Quick post today to highlight some of the most costly and sadly still most common mistakes we hear about from rugged PDA customers who have tried to deploy their mobile solution. There’s no wrong and right here but there are a few biggies that we feel you need to watch out for.
1. Device Road map
This is probably the Number one issue and causes the most grief for customers. You have to check out when the devices you want are going to go end of line and you have to talk to a reseller who can give you an idea of the best devices that will be there for you for 3-5 years in some shape or format. Smartphone simply do not give you this option, you need to buy something that will easily port onto future device upgrades.
2. Wrong Rugged PDA Device
Cheap devices always have a reason so make sure you know what’s missing and the more overt the reseller is about this the better as they’re showing themselves to be impartial. The best resellers will know and offer many devices and will be able to quickly lead you, often empirically, to 2 or 3 devices that will be right for you. Make sure you can loan equipment for a few weeks too to make sure your users and solutions work as they need to.
3. Lack of Remote support (MDM) Solutions
At the heart of any mobile solution has to lie a Device Management (DM) solution. These days our businesses are counting on these little mobile Rugged PDA’s and the solution they run but if you’re not employing a partner and system that can quickly allow you to do common IT admin tasks whilst keeping the PDA’s in the field then you’re wasting you time.
4. Thin Reseller Expertise
How deep is the reseller expertise? Do they understand the SDK’s of the devices they are selling? Have they got Microsoft, Android Expertise and how actively are they using this? Also do they have project management expertise, allowing them to not only manage your rollout but also potentially manage other partners in the development and rollout process? You need someone to ensure everyone’s not blaming everyone else!2. Support
Check out the knowledge of the Rugged PDA hardware reseller, how much they get involved in the repair process, how much do they know about each device’s service products? What do they do on top of this and are they leading with support at the heart of what they do? If not they might just be trying to shift you the hardware and you could be stuck if….. sorry when you run into issues.
5. Passion-less Resellers
How much does your reseller freely give? Do they blog, do they have conversations openly with their customers and are they offering free advice and help not just directly but also to other partners on a project? You don’t to have to pay for some of the little but essential things that make all the difference. The world is changing, it’s not about money any more, it’s about being the best and being passionate about what you’re doing.
6. Cheap Bespoke Software Option
We have issues even with some of the largest software partners we work with here, that’s software plain and simple, and we’re not knocking it if you can get your courier solution for £5k but just make sure the software guys know about the mobile scenario. When we develop solutions here we ensure all the little mobile things like battery and power management, GPS management and syncing correctly are all catered for. Many people just think you need to convert a bit of .NET and you’re done!
7. Buying through network
I’ll put this simply. Add all the above up, add to this someone who sees the solution element as the free bit and this is what you get when buying through a network partner. It always seems to spell disaster. Resellers wills ell you network now anyway so don’t cut out all the expertise that you need to run a solution for years without trouble. The manufacturer support offerings alone will not give you timely, deep and genuinely helpful expertise when you need it most, a good reseller will and will remain impartial throughout.
If in doubt come and ask us here, we’ll openly help with any questions you have to give us a test!
The Rugged and Mobile blog.