2-part series from customer and guest blogger: Mike Luu, Information Systems Director, City of Milpitas
Mobile isn’t just an IT strategy at the City of Milpitas, it involves the community and our city employees. The City of Milpitas is home to some of biggest high-tech brands like Cisco, KLA Tencor, and Sandisk, so in IT, we are always trying new technology to help support our teams and citizens of Milpitas.
We have been running Workspot since September 2013, and I’d like to share our story how we have been working with our teams, especially our Building Inspection Team. The Building Inspector Teams are the classic example of mobile workers. During the last two years, we have seen tremendous demand and development of commercial and residential buildings in Milpitas. Our building inspectors are constantly in the field meeting, surveying and adding their notes to our CRW application. Our CRW software allows integrated workflows between builders and developers to government agencies. They have been carrying heavy, rugged laptops and in most cases, inspectors would rather print out documents or take notes on paper note pads rather than to update in CRW real-time.
We had to do something and we started testing Workspot on Keyvan Irannejad, Chief Building Official, City of Milpitas, using an iPad. Keyvan liked Workspot, but one really big feature was missing, how to get CRW working on Workspot. CRW is their primary tool to manage all the inspections. CRW had to work on iPad if they were going to transition off laptops to iPads in the field. Our IT team started doing research and found Ericom. Ericom is an application, RDP and Terminal Emulation software. We asked the Workspot engineering team to look at Ericom as a way for us to access CRW on Workspot. Workspot confirmed compatibility; we started testing Ericom on my iPad to get CRW running. We made a few changes on our back-end, and CRW could run on Workspot! But it was really up to Keyvan to decide whether the CRW experience on Workspot would fit his team’s needs in the field. We met with Keyvan and his staff and reviewed typical use cases for inspectors in the field. Then we decided to use these scenarios to test Workspot.
Keyvan directed his staff of building inspectors to test CRW on Workspot for four weeks. Keyvan gave us really good feedback and came back sooner than four weeks to start planning an onboarding the team. We were thrilled that we found a feasible solution for CRW to run on Workspot! Now all of our key applications could be accessed securely in Workspot.
Next we planned the iPad rollout. It took us some time to schedule onboarding due to the building inspector schedules: we had to plan a month out to get everyone in a room for onboarding and training. Training was scheduled for an hour, and we went over 45 minutes due to the high interest and questions. Lots of good questions came about the meeting.
On the way out of the onboarding session, a building inspector said, “So, I can dump my rugged laptop in the garbage right?” We all smiled. Going from a 7 pound laptop to an iPad is transformative for the Building Inspectors.
It’s invaluable to work with the chief or manager of a department. It’s essential for fast adoption. Working with Keyvan on his teams’ workflows and getting CRW running on Workspot prevented surprises during our onboarding session with the building inspectors. Watch for my next guest blog, where I talk about the cost-savings of moving from a rugged laptop to an iPad.
Read the Part-Two Blog: In with iPads out with Rugged Laptops