The mobile solution for Siemens

Running. And running. And running.

A mobile service application for about 900 technicians in multiple sectors. Featuring numerous functions that help Siemens Schweiz to serve their clients more effectively. Tried and tested over ten years of use with an ever-increasing scope of functions. Those at Siemens Schweiz are proud of “MoSeS,” the mobile service solution developed by e-switch in 2005 with SAP integration.

 

Vision pays off

Siemens has called the project “forward-thinking.” Its longevity is a strong sign of quality.
“The solution has been around longer than many of the people at the company who use it.” Peter Meile, Process and Application Manager at Siemens Building Technologies in Volketswil, Switzerland, finds it remarkable that 900 colleagues at Siemens Schweiz are working with a mobile service application that has been going strong for over ten years. And, of all places, in an environment that changes more rapidly than almost any other. “We were at the forefront of the mobility issue back then. And that is still paying off today,” says Peter Meile, who promoted the product together with e-switch.

 

In use all over Europe

Service technicians from the different divisions of Building Technologies (Siemens Healthineers, Energy Systems, Process Industries and Drives and Digital Factory) currently use MoSeS for their work at customer facilities. And as if that weren’t enough, multiple Siemens companies in European countries have set up a regional service solution based on MoSeS, as reported by Bruno Bisig, Business Analyst from Global IT at Siemens.

Saying goodbye to paperwork

Siemens Building Technologies considers it essential that client problems (e.g. faults during heating, fire alarm system maintenance, access system repairs) are solved quickly. The dispatchers must be able to coordinate technician tasks efficiently. They need comprehensive knowledge of the systems and they must be able to check inventories at customer facilities and order replacement parts. Unnecessary paperwork ought to be eliminated for them and double entries and media interruptions ought to be avoided. Furthermore, the efforts of the technicians are supposed to flow into the downstream SAP system quickly and seamlessly so that invoicing can take place more easily and more promptly.

MoSeS harmonizes

With these goals in mind, Siemens Schweiz began looking for a technology partner that could deliver this kind of solution in 2005. Positive references from other Siemens national subsidiaries as well as SAP expertise led the company to choose e-switch. From the very beginning, one objective as to implement the solution in other core companies. This meant that the solution needed to be kept fundamentally streamlined and functional. The service processes in the different Siemens divisions were also harmonized over the course of the MoSeS development and were oriented on the bases of best-practice solutions. At the same time, however, MoSeS is configurable. For example, business areas can configure the permitted service technician responses.

 

The major end-device issue

One of the larger challenges in developing MoSeS was finding suitable hardware for the mobile end device in 2005. Many devices at the time did not have enough performance capacity. Mobile networks were still slow and expensive. A central software management system for mobile devices did not exist. The project team decided on a PDA based on Windows Mobile. “Times were not easy when we had to use this hardware,” says Peter Meile.

 

Practical. Secure. Up-to-date.

A few years later, Siemens Schweiz was concentrating on a Siemens standard laptop solution that still endures today: The technicians need a laptop on-site anyway, so they have been using MoSeS ever since with a Java application on their central work device. “The larger screen and the keyboard are more advantageous for many technician tasks. In addition, the Windows Siemens client and Standard laptop that are used simplify maintenance significantly. Even the critical safety aspects can be fully covered by the standard remote access solution into the Siemens intranet,” explains IT expert Bruno Bisig. Signature pades enhance the solution.
An e-switch solution was also used to compensate for the central disadvantage of laptops, which is the slow start-up and lengthy offline times. Dispatchers can also assign jobs via text message and technicians can confirm the tasks in the same way. Thanks to SSD storage media, the startup time of a laptop is no longer an issue.

Skilled and dedicated

Peter Meile, Process and Application Manager, Siemens Building Technologies

Skilled and dedicated

Peter Meile, Process and Application Manager, Siemens Building Technologies

MoSeS never gets old

MoSeS was continually developed and the framework and the middleware developed by e-switch were continually adapted to new technology. The mobile application began with the basic functions, the transmission of order information between dispatcher and technician, responses from the technician directly into the SAP regarding services and the option to call up earlier tasks and client installations.

Over the years, more functions were added and technicians today can create orders themselves if necessary on-site. “Ticket on the fly” is the name of this function. Service employees at Building Technologies can use MoSeS to call up checklists, and they have a precise view on-site of the replacement part inventory, both in their vehicles and in central warehouses.

The solution currently allows the technician to retrieve information about the availability of replacement parts while he/she is at the client’s location and order the parts straight away. If possible, the logistics specialist delivers the replacement part to the technician overnight before the beginning of the next work day at the location specified in MoSeS. This location can be a defined drop-off point or even the storage compartment of the technician vehicle.

 

Consistently striving for success

Siemens is satisfied with its technology partner with respect to these expansions as well as the development and regular use of the application. Peter Meile calls e-switch “skilled and dedicated.” He and Bruno Bisig appreciate the fact that they still have a contact partner in e-switch “who was there when MoSeS was first developed.” In this day and age, that’s “a rarity that we appreciate,” say the Siemens employees.

 

Quo vadis MoSeS?

Meile and Bisig know that flexible HTML5-based solutions, e.g. on smartphones and tablets, could be one option for the coming years. But Siemens is far from needing a replacement for MoSeS just yet. “The major requirements for a service solution are still being covered by MoSeS for now,” say the two of them. However, they’re keeping their minds open going forward.

 

The website of the company: http://www.siemens.ch

And running.

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