Zebra to Acquire Motorola Solutions

Zebra to Acquire Motorola Solutions

News emerged last night that indicated that Zebra was to acquire Motorola Solutions in a deal with a reported value of $3.4 billion.

Zebra to Acquire Motorola Solutions

Zebra to Acquire Motorola Solutions

 

The news led to Zebra’s shares falling @10% on the news. Some clearly concerned that financing the deal with debt was risky. Zebra had sales of around $1 billion in FY 2013 so this acquition of Motorola Solutions who had sales of around $2.5 billion will take some digesting.

Motorola Solutions includes most of the old Symbol Technologies Enterprise Mobility and scanning business that Motorola acquired in 2007, for $3.7 billion. This leaves whats left of Motorola to deal with the public safety and government markets.

 

 

These companies have worked together for many years although not many industry wonks would have bet on the acquisition being this way round. With Honeywell acquiring Intermec last year this is another example of industry consolidation.

So is this a game changer? Well it could be but it seems like a huge gamble by Zebra management. As Intermec proved over many years having a portfolio of printers and sector specific hand held devices is not a guarantee of securing both even in major corporate managed accounts. How Zebra will mange the erosion of value from the traditional rugged hand held value proposition v smartphone collision will be a huge challenge.

The street price of a rugged Android smartphone is only heading in one direction so maybe having printers media RFID and a handle on the “internet of things” will give new Zebra the secret sauce it needs to compete in a device market that is becoming more fragmented.

In the short term shoving together the two sales organisations will give management the opportunity to revise the major account and channel structure for the future.

Zebra to Acquire Motorola Solutions

Get in touch to discuss your enterprise mobility project design business processes and how we integrate with your legacy systems.

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MobileWorxs at The Fleet World Fleet Show 2014

MobileWorxs at The Fleet World Fleet Show 2014

MobileWorxs at The Fleet World Fleet Show 2014

MobileWorxs will be exhibiting at The Fleet World Fleet Show 2014 which is taking place next Wednesday 9th April at Silverstone.

On our stand C4 we will be joined by the Professional Services division of Leversedge Telecom who provide installation and maintenance services for all manner of vehicle based activities.

Come along to have a chat about

  • Enterprise Mobility.
  • Rugged Mobile Devices.
  • User definable vehicle inspection software VisWorxs and other apps.
  • In vehicle equipment installation and maintenance.

Our goal is to help you scope define and finance your project in such a way that you improve your business processes and generate a meaningful return on your investment. See you at the show

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Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 6 of 10

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 6 of 10

 

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 6 of 10“Do I have the option to lock down mobile devices so my workers cannot download apps and games? ”

Our application platform allows administrators to completely customise what features the users have access to on their devices. For example, devices can be locked down in a “Kiosk Mode” to prevent users from installing games or applications that would interfere with standard process management or that IT would then be then forced to support.

 

Administrators can also control the menu access thereby giving  rights to only those app items they deem appropriate.

These options can be set individually or for groups or for all mobile workers as the platform is integrated with LDAP and Active Directory.

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 6 of 10Controlling what apps and other material users download onto mobile devices is an important consideration in your enterprise mobility project.

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MobileWorxs at Facilities Management 2014

MobileWorxs at Facilities Management 2014

MobileWorxs at Facilities Management 2014

 

MobileWorxs will be exhibiting at Facilities Management 2014 which is taking place next month at the NEC in Birmingham.

Our stand F16B is adjacent to the BPCA Pavilion where we will be showcasing our latest Enterprise Mobility solutions and products from 11th to the 13th March.

We are focused on reducing the reliance on paper based business processes and increasing the visibility of in field operations. This allows our customers to monitor productivity and promote efficiency across their organisations.

Come along to the stand and take a look at solutions such as PestWorxs – the mobile app for Pest Control Technicians, which allows pest control teams to log calls at the office, issue jobs to field technicians and receive back up-to-date information.

FMWorxs & AssetWorxs are both field service and reporting apps specifically targeted at users in the FM building inspection and maintenance environments.

Safety and compliance have become hot topics for anyone with a fleet of vehicles. So we will be showcasing the world premier of “VisWorxs” our unique user-configurable vehicle inspection and defect reporting solution which helps ensure vehicles are roadworthy when they leave your depot.

All our systems are built on enterprise grade IT architecture, allowing you to deploy manage and integrate them into your CRM ERP or decision management systems.

Mobile solutions do need to run on something. So we will also be showcasing rugged Tablet and hand held devices utilising Windows and Android operating systems from leading manufacturers such as Panasonic MobileDemand and Intermec. As well as software from SOTI which is widely regarded as the world’s most trusted provider of Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions.

MobileWorxs at Facilities Management 2014Our goal is to help you scope define and finance your project in such a way that you improve your business processes and generate a meaningful return on your investment. See you at the show.

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Why it’s still OK to Bespoke Enterprise Mobile Software

Why it’s still OK to Bespoke Enterprise Mobile Software

NewsFlash! Companies implement enterprise mobility systems to help them be more competitive whilst at the same time streamlining in field and back office processes.

Why it's still OK to Bespoke Enterprise Mobile SoftwareIn recent years it has become the norm for operational and IT teams to go for a pre-built application and if necessary change business processes to fit the parts where the app does not quite match with the working practices on the ground.

For some custom development is old fashioned and carries the stigma of being expensive and never ending. Both of these statements can be true and some high profile bespoke IT projects at the BBC and the NHS  do not help to overturn the perception.

 

The tools are out there to make producing an app a lot easier than it used to be. Modern Mobile Application Development Platforms (MEAP) have eliminated much of the black art around producing something that will work. It really is OK to bespoke an enterprise mobile enterprise mobile software.

Bespoke Enterprise Mobile Software 8 Things to Think About

  1. This approach can work for small numbers of users performing a very specific task. But the more users you have the more likely you will be able to justify an ROI for the project.
  2. Talk to someone who has either done something like this is a similar business process or a vendor who provides this sort of solution.
  3. Get your paper forms turned into an app as a prototype.
  4. Devise a plan for choosing which sort of device and OS will be suitable. Ensure your prototype runs on the target device satisfactorily. What is the expected life of these product?
  5. An app is useless unless you can connect it to something. Can you connect the data gathered to your ERP or CRM system. Is exporting it as a file or web service good enough? Find out first if you can make this integration and who will manage it.
  6. Write a comprehensive specification of how the whole solution will operate.
  7. Review the results with the people who actually carry out the process.
  8. By iteration tweak your prototype and repeat.

Why it's still OK to Bespoke Enterprise Mobile SoftwareIt’s still OK to bespoke enterprise mobile software. Get in touch to book a visit for us to discuss your requirements.

 

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Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 5 of 10

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 5 of 10

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 5 of 10

“Can my customers have reports receipts or certificates emailed to them automatically when the mobile worker completes the job on site?  Would my managers also be able to receive updates to help manage activity in the field? ”

 

Any data collected in the field can be automatically embedded in a simple PDF report attached to an email and sent immediately.  All this with no intervention from the system administrator.

The PDF can embed signatures, GPS co-ordinates, photos sketches or any other relevant pieces of data that were recovered by the application.

Configure business rules to ensure a report containing the correct content in a format that works is automatically emailed out to the right people. Customers may need to receive a receipt or certificate whilst managers can have data or results to allow them to measure progress and make better decisions faster.

Even where workers are using mobile technology on site can be a real asset for managers. For example with Vehicle Inspection the results of a daily walk around check highlighting vehicle condition and safety can be summarised and on the desktop of the Transport Manager as the vehicles have left the depot that morning.

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 5 of 10Having simple reports in your customer or managers email inbox in a timely manner is a great communication tool and helps decision making.

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Panasonic FZ-M1 Introduced at CES

Panasonic FZ-M1 Introduced at CES

Panasonic FZ-M1

 

Described as the world’s thinnest and lightest rugged 7-inch Windows tablet the FZ-M1 is built to enable mission-critical mobile worker productivity without compromise.

 

Powered by Windows 8.1 Pro and a 4th gen Intel Core i5 vPro processor Toughpad FZ-M1 offers the broadest range of configuration options available in its class for maximum flexibility.

Fully-rugged, sealed design is certified to meet MIL-STD-810G and IP65 specifications for resistance to drops up to 5 feet, water, dust, and other elements. With a long-life user-replaceable battery and sunlight-readable, high-sensitivity multi-touch screen for use with heavy gloves, the Panasonic FZ-M1 is the ideal tool for today’s mobile workforce.

Specification Highlights

  • Windows® 8.1 Pro 64-bit Windows® 7 downgrade option Intel® Core™ i5 vPro™ Fanless Processor
  • MIL-STD-810G, 5-foot drop and all-weather IP65 dust and water resistant design
  •  7-inch, daylight-readable, multi touch screen with glove touch technology
  • USB 3.0 port and MicroSDXC card slot for maximum connectivity, configurable with barcode, MSR, SmartCard, Serial and LAN
  • Dedicated GPS, Wi-Fi, NFC, UHF RFID, Bluetooth® v4.0 and optional 4G LTE Integrated Mobile Broadband
  • Bridge Battery Enables Hot-swap Battery Replacement for Continuous Use
  • 36 Month warranty
  • Spec Sheet

Learn MorePanasonic FZ-M1 will be available later in 2014. If you would like more information at launch please let us have your details and we will come and show you a unit.

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Blue Collar BYOD in Enterprise Mobility Fact or Fiction?

Blue Collar BYOD in Enterprise Mobility Fact or Fiction?

Blue Collar BYOD in Enterprise Mobility Fact or Fiction?

Gartner surveyed a bunch of CIOs last year and found that half are aiming to get to a Bring Your Own Device only model by 2017. Not surprisingly their employees were less than convinced of the benefits highlighting many issues like reimbursement and security.

BYOD coverage almost always focuses on the adoption of technology by white collar staff. As the Gartner study pointed out the employee travels to work under their own steam in his own clothes and brings his own pen so why not a computer. Just make sure all the security angles are covered come up with a HR policy. Bingo! instant saving and less money tied up with pesky technology. This is an attractive proposal for some organisations but whether it will actually save them any money long term is debatable.

What If….

lf the fuss over zero hours contracts is anything to go by it is certain that the nature of work is changing. What we thought was the norm sometime ago has been displaced by an atmosphere of anything being possible.

So what is stopping an organisation requiring hourly paid blue collar employees to bring their own mobile device to work to carry out that inventory POD or field service task?

As the white collar fraternity iron out the security app access and HR issues this will be the next step. Especially as the trend to having fewer permanent staff takes hold for people in mobile worker roles.

Crazy I hear you think well maybe, but not so long ago not many would have predicted large education software finance and airline users rolling out thousands of consumer grade tablet computers.

The attraction of shifting all that expense to the blue collar employee is likely to be irresistible for some companies. To make it work they would partner with a device supplier maybe on an exclusive basis. They would be able to provision sell rent manage and support an appropriate unit on iOS Android or Windows platforms to an employee from day one.

Changing Attitudes Starts at the Coffee Shop

How will employers get staff used to this concept?  In this dystopian future a University student works in a pub or coffee shop. Embracing the very best of the zero hours culture the chain posts hours available to work on an app. Potential staff can compete with each other to flag their availability or even outbid each other for the work on a shift or hourly basis. The only way they can be involved is having their own smartphone in the first place and be registered or pre-approved to bid. There are already examples of this Elance marketplace developing for the skilled freelance community. Watch out for it becoming more mobile and more the norm in the semi and unskilled sector.

Get In Touch Now

Book a complementary one day on site meeting to learn how we can help you with your enterprise mobility project.

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Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2014

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2014

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2014

Its the time of the year when we take a look into our crystal ball and consider what will be the seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2014.

How many of these that we identified for 2013 did you see during the year?

We are looking for trends that are likely to prove key in helping you figure out if you can generate a return on investment for your Enterprise Mobility projects.

 1. Shorter Replacement Cycles

Traditional sales pitch for an enterprise grade rugged device involves a replacement cycle of 3- 5 years based on the premise of a superior TCO and being able to repair the unit long term.

This proposition will start to become outmoded for many buyers who are used to 24 month re-fresh and a faster moving product life. Out of contract cost of repair is not dropping as traditional device manufactures try and make up margin by selling repair services.

2. Tablets and iPads.

If you just landed on Earth you would be forgiven for thinking that Apple invented tablet computing in 2010. In fact whilst the iPad has shipped in the millions rugged enterprise grade tablets had been around for years before that. Apple continues to lose market share but is happy being the premium product especially for C Level types. Is the iPad a tablet or some sort of entertainment portal – who cares. Devices have become lighter and more manageable meaning that users in organisations of all sizes are now just as comfortable with 7″ to 10″ screen formats than with a handheld or PDA form factor. In the UK IDC estimates that 25% of tablets shipped between July and September were under £120 ($190) and it expects this part of the market to grow over the next few years.

Expect to see more people looking to use more larger format tablets and more apps more often for enterprise tasks whatever the brand or OS.

3. R.I.P. Windows Mobile

Is this the year more enterprise mobility deployments go out on Android rather than Windows Mobile? Android is attacking the space from all angles and according to IDC accounts for 81% of all Smartphone shipments. That is quite a wave for Enterprise Mobility to dodge even though Apple alone accounts for 56% of the profit in the sector.

Watch out for more Android and innovative products like the Intermec CN51 which can be “upgraded” to Android in the future.

4. Rugged Android Device Battles

It’s over before it started. More rugged enterprise mobile Android units will enter the market . At the moment they seem to be happy slugging it out on price. Clearly this cannot last and for some vendors this could be a quickly deflating bubble.

New players may well start to be become dominant amid the beginning of a shake out in traditional vendors as only the fittest and most innovative will survive this.

5. Bring Your Own Device

Yawn… I hear you think not another mention about BYOD.  Whatever the hype more companies have been organising their HR and security policies to suit a deployment. Perhaps they are spurred on by Gartner predicting that 38% of surveyed CIOs will cease to provide personal IT devices to their employees by 2016.  But is it worth it? Perhaps not, one piece of research by Nucleus explained how BYOD would actually increase costs without providng any tangible benefits.

No matter what the cost many will find the approach compelling enough to fudge the numbers to fit their scenario. More companies will be doing BYOD trials and one will surely try it to impose it on blue collar workers.  After all its far too hip to go away.

6. Even More Wi-Fi

An IDC report describes how in spite of its relative maturity the enterprise WLAN market continues to go up with revenues growing at a 20% rate in recent years. Reports indicate Cisco having a solid @55% market share primary loser seems to be Motorola Solutions.

Two factors continue to drive growth in WLAN deployments. The added oomph given by all those BYOD users hooking on to corporate Wi-Fi with their iPad’s and Android devices. Also cellular operators will be looking to add more enterprise grade Wi-Fi provision to their networks and value added offerings.

7. Secure Mobile File Sharing

By giving white collar users mobile access to secure collaboration and file sharing, enterprises can boost business productivity and organizational agility. However, IT departments need to ensure that mobile file sharing never puts at risk the security of an organisation’s data.

As Keith Hall of Accellion comments,  ”While “anytime, anywhere” might sound like a pipe dream that can never truly be fulfilled, we really mean it. Users have to be able to securely access any enterprise content they need, whenever needed from any type of device. And then edit the data, share it, save it – whatever is required for the task at hand. That’s mobile productivity at its finest and secure file sharing solutions will be at the center of this trend to watch”.

The Wildcards

How could we leave out Near Field Communication – NFC? Does it have a future in the mainstream? With more Android based devices being used in Enterprise Mobility expect to see more of this in a number of apps starting with proof of delivery.

Optical Character Recognition – OCR. Reading text is a great alternative to reading barcodes or RFID tags. There are plenty of human readable applications that could benefit from this approach.

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2014

We can bring our crystal ball to your office to discuss the seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2014 that may impact your project.

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Don’t Send a Christmas Card Help Solve a Problem

Don’t Send a Christmas Card Help Solve a Problem

Don't Send a Christmas Card, Help Solve a Problem

Picture From: www.theaustralian.com.au/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We know Christmas cards are lovely

We know that they raise a smile

But with your support and understanding

We’d like to give the money to a cause worthwhile.

This year we will be donating the funds normally allocated to Christmas cards and seasonal gifts to the Disasters Emergency Committee DEC fund for Philippines Typhoon Appeal.

They will use the money to provide food shelter and housing to those victims of hurricane hiyan who need it most.  Join us by not sending a corporate Christmas Card this year!

Send a more meaningful message of hope to the people in the Philippines by donating to the DEC Appeal.

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