A Mobile Service App Plus New Rugged Cat Phone S50c Equals a Complete Mobile Solution for Industrial Service Organizations
Caterpillar surprised everyone in 2014 with the release of its new line of rugged smartphones. This year, with the release of the new Cat S50c, they’ve kept the vision of the original line – super high mobile technology and extremely tough and rugged devices – and connected it exclusively on the Verizon network, which Caterpillar found is more in line the needs of industrial workers on the move.
While it may seem like a leap for a manufacturer of heavy equipment to develop its own line of mobile devices, Cat is no stranger to technology. Heavy equipment is packed with technology – today more than ever – and the new S50c smartphone expands Cat’s equipment technology expertise to the mobile devices operators and technicians use every day.
To learn more about Cat Phone’s newest product release and how it helps industrial workforces, I spoke with Theresa Cangialosi, Vice President and General Manager, Bullitt Group, the global licensee for Caterpillar. Cangialosi is enthusiastic about the opportunity to grow Cat Phones in North America because of Caterpillar’s tried and true reputation of durability and the phone’s ability to become an extension of industrial businesses’ mobile operations.
Why Cat Phones? And Who Benefits from Caterpillar’s Rugged Devices?
Cangialosi emphasized that Cat Phones are best suited for blue collar workers working in industrial verticals like manufacturing, construction, and public utility. “It’s a great fit for workers who are outdoors, wearing gloves, etc.,” she said. “These workers want to be able to do all their work without interrupting the work day.” And that’s exactly what the rugged features and Verizon connectivity of the S50c allow them to do.
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“Using mobile in the field puts everybody in touch with what they need to do right then and there. When someone buys something with a quality name like Caterpillar with the ruggedness that’s behind it, they gain peace of mind from knowing their device will withstand the environment they’re working in.”
Francisco Jeronimo, Research Director, IDC echoes Cangialosi in the S50c press release: “The nature of some jobs requires a much more robust device to cope with every day activities, but without compromising the user’s experience. This device [Cat S50c] offers professionals the resilience needed when using their smartphone in challenging environments, but it also offers the peace of mind of avoiding expensive repairs in less careful usages.”
Standout features of the Cat S50c include:
- Drop Proof: Meeting United States Military standards, the Cat S50c is Mil Spec 810G certified drop proof up to 3.9 ft. It features a scratch and shatter resistant Gorilla® Glass screen that won’t crack under pressure.
- Dust Proof and Waterproof: The Cat S50c is fully impervious to dust and waterproof in 3.3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. IP67 certified.
- Wet Finger & Glove Tracking: The 4.7” Gorilla Glass scratch resistant display is fully operational while wearing gloves up to 4mm thick, with wet hands and even in the rain or snow.
- Push To Talk Ready: The Cat S50c has a dedicated Push To Talk key, which allows users to communicate instantly in even the most remote locations either 1-to-1 or to synchronize an entire workforce with one push of a button.
- Performance: The Cat S50c features a 2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB FLASH, expandable Micro SD up to 64GB. The 2630mAh battery provides a full day of robust browsing, speedy downloads on the Verizon 4G network.
- 4.7” HD Display: View images, watch videos or play games on the crisp HD display with perfect clarity. Unlike most rugged phones, it has a generous 4.7” HD screen, optimally designed for working with documents on the go.
- App Store: This preinstalled feature showcases the recommended apps for the Cat phone audience and provides one stop shopping for individuals that are constantly on the go.
Demand for Mobile in Industrial Industries Influences Hardware and Software Markets
Caterpillar emphasized their commitment to providing the most cutting edge technology, designed to meet industry needs: “Consumers are becoming increasingly dependent on smartphones for all aspects of our daily lives. The strategic achievement represented by this launch of the Cat S50c on the Verizon network confirms our commitment to offering our customers the industry’s most innovative rugged smartphone with class-leading durability.”
Because more businesses are investing in mobile solutions for their field teams and incoming service techs are more technology savvy than past generations, having the tools to run a connected mobile service solution is vital to compete in the service market today.
Rugged mobile devices, like the Cat S50c, equipped with service apps offer technicians the ability to share, store, and view job data in the field, giving them a virtual link to the back office. Since almost all field work originates in the office, equipment manufacturers and dealers can rest assured that their link to the back office will never be broken with a durable solution like Cat’s that can withstand the rigors of field work.
Mobile Field Service Apps: The Perfect Complement to Cat Phones Field-Ready Rugged Devices
Cangialosi emphasized that the new Cat Phones are customizable to fit users’ needs. For example, the phone supports applications that help businesses manage operations through mobile and connect processes in the field.
Field teams that are equipped with robust field service apps are already at a huge advantage compared to organizations using paper to process everything. Now, put those apps on a rugged device like Cat’s line of smartphones and you’ve got full synchronicity with the back office on a device made for field work.
Demand for mobile in consumer and professional life is forcing the advancement of new devices as well as software and apps to streamline mobile operations from anywhere. Top service organizations today are investing in full mobile solutions (device + app) that support their key service functions.
How Cat Phones, Equipped with Mobile Service Apps, Enhance Product Support Efforts
Caterpillar, and other equipment manufacturers, have expressed that they’d like their dealers to focus more on product support and parts sales. One way dealers are setting out to meet these new standards is by taking steps to improve their service business, which requires them to invest in the mobile tools to track work in the field, collaborate effectively, and communicate with customers.
Durable devices like Cat Phones will only get service teams so far though. They also need a full suite mobile application that connects with the back office and delivers insight for equipment product support, executes preventive maintenance and repair processes, and provides mobility for service technicians, all in one integrated system.
With the release of the Cat S50c, Caterpillar is renewing its commitment to providing the toughness you associate with Cat machines in a handheld device. In addition, they’re emphasizing the importance of mobility to run a successful field operation.