MobileWorxs Joins the SOTI Reseller Community

MobileWorxs Joins the SOTI Reseller Community

Worcester, UK – MobileWorxs announced today that it has joined forces with SOTI to resell the award winning Enterprise Mobility Management software, SOTI® MobiControl®

MobileWorxs Joins the SOTI Reseller CommunityMobiControl allows companies to manage, support and secure their mobile field force using a web-based management console.  With MobiControl, enterprises can control, access and secure mobile devices remotely, saving time, labour and money. Mobile administrators can locate, gather and track information and lockdown GPS enabled devices, enable security protocols and provide mobile application and document management capabilities. The system tracks hardware and software assets effortlessly.

Read the Press Release

MobileWorxs Joins the SOTI Reseller Community

Get in touch to learn more about how mobile device management can have a positive impact on your enterprise mobility deployment.

 

Revisited Android in Enterprise Mobility ? Part 2

Revisited Android in Enterprise Mobility ? Part 2

We covered the basics of  Android for Enterprise Mobility in part one.  This was not meant as a rant against Android but to point out that in the enterprise market stability and longevity are important features of an OS that underpin the supportablity of a deployment. In this post – Revisited Android in Enterprise Mobility we will look into this a little further.

Whilst Android is getting there with many enterprise mobility issues it is coming from the mass adoption by indivuals and carries some interesting baggage. Bottom line is that a device with an Android OS can be an excellent unit when used for the in the right circumstances.

Android in Enterprise Mobility
Android Fragmentation from the OpenSignal Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fragmentation of the many various versions of the Android OS each with different capabilities has come about by the very open source nature of the platform and its incrediable popularity in the consumer market. Open Signal studied this in some detail and the results are quite revealing.

Android Versions

An explaination of the different versions in detail.

Most people with an Android phone are at least on OS 2.1 – Eclair or greater.  Versions of above 2.1:

  • 2.2 – Froyo
  • 2.3 – Gingerbread
  • 3.0 – Honeycomb
  • 4.0 – Ice-cream Sandwich
  • 4.1 – Jelly Bean
  • 4,2 – Jelly Bean

As with just about any OS the later the version the greater improved are the features but which one do you choose for your app?  Things are further complicated when consumer hardware providers add their own custom layer to differentiate between the competitors. Differing OS versions will require different APIs. If you can access the camera on a Samsung unit, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to do the same on your HTC. Even the most experienced device estate managers have found upgrading from one version to a later one can be a tough task. And that’s before you get to BYOD.

Do you make your application native or use a web browser? are all your devices using the same web browser with the same HTML standard?

Screen Size and Keyboard

In a recent tweet Derek Kessler listed all 27 of the screen sizes currently available in the Samsung range. Interestingly Apple iOS screen sizes numbered only 4.

Data input is usually an area most people overlook. Android devices generally use a capacitive screen meaning finger touch only. The obviously causes problems if the user is wearing gloves or has dirty hands. Where a stylus can be used to pinpoint a drop down list, highlight damage on a photo or enter a signature this all becomes difficult when using finger touch.

Android devices have differing screen resoultions and maximize screen estate using an on screen keyboard. But this means application space is reduced on screen when the keyboard is present. Text input can be slow with misspellings common. Windows Mobile Devices designed for the blue collar market can come with a physical keyboard for rapid data entry.

 Scanning

Barcode scanning in another issue. On Windows Mobile units scanners are built into the unit. On Android units you can buy additional handheld scanner connected via Bluetooth. or use the camera. A camera’s primary function is to take photos/video so asking it to scan barcodes in higher volume applications can be painfully slow…..

On a side note – How many games/apps are there for a Windows Mobile device that user can download? Maybe a handful is the answer and the user has to search the internet to find the cab file install. How many games/apps are there Android that a user can download? Thousands! Of course you can lock down an Android device using SOTI device management but this is one factor to consider.

If you have an application which is basic to use with lots of drop downs and limited text input it may work very well on Android. For more complex applications I’d strongly recommend considering your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) options before buying am inexpensive consumer device for your roll-out.

Do not let the fragmentation of the Android OS put you off using it for your enterprise mobility project. Get in touch to discuss.

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Android Devices for Enterprise Mobility ? Part 1

Android Devices for Enterprise Mobility ? Part 1

Original Android Artwork by Dan Morrill
Original Android Artwork by Dan Morrill

A continual question we get asked at MobileWorxs is “Since I can buy several Android devices for enterprise mobility for the cost of a single Windows based rugged mobile surely to do so is a no brainer?”

Well maybe it is but perhaps it is not quite so clear cut as I’ll explain in this first of 2 posts about Android devices for Enterprise Mobility.

 

 

 

Not to dismiss Android units from the start they are extremely popular in the consumer world and becoming more so in the Enterprise market due to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Units are well priced which is attracting a wider business audience. As a consumer smart phone they are excellent with thousands of app’s available to do 101 useful and 1101 pointless things. The open nature of Android means users can take full control of the OS and user all the device features.

If you drop and damage an Android smartphone you can just buy another and it will still be cheaper then a rugged PDA. This is true but over how many times? and it is somewhat dependent on the environment and the availability of the same model you just smashed up.

Everyone has dropped there own mobile phone and it bounces and continues to work.  Generally your mobile phone spends most of its life in your pocket or on your desk. When used in real world blue collar applications the device is use for the task in hand, thrown into the van foot well, carried on a shoulder strap or shoved into a vehicle cradle. This means the device could get knocked or dropped easily 20 times a day.

When using your mobile device throughout the day you are far more likely to accidentally knock or drop the unit as opposed to your personal mobile phone safe in your pocket or held to your ear. Battery life of personal mobile phones isn’t what it used to be, battery technology although advancing hasn’t kept up with the demands of 3G Wi-Fi and Bluetooth all being switched on all the time. If you use a device continually throughout the day you’ll need to charge it more often.

Charging

This means you’ll need a robust charger or in vehicle dock when driving from job to job. Unfortunately these accessories are only consumer grade. Plugging and unplugging leads will reduce life span or the charger and device. This is why enterprise devices have numerous rugged accessories so devices can be jammed into a cradle and pulled out without damaging either part.

Theft

Damage is one issue, theft is another. You don’t see many people with an MC9500 down the pub texting a friend. This is because they are not desirable they are tools for work. Revert to an Ipad or the latest Samsung Galaxy 4 – everybody wants one because they look cool the latest gadget to have. This is a sad state of affairs but unfortunately it does happen.

This isn’t to say the current crop of Android devices are not good. They are more then capable if used in the correct way. A manager/merchandiser/salesman etc can all use an Android device or even Ipad/Iphone without too many issues. They are not in an environment where the device is very likely to get knocked or dropped.

Changing Times

Manufacturers that have traditionally built Windows Mobile equipment for the line of business market are starting to bring out Android based devices. In the past these companies have used Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) as a reason why users should buy rugged devices and they may well end up using the sales argument here. After all it’s just another OS and if you are deploying thousands of the same unit it does actually pay to be able to fix it rather than scrap it. However what they are not used to combating is the functionality and price point of a smartphone so watch this space.

Of course the key point is that there is no point buying any sort of mobile technology without having thought through how it will resolve an issue with a business problem. So do this first !

In the short term expect to see more Android devices for enterprise mobility like the Mini Tablet Motorola ET1 and more traditional smartphone shape Handheld x1. Both are fine units and run Android but each has different versions of the OS…more of that next time.
Using Android Devices for Enterprise Mobility

Is Big Brother Watching ?

Is Big Brother Watching ?

Is Big Brother WatchingGuest Post by Timothy C B Cox with some great advice on an issue that trips up many first time enterprise mobile deployments. Is Big Brother Watching ?

 

 

 

 

If you have decided to get into enterprise mobility and deploy a system into your company you might be surprised to realise that during a project most companies complelty ignore their users! And users can make or break a solution that you are trying implement to fix a business process problem. Including them in the process can eliminate many issues in the future and is an often neglected area of consideration.

Role of Power Users

Users can be naturally resistant to a mobility system as it often sparks rumors about the motivations of the boss having the ability to track their activities and whereabouts.  Privacy as an issue is being fueled by the prospect of an expansion of systems based on BYOD – Bring Your Own Device.

A smart move is to make sure you include some of your power users in the decision process you are going through. They know all about the in field processes often in a more intimate way that the project team that has been put together to come up with a mobility system.

When you have a unionised workforce its even more important to correctly communicate  what an enterprise mobility project will mean to members.

A Great Reason for Employees Not to Fret About Tracking

‘tracking protects users from all false accusations from customers and their employer. It protects the company from those wanting to defraud the the company of either their time or goods’

and…

A Reality About Social Media

‘are you using a social mobile app on your smart phone? You are being tracked and data about your location (and more) is being uploaded into a cloud somewhere and used by 3rd parties for profit.’

In social media the information being collected from consumers is astounding. The user gives up this information when they download an app and agree to the EULA (End User License Agreement). How many times have we all just tapped the ‘Accept’ button without reading the details.

Tracking company employees can protect both the employee & employer. The only people who need to worry are those who have reasons not to be audited. A company wants to go mobile to win more business drive growth and reduce costs. Employees should see benefits also: better earnings potential elimination of paperwork and the delivery of better customer experience leading to improved feedback.

If any company wants to prosper in these globally hard times they must protect themselves and their honest & hardworking employees. Mobile or not!!

So What do You do With The Data ?

Does it just lie in a database somewhere consuming resources. Are you ignoring a wealth of information being collected? If you are then its a wasted opportunity of improving your organisation and provide additional ROI for a mobility system.

Does HR know they can use this information for your mobile workforce annual review? There are KPIs that can be measured to reward employees that over perform. Of course ensure you include this as a provision in your HR policy. It is import to delete user identifiable data when an employee leaves the company.

So is big brother watching ? Just as call centres are measured on a number variables such as time it takes to pickup a call, problem resolution on the first call to avoid repeat calls from the same customer etc It makes perfect sense to extend these sort of KPI’s to the performance of your mobile workforce.

Is Big Brother WatchingTimothy C B Cox Mobile Workforce Strategy Consultant based in Dubai. Get in touch with Tim through Linkedin

Is Big Brother Watching

Call us to discuss how we can help keep all your staff involved and ensure your enterprise mobility project addresses the key business issues.

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New Motorola MC45 for Enterprise Mobility

New Motorola MC45 for Enterprise Mobility

If you are looking for a rugged handheld take a look at the Motorola MC45 for Enterprise Mobility.

Motorola MC45 for Enterprise Mobility

 

MC45 joins Motorola’s packed line up of rugged devices that use Windows Mobile 6.5 as a platform for delivering line of businss applications to field based workers.

Sheldon Safir, Director of global solutions marketing at Motorola Solutions introduced the unit by describing it as having “aggressive pricing for full functionality”

MC45 ships with all the usual components you might expect from the major manufacturer in this sector. 3,080mAH Li-Ion battery a 600MHz chip with 256MB of RAM. Wi-Fi and WWAN along with a 1D scanner and numeric keypad.

 

What is it For ?

  1. Provides the Motorola Solutions channel with a weapon to fight off the unending stream of no name brand product coming out of the far east.
  2. Motorola have shifted huge quantities of their ES400 entry level EDA since it’s launch in 2010. They have no doubt noticed that this price/performance point is a real hit with enterprise users trying to justify buying a rugged handheld instead of a smartphone. MC45 is more of the same.
  3. Most enterprise mobility deployments still use Windows Mobile so the MC45 will help keep users on side until Windows 8 shows up and Android becomes more popular in this sector.

MC45 Appeal

  1. Great total cost of ownership proposition especially when wound up with a no fault maintenace contract.
  2. Size – Compared to the rugged stalwarts of the Motorola Solutions line up MC45 is larger than an ES400 but smaller than the MC67 and MC75 this will appeal to a large number of users.
  3. Keyboard – Most line of business apps need numeric data entry, the unit comes with a numeric keyboard with shifted Alpha capability
  4. Real 1D laser scanning. Still the best option for scan intensive applications.

Motorola MC45 for Enterprise Mobility

Find out more about the MC45. Or read these comments from Rugged PC Review.

New Motorola MC45 for Enterprise Mobility 2MobileWorxs can help you navigate your way through the device selection process and help you deliver an enterprise mobility project that adds value to your business.

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Is Ubuntu relevant for Enterprise Mobility ?

Is Ubuntu relevant for Enterprise Mobility ?

Ubuntu is backed by Canonical

Firstly what is Ubuntu? It is a Debian Linux-based operating  system and is the most popular Linux version for desktop OS devices. It is used by those wanting more control over their system and as alternative to Microsoft. But, is Ubuntu relevant for Enterprise Mobility ?

 

Now as founder Mark Shuttleworth promised it has a mobile version offering users a desktop experience running on a smartphone. The OS for mobile is actually the same as OS for Ubuntu desktop, so if running solely on the phone or via an external monitor the display will be the same apart from screen size. This is similar to something we have already seen on the Motorola Atrix, but since Ubuntu is running as a full OS it will provide full OS features and interaction.

Ubuntu Industry Proposition

Variants of Ubuntu are already available on Nexus 7 and Android high end devices with multi-core processors. When installed on Android the user will only access Ubuntu when docked with an external monitor. It turns your smartphone into a smartphone/PC.

What about apps? There are already thousands of applications written for Ubuntu many of which are free. Developers have the easy task of changing the screen layout to fit a smartphone screen.

What does this mean for Android and iOS ?

Competition and possibly lots of it. The Ubuntu phone OS is aimed at two communities.

  1. The Enterprise where companies are looking to combine phone thin client and desktop into one highly secure device. The attraction being that you end up with all the security of UNIX in your in pocket whilst using the same Ubuntu management tools from the desktop and server deployments.
  2. The Consumer where network providers want to bring lean beautiful smartphones to market that help to differentate their offerings from each other.

One major advantage of Ubuntu phone is the ability to upgrade the OS when a new release becomes available. If you have ever had an older Android phone and are stuck on V2.1 you’ll know frustrating it is when you’d like to upgrade. Thankfully this is not the case with Ubuntu phone.

Will Enterprise Mobility Device Users Flock to Ubuntu?

Is Ubuntu relevant for Enterprise Mobility ?. Unclear at present but it has potential and should be good for apps that primarily access the web.

It will be interesting to see how Ubuntu does in the battle for market share apart from being free, it certainly looks to tick all the boxes for corporate users.

  1. Close alliance with ARM. Will help convince the corporate community to invest in new non “WinTel” product.
  2. Makes further sense of building apps in HTML 5. No need to adopt another “native” environment for mobile application development good news for return on investment.
  3. High Degree of Security. Already a key element of enterprise mobility deployments.
  4. Desktop/Phone Compatibility. Could enable a whole new category of apps combining mobile and at desk elements.
  5. It may well add another dimension to the ongoing debate about BYOD – Bring Your Own Device.

Get in touch to book your free webinar or consultation visit and see how we can help you wade through the options for your Enterprise Mobility project.

Is Ubuntu relevant for Enterprise Mobility ? 4

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Motorola Solutions Launch MC40 for Retail Enterprise Mobility

Motorola Solutions Launch MC40 for Retail Enterprise Mobility

The availability of Android based devices for line of business applications continues as Motorola launch the MC40 for retail enterprise mobility.

MC40 joins the Handheld X1 and the Honeywell 70e in what was until recently a category that the major enterprise mobility manufacturers had always populated with .NET product.

Motorola MC40
Motorola MC40

 

MC40 comes with  a 4.1″ 300 NIT capacitive screen running Android 2.3 and all the other bells and whistles we have already learnt to expect from a device in this category

Options include a  Magnetic Stripe Reader and an interesting assortment of charging accessories and cradles.

It is also available in various groovy colours !

Check out the MC40 Specification Sheet for complete details.

 

 

What is it For ?

Motorola Solutions have been talking about this unit for sometime so no surprise that they chose the NRF retail exhibition in New York to introduce it as:

“MC40 is the first multi-purpose mobile computer for retail that incorporates inventory management with collaboration and line busting mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) capabilities in a compelling form factor”

Learn More about MC40

MC40 Appeal Beyond Retail

It is likely that this category of product will start to be seen a lot more in enterprise mobility projects outside the retail as major projects are already asking for Android based rugged handhelds. Users will easily adopt this form factor as it has become so familiar in the consumer area. The MC40 comes with a relatively high list price but do not expect huge discounts unless you have a huge order to place.

Other than Android why else will it appeal to projects outside retail:

  1. Product Longevity – likely to be a lot longer in production than consumer brands which helps make sense of managing the life cycle of a large deployment.
  2. Built for High Frequency use – the enterprise mobility manufacturers know a thing or two about building rugged products that will see many bumps drops and scrapes.
  3. Break Fix and Total Cost of Ownership – Having a rugged handheld in the field is in part based on the premise that in the event of a fault the facility exists to repair it rather than send it for scrap. Manufacturers like Motorola have a lot of their business invested in repair services so expect this to be a big TCO value added dimension for the MC40.
  4. Accessories – I know boring! but having docking cradles spare battery chargers etc can really make all the difference to the usability of any mobile computer.
  5. Like the X1 and the 70e the MC40 could be susceptible to theft so best to revise employee procedures and load up with MDM software.
  6. Bring Your Own Device – The MC40 will make an attractive 3 Year BYOD bundle when combined with finance, support airtime and a process specific app.

MobileWorxs can help you navigate your way through the device selection process and help you deliver an enterprise mobility project that adds value to your business.

Motorola Solutions Launch MC40 for Retail Enterprise Mobility 6

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