Connected Field Service

With more and more IoT devices being connected, there is a large amount of telemetry available for organizations to capture, analyze, and act on. A simple way of thinking of a complete IoT solution would be to cover the following three key areas:

Graphic of IOT from "Things generate data" to "Insights based on data generated" to "Actions based on insights"

Microsoft’s Connected Field Service solution for Dynamics 365 is an important part of the "actions based on insights". Connecting an IoT device to a customer asset allows you to detect and diagnose problems before customer is even aware of an issue. You can proactively schedule an on-site visit, or simply send an automated command to the device to reset. When technicians do visit on-site, they use a Field Service mobile application that includes the customer details in the work order. Their visits are scheduled, and routes optimized using the Dynamics 365 for Field Service scheduling capabilities.

The Dynamics 365 Connected Field Service solution combines monitoring and preventative maintenance with the internet of things (IoT) to replace your traditional break fix service model with a more proactive never-fail model. Your organization can capture all the information that is being transmitted from your IoT enabled devices and turn that information into actionable items that can be executed directly from a Dynamics 365 instance.

The graphic below shows an IoT refrigerator sharing temperature readings with the local IoT hub.

Graphic of IOT refrigerator

Customer assets such as appliances, equipment, sensors, or any IoT enabled device can be registered with an Azure IoT Hub or in IoT Central directly from within Dynamics 365 or the Field Service mobile application. Assets that contain multiple sensors, can be grouped and registered at one time to simplify deployment. For example, a refrigerator may be equipped with multiple sensors. It may contain a temperature sensor that monitors the overall temperature of the unit, but it may also contain multiple moisture sensors that monitor specific moisture levels of specific zones. It may even contain a motion sensor that monitors how often the door of the unit is opened.

The graphic below shows some of the possible IoT device alerts.

IOT device alerts

Once an asset (such as the above-mentioned refrigerator) that is equipped with a sensor is registered as an IoT device and connected to the internet, it will begin sending information like temperature readings to either an Azure IoT Hub or to IoT Central. When a spike or drop in temperature is detected, an alert is surfaced for the device in Dynamics 365. Based on the conditions defined in the alert (type, severity, etc.) it can trigger an automated process that will assist in handling and resolving of the alert. For example, if a compressor unit on a device fails, your organization may elect to dispatch a technician as soon as possible. A work order can be automatically created, and the specific compressor needed to resolve the issue can be added to the work order as a necessary part.

Sometimes, when an alert is triggered it may not require on-site assistance, you can interact with device remotely by sending commands directly to the device from within Dynamics 365. For example, if an increase in temperature is detected, it may get routed to a specific queue where a technician may remotely send a command to the device to perform a firmware update.

The graphic below shows an IoT refrigerator sending request for update, which is delivered remotely.

Graphic of IOT refrigerator sending request for update, which is delivered remotely.

Devices can be grouped into categories to make it easier to define specific properties that are unique to those types of devices. Each alert that is triggered or remote command that is sent to a device is stored directly in Dynamics 365, so you can easily view the history of what has been occurring and what actions have been done on those devices. Because the records are stored in Dynamics 365, you can easily create business process flows that can be used to assist in troubleshooting procedures, assist with remotely sending commands, route items to queues, or even create work orders. All the information captured can be made available to technicians from within the mobile app when they are dispatched, so they have a complete history available to them when they arrive at a customer location.

Connected Field Service through Dynamics 365 Field Service harnesses data from an IoT platform and into your app to help you detect, troubleshoot, and resolve issues remotely.

With more and more Internet of Things (IoT) devices being connected, there is a large amount of telemetry available for you to capture, analyze, and act on. By leveraging the Connected Field Service solution for Dynamics 365, you can combine monitoring and preventative maintenance with the IoT. This combination lets you replace your traditional break fix service model with a more proactive never-fail model. The never-fail model lets you detect and diagnose problems before the customer even becomes aware of the issue.

With Connected Field Service, you can create service solutions that can help spot issues and initiate service requests proactively.

Icon indicating play video In this video you’ll see how Connected Field Service lets you register, monitor, and manage IoT devices directly from within Dynamics 365 Field Service.

As you saw in the video, Connected Field Service lets you proactively monitor Customers IoT connected assets an interact with those devices by sending device commands from within the Dynamics 365 application.

With Connected Field Service, your organization can create proactive service solutions that can detect and diagnose customer issues, remotely troubleshoot, and scheduling an on-site visit often before the customer is even aware of the issue. Agents and technicians can leverage the familiar tools included with Dynamics 365 like Business Process Flows, to make identifying the correct resolution to a problem easier.

Now let's turn our attention to Universal Resource Scheduling (URS).