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Smartphone app to log service issues and remote fix of office equipment (printer, copiers, etc.)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244510D
Publication Date: 2015-Dec-17
Document File: 2 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A smartphone app for reporting issues and initiating support for service issues and remote fix of office equipment (MFP, printer, copiers, etc.). The app benefits from NOT requiring a direct connection to the MFP, therefore greatly simplifying app configuration given common business network access constraints / firewalls. The app requests the user either photographs the device's serial number bar code, or enters the value in a text input field. The app will convert the barcode photograph back to digits, so that either method will result in the app knowing the device's serial number. The app will then cross-reference the machine database to ascertain the model number, customer and machine location. Provided the user authorises access then the app will also extract the contact number and their physical location. The results from the database look ups and the smartphone information is then used to auto populate the app's input fields, thus greatly reducing the effort required to report machine issues.

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Smartphone app to log service issues and remote fix of office equipment (printer, copiers, etc.)

It is currently estimated that on average it costs $300 per machine a year on service calls. Currently service calls are placed over the telephone or online. This requires the Call Centre to take the details or the customer to fill out an online form. Often a verbal or written problem description lacks visual clarity and it is hard for the call centre to visualise or for the customer to fully describe the problem.

An example of a typical service call might be an administrator calling up to describe an image quality defect. Such defects are difficult to describe verbally, and may result in either-


• An expensive part being replaced unnecessarily, or


• A service engineer being dispatched to perform an action a customer could have carried out.

Here is proposed a smartphone app for reporting issues and initiating support. Unlike other solutions the proposed app benefits from NOT requiring a direct connection to the MFP or Printer, therefore greatly simplifying app configuration given common business network access constraints / firewalls.

The app makes it easy for the customer to attach pictures, videos or sound files to the service call log. This additional information is particularly useful for faults which may not have associated fault codes. For example-


• Poor stacking in the finisher


• Image quality defects


• A part has broken on my machine

For the issues listed above a video or a picture would increase remote solve and first times fix rates significantly.

The app requests the user either photographs the device's serial number bar code, or enters the value in a text input field. The app will convert the barcode photograph back to digits, so that either method will result in the app knowing the device's serial number.

The app will then cross-reference the machine database to ascertain the model number, customer and machine location. Provided the user authorises access then the app will also extrac...