What do we mean by ‘disruption’?


Guest post by Tania Walter, Founder and CEO Obzervr

Everyone seems to be doing it – disrupting! What do we actually mean by ‘disruption’ and in particular ‘digital disruption’?

Put simply, digital disruption is the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services.

The rapid increase in the use of mobile devices for personal use and work, a shift sometimes referred to as the ‘consumerization of IT’, has increased the potential for digital disruption across many industries.

If you have been following my Posts, you will know why I started Obzervr and the Vision of where I wanted to take this venture. At Obzervr we believe that field workers are living with broken processes and are being held back from doing great things. We also believe that by connecting people, Enterprises can do amazing things.

These core values at the heart of Obzervr arose because I believed that people and enterprises were being fundamentally let down by maintaining their status quo.

Obzervr addresses many of the challenges that remote mobile workers face doing their day-to-day jobs. These field assignments can include things like collecting Asset Maintenance/Management Data, Environment Data and just about anything else that requires a worker to go into the field and capture information. Obzervr is a unique Field Service Mobility Platform that is driving efficiencies and cost-savings across many industries (Resources, Utilities, Government, Telco, and Construction).

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

It is this unique approach addressing an existing problem that makes for disruption. However, before I show you what ‘Good’ looks like (or indeed, ‘Great’!), it is worth giving the context of the status quo, of what organisations have to put up with on a day-to-day basis. This is the ‘Bad’ and the ‘Ugly’ of field data collection.

In my many years’ experience in the industry, the most common way of collecting data in the field is….Pen & Paper! Amazing isn’t it? Here we are in a world where most people have a mobile phone and/or tablet and still the majority of organisations are using pen & paper to capture critical information! This is plain ‘Bad’! It is such a laborious and inefficient process. It is a process that invites errors in data capture. A field worker will have to travel from Head Office to various sites that require inspection – these could easily be 100s of kilometres away. The filled in forms then have to be taken back to Head Office where someone has to re-enter the data into the company’s business systems (here is where errors tend to occur). You see the picture: time-delays; additional resources and extra costs. But that is only part of the problem with this process. That field worker will have no context to the job at hand. No relevant data that allows them to see first-hand for example what were the results of the last inspection? Is the current reading within guidelines or should there be an alert? This is what I mean when I say at Obzervr we believe that field workers are living with broken processes and are being held back from doing great things.

Don’t believe that by using something like Excel or an online Form Tool that you are being efficient. This is still ‘Bad’. The trouble with online Form Tools is….well, they only work online. Good luck with that when you have an asset management assignment in the middle of whoop whoop! These are still manual processes lacking in consistency and standardisation. A typical organisation will have multiple-teams working on field data collection: Environment; Asset Management; Safety and so on. These manual processes create an unsustainable burden on the organisation. Disparate processes with no single source of ‘truth’ costs time, money and additional manpower to maintain the status quo.

I have also seen many organisations wanting to ‘protect’ their investment in large  business systems like ERP. These systems are critical to the technological heart-beat of a company. They often cost millions of dollars to purchase, implement and maintain. Now, if only we could extend their usefulness into the field. If only….The problem here is this is not elegant at all, in fact it is damn right ‘Ugly’! The customisation required making the business process of data collection ‘fit’ will add further to costs and at the end of the day you will not have the flexibility and agility to help all those different teams achieve great things in the field.

Fortunately, with Obzervr, organisations can digitize their existing business processes. It acts seamlessly to allow people to collect data faster, cheaper and more accurately than ever before. If you are using pen & paper, Excel or online Form Tools you should really take a look at Obzervr.

For those organisations looking to extend their ERP systems reach into the field – just look at Obzervr. It will save you a ton of headaches and a ton of money. With Obzervr you can add an elegant and seamless mobility layer to work with your ERP. Talk to us and we will show you how. Here are the key reasons, customers choose Obzervr:-

– Works both offline and online (productivity on-the-fly)

– Works in context (relevant data always on hand for the field worker- not a forms tool)

– Works with complete flexibility (all your teams on one platform)

That is what ‘Good’ looks like. Digitization of your data collection process. But there is more to Obzervr. The Vision I always had for Obzervr was that it would also enable Enterprises to do amazing things by ‘connecting’ people.

An example here would be a mining company using 3rd party consultants to collect say environment data (water samples). Those samples have to be tested at Labs. The reason for this monitoring is the need for compliance with Regulatory authorities. You start to see how many different  organisations are touched by this simple process. There is no standardisation. The process has not been ‘industrialised’ and is grossly inefficient. Now, this is what ‘Great looks like: a vision whereby you can connect all these different parties so they can share  information in real-time. That there is transparency, consistency and accuracy built-in that allows for superior and timely reporting. Whether you are a Compliance Officer, the field worker or the Lab technician, you will have the report that makes most sense to you.

So ‘Great’ digital disruption not only allows companies to improve existing business processes, it also adds significant value to the entire ‘supply chain’ or eco-systems. Companies do not operate in a vacuum. Their inter-connectedness with other organisations is complex.

Obzervr – helping field workers do great things and Enterprises achieve amazing results!

Let me know how Obzervr can help with your drive to digital disruption in data collection.

This is an exciting journey and I want to share and be part of this vision. If you want to join me on this journey and see where it takes us – please Connect with me or Follow http://www.linkedin.com/company/obzervr 

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