Overview: Mobile App for Telecom
Outright was contracted to build a mobile app for telecom equipment assessment and inventory gathering. Our client provides battery and power management software and services to telecommunications providers. One area of their business is that of cellular towers and installations which rely on power back-up and battery storage capabilities. Our client needed a way for their field operations personnel to take an inventory and assessment of equipment at remote telecom installation sites and send information collected back to a central database.
Key Challenges & Functionality
- The need for field personnel to collect information about equipment at an installation quickly and efficiently
- The user interface and workflow had to be as simple and streamlined as possible to be used by employees with a wide range of technical savviness
- The ability to continue the use of the app when there is no internet connectivity as many of the telecom installations are in remote areas
- The ability to find installation sites from within an existing database of locations automatically using geo proximity
- Integration with client’s REST API which was being developed in parallel with the mobile app for telecom
Outright built an Android mobile app for telecom equipment assessment to allow field representatives to assess and inventory installation data by completing a ‘survey’ which prompted them for information about the equipment at the site. For example, the survey was a collection of form inputs where the field rep would enter specific information about the equipment such as manufacturer, capacity, power consumption, etc. This data was then stored locally in a database within the mobile app but also transmitted back to the client’s back-end system via a REST API.
The app contained a search interface which allowed the user to search for the site location against a known database of installations based using the name or address of the installation. The app also contained a geo lookup which captured the user’s geo coordinates and then passed them into the the API to get back a list of matching installation locations nearby.
The app was able to work offline, allowing the user to create a new location instance and enter survey data for when the user did not have an internet connection. The app would then attempt to periodically connect to the back-end system to transmit the data and/or allow the user to manually submit the information once connectivity was restored. This allowed field reps to continue to work at multiple installations even when offline.
The app had a streamlined user interface (UI) to make the collection of information as fast and as error proof as possible, accommodating field reps who were not accustomed to using mobile apps. The mobile app could take and submit photos using the phone’s camera and also had a UPC bar code scan capability which would allow the rep to scan a barcode affixed to the equipment which would then use the encoded data to pre-fill certain fields within the survey app, further expediting the collection of data.
Outright Development provides mobile app development services for a number of industry verticals including telecom, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, education, and more.