Running a communications network isn’t easy and it becomes more involved when it encompasses both fixed and mobile network assets. On top of that, operations and maintenance become even more complex when you’re delivering a broad mix of solutions such as: cloud, data center, internet access, productivity, security, video, and voice services.
Supporting this complicated array of infrastructure and services is exactly what TigoUne Telecommunications, a Colombia subsidiary of Millicom, does, and that’s why it wanted to simplify field services as much as possible.
It succeeded at doing that with AppSheet no-code technology.
In the past, TigoUne field workers conducted audits on paper. After field workers wrote out their notes, they’d store them in a folder. This led to a lot of data being housed through unsecured means, in addition to a variety of physical locations. Having and easy to access app that standardizes the ways workers relay information to one another boosts efficiency. On top of the automation of workflows through mobile apps, it also makes your IT teams' lives easier.
When you're dealing with paper documentation, it's easy to get lost or go undocumented. It also created the possibility that the records might never be entered into the system. Having flexible and powerful mobile apps that your field workers can access anywhere boosts productivity.
Clearly, this was a less than ideal situation. It was just too complicated. So Sebastian Arango Alzate, TigoUne’s field audit specialist, began looking for a better solution.
First, TigoUne adopted Excel to help streamline the field service audit process. But Excel didn’t have the ease of use Sebastian and his team were looking for. “I was trying to solve our file consolidation problem in Excel but there were still too many manual steps,” he says.
So Sebastian continued his quest for the best.
“I found AppSheet after searching within the organization and trying free tools like Google Forms,” he says. “In a hall meeting one of the company's managers had solved an inventory problem with AppSheet. I began exploring AppSheet as a possible solution.”
After doing some research on AppSheet, Sebastian decided to give it a try.
“The AppSheet platform is a secure, stable, dynamic, and economical solution,” he says.
It doesn’t require anyone to type in information after the fact, as TigoUne’s initial paper-based process did. It makes information available online in real time, has monitor indicators, the ability to deliver reports via mail, and more. Plus, it’s far easier to populate and change than Excel.
But what Sebastian likes best about AppSheet is how easy it is to make and update apps with the platform.
“The best feature of our application is the quick modifications that can be made, without going through a long and tedious development process,” Sebastian says.
More than 80 people at TigoUne currently use the app created with AppSheet’s platform. It’s employed exclusively for field work audits. The company does audits for about 80 percent of its field operations work—5,600 to 6,700 audits on 5,300 to 6,000 end customers, 35 to 40 mobile network tower sites and 250 to 280 network rollouts per month.
“This is the eyes of the organization,” says Sebastian.
TigoUne was created through the 2014 merger of Millicom International Cellular S.A.’s Colombian mobile unit Tigo Colombia and fixed line operator Une-EPM. In Colombia, Tigo is the 3rd biggest market player in mobile, 2nd in broadband and 2nd in PayTV. Its service revenue in 2017 was 1.6 billion U.S. dollars. The company serves small and medium businesses, large companies and government, residential users, and wholesale companies. You can learn more about TigoUne at www.tigoune.com.co, Millicom at www.millicom.com
This post was updated on November 18th, 2019.