2011 Best In IT Management of Mobile Devices

— November 09, 2011

Masters of Mobile Management

Transportation firm’s mobile device management platform tracks 180 iPads, which are instrumental in providing real-time data and reducing the risk of fraud.

Atlanta-based Southeastrans Inc. is a transportation management company that specializes in human transportation services. “As a transportation broker, we manage a network of credentialed transportation providers that take people to doctor appointments,” says Jim Degliumberto, CIO.

In the past, everything was done on a paper claim form. “A person who needed to go to the doctor would call us to make a reservation,” he states. “After we confirmed eligibility, we would assign one of our transportation providers. They would run the trip, and then submit a claim. This might be a week or even a month after the trip. We realized that there could be problems with the timeliness and quality of the data.” That is, paper forms were often completed in a tedious process at the end of the day, which resulted in inaccurate or missing information on patient trips. Fraud was also a possibility.

“We felt that a mobile solution would be a better way,” he continues. “As our CEO likes to say, ‘If a shipping company can track a package, we should be able to track a person.’”

Southeastrans implemented a paperless mobile technology system called Net InSight Mobile App. “We ended up taking our paper claim trip form and putting it into a mobile form that runs on the iOS platform,” he explains.

The platform includes a tablet that runs the Net InSight application and an interactive Web portal. These are fully integrated with the company’s transportation management system, which coordinates more than 2 million trips annually. “While these individual technologies have been available for quite some time, putting them together to create a cohesive system is what makes the Net InSight solution unique in the medical transportation industry,” notes Degliumberto.

Southeastrans selected the Apple iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G; Zerion Software, a mobile data collection platform for iOS devices; and AirWatch, a mobile device management platform.

Deployment began with a “proof of concept” to test the technology. Southeastrans then built and piloted a beta application to test with a limited number of users. It worked with AT&T to procure the iPads, then inventoried, barcoded, and configured the devices with a case, utility pack, charger, and stylus.

The iPad and app were first rolled out in April 2011, and the company currently has 180 devices deployed.

The technology now promotes transparency and accountability via the real-time data collection. “AirWatch allows us to secure, monitor, manage and support all of the deployed iPads from a centralized console,” says Degliumberto. “In addition, we can easily update and configure the devices remotely, as well as ensure that we are constantly compliant with all internal and external regulations. With AirWatch, we can also ensure that, if one of the iPads is ever lost or stolen, we can instantly wipe the device, ensuring that our corporate data and clients are secure.”

Since Southeastrans now uses less paper, it expects to reduce its data entry staff, transitioning some of them into auditor roles. “Since paper claims are no longer being submitted, we are able to eliminate the time it takes to manually enter all of the data,” Degliumberto explains. “The digital form from the iPad is sent directly to our system.
“We don’t have to wonder whether a trip was run on a certain day or not,” Degliumberto adds. “We have real-time information.” Each entry has a timestamp and geocode, which ensures data integrity. This will significantly diminish the risk of Medicaid fraud.

TKE Regains Mobile Control

With SOTI MobiControl, TKE can instantly access technicians’ Intermec devices and quickly resolve their hardware issues.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator, based in Frisco, Texas, installs and services elevators and escalators worldwide. TKE needed a mobile device management (MDM) solution to oversee its fleet of Intermec CN50 and StyleTap devices. It sought to enhance overall operational efficiency by improving management of devices, decreasing shipping and handheld support costs, and gaining performance improvements through reduced downtime.

TKE implemented a new time/ticketing app, using SOTI MobiControl. “We are able to instantly access techs' devices and provide fast resolution to their issues. Calls that would have taken 15 minutes before are completed in less than five minutes now,” reports Pat McElhinney, CIO.

Since using SOTI MobiControl, support time has been reduced from days to minutes, with no need to ship devices back to the TKE support location, thus reducing costs and improving productivity. Techs have less downtime. Ticketing and dispatch applications are also more efficient.

“MobiControl provides us nearly unlimited access to the devices, allowing us to minimize downtime,” notes McElhinney.

Modify IT Assets in the Field

VOA turns to platform-as-a-service using Tracmor to keep tabs on its Sprint-issued Android smartphones.

Volunteers of America Chesapeake of Lanham, Md., is a 650-employee non-profit human services organization that helps at-risk people—including youths, the elderly, the homeless, and persons with disabilities—to rebuild their lives.

The organization wanted to automate IT asset management using location-aware applications such that it could tag IT assets with RFID active/passive tags. “When our IT staff went to the field to work on programs, they didn’t have a way to enter all necessary information while they were in the field,” explains Shyam Desigan, CFO. “We wanted a solution that would be available at the point of contact, so that the field staff could enter data into a mobile device.”

Volunteers of America Chesapeake implemented a mobile PaaS (platform-as-a-service) solution, using Sprint Galaxy Android smartphones running Tracmor, an online asset tracking solution. The cost was a modest $25,000.

The technology was implemented in July 2011, and IT people were trained via a train-the-trainer program, which was rolled out via Web conferencing. Currently, 32 people are using the mobile solution.

“The point of service is in the field,” explains Desigan. “The technicians go to the programs in the field. The Tracmor report shows them the IT assets. In the field, they are able to update, delete, or modify the assets, as well as do trouble tickets.” The IT staff enters the data on a trouble ticket into the mobile device, which connects back to the organization’s IT system.

As a result, Volunteers of America Chesapeake now has real-time visibility into its IT assets, and with remote monitoring, it is able to service 28 programs in three states with minimal IT support staff. “We have also seen a significant reduction in trouble tickets pertaining to hardware failure,” he adds. Desigan estimates that the organization will achieve full ROI by end of the year.


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