IT and App Developers Out of Sync on Enterprise Mobile
We came across this article by Frank Donovan at Fierce IT about how IT and development teams view enterprise mobility differently.
Referencing one study he noted that “two-thirds of IT decision makers say that IT is the primary driver in setting the enterprise’s mobile agenda and 30.6 percent say lines of business set the agenda. This contrasts with mobile app developers, half of whom say it is the lines of business that are setting the agenda” Read the entire piece.
What is your experience?
Get in touch to book a meeting or webinar to discuss this or any other topic around your enterprise mobility deployment.
MobileFrame Issued Patent for Intelligent Rendering
We have been working with MobileFrame for six years and were delighted to hear that they had been issued with a patent for intelligent rendering on a mobile computing device.
This innovative feature allows MobileFrame developers to build mobile, desktop and web-based applications that dynamically re-size to fit any sized screen. Generating an excellent return on investment for users has always been at the heart of a MobileFrame deployment. This development means that it’s position among mobile application development MEAP platforms is enhanced.
We will be on stand 28 at the BPCA PPC Live 2014 Pest Control event next week in Salford showcasing key Enterprise Mobility solutions and products.
Come along and have a chat about how we can help you figure out how an enterprise mobility solution can reduce the reliance on paper based systems allowing for an increase in productivity and efficiency across your field based organisations.
PestWorxs – our mobile app with contract and call out functionality for Pest Control Technicians is built on enterprise grade IT architecture that you can integrate with other systems. All for less than the price of a cup of coffee per day.
Devices – Why use a Smartphone when you can experience superior lifetime total cost of ownership with a rugged Tablet or hand held device utilising Windows or Android operating systems.
No matter what device you use remotely control it with SOTI our most trusted provider of remote device management solutions for the enterprise. Learn more and sign up for a free trial.
Whatever the size of your project we will help you plan finance and implement a solution using proven products that improve business processes and generates a meaningful return on your investment.
Visit the BPCA Prize Wheel for the chance to win 1 of 25 bags of excellent MobileWorxs coffee. See you in Salford.
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.
In 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
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.
Talk to someone who has either done something like this is a similar business process or a vendor who provides this sort of solution.
Get your paper forms turned into an app as a prototype.
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?
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.
Write a comprehensive specification of how the whole solution will operate.
Review the results with the people who actually carry out the process.
By iteration tweak your prototype and repeat.
It’s still OK to bespoke enterprise mobile software. Get in touch to book a visit for us to discuss your requirements.
What Everybody Ought to Know About Identifying a Mobile Computing Platform for Enterprise Mobility
Guest Post by Timothy C B Cox. I always have said the mobile computer like the smart phone is not much use without applications, and it’s true for all enterprise solutions which makes identifying a mobile computing platform for enterprise mobility such an important task.
But the platform does play an important part in the solution and should not be overlooked as just an easy decision because of our familiarity with smart consumer devices. Recently Apple reported a drop in product margin’s, but their pricing has not really changed. It shows smart phones are not going to get any cheaper anytime soon.
If anything consumer choice will be between the high margin expensive full featured hand-sets and the lower cost feature limited devices. Or putting it another way, choosing between high margin devices and low margin devices. Of course it’s in the interests of the vendor to urge the consumer to purchase the high margin product.
So future options are limited, I see them trying to protect existing product margins by releasing a new product with lower cost base. I cannot see them compromising flagship products in terms of quality or features being a route for established brands when they battling with each other for market share.
Samsung is currently being probed by the Taiwanese authorities for possibly paying people to post bad reviews and poor readability reports for the HTC One in Taiwan. The HTC One uses higher quality materials in its case design and Samsung is concerned they may get into a new battle where their material costs increase to defend against other products, and this would be an unwanted downward pressure on their product margins.
The Apple iPhone is generally accepted to be of high quality design and build. What Samsung fears is having to compete with another Android handset where the only real difference is quality of materials used in it’s industrial design.
Everyone selling is under pressure from falling margins!
Mobile Computing Platform for Enterprise Mobility
Rugged devices, though initially more expensive do last longer before being replaced, they are more stable in design and feature sets. Typical customers do not like unpleasant surprises, because their investment is larger and the time to reach their ROI is longer.
You shouldn’t expect rugged device makers to jump onto latest OS releases or design features their customer base has a predefined expectation of their products. If you look at Conical responsible for the open source Ubuntu Linux distribution, they have a two track release solution, a LTS or Long Term Support release and a general release. Think of their LTS release as the enterprise edition (stable) with the general release aimed directly at the consumer (with latest features).
Rugged device manufactures also work to the LTS concept but all their products adhere to the LTS concept! Where they commit to a number of years of support, service and updates for their platform.
Enterprise customers must get a stable platform to build their business; not to be distracted by worrisome and unimportant support and life cycling of the product. It allows customer’s to manage their mobility system over a known period of stability in terms of the platform, allowing them to build and plan their applications and solutions with very low risk along with favorable Total Cost of Ownership TCO numbers.
Buy a consumer device for use in the mobile workforce and you will be going through some sort of product and/or software refresh every year. Because consumer devices change with annoyingly regularity, to the delight of the vendors and retail stores, as it drains consumers wallets regularly.
In short, it’s not in best interests for consumer products to have a LTS approach, they rely on phones being replaced regularly to maintain revenues. Google likes to tell the market they have 1.5 million phone activations every day, but they don’t let on if these are existing users upgrading or new customers.
In April 2013 Google changed from reporting new hand-set activations to only reporting device visits to their on-line app store called ‘Play Store’!
So a LTS products may not have all the latest features and leading edge (or bleeding edge) options like consumer products. But they are what is called ‘stable’ releases, nothing is included that may have a negative affect on smooth running of the device. Be assured the LTS designed products do not suffer like some iPhone batteries have after a recent iOS update from Apple, and solved by two subsequent updates.
Imagine (as an enterprise user) having to manage, push and pay for (if pushed over 3G) an update to your mobile workforce. Not to mention dealing with users suffering from shorter than expected battery life, this happen recently with Apples iOS devices. Just because the vendor pushed an update to hand-sets automatically.
Get a new Windows Phone device, and even if you to use it in the enterprise, be ready to create a new Hotmail (Microsoft Live) account for each device. Use Bing to find out more! Something else to manage and filter and control and lock down and…
It’s not the incorrect decision to purchase a consumer device, all companies are at different stages in their cooperate life. Some have more important projects with bigger positive impact on their operations commanding a larger percentage of the available budgets. Some may not be able to afford the initial costs of rugged mobile devices.
No matter how you look at it, there is someone who will supply a product to fit your financial requirements, guaranteed! So I would go as far as to suggest that companies who can only afford consumer devices or think they are stretched too much to get into rugged devices should wait until they have the budget or consider leasing, because maybe they are spending their cash on the wrong kind of project and its better spent elsewhere!!
So don’t dismiss those who tell you ‘you’re making a huge/massive mistake by looking at consumer products’. Help them understand where your company is today and what resources and projects you are working with. It will save everyone a whole lot of wasted time and money!
Sometimes it’s difficult for people to understand why a company would choose what looks to be an inferior product. I would like to be driving a Range Rover and I could if I wanted, but I drive a cheaper 4×4 because my children are still young and make a complete mess of the interior. So choosing the cheaper car fits my situation today and I live with that decision and my car delivers exactly what I expect!
Timothy C B Cox Mobile Workforce Strategy Consultant based in Dubai. Get in touch with Tim through Linkedin
Call us to discuss how we can help you identify the right opertaing system for your enterprise mobility project.
Worcester, UK – MobileWorxs announced today that it has joined forces with SOTI to resell the award winning Enterprise Mobility Management software, SOTI® MobiControl®
MobiControl 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.
MobileWorxs Named MobileDemand International Partner of the Year
MobileDemand has selected MobileWorxs as International Partner of the Year for 2012. Headquartered in the UK MobileWorxs provides enterprise mobile solutions, applications implementation and support services for the in-field enterprise worker. MobileWorxs is MobileDemand’s go to partner across Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA). With key wins in the UK and throughout Europe MobileWorxs is deserving of this year’s International Partner of the year award.
MobileDemand is a leading provider of rugged tablet PC products that have an excellent Return on Investment ROI proposition when compared to conventional PDA devices. MobileDemand T7200 and T1200 xTablets are used by mobile workers in many industries including Van Sales, Facilities Management, transport and Logisitcs, Surveying, Manufacturing, Retail, Field Service, Military and Public Sector to cut operational costs and improve customer service.
MobileDemand xTablet Rugged Tablet PCs and accessories are built military rugged to withstand harsh environments. They deliver the power, reliable performance and long-term savings companies need to achieve greater efficiency and productivity in the field.
In 2012 MobileDemand earned the position of 1,034 on the 2012 Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest growing private companies. The company has built its success on a commitment to innovation everywhere – in product design, customer relationships and in its channel. President Matt Miller also received recognition as a finalist for the prestigious 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. MobileDemand. Innovation everywhere. Productivity anywhere. Additional information is available at www.RuggedTabletPC.com.
We can help you navigate your way through an enterprise mobility project. Get in touch to evaluate a unit or arrange a meeting.
Mobile Application Development Platform 8 New Features
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
You can now View/Freshen Projects from the App Library. You can still View/Freshen from the My Project screen as well.
The Create PDF workflow now has an option to leave the PDF document open in order to print additional content to the same document.
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.
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.
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.
Dynamic data definitions will automatically create a description tailored to the configuration.
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.
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.
Guest Blog from Kirsty Rostron our resident leasing guru.
Business moves fast especially if you are a organisation looking at mobile technology to solve business problems. So when it comes to acquiring equipment of any size shape or form that will enable your organisation to grow and become more profitable there is little time to ponder over critical decisions.
None more so than those of a financial nature, which if made on a whim – or based on the premise that it’s the way things have always been done in the past – could end up having an adverse affect on the business in both the short and long term.
With many businesses looking to convert Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) to Operational Expenditure (OPEX), there is most certainly more of a noticeable trend for these financially astute and progressive organisations to move away from the total and outright purchase of ever changing technology. Rather electing to acquire them via a lease agreement instead.
So why choose to go down this road? Other than the obvious one of keeping expenditure off the bottom line and more money in the bank for those unforeseen rainy days leasing has so many other benefits. All of which you simply can’t afford to ignore. Especially when there is a growing awareness among senior managers that since putting leasing to the test and experiencing the benefits first hand, they would never consider returning to what they did before.
So what exactly are the benefits of leasing?
Leasing delivers a great many financial benefits and the effects are long-term and secure. This helps to provide you and others in the organisation with a more favorable experience when using the newly acquired product. The other benefits may not seem as obvious at first as the financial ones but are no less important and impactful when you consider them in more detail. These are just a handful:
Choosing to lease means that you get your product straight away rather than when budgets allow. Enabling everyone to start using that much needed device or solution as soon as possible.
By leasing you are placed into a fixed agreement which remains secure throughout the lease period. You won’t have to worry about changes and unpredictability as the lease option is uncomplicated and safe. This allows you take more calculated risks in other areas of your business.
Leasing offers you the flexibility to be able to upgrade your enterprise mobility technology at any stage throughout the agreement by simply restructuring the payment schedule. Allowing you to react to rapidly changing market dynamics and steal the march on competitors.
Leasing is extremely cost efficient. You can offset 100% of the rentals against your tax liability to maximise tax efficiency. Learn More.
Leasing benefits the future of your business. Cash purchase only secures the fact that you have the product you need, but it doesn’t offer you the long-term benefits that leasing does. Leasing equipment releases valuable working capital for alternative projects within your business.
Key Point: To Lease or not to Lease that is the Question ? Over £30 billion of Capital equipment was financed in 2016 in the UK alone and it’s estimated that around 90% of The Times Top 100 companies use leasing as a means to acquire equipment and business solutions, so they must be onto a good thing. In fact now that you know a lot more about the benefits, it begs the question. What’s stopping you from experiencing the power of leasing?
For more information and to get approved for your lease Contact Kirsty via the link below.
Talk to us about how we can help you arrange finance to incorporate all the key elements of your enterprise mobility system including enterprise grade devices deployment and ongoing support.
Photos Using Your Entire Enterprise Mobile Data Plan?
Guest Post by Timothy C B Cox with some great advice on getting the best out of your enterprise mobile data plan.
Fact: Network providers want to sell you their most expensive data plan.
Fact: Network providers like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Vine and other apps that push photos into their cloud with the best quality image. But your enterprise photos need to get back into your system as fast as possible to be of value.
Uploading images to your cloud can make up a high percentage of your data plan. So understanding this better can help reduce your data plan and reduce costs!
So why send an 8 megapixel image when a 1mp image (or less) will do the job!
Your enterprise mobile photos need to be of good enough quality to do the job but small enough to avoid long upload times and excessive data plan usage. There is no need to use the highest resolution photo available.
A single transaction typically involves more than one photo, so the problem is compounded by the need to complete the work and being about to transmit all the information in a timely manner.
Make sure the image fits the space on users screen.
Capturing the information is only the start. Once the image (and other data) has hit your cloud or other systems the image will need to be viewed by others who are using different systems.
These different systems may need to display the image in different ways. Be sure to establish the best common width and height of your photo. This will reduce the need for post-processing of the image and any subsequent problems displaying the image for other users on different Windows Mobile Android or iOS devices.
Make sure you have the handle on picture quality.
There are many image types you can use, but without prior consideration you may choose a format not best suited for your solution.
There are many formats with JPEG being the most common image, but if you want to take photos of forms or drawings may not be suitable. Which one ?
How much quality do you want to retain?
You can take the photo at the maximum resolution the mobile device is capable of then reduce the image size and perhaps change the file format for transmitting. You can then retain the high quality image on your mobile device if it is needed later.
Note: You will need to purchase extra flash storage for these full size images.
Make sure you control the image size
Key Point: Images are an important part of your mobile system especially if being used to enforce compliance. Once you have decided on the image size you will need to stop anyone from changing your settings. Buy software to perform MDM Mobile Device Management and lock down your mobile devices preventing users from changing all of your device settings.
Timothy C B Cox Mobile Workforce Strategy Consultant based in Dubai. Get in touch with Tim through Linkedin
Call us to discuss how we can help keep you in the picture and ensure your enterprise mobility project addresses your key business issues.
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.
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.
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.
Close alliance with ARM. Will help convince the corporate community to invest in new non “WinTel” product.
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.
High Degree of Security. Already a key element of enterprise mobility deployments.
Desktop/Phone Compatibility. Could enable a whole new category of apps combining mobile and at desk elements.
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.