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5/6/2009
04:41 PM
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Verizon Switches To Smartphones For Maintenance Requests

The company unveiled its iSite open source tool that allows service techs to analyze problems and manage work lists in real time from their BlackBerrys.

In a high-tech example of the proverbial shoemaker whose children go without shoes, many of Verizon's service managers haven't had the convenience of smartphones to assist them in responding to help and maintenance requests.

That will change now, according to an announcement from Verizon Communications, unveiling an open source software program for BlackBerry phones that will let technicians and support personnel at Verizon Communications and its Verizon Wireless unit put away their laptops in favor of BlackBerrys.

The iSite program, unveiled Wednesday at the Wireless Enterprise Symposium in Orlando, Fla., presents views of ordering systems, provisioning processes, and repair records while eliminating the necessity to contact people manning the systems.

"With iSite, Verizon managers who are addressing customer service issues have instant access -- no matter where they are -- to both systems and individual customer records, so that they can intervene and more quickly resolve problems or issues affecting customer service," said Charles Henry, VP of IT program management, IT operations, and systems automation for Verizon's telecom team.

At the WES event last year, Henry showed a BlackBerry-based tool that field technicians had been able to use to track customer installation and repair work. The new iSite solution features advanced analysis tools for identifying root causes of problems as well as work-list management tools to improve field repair efficiency. Holistic and predictive analyses of service processes also let Verizon managers improve service in real time.

"The key here is the versatility and mobility that access to these systems via Verizon Wireless high-speed data service allows," said Henry.


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