FCC Action Underscores Need for Resiliency in Field Service

Arka Dhar
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer @ Zinier
Published December 14, 2020

Throughout 2020, field service organizations have experienced a nonstop parade of major disruptions to their operations. We’ve had to reconfigure our standard operating procedures to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. And many regions have had massive disruptions from natural disasters on an unprecedented scale. 

On a more positive note, some of the curveballs field service operations have fielded in 2020 have been from massive growth opportunities, such as the 5G rollout in the telecom industry and the demand for smart meters among energy utilities. Unlike pandemics and natural disasters, these growth scenarios are the kinds of problems we’d all much rather deal with. Nonetheless, they’re also highly disruptive. 

A recent action by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reminds us that disruptions can also come from another source: government policies. Last week, the FCC issued a “rip and replace” order for telecommunications carriers to remove equipment provided by Huawei (which may be extended to include other Chinese companies) and swap it for components provided by other vendors, due to cybersecurity concerns. 

The dust has yet to settle on this order — it’s too soon to tell what the ultimate impact is likely to be. But it’s another urgent reminder of the need for field service operations to replace their traditional SOPs with a new definition for that acronym: Safety, Optimization, and Prioritization. In the case of the pandemic, the need for greater safety has been critical. To keep up with the need to support new opportunities, the ability to optimize for new requirements is essential. And when a sudden and dramatic new policy comes into play, field service operations that are unable to adapt to new priorities quickly will find themselves at a severe disadvantage. 

All of these types of disruptions — whether they stem from the physical environment, from our governing bodies, or from the rapidly changing demands we place on our infrastructure — require solutions that can provide field service operations with resiliency. For example, the ability to customize and reconfigure on short notice is critical in a world driven by these new “SOPs.” You can get a sense of how our AI-driven platform is helping drive speed and efficiency in the telecom sector in this article from AGL. 

We’re committed to providing solutions in telecom, energy, and other sectors that enable all field service operations to adapt, evolve, and tame the complexities of whatever unexpected challenges emerge. Modern enterprises need solutions built on modern technologies like AI, machine learning, low-code application development, and a mobile-friendly bias to enable them to transform their field service operations — quickly, and at scale — whenever surprises arise.