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4 Key Steps when Migrating from Windows Mobile to Android

In previous blogs we’ve discussed why companies should be considering a switch from Windows handheld operating systems to Android. In case you have not heard, with Microsoft ending support for all remaining versions of Windows Embedded Handheld and CE over the next two years, Android has quickly emerged as the enterprise mobile industry’s OS of choice.

You can read more about the reasons why transitioning is important to the future of your operations, but when you begin planning to make the move, there are four key steps you may want to follow:

Define Your Requirements and Budget
Any OS migration plan should start by defining your mobile computing and application requirements and determining the workflows your new Android devices will need to support.

Examine how you’re currently using mobile computers and how they’ll need to support your future workflows. This should be the biggest driver in your plan. You’ll also want to analyze your current security, compliance, and device management requirements, as you’ll need to plan for the same elements in your migration.  Of course, you’ll also need to define a budget to cover all related costs.

Choose Your New Mobile Devices
Migrating to Android means you’ll likely need to upgrade to new devices. However, it’s also an opportunity to upgrade to new devices with improved specs, form factors, and capabilities, so don’t overlook the advances made since your last device was launched.  In the end, a migration to Android devices is a virtual guarantee you’ll get better mobile performance, computing power, battery life, and scanning capabilities than you have today.

Consider, for example, the new TC8000 Android touch mobile computer from Zebra.  The TC8000 helps workers increase productivity by 14% per shift. Its ergonomic design combines mobile computing and barcode scanning and eliminates the need to tilt the device to confirm scanning results. Its touch interface and virtual keyboards also enable 40% faster data entry with 60% fewer errors.

You’ll also get powerful security with Zebra’s enterprise mobile device management, which gives you complete control over every Android device, app, and network connection. Over-the-air updates also make it easy to apply the latest security patches, and with Zebra’s LifeGuard™ for Android, you can get 10 years of guaranteed OS updates—long after Google’s standard five-year support ends.

Android is also available on many other Zebra devices, including their hands-free WT6000 wearable computer, which is revolutionizing warehouse picking and fulfillment efficiency.

Re-develop Your Apps and Databases
Unless your business apps and databases are already compatible with Android, you’ll need to rewrite them.  Fortunately, app redevelopment for Android is greatly simplified thanks to Android’s open architecture and vast developer resources. These include sample code and a massive community of app developers and independent software vendors who share tips and useful insights. You can also tap into to existing mobility and productivity solutions via the Google Play app store.

When migrating your apps, you’ll need to decide whether you want to build native or web-based apps, depending on functionality and performance requirements. If you’re moving to a new platform, your wired networks and wireless LAN will probably need to be reconfigured as well.  There’s a lot to digest, which is why it’s smart to partner with a solution provider, like Barcom, that understands your business requirements and has the software expertise behind them to help you every step of the way.

Test, Train, and Deploy
Rewriting and migrating apps and databases requires extensive testing so you don’t discover bugs and other issues after you go live. Make sure to plan accordingly and thoroughly test all your devices, applications, and networks.

Make sure you also thoroughly train all your employees on your new Android devices and apps. Fortunately, Android’s easy-to-use interface simplifies training, but you’ll still want to give it sufficient time and attention.

Need More OS Migration Advice?
Don’t go it alone!  We can share best practices and give you as much or as little help as you need to make this transition as smooth as possible.  Why wait? Contact us today and request a free consultation – you’ll get expert support and recommendations to get your migration plan off to a strong start.





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