Yeah, this one is pretty big.

We've introduced our first smartphone app.

It's designed to harness something smartphones do particularly well: taking pictures, and forwarding them elsewhere via the internet.

For background, for sometime there has been a large and growing movement among servicers to have their techs photo-document an array of matters connected with each job.  First among such elements is the model/serial plate on the machine being serviced.  We have heard of numerous instances where a manufacturer claims a provided mod/ser combination is not valid, and rejects the claim.  A picture is then provided, and the argument ends.  Another photo purpose is to document that a machine and/or the floor on which it stands were already subject to damage, before the tech began working.  There are other purposes as well.

Until now, companies that extensively use photos have implemented somewhat clumsy methods to get the photos, as taken by each tech, from the techs and into ServiceDesk.  One method, for example, is to have the techs upload their pics to photobucket (an online sharing site).  To make this work, the techs have to manually flag each pic to indicate which job it's involved with, and someone in the office has to go online, find all the new pics, download each, then manually attach to their applicable jobs.  It's a significant amount of work.  We figured we could eliminate all such extra effort -- and facilitate more pictures as well, by making the underlying processes much easier.

Enter SD-QuickPic, our new smartphone app.

For now, it's exclusive to the Android platform.  We plan, ASAP, to add for the IOS platform (Apple) as well.

Here's how it works:

The tech first needs to download the app from Google's play store (same as downloading any other app into one's smartphone).  He can search on the phrase "sd-quickpic" and find the app-download easily, or here's a link. Then he needs to run it.  Initially, there's a place for him to put in his and your company's SD-Mobile credentials (same as within SD-Mobile itself).

The app runs, and shows him a list of his jobs as applicable to the present day.  It also shows if there are prior pictures associated with the underlying machine to be serviced (i.e., the connected UIS).  If so, he can click on the reference to view such prior pics.

If he wants to snap a new picture as connected to any job, he simply taps that job's reference, then snaps the picture.  He can then type in a description, if wanted, and save/upload the picture.

The pics are uploaded and maintained for you on our array of servers.  We've provided buttons in two places, within ServiceDesk, via which you can access these pics.  The first is within the current-JobRecords form, which will provide a list of such pics as connected with that particular job:

The second is in the UnitInfo form, and will provide a list of pictures as applicable to this particular machine as represented in the loaded UIS:

There is also a new release of SD-MobileLink now available for download (Ver. 1.4.127).  When creating the narrative entry in the JobHistory that results from a tech's SD-Mobile-based PVR, it will include a notation indicating if he added pictures during that visit, and this will act as a hyperlink (if double-clicked upon) to the particular pics he took on that visit.

(Small caveat: this notation will arise only where pics are snapped and uploaded before the PVR is downloaded by SD-MobileLink).

We have been working toward this offering for sometime, and are very excited to finally offer it.  Naturally, there is a fee.  It is only 4 cents per pic uploaded.  The app itself is free.

One note:  There is a bug in the latest Android release that, on first, post-install run, fouls-up the step from picture-snap to upload.  If your tech encounters this, he should simply close and re-open the app.   It should solve the problem.

ADDENDUM:  Since release earlier today, we've discovered some instances of Android are encountering significant operational faults.  If your techs encounter this, please ask them to click on the "Report" button.  This sends information to our Android developer that will assist him in troubleshooting.