautilus Hyosung America, a North American subsidiary of South Korea's Hyosung and the largest supplier of ATMs in the U.S., last month rolled out a mobile field service app it calls MoniMobile for use by merchants at retail locations like convenience stores where many of its ATMs are located. While merchants are not service technicians, they usually provide "first tier" services such as loading receipt paper and cash into ATMs.
"The idea was to help merchants help themselves," said Jason Kuhn, vice president of retail product marketing and planning at Hyosung, adding that busy merchants who actually read their ATM owner's manual are "probably about as common as a unicorn."
How the Field Service App Works
If an error such as a paper jam occurs, the ATM goes offline and a QR code appears on the machine's screen. The merchant scans the code, and the field service app provides a description of the error and instructions on how to fix it. For some of the more complicated errors, merchants can choose to view a video in which a Hyosung technician walks them step-by-step through the needed fix, Kuhn said.
If merchants can't resolve the issue on their own, they can request a service call for the machine from within the MoniMobile application. The independent sales/service organization (ISO) who services the machine will receive helpful information with the request, including the error code, a list of the most frequent error codes generated by that machine and the ATM's registration and configuration data.
Data Is Important
Registration data is incredibly important to ISOs, Kuhn said, because of the usual difficulty in obtaining it. While the transaction networks that process ATM transactions can provide some information about the machines, it is generally only basic data such as the telecommunications they use.
"We wanted to provide a solution that would eventually enable operators to get accurate fleet data," Kuhn said. "The merchant has to register their ATM in order to use all the features of the app. So the operator is getting data such as the machine's serial number and its hardware configuration from the one true source, which is the ATM itself."
This kind of data is essential when upgrading machines, a process that some ATM owners are undertaking now so their ATMs can support EMV (chip-based) cards. "If you don't know whether you have a (model) 2700 or a 1500 at Joe's Bar & Grill, you don't know what kind of upgrade kit you need to order," Kuhn said.
The mobile field service app was created by a team at Hyosung's Global Software Center in Dayton, Ohio. Hyosung located the center in Dayton so it could hire software developers who previously worked for a manufacturer of ATMs and retail checkout scanners that had been headquartered in Dayton since the late 1800s before moving its operations to suburban Atlanta in 2009. Many of those folks had desirable ATM-specific development skills, Kuhn said.
The mobile field service app for Android devices is available now on Google Play. There is no cost. Some 200 merchants have downloaded MoniMobile since it was released about a month ago. Kuhn said it recently got its first customer review, a five-star one. "We have a lot of folks who keep asking us when the Apple version will be ready," he said.
More Versions of the App on the Way
The answer to that question is the first week of October, Kuhn said, when Hyosung will roll out an iOS version of the mobile field service app for merchants as well as iOS and Android apps meant for ISOs.
The ISO version of MoniMobile, which will cost $9.99, will allow users to import data from service requests and service calls into a secure cloud database, Kuhn said. This will help them create more efficient service routes. "They will get a log-in portal so they can extract and download their route data in Excel format."
Also for the ISO version of the app, Kuhn tasked Hyosung's internal technical support team with creating videos for "the 10 worst support calls they take," such as how to do a software update on a legacy platform.
"All of those situations that would take our tech support team an hour to walk someone through; now the ISOs will have a how-to video they can watch, a reference right at their fingertips that they can access 24 hours a day," he said, adding that the videos will be a great training tool for ATM service technicians.
Hyosung just got its first customer testimonial for MoniMobile, from Shawn Dennis, ATM operations project manager for ISO Payment Alliance International.
"Being a person who has much experience troubleshooting ATM issues for customers, this product provides a whole new level of tech support," he said. "We've always wanted a way to provide customers mobile support that allows them to fix ATM issues, manage their ATM hardware details and provide simple how-to videos to perform basic functions on the ATM. Hyosung's MoniMobile application is the answer."
Ann All is the editor of Enterprise Apps Today and eSecurity Planet. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade, writing about everything from business intelligence to virtualization.