Wavelink Blog

Author: Kelly Ungs

The Future of Wavelink Products Plus Hands On Training?

Many of you have heard the news about Interchange 2013, but I wanted to take a moment and give you a bit more information on it, and why we feel it’s important. For years, our sister company LANDesk has hosted the event as an opportunity for end users to receive hands on training and education of the products they were using. For partners, it’s a chance to reach out to existing – and perhaps more importantly – potential customers. For both, it’s an opportunity to learn new and emerging industry trends and techniques, and product road maps.

Well, starting in January, we’ll be providing the same for Wavelink customers and partners. I can’t stress how exciting of an opportunity this is. It’s essentially a one-stop-shop for all things Wavelink and our industry, with the added benefit of learning new topics from LANDesk. When you put that together, you have one of the most comprehensive events for complete “enterprise mobility.”

You can learn more by checking out the website and they’ll be a lot for information coming in the weeks and months ahead. Or, if you would like, feel free to email me and I’d be happy to answer any questions you have.

Myths of BYOD

If you ever visit one of the public food courts in Singapore, you’ll find that there are as many as 85 different food vendors and outdoor kitchens side-by-side. Most of these have exactly the same menu as the vendor next to them and they will proudly tell you that. When begin your decision process, the vendors move from talking about the food and how good they can make it taste, and move the sale to talking about why their chef is better than the rest, or why their customer service is a differentiator. From where I sit, BYOD and MDM may have started to morph into exactly that.

Now, I’m not trying to belittle or downplay the importance of the BYOD market, but there have been scores of new vendors that have popped up in the last couple of years, and they are starting to sound a bit like these food vendors by sharing the same features and capabilities. One thing we’ve noticed is that there are some myths that need a little debunking. We’re not saying this just to stir the pot, but most companies need to strongly consider if BYOD is really for them.

BYOD in the Enterprise

Is this really going to save me money?

This has been a huge topic, and there have been a number of studies into whether or not BYOD saves money for those who implement it.

Cisco, for instance, stated a 17-22 percent savings, but that’s not the norm. Tom Kaneshige points out that while hardware costs might be lower, and they no longer have to worry about acquisition cycles, there are hidden costs. A lot of the BYOD crowd is basing savings on workers bringing their own mobile devices to work – tablets, phones, etc. so there is a trade-off between acquisition costs and a number of aspects of control.

One place that costs creep back in is in service plans, and allowing workers to purchase their own vs a negotiated corporate agreement. An Aberdeen report indicates that a big corporate wireless plan breaks down to about $60 per person while the average reimbursement for a BYOD smartphone is $70. If you’re a big enterprise, that can add up really quickly. Kaneshige’s article goes on about other hidden costs, and what it surmises is sometimes you are robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Completely secure

We run up against this all the time. Companies will say that they have verbal and written policies in place. We have the firewall, a secure VPN, etc. but when you start to ask questions things begin to fall apart. A recent study asked workers about using their mobile devices remotely, only 29 percent of users have set passwords that would prevent their device from being used by a thief or co-worker.

While a stranger might not be able to get on the network, without a pass code on the phone, someone could surely access contact lists, to do lists, and company email to access and review a lot of data that companies don’t want other people view or have access.

Productivity

This has been one of the biggest claims amongst those who are leading the BYOD charge. They claim that using a device they “know” will make them work faster and be more productive. They may be more familiar with their device reducing confusion about how the device works, but how much time are they spending playing Angry Birds, keeping up with Words with Friends, posting on Facebook, etc. that isn’t being or can’t be enforced by the company?

There’s no concrete evidence that this is going on, but if my friend, who is using his phone for work, is a test case, then I would suggest it’s more than his employer would like.

Conclusion

BYOD isn’t inherently bad or good. Whether it really works for you depends on how you do business, secure your enterprise, and manage your costs, employees, and infrastructure. I thought it might be useful to at least start talking about a few of the widely cited myths and panacea expectations that we encounter as we talk to potential enterprises considering allowing employees to use their personal devices and computers as part of enterprise working assets. BYOD can be useful and may make sense for you – clearly define your requirements, policies, and expectations moving forward. Make sure you understand how your workforce uses technology and the trade offs of personal freedom on productivity. With that said, you also need to know there are some rough, potentially sharp and harmful edges associated with employing BYOD. I didn’t even mention the potential headaches that accompanies managing BYOD, depending on whatever your definition of managing it might be. Bottom line, can you really control what you don’t own, or should that even be a realistic expectation?

Mobile Ecosystem Predictions for the Rest of the Year

Hope you had a great 4th of July!

Now that we are half way through the year, I thought it’d be fun to throw out some predictions that I and some of my other colleagues see happening over the next six months and on.

First, expect to see continued consolidation in the MDM market, (which we have been lucky enough to participate in). This continues with companies combining their similar but disparate functionality to create more complete overall product offerings, e.g. LANDesk purchases Wavelink, and a few other notables in the fray. These consolidations along with further consolidations in the mobile device markets may muddy the MDM waters for some in the rugged space.

Under consolidation we have point 1.b. We are watching as hardware vendors consolidate their markets by purchasing other rugged vendors who also offer MDM products. As it turns out, they sometimes acquire companies with a preference for a management solution different from their own. Those who have been making a living with “special” functionality specific for their devices will end up with either some quick work to do to homogenize across their device platforms, or abandoning those special features until a later date for their acquired brand devices.

Next, I believe Microsoft Windows 8 will attempt to put a lock on the MDM market for Windows devices. Like the last time they tried this with SCMDM, they might find it difficult unless they can manage non-MS Windows devices including Android and iOS devices.

Finally, I expect to see more companies dip their toe in the water and try On Demand, cloud-based management. I am predicting they will find it to be a cost effective, refreshing change for the better. With that said, some of the more traditional in-premise wifi only devices will sadly never see the internet making this impossible. As long as there are wifi only devices, the need for “self-hosted” MDM systems will remain a requirement for management vendors.

These are only a few for you to think about, but I’d love to hear any predictions you have for the next 12-18 months! Post them in the comments below and let’s talk about them!

Introductions are in Order – Please Meet Velocity

I am pleased to announce that today we released Wavelink Velocity, our next-generation industrial-grade browser.  With Velocity, customers can easily and securely deploy their mission-critical web-based applications to all their mobile workers with connection persistence and rich and consistent HTML rendering, across mobile ecosystem.

What is Velocity?

Velocity is engineered to address key traditional browser shortcomings such as poor performance, connection interruptions, lack of scanner support and narrow OS platform support. It also introduces a new set of features to enhance web application performance. With industry-leading performance and connection persistence, Velocity is built to overcome traditional browser difficulties and limitations and performs in the most challenging environments. Velocity is designed for scanning intensive applications and is optimized for mobile workers.

How does Velocity work?

Velocity is a server-side web browser paired with a client-side viewing application. The Velocity server interacts with a web server and performs most of the browser functions. It processes the pages using a browser engine and then sends it to the client in a lightweight format. Users receive all the benefits of a fast browser without waiting for the processing to take place on the client.

Hopefully that gives you just enough about the new product, but I encourage you to check out the Velocity product page for more info, or view the webinar we recently held to see more.

Thanks!

In Depth Honeywell APAC Wrap-Up

As you saw (click here for the pictures), the Wavelink AsiaPac team attended and sponsored the Honeywell AsiaPac and China shows on Feb 28-29, and Mar 1-2 respectively in Hangzhou China near Shanghai.

The conferences were to bring together Honeywell’s reseller and partners to learn Honeywell’s plans for 2012 and beyond. Products, strategies, and guidance on how to maximize your opportunities were provided in the areas of mobile computers and scanners. Participants were rotated through sessions specializing on field mobility, retail, and warehousing with each touching on how Honeywell specializes in each area, and how participants can again optimize their participation in these market segments.

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Retail Asia 2011 Recap – What Can Voice do for Retail?

Retail Asia 2011 is in the rear view mirror after a successful show in Hong Kong. By now, it should be evident to all that retail and technology are intertwined very tightly, and that successful retailers need to stay in tune with the latest thinking to optimize and insure their profits.

Wavelink spotlighted Speakeasy with a live system collecting data and responding and directing workers in Mandarin Chinese. Speakeasy supports a wide range of global languages, even with regional accents or variations. Retailers are quick to understand the benefits of Speakeasy in several of the key retail functions, especially the lack of need for user specific training, speech processing functions local on the device, and the ease of integration and use. They agreed it would improve floor staff productivity and flexibility audibly guiding workers through their tasks looking at mobile device displays only when necessary.

This show also  included a lot of different electronic shopper hardware and software, it was highlighted by a number of intelligent video display panels. The panels actually watch the viewers and react by changing programming based on how many people are watching, whether they are moving closer or farther away, which direction, the viewers sex, and I even saw one where the panel evaluates the mood of the shopper. I’m told none of the data is saved due to privacy concerns, but using it on the spot allows the store to change its look and interaction with shoppers to buy what they came for, and keep ’em coming back for more. Mobile technology was well represented by several key global and local software and hardware providers and distributors. Most of the high tech hardware companies were present as were the ERP and WMS system providers in some fashion.

As I said earlier, retailers recognize the advantages provided by good, new technology and move quickly to capitalize on the benefits. They are now quickly learning the good things Wavelink Speakeasy, on top of Terminal Emulation and Wavelink Industrial Browser, can do to improve their operations and profits. Thanks for checking in!

From Hong Kong, 再见 (Zàijiàn) or goodbye!

Kelly