We all know that rugged mobile devices in general are becoming a commodity product, but as they become more and more ubiquitous with every day life and more common to see businesses using them, it doesn’t necessarily mean you just buy them off the shelf and they work!

In my humble opinion the enterprise and business market has already gone through the “Getting Mobile” phase where simply being mobile was the edge, much like having a website was in the 2000’s.  Today businesses have to extract as much as they can from their mobile device deployments and whether that means saving costs or generating profit, to gain a competitive edge, simply going mobile isn’t probably sufficient any more.

Whilst many of the tips below might require a hardware reseller partner to carry them out for you, it’s still important to understand the process of rolling out, using and deploying your mobile handsets so that you can understand how to run things smoothly.

Have a purchase/rollout plan

There are simply too many devices these days for distribution to stock, let alone resellers any longer but at the same time the trend is for customers to need flexibility in the numbers they buy.  However the better you can identify your purchase and roll out plan the easier it will be to keep your rollout provisioned with lovely new devices, without having to wait 3-6 weeks for an order to be processed.

Build a custom OS

Rugged devices are really clever with persistent storage areas and most take advantage of that by giving you tools to create all kinds of clever startup, reset and security scripts.  If built correctly then a good OS build will mean devices hit your users ready to go and you can hard reset them without any fear of losing data or apps whilst in the field.  This can take days of work off your back.

 

Manage your devices

It’s unfortunately the world we live in today where anything digital is fraught with security concerns, users are remote and aloof and mobile devices can be anywhere, connected to anything! Make sure you’ve done the work to lock down devices, secure them properly and also have provision for locating them them or wiping/frying them if all else fails.  Mobile is becoming the mainstream now so users understand how to fiddle and hackers are turning their attention to mobile OS’s.  If you don;t manage your devices in some way, then it’s only a matter of time before a major outage could hit.

Understand the support you need

Don’t expect 24 hour swap outs if you’re relying on the free warranty only services of your mobile handsets.  Whilst it sounds obvious now, we’d be rich here if we got £1 for every customer who expects way too much from the standard support services.

Make sure you sit down with your partners, work out the support you need and then get oit costed up properly.  It’ll pay you back 10 times over if you get it right and at the least gives your business peace of mind,.

Tailor your support and take responsibility

OK, so buy a more managed service and you can expect other to do the job, but remember your platform is your responsibility and you can do loads to make sure your business is covered pro actively.  Keeping a few standby devices often helps hugely and can give your business an hourly swap out SLA.  Also by making sure you are

Don’t dive your suppliers

All too often we see customers trying to save a few pennies up front from buying everything they need from multiple vendors, only to discover that no-one will step in and go the extra mile when needed.  If you buy your printers from 1 vendor, your mobile handsets from another, yur labels form another and your accessories from Ebay, ask yourself, “Who will help me if I have a bluetooth issue, printing labels”?  The answer is you just put yourself into the position of managing the vendors, don’t expect one of them to do the job for you.

 

Communicate and be reasonable

Don’t starve your resellers of profit, all that will happen is the support will fade away.  Pay them well and they will support you in the way you need which will save you way more £££ in the end.

Always talk, always be open, don’t make decisions and then throw them onto your reseller and you’ll have a team behind any issue or decision you need to make.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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