Telepartner Systems has completed a new mobile communications system for emergency response engineers working for Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE). Engineers can receive, accept, report progress and close out jobs in real time, using one mobile device communicating over the Vodafone network. The system builds on existing investment, using the same server environment implemented by Telepartner in 2001 for meter servicing operations.

UK meter reader

The system was developed to maintain customer service and communication in the event of power outage. The Telepartner Mercury Server links to the Vodafone network, which integrates with the NIE back-end TroubleMAN computer system. TroubleMAN matches available staff skills to jobs, with repair work being prioritised.

The second element of the system is Mercury Workflow Manager, which is configured to give despatchers in the service centre a view of all the jobs as they come in. The third element is the client application on the mobile device, a GSM-enabled 3800/3900 series iPAQ PDA, used by engineers in the field. The application complies with the National Fault Interruption Reporting System (NAFIRS) built on behalf of the Electricity Association for the use of regional electricity companies and required by the industry regulator.