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Mobile Computing for Distribution Centers

Planning Your Mobility Strategy

There are a few things coming down the pike in our industry that are making organizations take a closer look at the data collection mobile devices they’re using, how they’re using them, and whether or not it’s a perfect fit for the tasks being performed.  With so much going on to drive business every day, planning for the future can be difficult.  But when it comes to improving worker productivity and trimming costs out of day-to-day processes, it’s a necessary exercise that pays off in the long run.

Windows Mobile Support Phase Out
As you probably already know, Microsoft is phasing out the support of Windows CE and Windows Embedded Handheld beginning now through the year 2020.  If you’re currently using an industrial mobile device, chances are you’re operating on either platform.

What the Phase Out Means to you
Although it seems like 2020 is a long way off, it will be here much faster than we want it to be.  Of course there will likely be ways to seek marginal support after 2020, but it’s in your best interest to have a migration plan to upgrade your mobile technology today.  A future plan is also important due to another announcement recently made by Verizon.

EOL for non-LTE networks
Some US wireless telecommunications carriers are planning to cease activation of, as well as de-activate existing, non-LTE networks over the next few years.  One carrier in particular, Verizon, has already announced their intent to begin de-activating their non-LTE Network in January of 2020. Based on that timeline, Verizon will stop accepting new activations in July 2018.

We recommend you reach out to your carrier to confirm and clarify any intentions they may have that will affect the performance of your mobile devices that operate on their network.

What’s Next?  Develop Your Mobility Strategy
A little bit of planning can go a long way. And there’s no better time to start than today. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Time is on our side. With 2020 being the magic year for both Microsoft and Verizon (among the possibility of other carriers), take the time to carefully plan and determine needs and requirements for today as well as for the future.
  2. Keep overall business objectives top of mind. Driving decisions toward a common end goal will keep your business aligned.  Understand what key drivers of being mobile are important to the achievement of those goals, and the right choices for technology will fall in line.
  3. Integrate hardware decisions with business process needs. Examine process and user requirements to determine the right feature/function mix for the devices you need.  Will these units be used in extreme temperatures, have specific data entry requirements, or critical durability needs?  In addition to hardware requirements, there are other considerations to be made such as business applications, data management, storage and security, and support.
  4. Choose a solid platform. With Microsoft phasing out support for their mobile OS, Android has quickly become the operating system of choice for these devices. Many manufacturers, like Honeywell, are launching handheld mobile computers that operate on both platforms; this gives you an opportunity to properly plan for and migrate to Android when the business is ready.  They’ve also recently released a common platform for mobile devices called Mobility Edge, with a family of mobility solutions that make integration and management easier on your IT staff.  Learn more about Mobility Edge here.
  5. Partner up. Don’t go it alone. Select a solution provider that understands your industry, your business requirements and how mobility can keep you ahead of the competition.  Choosing the right provider will not only help guide you in the right direction, but they’ll be with you when you need them the most.

Need assistance with your mobility strategy?  We can help.  Contact us today for more information about the Windows Handheld and CE phase outs, as well as Verizon EOL plans and we’ll get you on track and ready for the future.

4136B Jersey Pike, Chattanooga, TN 37421
Phone (423) 855-1822 | Fax (423) 499-6317
sales@barcominc.com

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BARCOM, INC.  •  sales@barcominc.com  •  423-855-1822