ExtenSys Inc.

 

 

Mobile Data System - Product Overview

 

The ExtenSys Mobile Data System provides voice and data dispatch to field users over private or public radio infrastructures. Since it supports multiple dispatchers, it can be used for Field Service dispatch of water heater calls or field orders, as well as Control Room dispatch for switch sheets, protection permits, and trouble calls.

 

 Components of the System

    Mobile Data System
  • Mobile workstations. These ruggedized PC's are equipped with a voice/data radio. They run mobile applications.
  • Low cost wireless handheld devices such as browser cell phones or PDA's. These can be particularly useful for managing and communicating with contractor or "foreign" crews.
  • Radio infrastructure. This can be a private trunked voice/data, or other private and public infrastructures such as cell networks (for wireless handheld devices).
  • Mobile Applications.
  • Dispatcher applications running on UNIX or PC workstations.
  • Mobile data services running on a UNIX server.

The mobile data services consist of a Radio Service, Distributed Document and interfaces to external systems:

  • The Radio Service provides a reliable and efficient transport of data over a wireless network. A transmission gets to a person if possible. When a vehicle moves back into radio coverage, the transmission is resent.
  • The Distributed Document is a means of managing concurrency of documents distributed in the field and on the host network. Field and control room staff can work with the same current version of a document. Multiple field crews can share the same work.
  • With the Customer Information System (CIS) interface, customer service documents flow directly into the dispatch system with minimal dispatcher intervention required.
  • The Outage Management System (OMS) is the source of documents such as switch sheets and trouble calls for dispatch.

 

 Integration with Other Systems

This system has been integrated with distribution management systems, and is designed to easily interface with other solutions. It runs on a standard OS platform and can be adapted to suit your needs. It has an efficient "look and feel" user interface and can be customized and adapted to simulate the other applications it interfaces with.

 

 Dispatcher Applications

  • Dispatcher Queues. These automatically assign work to a changing number of dispatchers. This means no work is ever overlooked, and staffing becomes more flexible. The field is given a predicted response time so they can plan their work better and experience less frustration while waiting.
  • Vehicle Status List. This provides the location and status of each field crew. This provides better crew management.
  • Document Editors. A variety of editors are available. For each type of document, basic time stamps are kept which can be used to generate performance metrics. Sample types of documents for an Electrical system might be:
    • Water Heater Calls, Field Orders, and Trouble Calls. These are sent to the field, the field crew acts and reports results. The documents can be recalled or updated as conditions change.
    • Protection Permits. These have a more complex lifecycle of being requested, issued, accepted, and surrendered by the field.
    • Switch Sheets. The dispatcher gives permission to execute a block of steps. When completed in the field, the field response automatically updates the OMS model. This means the model is more easily and accurately kept up-to-date.

 

 Mobile Applications

  • Work Queue. This allows the field crew to organize their work.
  • Vehicle Status. This is a convenient mechanism for the field crews to enter their location and status. Supervisors can use this information.
  • Document Editors. These are efficient form-filling applications. They typically provide enough information for the field crews to deal with customers.
  • Communication Status. This shows the state of the radio network.
  • Request-to-speak. The field crew can request a voice conversation with a specific dispatcher.

 

 Mobile User Interfaces

  • When browser cell phones, PDA's, or Blackberry-style devices are used to communicate with field crews, they can serve as both the voice and data tool, so long as they have both voice and data functionality. Initial dispatching can occur either via voice (phone call) or text message. The crew then accesses their work details by "browsing" to the information pages. When the work is completed, the crew uses the same browser to submit data back to the server for automatic system updating.
  • Power users requiring a larger screen and the need to run other applications such as map viewers can use a ruggedized PC.

 

For more information on Mobile Data Systems, contact Jim Stewart at (416) 481-1546