Are You Battling to Manage All Your Mobile Devices ?

Are You Battling to Manage All Your Mobile Devices ?

In the earlier days of enterprise mobility, Mobile Device Management software was developed to manage a host of mobile devices across an organisation, both inside and outside the premises, and across regions and borders. MDM manages all your mobile devices across platforms, such as iOS, MacOS, Android, Windows and the Internet of Things, providing enhanced control and visibility.

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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.

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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SOTI MobiControl Speed Control

SOTI MobiControl Speed Control

SOTI MobiControl Speed Control helps your enterprise by ensuring drivers are not using their devices while the vehicle is in motion. It can help minimise distracted driving and uphold your driver safety compliance guidance.

Brake, the Road safety charity says that “A study of in-vehicle video footage estimated that 22% of crashes could be caused, at least in part, by driver distraction. It also showed that drivers who perform a secondary task at the wheel are two to three times more likely to crash. Other studies have found that more complex secondary tasks, like talking on a mobile phone or texting, increase crash risk even more” Read More

In addition to speed control SOTI MobiControl has 5 key attributes:

  1. A self-service portal for users to manage their devices
  2. Enterprise application store
  3. Expense management
  4. Lockdown/kiosk mode support
  5. Geofencing

SOTI MobiControl Speed Control

SOTI MobiControl v12 will be available early in 2015. Latest release notes. Get in touch to arrange an evaluation.

 

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.

 

Now You Can Access Your Mobile Apps Through A Desktop

Now You Can Access Your Mobile Apps Through A Desktop

Now You Can Access Your Mobile Apps Through A DesktopHaving decided on your mobile application to replace paper forms and pep up the performance of your field based workers the other equally important consideration is the back office software non mobile staff use.

The mobile app is often thought to be the first and only consideration in an enterprise mobility project.

 

But having the ability to access your mobile apps through a desktop can add value to the remote workforce and can help the business move away from the rudimentary Excel or paper based systems in the back office that are so common.

The back office system is usually the hub of a business. Without it office staff cannot enter customer orders, find customer information, check the status of jobs in or assigned out to the field, manage users, view reports send invoices and edit stock. Even with the rise of mobile products and apps it is likely that people are still going to be sitting at a desk doing business oriented tasks for some time to come.

Traditionally Back Office Systems Are:

1. Paper based forms.
2. A database built locally made up of Excel sheets or in MS Access.
3. Billing/Account system like Sage.
4. CRM/ERP i.e. SAP and MS Dynamics

Many companies still run their businesses on reams of paper or may have progressed to using Excel or Access. So building a mobile app to increase the effectiveness of remote staff is a real opportunity to think about the back office in a new way.

An accounting application such as Sage is very good at accounting but has no real functionality to create jobs assign them to a mobile worker or create a PDF report on job completion.

Similarly if a customer has spent ten’s of thousands on a large ERP system it will contain all the backend features/data required so only integration between the mobile app and ERP system is required. In some scenarios further data processing is required before it is transmitted into the ERP system. A desktop app/batch process can be developed to create this functionality. The issue with custom development within a CRM or ERP system is simply cost. It can be very expensive to have a custom function developed and any further changes are very expensive.

Desktop Portal Benefits

Even when accounting or CRM/ERP systems exist a specific desktop app as in our Pest Control product will allow a user in the office to enter new customer details straight into the desktop and using a built in scheduler deploy it to the most suitable worker at the appropriate time slot and manage changes dynamically. The management of ongoing activities and production of reports can also be managed through this desktop portal.

In just about every case the ability to access your mobile apps and critical business data  through a desktop portal on the mobile side can prove just as useful as having mobile devices in the first place. It also ties in well with managing permissions for mobile device management MDM.

How to Build it ?

As ever there are a few options. A software house can custom make an office solution you could buy off the shelf or if you have the skills and patience go DIY. The other option is to use the platform being used for the mobility project.

After all it uses the same approach to data management and the reports will be derived from the data being generated in the field anyway. With these tools the provider can quickly develop applications for PDA and desktop pulling from the same resources. Applications can be viewed on a desktop via a native OS client or browser based.

Now You Can Access Your Mobile Apps Through a Desktop Portal

Whatever your application we can show you examples of how you can access your mobile apps through a desktop portal.

 

Video Blog: T1200 Rugged Tablet PC with Windows 8

T1200 Rugged Tablet PC with Windows 8

A 10.4″ rugged tablet pc with Windows 8 Intel i5 Chipset built for   Knowledge Speed and Enterprise

Everything you need in a rugged tablet PC to get more done, faster.

Rugged Tablet PC with Windows 8

The high-performance, all-light readable xTablet T1200 bolsters productivity for mobile users who work in demanding environments.

This fully rugged tablet provides long-term savings over non-rugged devices with near 100% up time in mission critical line of business applications.

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Photos Using Your Entire Enterprise Mobile Data Plan?

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.

Are Photos Using Your Entire 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.

Photos Using Your Entire Enterprise Mobile Data Plan?

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

Are Photos Using Your Entire Enterprise Mobile Data Plan ?

Call us to discuss how we can help keep you in the picture and ensure your enterprise mobility project addresses your key business issues.

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Enterprise Mobile Device Security – Part 2

Enterprise Mobile Device Security – Part 2

Enterprise Mobile Device Security Part 1 covered the basics of locking down a device using the in built features. These are a good start to locking down a device/applications but more can be done to be ensure device and data integrity.

Enterprise Mobile Device Security – Part 2A mobile application normally always require a login ideally with an admin console back in the office where the passwords can be easily controlled by an administrator. Linking the password to Active Directory is another security feature some applications can use meaning the credentials will be confirmed against the business network.

This means password polices can be enforced, and user only needs one login to access the network from PC or mobile device.

Passing login data and and other sensitive data over the Internet in plain text is never a wise option. “Eavesdroppers” can essentially pick out the data travelling from device the server. The quickest and cheapest option is the add a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate on the server. This certificate provides encryption (usually 128-bit encryption and above) meaning only the device and server can de-crypt the data. An SSL certificate is also recommended when using web applications. You’ll commonly see an SSL certificate when entering payment details for online shopping.

A step above SSL is to use a Mobile VPN. There quite a few Mobile VPNs available from service providers but also available as software to purchase. An example is Mobility XE. Software such as this allows remote workers secure, and robust access to network resources. They offer FIPS 140-2 (Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 140-2) encryption which is a US government standard for non-classified information. Needless to say it is highly secure with very strong encryption levels. This level of encryption is becoming more and more popular with large organisations and local government.

When the communications is secure the next step is to lock down and control a device. There are a few different options for this. First is a simple lock down tool on the device, the master device is locked down, allowing access to specific applications and settings such as Bluetooth settings. This master file can then be deployed to rest of the device pool. The next level above this and a method of mass file deployment is a device management platform. SOTI MobiControl is a very popular product for just this.

MobiControl has lots of enterprise mobile device security features including configurable device lock down, remote control and help desk, location tracking, deploy files/software, allow/deny access for resources, enforce security policies and importantly manage a number of differing OS devices in the same pool, and kill the device if stolen. Killing device means the device will become inoperable by the thief.

Limiting and allowing access to specific websites can also increase productivity if the user cannot surf the web or access games on the device. There are other similar offerings, but SOTI is probably the most popular now, especially as Motorola now recommend SOTI as the remote management tool of choice.

Some application software can provide lockdown and remote control out of the box, but it very much depends on how many units the customer has and the level of remote support/control the customer wants to provide its users.

There are many software solutions for security, of which the more popular have been covered. Security of your data is down to the customer and the sensitivity of the data. The more sensitive the data, or desirable to a third party you feel it is, the more secure the data should be.

The final part in this series next week will look at security hardware for your mobile device.

Enterprise Mobile Device Security - Part 2

Do 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.

New Motorola MC45 for Enterprise Mobility

New Motorola MC45 for Enterprise Mobility

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

Motorola MC45 for Enterprise Mobility

 

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

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

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

 

What is it For ?

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

MC45 Appeal

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

Motorola MC45 for Enterprise Mobility

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

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

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