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1st Touch Mobile Conquers Geographic Challenges For Castlehill

by david.nunes

1st Touch Mobile Conquers Geographic Challenges For Castlehill

Castlehill Housing Association, a leading provider of affordable homes in North East Scotland has signed an enterprise license agreement for mobile workforce management software from 1st Touch (www.1sttouch.com). The Association which has almost 2000 homes spread across an area encompassing Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray will utilise the technology across a number of areas of its operations. This will include housing officers and maintenance officers who need to access information, on their i-Pads and phones, whilst visiting clients.

1st Touch applications can bring significant efficiencies and productivity increases to any application where field based operatives equipped with PDAs, smartphones or tablets provide services. 1st Touch has already won widespread acclaim in the social housing market where the software manages, supports and controls all aspects of mobile operatives’ activities. The resilient but flexible system enables programming-free, user-customisable PDA based solutions to be created through its easy-to-use graphical interface and is specifically designed to simplify handheld form design and data capture. Any type of electronic form can be generated without the need for Business Process Mapping.

1st Touch mobile was chosen as it had an existing integration with the Aareon QL Housing Management system used by Castlehill. In addition, whilst Castlehill Housing Association was aware that 1st Touch is the leading supplier of mobile workforce technology to the social housing market, they also checked with colleagues at other housing organisations which use 1st Touch. The encouraging response that they received reinforced their decision to invest in the technology.

Another key driver was the system’s unique Smart Airtime feature which allows data to be sent to and from the operative’s PDAs in short compressed bursts when a signal is available. This will prove to be invaluable to Castlehill, as with the difficult terrain in the area it is often hard to find a good signal by which to communicate with Head Office.

Castlehill’s Financial Director Geoff Helme believes that the benefits of the new system are clear, especially when one takes the local geography into account. He notes; “We are always focussed on identifying new ways in which we can improve our customer interface. Investing in 1st Touch mobile workforce software enables us to automate our customer facing processes for mobile operatives and to reduce response times in areas such as maintenance. It is quite a shift away from how we have worked previously and will undoubtedly improve our productivity and deliver efficiencies. This is no small task, however, as the geography in this part of the country poses a potentially huge challenge for any mobile application.

“With an area stretching from Fettercairn in the South to Portknockie in the North, people tend to forget how big an area we cover and how sparsely populated some regions are. It is often not an easy environment and the reception here is often extremely patchy. With its Smart Airtime feature 1st Touch copes well with the challenge, as it can send data back to base in short encrypted bursts when a signal does become available. Naturally, this was very important to us and was a major consideration in our choice.”

Robert Dent CEO of 1st Touch welcomed Helme’s comments adding; “The excellent reputation Castlehill has achieved is especially impressive when one takes into account the particular characteristics of the geography in their area. In making a decision to invest in mobile software, they needed to identify a solution which could not only drive the excellent standards of service they provide but one which could do so regardless of the geography or terrain. We have invested heavily in the Smart Airtime aspect of our system and I am delighted that 1st Touch software is able to make a difference because of it. We look forward to working closely with Castlehill Housing Association as they roll 1st Touch out throughout the organisation.”

About 1st Touch (www.1sttouch.com)

Southampton based 1st Touch, a subsidiary of Aareon AG (www.aareon.com), has enabled dozens of field workforce-based organisations to embrace new mobile technologies and so achieve significant savings, greater productivity and more cost-effective use of resources. 1st Touch Mobile delivers clear and unique benefits: – Reduced costs to organisations because airtime is minimised and the system is always available with or without airtime. The system’s flexibility through simple customer control over forms creation and amendment is widely acclaimed. There is Integration to multiple back office and other enterprise software applications, so that data is entered only once.

With its widely acclaimed mobile technology, 1st Touch has a clear focus on the Social Housing and Local Government markets. Many social housing providers and local authorities, at large, now benefit from the fast and tangible, best of breed benefits that 1st Touch mobile technology delivers to the enterprise.

To date, over 50% of the social housing market, which has deployed mobile technology, has chosen to implement 1st Touch. In local government, 1st Touch has already been adopted for a wide range of mobile workforce uses. Ready to use applications for local authority organisations include: Public Buildings, Highways/Street Services, Environmental/Waste Management, Revenues and Benefits, together with Planning Control and Trading Standards.

1st Touch software is available on a wide variety of platforms including: Windows Mobile, Apple and Android.

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