Wavelink Blog

Author: Don Osburn

A Big Difference Between Avalanche MDM and AirWatch

A recent text mining experiment using AirWatch’s “Solutions Overview” document demonstrated an excellent answer to the question, “What is [one of] the difference(s) between Wavelink Avalanche and AirWatch”?

In one word; Email.

The wordcloud below shows the highlights of the text analysis of AirWatch’s Solutions Overview document.

As you can plainly see, one of the most used words is “email”.  “So what?,” you say?

Supply chain operations managers and other supply chain device users don’t use email on their devices. They use their devices to run their operations, move product, and make money. Email is for front-office staff and is a “nice to have” versus, “must have” for supply chain operations.

Email is a front-office, IT oriented operation, focused on providing communications to mobile workers.  Avalanche provides a complete solution for managing that function for those workers as well. However, Avalanche’s primary reason for existence has always been providing device management for mission critical, supply chain focused mobile computers.

If your mobile users can’t get to their email due to an unexpected outage, that’s a bummer. But if your supply chain operations go down because your managed devices stop working, you’re out of business.

And that, in another phrase, is the difference between Avalanche and AirWatch. Avalanche is “mission-critical”. Airwatch is “nice to have”.

 

Comments or opinions expressed on the blog are those of their respective contributors only. The views expressed on this blog do not necessarily represent the views of LANDesk Software, its business units, its management or employees. LANDesk Software is not responsible for, and disclaims any and all liability for the content of comments written by contributors to the blog.

 

 

Translating Wavelink’s Reporting Features For BI / Analytics

As everyone is aware by now, Big Data and BI / Analytics continues to be a significant part of Gartner’s top 10 priorities for CIOs for 2012 (see, for example: http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1826214).  This makes it one of the top 10 priorities for supply chain managers as well.   What many supply chain organizations and their supporting partners may not be aware of, is that they have some unique data that can be added to the BI / Analytics toolkit via their already deployed Wavelink device management and device client applications.   All that is needed is a little effort to map the Wavelink reported statistics onto the enterprise’s other BI / Analytic framework.

Wavelink Avalanche provides a wealth of device management reporting to supply chain management operations.  Not only does it supply pre-configured, off-the-shelf reports, but the system is flexible enough to support creation of custom reports by the end-user or by a certified Wavelink partner.   Data provided in these reports would fall under the category of “Dashboarding”, “Advanced Analytics with Drill-down”, and/or, “Scorecarding and KPIs”, using the current vernacular of BI / Analytics (see, “Driving SMB Efficiency With Business Intelligence,” for example).   However, unlike those more general reports, Wavelink provided data adds an additional dimension to the reporting by focusing specifically on the mobile device assets used in real-time supply chain operations.   For customers using Wavelink’s Emulation Clients, (Telnet, or WIB), there are even more real-time statistics available for reporting, and would make an excellent input to “Exception Handling and Alerting”, functions of BI / Analytics applications.

So, how do supply chain managers take advantage of these features to support their CIO’s BI / Analytics functions?

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Four Voice Picking Solutions….. Not Just Three….

I was just re-reading Maida Napolitano’s article on Voice Picking from Logistics Management magazine mid-2010 (“Three Voices, Three Solutions”, Maida Napolitano, Logistics Management, July 2010). In it, Ms. Napolitano highlights three different voice picking solutions, from three different providers. All three solutions have different architectures. This provides the foundation for the segmentation of the voice solutions in the article.

Although the article is an excellent overview of three of the possible architectures for voice solutions, there is one small problem. There are actually FOUR different architectures available today, providing (at least), four different voice platforms.

Napolitano’s article covers the following designs:

  • Proprietary Solutions – These are speaker-dependent solutions requiring custom voice hardware, and are the oldest voice solutions on the market.
  • Open Hardware – These can be speaker-dependent, or -independent, and utilize off-the-shelf mobile device hardware with thick-client applications provided by the voice solution provider.
  • Intelligent Networks – These are speaker-dependent, or -independent, and utilize a thin-client “approach”, with “more intelligence placed in the network” (Quotations mine).

Although this description gets very close to enumerating all the differences in voice architectures, it is missing one key design.  Also, it tends to separate  two solutions that share a fundamental design element, and lumps in the missing element as part of the last one.

Let me explain.

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The Risk Of Increasing Operational Cost (OPEX) By Doing MDM Backwards

We’re all aware of the explosion of new devices arriving in the marketplace.   From phones, to tablets, to bigger phones, to smaller tablets,…. And all of the new challenges and opportunities these devices bring with them.  Everyone is abuzz with the new terms of “device consumerization”, and “application containerization”, etc.,. etc.  The emergence of so many new devices, with so many different form factors is exploding the options for endpoint connectivity into enterprise business applications.  

However, what do all these new devices really mean in terms of providing enhanced value to today’s business processes?   And, what do these changes really imply in terms of mobility device management?   Is it possible, as is often the case with rapidly evolving technologies, that all the hype is really about a rather thin area of deployment, and is overlooking some, or possibly many, of the basic fundamentals?   If so, what does this imply about future costs?

Three prior articles shed some light on these questions.   Consider the following highlights.

  • According to Aberdeen Group’s Analyst Insight, “High Performance Organizations Empower Employees with Real-Time Mobile Analytics”, July, 2011
    • The adopters for Mobility Business Intelligence (MBI) on emerging mobile devices can be segmented as follows;
      • Enterprise Executives – The Board Room and other C-Level company stakeholders
        • These users are interested primarily in Dashboards that allow them to view the holistic health of the business from one central platform.
      • Field Sales – The road warriors and those dependent upon direct interface with the company’s customers
        • These users are primarily interested in real-time data to help close sales faster, (i.e. inventory stock data), as well as increase customer satisfaction, (i.e. trouble ticket response data).
      • Operations – Operations management including I/T
        • These users want to deploy Dashboards again, but focused solely on the health of their specific area of operation, (i.e. server uptime, etc). (more…)

The Present and Future of “Value” in Value Added Resellers

Supply chain customers and end-users have always relied on their I/T supplier companies to assist them by bringing the “Value” in Value Added Reseller.   Over the years, VARs have led the way by providing services and support that their supply chain customers rely on to run their own businesses.   However, as technology continues to evolve, VARs are working hard to keep up with creating new services and support that will help their customers adapt.   Far beyond the standard RF site survey, leading VARs today have to be focused on a myriad of  technologies and techniques in order to remain “Valuable”.   Here are just a few of the areas where VARs are advancing the state of the art.

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MAM, MDM, BYOD, MEAP… Alphabet Soup and a Dose of Confusion

I participated in a discussion of the Enterprise Mobility Group on LinkedIn (which you can link to from our discussion on our own board). It’s addressed towards CIOs, and centers around the growth of Mobile Application Management and it’s impact on Mobile Device Management. Reviewing those comments, and observing the explosive growth of LinkedIn groups targeted at “Enterprise Mobility”, I got thinking about something I’ve noticed for quite a while. 

The market specialists have always seemed very confused when it comes to device management (MDM), mobile application development, and many other areas of mobility. There has always been a tendency to lump multiple technologies together when they really should not be connected. As one example, there has been a tendency for years for media publications to lump “cell phone management” in as part of MDM. Cellular carriers and their channel have always had their own management issues. However, they’re not the same issues a WMS manager has controlling barcode scanners, mobile printers, etc. Yet most industry reports (until very recently), have tended to lump cellular phones, and a whole host of other devices all together when talking “MDM”.

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Additional Considerations For Remote Service Connectivity – Don’t Forget The Device!!

Good afternoon everyone! Wanted to share something on remote service connectivity. Aberdeen Group’s research report, “The Real-Time Service Enterprise: Leveraging Remote Connectivity to Drive Service Performance,” lists the key items that differentiate Best-in-Class service providers from the Average and Laggard providers. In particular, the report points out the aggressive growth of remote connectivity technology that Best-in-Class service providers are leveraging to, A) stay better connected to their remote assets, which in turn helps them to, B) provide better customer service at lower costs.

What is interesting to note, (that is not really addressed in the report), is the additional and/or modified management requirements necessary to control all these new remotely connected technologies. In other words, it’s great to have a lot of new technology closely connecting field service to the home office in real-time. However, the emergence of these new devices and technology bring with them an added requirement for additional monitoring and management of the devices themselves (My smart-device allows the home office to monitor inventory control in real-time. But…. who’s monitoring the smart-device??).

As companies move forward with real-time, remote-management of field service assets they (and their management partners), would be well-advised to focus on remote management of the field-service technology as well. The ability to remote control into a field-service device (as an example), ensures maximum uptime and usage of that device, which only enhances the real-time aspect of the total field service.