So we’ve had a really weird week in the world of rugged PDA’s that’s lead us down a path we get lured down some times. Sometimes you get a user that has PDA usage history and simply tells you that they know it’s not worth paying £500+ for a rugged PDA when they can buy a cheap one for under £100 that they can throw away. With the last Windows Mobile PDA now far behind us (Officially) this conundrum got answered for us, but Android and the rise of tablets meant this conundrum has reappeared again.
Rugged Tablets especially bring this argument to the fore. You can buy a tablet for £100 if you look for one. It’ll have Android on it, it will be a cheap and it will go wrong but it will work for some.
The value in going Rugged has and always will be in the down time suffered if your solution doesn’t work and it’s hard to sell something to someone that you’re in fact trying to stop happening!! Rather like insurance. However the sheer fact of mobility means you can’t really deliver 2 or 4 hour SLA’s like you in the server world and even the best our service products can do is a 24 hour swap out so what if you need something straight the way?
Another pressure on Rugged is Mobile Device Management. MDM is a tool that allows you to manage your remote devices from 1 central place. It means that you can provision, access and fault find devices quickly, meaning…perhaps, that they don’t need to be quite as rugged as before because they are being looked after in a different way.
The last pressure on Rugged is that resellers are now starting to innovate far more in what they do. We hardly sell a device now that hasn’t been customised or that has bespoke accessories added to it and we can get things IP tested and MIL dropped tested quite easily these days. Is it possible that we could offer everything in a non-rugged PDA that we offer for a rugged PDA except for the actual PDA ruggedness factor? Maybe and maybe some customers will go for that!
I think there are some interesting times ahead.
The Rugged and Mobile blog.