We crown “Remote Work”  the expression of the year 2020. Everyone is talking about it and many of us are trying to master it right now. This article will dive a little deeper into the possibilities the Microsoft stack offers us for remote work because there is more than just Microsoft Teams. Especially the field service industry can benefit from other remote options that exist, such as Field Service, Microsoft Remote Assist, and Microsoft Guides.

We’ll also argue why, amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic, right now is the absolute best time to figure out how to use Remote Work for your field service business. Looking back at the last decade, Virtual and Augmented Reality were some of the major trends in technology. But until about a month ago these technologies were just smiled at and described as so-called “nice to haves” for companies. Almost treated like a gimmick, they were never seen as a huge benefit or an implementation must. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic mandating social distancing, working remote has become a “must-have” – not just for employees but also for customers.

Microsoft pushed the trend before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19, seeing the benefits and possibilities, especially for the service industry. By combining Dynamics 365 for Field Service with the capabilities of its Microsoft HoloLens, Microsoft Remote Assist was born.

Microsoft Remote Assist allows you to solve service problems remotely and in real-time. Technicians can collaborate from different locations by sharing their real-time view. This has the potential to massively increase your first-time fix rate because technicians are now able to get help from the back office or other (specialized) technicians instantly if needed. And there are more benefits: it reduces costs and increases sustainability! Savings are obviously immediately made on actual travel expenses such as fuel and tolls, but fewer miles were driven over a longer period of time also reduces cost for maintenance of the – possibly even downsized – fleet. Also, consider the hours no longer spent traveling from A to B or just stuck in traffic; all these hours can now be spent helping (more) customers. And let’s not forget the positive impact this has from an environmental perspective, decreasing the environmental footprint of your company.

Customer self-service scenarios are also possible because remote assist is available on all applicable app stores and when connected with Microsoft Teams it allows Technicians to walk the site together with their client without actually physically being there. Additional drawings, manuals, and documents can be attached to a call to help in guiding the client to find a solution to their problem.

Speaking of guiding: Microsoft Guides is another added value of remote assist. Microsoft Guides allow you to set up explanatory guides that help the collaborator to perform a service task step by step. For example a step-by-step guide on how to change the batteries of a specific car type.

Accessing knowledge remotely is the game-changer.  The link to Microsoft Field Service and its work orders, cases, and knowledge articles provides the backbone. With the latest Remote Assist release, Microsoft has also added the functionality to record remote assist calls and convert them directly into a knowledge article for review later, making it possible to quickly build your remote working knowledge database.

At HSO Innovation we have advanced the standard of Microsoft Field Service even further with our Dynamics Advanced Field Service product which allows you to store and access even more detailed information, especially with regard to the customer agreement, warranty, and asset information. In combination with Guides, it provides you with an absolute first-rate remote working portfolio.

Why now is the best time

This being said, it is important to mention again that right now is the best time to try out Microsoft Remote Assist in combination with Field Service. Microsoft is currently offering 3 trial programs for everyone that wants to check out the functionality.

Covid-19 Trial Offer

Qualified customers will receive Dynamics 365 Remote Assist licenses for up to 6 months.

It does require thought to implement a Dynamics 365 Remote Assist solution in response to COVID-19, but there are Microsoft-provided templates available or opt for a custom implementation to get the full package of benefits. More Details can be found here.

Individual Access

You can now use Remote Assist on your mobile device for 90-days! Learn how to make calls to a remote expert on Microsoft Teams (desktop and mobile). More Details can be found here.

Organization Trial

Organizations can try remote assist for 30 days. Simply log into your M365 or O365 Administrator Portal using your organization’s admin account and go from there.

Still, have questions? HSO is happy to guide you!

Implementing Remote Working into your organization can be quite complex, especially if you want to use the full capabilities in combination with Microsoft Field Service or our Dynamics Advanced Field Service product. But don’t worry, our experts are ready to assist you. HSO Innovation is a Microsoft Premium Tier Solution provider in direct contact with Microsoft and with our Dynamics Advanced Field Service and Dynamics Service Management products we have over 20 years of Field Service experience and knowledge.

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