Satellite

Dish Tracks Truck Rolls From The 'Cloud'

4/09/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

This cloud has a silver lining for Dish Network. 
The nation’s No. 2 satellite-TV operator deployed a centralized, “cloud-based” application
from TOA Technologies for managing service visits. The system not only provides more accurate
windows for customers, but also has reduced the amount of overtime clocked by field
technicians.

Dish took less than four months to roll out TOA’s ETAdirect platform, which allowed the
company to consolidate its technical field service operations and align field service activities
in one system. The operator began
the TOA implementation on March 29,
2011, and launched the system — including
a mobile app for field techs —
by mid-July.

“TOA’s ETAdirect enables us to predictably
and instantly manage our large
fleet of field technicians to accurately
alert customers of arrival times and to
limit the length of their in-home appointment,”
Dish executive vice president of
operations Erik Carlson said.

The results: Dish decreased technician
overtime by more than two hours
per week on average, by more efficiently mapping out their service visits.

In addition, Dish reduced the time it takes to calculate route plans nationwide from 130
person hours per day — by a team making assignments manually — to 20 hours per day.
According to Cleveland-based TOA, the ETAdirect system can route more than 10,000 jobs
in just four minutes, letting Dish set and manage appointments much more quickly.

Today, more than 16,000 Dish employees and outside contractors, including field technicians,
dispatchers, service representatives and managers, use ETAdirect to manage
customer appointments. Customers receive alerts about visits via text, email or Dish’s
customer-service website.

The ETAdirect system is integrated with 35 other systems at Dish, including billing and
customer-relationship management applications. TOA said it has already provided 24 updates
to the system without a major upgrade.

Dish, the third-largest U.S. pay TV provider, had 13.97 million satellite-TV customers as of
year-end 2011.

The operator’s ETAdirect rollout is the largest ever deployment of tablet-based mobility
applications to a field workforce, the companies claimed. TOA’s HTML5-based ETAdirect
Mobility App can run on any compatible device, so it’s not tied to a specific carrier or mobile
operating system.

ETAdirect is used by other operators worldwide including Cox Communications, Suddenlink
Communications, the U.K.’s Virgin Media and Cincinnati Bell.

September