How To Manage The Transition From MEAP TO MADP

How To Manage The Transition From MEAP TO MADP

How To Manage The Transition From MEAP TO MADP

 

What is A MADP – Mobile Application Development Platform

MADP refers to an inclusive group of products and services that allow mobile applications for the Enterprise to be developed. Think of MADP as different from the traditional app development tools. Enterprise Mobility generates unique challenges that are different from those faced in the development of consumer mobile solutions.

MEAP to MADP  So what..?

MEAP has been around for a while and can usually be characterised as an interface with existing back end systems to enable data and applications on mobile devices. Whilst popular they were often a jumbled set of “parts” for developers to cobble together with custom code, leading to time-consuming and costly development projects. Headaches teams undertaking B2B enterprise grade app development could do without. In contrast the MADP helps to build a set of common features and services that can be leveraged in mission critical apps for integration to multiple platforms in a “we need it yesterday” business environment.

MADP Platform Selection Essentials

  • Single skill set that client developers can adopt and use.
  • Support for devices to work in network disconnected mode.
  • Make use of dynamic data.
  • Well proven barcode thermal print and GPS support.
  • Built in Mobile Device Management – MDM
  • Desktop console to manage the entire system.
  • Simple to deploy and integrate.

 

Pick a Highly Regarded MADP Supplier

Our partner MobileFrame has been recognized in Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms MADP

We have been working with MobileFrame for 10 years providing clients with mobile apps tailored to their unique workflow. MobileFrame is a leading code-free mobile application development platform that includes everything a company needs to ensure that their mobility projects run smoothly.  With MobileFrame technology, companies can give their field force the apps they need on the devices they love. Even the most complex applications can be written once and simultaneously deployed to any iOS, Android and Windows based device.

In their sum up Gartner says that, “if you don’t already use a MADP, evaluate and deploy one as a cornerstone product supporting your mobile development strategy, especially if your organization is starting to develop and deploy mobile apps at high volume (for example, more than six apps per year).”

“We’re proud to maintain and build upon a strong and loyal customer base committed to supporting us in identifying areas of core strength and further growth. Our client testimonials speak to MobileFrame’s ability to deliver better time to market and ease of use through our platform”, said Lonny Oswalt, Chief Executive Officer, MobileFrame. 

Read the entire MobileFrame Press Release about this prestigious award.

To receive a complimentary copy of the Gartner Magic Quadrant click here.

How To Manage The Transition From MEAP TO MADP

To learn more get in touch with us to arrange a webinar or meeting about MobileFrame MADP.

How Mobile Devices Capture High Resolution Images

How Mobile Devices Capture High Resolution Images

A smartphone with a 16mp autofocus rear camera, 8mp front camera, and recording in 1080p or UHD 4K is becoming somewhat the norm. This is mainly on the case on the consumer side rather than enterprise, but the enterprise is following suit. A typical old school Windows Mobile MC67 for example has an 8MP rear camera.

Windows Mobile devices are somewhat limited here as the 32mb RAM allowance means large images and videos will probably crash the unit. This is where iOS, Android, Windows 8.1 or 10 for the Enterprise are key.

Giving the end user the ability to capture media in high resolution is a big plus point. Images of completed works, or videos problem areas can be highlighted in detail. But at what cost?

Cost!? Surely a high res image is better than a low res image? Agreed, but what is the cost of transmitting a 16mp image, or a 30 second 1080p video? A 16MP image is roughly 5MB, one visit can require 1-10 images for example. Worst case of 10 images, that is 50MB of data. A 30 second video clip in 1080p is about 210MB (other file types may be increase file size considerably.) UHD 4K would be even bigger.

If the device is 4G compatible uploads speeds are very fast @ 8MBps, 3G considerably slower 0.4MBps, under 3G it becomes a big issue. 4G would take about 30 seconds if a good connection.

210MBps video file / 0.4MBps upload speed = Nearly 9 minutes to upload. That assumes a solid constant connection for the full nine minutes. Driving to/from jobs means the signal will strengthen/weaken or stop altogether.

Why Capture High Resolution Images

The purpose of real-time mobile applications is to receive the results back in real-time, no delays, immediate billing cycles customer records instantly updated etc. If working in large cities with a good 4G presence this may work fine, if uploading images over Wi-Fi only this is also a solution, but not real-time in the majority of cases.

Consider if a 16mp image is actually required. Would a 5mp image suffice? On a PDF report to the customer the image will be scaled down anyway. Smaller file sizes improve the mobile connection speed and increase the probability of real-time communication, as well as greatly reducing the storage requirements on the back-end.

How Mobile Devices Capture High Resolution ImagesGet in touch to book a webinar or meeting about Windows based enterprise mobility devices.

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

If you supply the coffee we can bring our crystal ball to your office to discuss the seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2015 that may impact your project.

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Top 5 Mobile Stories of 2009

Top 5 Mobile Stories of 2009

Top 5 Mobile Stories of 2009

Cast your mind back five years Microsoft launched Windows 7 Barack Obama became US President and Avatar was the biggest grossing movie taking in $761m.

Things move very fast in mobility so lets take a look back at what were some of the top mobile stories of 2009.

 

“iSlate” Rumours

This was an era when nearly a quarter of all PC sales in Europe were made up of sub laptop devices called “Netbooks” sporting mini screens and tiny keyboards. Rumors were swirling that Apple intended to bring out a device called “iSlate” a consumer grade breakthrough tablet to sell alongside the iPhone and iPod. Many commentators decided this was never going to happen including this hilarious article from PC World

As we all know the iPad was released in April of 2010 and some 200m units later the rest is history…

Navigation for the Masses

At the time Apple limited users to expensive options from TomTom or CoPilot. When Google Launched Google Maps Navigation a whole new functional area was born. This enabled Android users to use navigation straight from their phones and thus consigned many dedicated GPS navigation units to car boot sales.

Smartphone Adoption and Dominant Player Meltdown

Early in 2009 if you had a “smartphone” it was probably a Blackberry who had 55% market share in the US 20% globally and strong financials. If you were still using a plain cell phone it was likely to have been a Nokia who at the time boasted 41% world wide share. Later in the year one survey figured that 39% of people had a smartphone Blackberry still accounting for the largest portion of U.S. market share with 50% followed by Apple at 30% Palm with 7% and Android around 3%.

Adoption is now well over 50% in most markets with rates in some counties breaking 80%. In 2017, IDC expects that 1.7 billion smartphones will be shipped.

You all know what became of Blackberry and Nokia…

Android Goes Mainstream

It took a while to get off the ground but 2009 was the year Android went mainstream. All of a sudden it was obvious that the iPhone was not the only cool handset with built in music social media and the ability to browse the web.

The Motorola Droid got a lot of headlines and was a bestseller in the US but HTC Samsung and Sony all had success with early versions of devices on Android platforms.

Market share of the Android OS is now thought to be @80% worldwide…

Battery Power

We take this increasingly for granted but the development of mobile devices has led to huge innovation in battery technology to drive such features as LTE, Wi-Fi, Video,  Cameras GPS and those huge bright screens.

In 2009 1500 a mAh battery was the industry’s high water mark yielding for many smartphone users a battery life of about 6 hours

At the launch of the Galaxy S5 earlier this year Samsung boasted of a 2,800 mAh battery that the company claims can deliver 11 hours of video playback or 10 hours of web browsing over LTE.

So what can we learn from the top mobile stories of 2009 ? Things change fast and innovation and good timing can often by key to the success of new products.  If you are into crystal ball gazing mobile technology it may be safe to make a prediction 12 months out but 3 to 5 years is much much more difficult.

Top 5 Mobile Stories of 2009Get in touch to learn more about our approach to building effective solutions for enterprise mobility. No crystal ball needed.

 

 

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.

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.

 Subscribe to our Blog in a reader Or by Email

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.

 

 

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 4 of 10

 

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 4 of 10

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 4 of 10

 

“I have data in tables that is constantly changing, such as work orders and inventory levels. How do my mobile workers get this new data”

 

 

 

 

Enterprise data management has become a important topic in many companies. Where users are deploying a mobile system to workers in the field it can create a number of challenges. Our dynamic enterprise data feature allows us to help our users define how often updated and changed data is sent out to users.

Business rules can be defined that tell the system to send this new data to everyone assigned to a specific app or only to those workers or managers who need to see specific data. For example if work orders were assigned to a specific technician the system could be set up to automatically send the data only to that worker.

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 4 of 10Making sure you are sending the right data to the correct worker can get complex. Get in touch to learn how we make this a piece of (cup) cake…

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 3 of 10

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 3 of 10

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 3 of 10

 

“How does the solution work if there is no network connectivity”

 

 

 

If may be hard to believe but wireless Wi-Fi and WWAN networks are not always available or reliable. In many scenarios your enterprise mobility app will need to be designed to contain all the business logic data and process it needs but residing on the handheld device itself. This enables functionality both online and offline by returning the unit back to a dock. Historically this is a common approach with .NET based devices. Same logic applies where Android or iOS are being used. Some apps like Direct Store Delivery are often used in physical environments where network access is spotty and going off to find coverage to compete a transaction would take too much time.

Where wireless or wired access is available mobile workers can communicate with host business systems in real-time. Make sure your remote app can automatically or on command send and receive queued transactions content and messages via a secure connection like Netmotion Mobility XE. Features such as this optimise user productivity while minimizing transmission costs.

"How does the solution work if there is no network connectivity"

The benefits of using Wireless either across Wi-Fi or WWAN are clear but make sure you allow for both on and off line scenarios.

What Everyone Ought to Know About Identifying a Mobile Computing Platform for Enterprise Mobility

What Everybody Ought to Know About Identifying a Mobile Computing Platform for Enterprise Mobility

What Everybody Ought to Know About Identifying a Mobile Computing Platform for Enterprise Mobility
The Osborne is now a Museum Piece

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.

For Example….

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!

What Everyone Ought to Know About Identifying a Mobile Computing Platform for Enterprise Mobility

Timothy C B Cox Mobile Workforce Strategy Consultant based in Dubai. Get in touch with Tim through Linkedin

What Everybody Ought to Know About Identifying a Mobile Computing Platform for Enterprise Mobility

Call us to discuss how we can help you identify the right opertaing system for your enterprise mobility project.