Author: Alex Evans
Posted by Alex Evans
I am a remote control freak, that is.
A lot of you will have seen the recent announcement regarding our agreement with Splashtop to provide smart device remote control. We are extremely excited by the opportunity to partner with a company who is truly an industry leader in this space.
If you’ve never heard of Splashtop, they have been a leader in the remote control space for a long time and have a number of different consumer solutions available in the app/play store.
Remote control capabilities are an important part of the toolbox of an enterprise support team. The buildings that our customers work in are massive—really massive. The mission critical nature of our customers’ businesses means that any lost productivity can have a direct impact on the bottom line.
This is why being able to connect to a device deployed on the floor—and see what the user is seeing—can save time, money, and the need for someone to take a very long walk to see the problem in person.
Smart Device Remote Control
Wavelink has had remote control for older devices for years and is an important part of our Avalanche enterprise mobility management solution. This new product, Smart Device Remote Control, provides a remote control solution for customers with Android based devices and will soon be extended to other smart device operating systems.
How do we do it?
So, how are we able to provide this capability when so many others can’t?
Part of the answer is because of our very long relationships with all of the device manufacturers that make up this market. Remote control clients require elevated rights on Android devices; there’s no standard APIs that give a vendor access to the screen. This means that each vendor needs to trust us enough to sign our remote control client and give us extra rights into their device.
We went to market with support for the Zebra and Honeywell portfolio of Android devices, and we’re currently working on Panasonic and Datalogic support.
In addition to these, we also have support for Windows XP, 7, 8 and 10, so, whilst we are aimed at the rugged device market you will also be able to control most enterprise desktop machines, as well as any vehicle mount device or POS based on big windows. If the need arises you can also remote control Mac OSX machines.
If you are considering a move to Android or have needs to control one of the other operating systems that I just mentioned, then and see how we can help you get set up and ready to be control freaks yourselves.
$500 million. That’s a whole lot of money. It could buy you any super yacht on the market today, or a whole lot of tacos on Taco Tuesday.
That’s also what some of our customers told us it would cost if they decided to move from a telnet interface to a more modern touch-enabled interface on their Android devices. Let that sink in for a second. $500 million. For an HTML UI.
These large project costs stem from the fact that these customers were faced with migrating their mission critical host applications, including having to employ legions of developers (and all of the other costs that entails), having to maintain and enhance their code, having to manage a massive project, and so forth. All for an HTML UI.
Clearly, if the only benefit is a more modern interface, then half a billion dollars is a hard sell to the board.
The vision of Velocity
Wavelink has a rich history of allowing our customers to change the user experience dramatically, while at the same time minimizing the risk and cost of this type of project. It’s this rich history, coupled with this new Android opportunity, that led us to the vision of Velocity.
As we sat and brainstormed about the problem our customers faced, we saw that we could help them modernize the device experience and also maintain their back end host applications.
No risky data or server migrations involved, no legions of developers to employ, no massive projects to manage, and most importantly, more money left over for Taco Tuesday.
The initial goal of the project was to allow a customer to install the client on an Android device and connect to their existing telnet host application, whereby the user would see a modern, HTML, touch-enabled UI on the device instead of the green screen application they had before. All of this had to be achieved without a single change to the host application.
At the same time, we wanted to provide a toolset that would allow the customer to change the UI to meet their specific needs.
A modernized user experience
Velocity is a constantly evolving platform that allows our customers to move to an Android device and modernize the user experience at their own pace. Some customers will choose to maintain the green screen experience, while others may choose to only reformat a few screens or a single process. Some users will want a soup to nuts modern UI. All of these are possible with Velocity.
You may have also noticed that I’m calling Velocity a platform. This is because we do a lot more than just connect to telnet servers. Customers who have web-based host applications can connect to those using Velocity.
Additionally, retailers who use Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management (Oracle SIM) will be using Velocity as their mobile client. Shortly, we’ll also be releasing our Speakeasy product on top of Velocity to provide a voice-enablement solution for our customers. For those keeping count, that’s three different types of host applications that can be connected to, and a layer of voice on top.
During this time, LANDESK also acquired Naurtech. This was an interesting acquisition for our group, because Naurtech had a rich-scripting engine in their client that allowed a customer to have a lot of very powerful capabilities and customization possibilities at their fingertips.
This also highlights the benefit of the platform, because many of these APIs are equally applicable to telnet, web and SIM. Furthermore, the fact that all of this is supported through a single client and console means that, as we add support for more and more device, all of those devices can be used with any protocol.
Velocity has been an exciting project to work on these last couple of years and, as a product manager, it’s incredibly fulfilling to be able to take a product from the drawing board all the way through a number of releases. We have a lot more exciting stuff coming that we can’t wait to show you.