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Last Updated Friday December 13 2019 01:07 PM IST
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An app that traps field staff

P. Kishore
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Mobile App

With the arrival of smart phones, it is hard to say when you will land in trouble. Earlier, companies did not have any means to find out where their field staff were going. There was a time when sales and marketing field staff used to report their attendance from their place of work by sending post cards. If they were in Aruvikkara, they had to send a card with the seal of Aruvikkara post office as proof. Next, it was done through SMS. Some companies did not track their field staff as long as they met targets.

Now, two youths have come up with an application to track field staff. Some companies have already installed this app in their phones. Jis George and Feroze Rehman, who did schooling together in Kochi, were batchmates in Mar Athanasious College of Engineering in Kothamangalam. Studying well and getting a job through campus placement is passé. The in thing is to set up a start-up. Unlike old times, they have the full support of their families. There are also some people who take up a job after failing to successfully run a start-up for a year.

Thus, Jis and Feroze incubated a company called Transight in Startup Village, Kochi, and came out with a trap for field staff. The software is called Seefones. This is how it works: a company gives its field staff Android phones with basic internet connectivity and the Seefones app, which can be used to mark attendance. This software will enable the company to locate the person carrying this phone using Google Map. It will even provide his call list!

All field staff who are reading this must be thinking of the trap this app can set. Now they can’t spend some time cozying up in the bed while it is raining by just sending reports that they have been to different places. And the youths are charging only 2,000 to 3,500 rupees per phone annually for this service. There is no need to buy the software for lakhs of rupees. Since it is giving licence for each phone, it is profitable for the company.

What if you are working in a place where the phone is not in range? In that case, the app will save the things done on the phone when it is not in range and send it to the company when it comes back in range. So you can’t even give the excuse that the phone was not in range. Luckily, it doesn’t tap SMS, WhatsApp and Facebook. So you have that much privacy. The app will automatically switch off once working hours are over.

The order taken for different items can be recorded in the prescribed format in the phone. Since this data reach the company’s servers, dispatch orders can be given and stock can be arranged as per that. Even if a person quits the job, the company will not face any problem because it will have his whole contact list.

Tailpiece: In one place, a staff tried to act smart; his mobile phone will be switched off in the afternoon, and the explanation is that its battery drains fast. So another trap was set to monitor battery charge. Now the company will know how much charge is remaining. Before the phone got switched off in the afternoon, the battery charge was 55 per cent. These youth won’t let you live in peace!

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