Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2015

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2015

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2015

Enterprise Mobility is all about increasing productivity and generating a return on investment Vs other demands in the business. Keeping on top of whats hot in the sector can make a huge difference to project performance and longevity. So what do we think will be the seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2015 ?

1.Tablets take on Laptops

As users started to use their “entertainment” tablet for work use some thought that Laptops would simply get wiped out and Tablet sales would continue to rise. IDC commented that 2014 saw Tablet sales growth slow year on year to 7.2% from 52.5% in the previous year. It looks like the Tablet replacement cycle may be as long as Laptops – or even longer. The rationale seems to be that once a tablet is found to be good at doing whatever it is doing there is no need to replace it. Although slowing it is expected that Tablet adoption will overtake PC’s in 2015 according to Gartner.

We doubt that laptops are going the way of LaserDisc or fax machine anytime soon. In the enterprise this means more possibilities for remote users to blur the lines between having a rugged PDA for line of business apps Vs a keyboard based device for more white collar productivity tasks. Although not suitable in every scenario we see more people using Tablets or Hybrid devices to replace the main computer in their lives.

2. R.I.P. Windows Embedded 6.5 … again

It has been coming for some time and without question a large number of enterprise mobility deployments ran on Android rather than Windows Embedded 6.5 in 2014. When Motorola Solutions the Gorilla in the sector gets acquired by Zebra it is a good sign that things have changed forever.

There are large numbers of users on this platform especially in the retail supply chain and T&L markets. So plenty of incentive in 2015 if you are a vendor coming from a different part of the market and a real headache for legacy manufacturers defending these accounts. Expect to see heavyweights like Panasonic in more traditionally “hand held” scenarios following the launch of their FZ-E1 and FZ-X1 devices.

3. Android Battles

Gartner says sales of smartphones grew 20 percent in the third quarter of 2014 in emerging markets were flat in Europe and up in the US. Growth is characterised by the continuing rise of Chinese Android brands and the narrowing of the difference in cost between feature phones and low cost smartphones. Gartner expects sales of smartphones to reach @1.9 billion devices world wide in 2014.

Low cost offerings like the Tesco Hudl and a slew of no-name rugged brands come with little or no real “enterprise grade” operational or break fix support. We believe organisations with more users will deploy solutions from major vendors such Samsung who recently launched the Tab Active an IP67 Android based inexpensive rugged tablet.

4. Windows Tablet

What about Microsoft…? Being late has characterised Microsoft in recent years. In the rugged space OEM’s using the embedded 6.5 and desktop Windows OS have taken a beating as many users moved to less costly devices that did not run a Microsoft OS. It finally got its act together with Windows 8.1. We predict more innovative and lower cost designs like the xTablet Flex 8  to beat off the opposition – but it will be tough.

5. Enterprise Mobility Management EMM – Fact or Fiction ?

Without doubt Fact !  In many organisations BYOD has been characterised by not being embraced by IT as fast as it is by employees wanting to access corporate data with their own devices.  Turning the provision of mobility to white and blue collar workers into a competitive asset means aligning what may be formal and informal BYOD arrangements. Using device management as a method in security, application and financial management mobility scenarios is really the only way we see this happening

Carl Rodrigues CEO of SOTI commented  “As global businesses establish and scale their mobility strategies, they can rely on our solution to manage smartphones, tablets and purpose-built mobile devices in addition to PCs, laptops and peripherals, from a singlepane of glass, no matter the operating system”

6. Apps Devices And The Long Tail

What if your SME enterprise does not have access to in house IT or the budget to fund a traditional enterprise mobility project ?

The good news is that many businesses already have competent devices in the form of SmartPhones or Tablets. Plus more line of business apps are deliverable via the cloud on a subscription basis. This will allow businesses to run a project with little up front cost that addresses how to increase internal productivity and deploy it with an excellent ROI.

7. Barcode Scanning Goes Mainstream

Barcode Scanning has been around for decades and is considered to be the founding element of the Internet of Things.  There are plenty of Android and iOS apps to allow your SmartPhone to scan using its camera. This is ok for ad hoc use but when higher frequency scanning is required a sled like the Honeywell Captuvo or separate Bluetooth scanner such as models form Socket are much more ergonomic to use. With the adoption of more SmartPhones and Tablets in the enterprise without integral scanning we anticipate seeing more of these in use next year.

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2014

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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.

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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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Why Not All The Rugged Android Devices Will Survive

Why Not All The Rugged Android Devices Will Survive

Why Not All The Rugged Android Devices Will Survive
Rugged Android Devices – Spot the Difference

Looking at the plethora of me too rugged Android devices launched in 2014 reminds me of the early days of the PC industry.

For you younger readers this was a time when a company called IBM invented a device called a personal computer with some help from a chap called Bill Gates.

 

 

In the early days IBM was the only manufacturer but they were soon joined by Compaq Dell and others who created a clone market of product that was literally described as “IBM compatible”

Then came a deluge of “manufacturers” joining the fray. In the UK companies like Apricot Tiny Time Evesham Packard Bell and a very long list of others were all very active. They focused on shifting product in an attempt to grow very quickly whilst stealing market share from the major players.

They discovered that using price as the major differentiator meant that profitable growth was elusive. This was not a great place to be especially when trying to sell to a fickle public through the medium of retail.

Over a period of time these companies consolidated tried to re-invent themselves or disappeared altogether.

Lessons for Enterprise Mobility?

Traditionally our niche handheld market has been dominated by hardware and apps optimised to run on one operating platform – Windows Mobile.

What has surprised many is the speed at which smartphone users have abandoned previously held truths. The demise of Backberry and Nokia has serious lessons for the box shifters in the enterprise space. We have seen huge movement over the last 18 months from users asking for systems to be deployed on Android or iOS.  Motivations include being able to access a different buying economic a much broader range of product and to open the door for BYOD. The killer being once people stop developing on your platform look out.

Many buyers are now used to the norm of a 24 month contract and replacement cycle for mobile devices. So a traditional high initial price with 5 year TCO and multi year repair cycle just does not suit them.

Innovate and Keep up or its Curtains

Tim Cook Apple CEO said earlier this year that he did not see the market for high end smartphones becoming saturated any time soon. That makes sense for him as Apple is the aspirational brand. So like BMW Dyson and John Lewis it does not need to compete just on price.

The same is broadly true in the Enterprise sector where super size major clients having a relationship with a scale vendor makes a lot of sense. But in these cases the manufacturer will only stay competitive by continuing to eliminate channel content and reducing margin to compete with all the alternatives.

So for manufacturers with a history in Enterprise Mobility introducing rugged Android devices is a great idea, right? ….

….sort of, Recent history would lead us to conclude that not all these vendors brands and products will prove innovative enough to survive the onslaught of low cost brands from China. Trying to remain profitable in their current form may lead to another flurry of reorganization and M&A.

Why this is different

Once all the rugged Android clones and new entrants have beaten each other up on price for long enough we are likely to end up with a small number of main players. The others will struggle and find they lack the fire power to survive at the high end whilst carrying costs that are too high to re-cast themselves as a a low cost vendor.

The twist may well be that over a period of 2-4 years the dominant vendors may not be the companies or brands we are used to being on top of the Enterprise Mobility sector. They are likely to include brands we currently think of as “consumer” or do not even know yet.

The advent of Android as the OS of choice and the changing nature of procurement and app design are real game changers which may well leave some our largest well known plaqyers scrambling to adapt.

Why Not All The Rugged Android Devices Will Survive

Get in touch to book a webinar or visit to see how we can help you make the most of your enterprise mobility project on Android.

 

 

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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Mobile Application Development Platform 8 New Features

Mobile Application Development Platform 8 New Features

Mobile Application Development Platform 8 New Features
All your Enterprise App Ingredients in One Place

MobileFrame have released a new version of their mobile application development platform with 8 new features.

The product continues to set the bar for excellence and continues to help future proof enterprise mobile deployments and ensure existing investments in application deployment are protected against obsolescence.

Customers continue to ask us for a mobile application development platform that can deploy apps across the entire enterprise on any device. v5.2 offers a compelling return on investment ROI  proposition allowing us or our customers to create apps that increase productivity whilst being compliant with the processes of their business. It also allows for apps to be designed and deployed quickly along with excellent integration with legacy ERP and CRM systems and provides the basis for an in house BYOD approach.

Mobile Application Development Platform 8 New Features

  1. You can now View/Freshen Projects from the App Library. You can still View/Freshen from the My Project screen as well.
  2. The Create PDF workflow now has an option to leave the PDF document open in order to print additional content to the same document.
  3. Change Photo workflow now provides an option as to how you’d like the image resized. You can now choose to zoom the image or stretch the image when resizing.
  4. The Unused Steps list now includes a search bar that allows you to filter down the list of unused steps based on the step name, prompt, or input type. This should make it easier to find a particular step.
  5. For web layouts you can now specify a minimum size for resizable forms. The resizing of the layout will not go smaller than this amount if set. This will allow your screen layouts to look acceptable regardless of the browser size.
  6. Dynamic data definitions will automatically create a description tailored to the configuration.
  7. Simulator files for the Test Site have been updated to a more modern look. A new simulation file for Generic Desktop Browser has been added.
  8. Zoom has been introduced into the Test Site so it will make it easier to test on devices where the simulation file produces a large screen.

Get in touch to book a webinar or to take a look at our pre-built apps for your enterprise mobility project.  For Soup fans here are 10 great recipes.

Mobile Application Development Platform

 

Enterprise Mobile Device Security – Part 3

Enterprise Mobile Device Security – Part 3

Enterprise Mobile Device Security - Part 3

Having covered the software side of enterprise mobile device security in Parts 1 & 2, this blog will cover the hardware options to make your device and data secure.

If you are thinking “adding an SSL or Mobile VPN and device management software seems expensive why not cut out the data over the air and just use local Wi-Fi or docked Ethernet when in the office”. Limiting data transfer to within the four walls makes it very difficult for “eavesdroppers” to listen in. Jobs for the day can be synchronized to the device over night, the user can complete the jobs throughout the day and then return the unit to a cradle when the shift has finished.

This obviously limits what the mobile system can do. No new jobs can be sent to the user, no changes to the jobs, jobs cannot be assigned to a different user, no remote support or monitoring no results sent back in real-time so orders cannot be processed until the next working day. Overall when going mobile the pro’s of using a secure connection and device management outweigh the con’s.

With hardware, how can a log in confirm the user is psychicaly present? Using a biometric finger print scanner is one option. The user can slide their finger over the scanner which will confirm it against the device or against the backend server. It makes the device very secure as only that specific user can login. Application can also asked for user name and password is the finger print scanner becomes damaged or too dirty. You will find a bio metric scanner on some laptops and rugged PDAs such as the Motorola ES400, or an attachment for the MC75a.

Instead of finger print sensors, an alternative option is a smart card. Just like a security card is using to access through a door, a user can touch a smart card to a sensor. The card can then be validated over the network and the user granted access. The issue with this is that a user can still lose the card. If available for your chosen device like a rugged handheld  the initial purchase and card replacements will not be cheap though.

The last hardware piece to cover is a TPM (Trusted Platform Module). These chips are installed on the motherboard, which store certificates, passwords, but primarily encryption keys. Threat of hacking (software or accessible hardware) or physical device theft is reduced, and device authentication must pass via this chip. Currently these chips are only found in desktops, laptops like the XRW and tablets but could be installed to all devices.

So in three parts we have looked at device security out of the box, the potential problems if not secure and the options available to further secure you device, data and network.

Key point: Think about mobile device security in the planning stage and before your project gets off the ground!

Enterprise Mobile Device Security - Part 3Do not get spooked by potential enterprise mobile device security problems call us to discuss how we can help your project to address your key business issues.