Microsoft: How Irth Modernized Its Mobile App, Helping Workers Who Service Critical Network Infrastructure
At Irth, we rely on the latest technology to advance our mobile-first strategy to enhance resilience and reduce risk in the delivery of essential services. We recently modernized our risk management, damage prevention, and infrastructure protection mobile app to help workers in the field operate more safely and efficiently when they service critical network infrastructure. Microsoft recently featured our work as a case study for using .NET Multi-platform App UI (.NET MAUI). We used .NET MAUI to develop the Irth app for Android, iOS, and Windows from a single shared code base.
Dependability When It Counts
Lives depend on the Irth app working smoothly. Customers need the Irth mobile app to work seamlessly on Android, iOS, and Windows to use the product wherever they are.
“We want to provide 360-degree awareness of risk to the worker and risk to assets,” says Brad Gammons, CEO of Irth. “At the same time, we want to help our clients perform their work in the field efficiently.”
We had already migrated our systems to Microsoft Azure to enhance reliability and increase scale, but .NET MAUI gave our development team an efficient solution to write code for many operating systems at once, accelerating updates to the field.
Irth App Will Deliver Value for Years
The Irth mobile app’s geographic information system and photo capabilities allow field technicians to precisely locate aboveground and underground utility infrastructure. Major utilities, energy companies, municipalities, and telecommunications and media enterprises trust the Irth mobile app to keep workers, the public, and critical infrastructure safe.
The app has nearly 27,000 users, roughly 15 percent whom rely on the mobile application daily. We wanted to triple that percentage by increasing the value it delivers to our customers.
To do that, providing more data and improving the app responsiveness was essential.
“Our app had very heavy syncing,” says Matthew Abbitt, Chief Product Officer of Irth. “As we added more features and photo sizes kept growing, syncing took longer and longer.”
Our investments to improve the Irth app’s features and business value ensure the app delivers into the future.
“It just didn’t make sense to invest this kind of time and money into a product that was going to be antiquated within the next couple of years,” says Rod Ball, Chief Technical Officer of Irth. “That’s why we went down the .NET MAUI path.”
Connected-First Approach Reduced Sync Times by More Than 50 Percent
“For the new app, we’re taking a connected-first approach in which we’re synchronizing data continuously,” says Ball. “People will no longer be waiting on large synchronizations.”
Results from early users indicate that the new app reduces sync times by more than 50 percent.
By making it easier to use the mobile app, we can accelerate innovation by collecting more data on how our application is being used. We plan to add more mobile apps and extend their use into prospective acquisitions. And because the back end of the solution is on Azure, the company is confident that it will scale to meet client needs. The result will be greater resilience and lower risk for critical network infrastructure.
“We strive to be the thought leader in our industry, and we like to use forward-thinking products before our competitors do,” says Abbitt. “By using .NET MAUI, we’re doing that again.”