Wavelink Blog

Category: Mobile Device Management

The Wavelink Difference: Enterprise Strong (Pt. 3 of 3)

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This series of enterprise-focused blogs has been created to raise your awareness of the things to look for to insure the core product selections you make can impact your ability to meet operational needs and expectations. Wrapping up this series, let us explore how Wavelink TE and Velocity is created to meet the mission critical expectations of customer operations teams.

Enterprise-Class Capabilities

Previous blogs we have covered how Wavelink is standards based, using TCP as our guaranteed message delivery methodology. Others have chosen to rely on a proprietary connectionless protocol to support guaranteed delivery. Unfortunately, the proprietary protocol creates a ripple effect through your enterprise support teams that make problems even worse when they do occur.

Networking tools become ineffective when proprietary protocols come into play. UDP cannot be routed, so Network Admins need to get involved to set up and secure tunnels between subnets. TCP based traffic systems require very little, if any, involvement from IT and Networking teams.

Future-ready mobility

Do you plan to grow the operation where TE and mobile are employed? If so, Wavelink supports standards based load balancing, allowing you to expand without adding new infrastructure to support your TE apps. If the product you choose cannot do that, you may be creating a problem when your company grows.

If you are ever considering moving your host to the cloud or using a cloud based solution, Wavelink TE and Velocity support that today, as well as use over Public Wireless Data Networks, like LTE networks operated by telephone carriers. Server based TE products prevent you from considering cloud based solutions.

Extensive Toolkit

Across the LANDESK business (of which Wavelink is a part), we offer several other products that should be considered to support your enterprise operations. Our database dashboarding product Xtraction is a great example. Build your own real-time reports with an easy to use interface, using data from any of your database systems. Analyze how your business is working without leaving your desk. Allow Wavelink to review your operations today to see if there are other optimizations and benefits we can deliver.

Global Support

Wavelink is a global operation with support teams around the world. Support is available 24 X 7 X 365 in a number of languages. Not everyone in the market can make that claim. Our on-line community includes users from small to mid-sized, and large companies, and multinational enterprises. In the community, you can communicate with peers on their thoughts on fixes and best practices.

Over thirty thousand companies rely on Wavelink products in their mission critical operations around the world. Consider the benefits of working with Wavelink: an experienced, global, and enterprise-focused company with products to meet your mobility needs. Do not be misled by small players overplaying their hand. Rely on Wavelink and our proven, 25-year track record around the world.

The Wavelink Difference: Enterprise Secure and Supportable Mission Critical Mobility and Modernization (Pt. 2 of 3)

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In our first post of this series, we covered the things that make Wavelink Velocity TE and Web enterprise-ready. This segment will continue on the enterprise mission critical theme in the areas of enterprise supportability and security. We will focus on standard network protocols, encryption, system reliability and sustainability methods, all of which are important to IT departments and network administrators.

Legacy versus modern networking

Over 20 years ago, proprietary protocols and server/gateway based methods were frequently used to address challenges that arose from the use of wireless technologies. Over the years, as technologies have evolved and matured, those are disappearing as methods to support mobility improve and mature. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, it was common to expect to install a network controller or server in order to provide basic mobile services like wireless terminal emulation to workers.

Each of these products employed proprietary protocols and had a tendency to lump all their functions on the one part of the enterprise they could control – their required, network-based server. No real architecture was involved. It was all stored on the server. Unfortunately, this created a single point of failure situation. That has not changed today for server-based telnet systems.

At the turn of the 21st century, network equipment providers became much more mobile-aware and offered much more stability and better wireless connectivity to mobile workers. Most of the proprietary or highly customized products have disappeared from the market as the functions they specialized in are now included in the devices, or are built into the network components.

Devices are now much better suited to operate on standards-based wireless and mobile networks using only standard protocols. Our Velocity and Terminal Emulation can support multiple sessions with multiple types of hosts, allowing you to create a backup and failover plan to meet your needs. Wavelink’s installed base of over 10 million devices with many, many more over the last three decades is proof that our solution is up to the task.

The importance of industry standards

The beauty of the Wavelink TE architecture is that it is plug and play. It does not require an additional server application installation, additional open TCP or UDP ports, additional host resources to accommodate a server application or access to a host systems engineer.

Our system can typically be managed with minimal or no interaction with the host systems engineers, network administrators, or IT department in general. Devices can be provisioned in minutes requiring only a wireless IP connection, host IP address and emulation type while still providing the flexibility of a feature rich environment.

Wavelink TE leverages only TCP/IP whereas other solutions may use a combination of UDP/IP and TCP/IP, which create the need to use antiquated networking techniques like tunneling. The use of multiple and proprietary protocols add complexity to the system.

Enterprise-grade connectivity

To accommodate those that may need session persistence, Connect Pro has been offered for over a decade as a value add option involving an intermediary server. It may be optionally added to the Wavelink TE environment if there are issues in a customer’s operational environment. Poor wireless coverage, improperly set inactivity timers, and mobile devices that suspend while in session due to inactivity make Connect Pro a viable solution. We have found session persistence to be required in less than 10% of our installed base. It is offered in flavors for Windows, Linux, and for the AS/400.

In conclusion, security, supportability and availability should all be considered when making mission critical product decisions. Any one of the areas discussed here should make you pause to consider only solutions that are really ready to meet the demands of your enterprise.

The Wavelink Difference: Enterprise-Ready Mission Critical Mobility and Modernization (Pt. 1 of 3)

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We are all familiar with products that come in consumer and contractor versions. The assumption is that the contractor versions are better built and you should expect to get more from them, and they should last longer. We believe in this concept – that some products are better suited for the tough jobs, while others are simply not designed to meet those demands, despite their overhyped claims.

Wavelink proves this concept to mobility software in the form of enterprise-ready, mission critical mobility software that’s proven to meet the demands of the toughest jobs. This is the first of a series of blog entries that will help you understand how Wavelink develops mobility software to work in your most critical operations – the Wavelink Difference.

“Enterprise-ready” means different things to different people so I’ll explain Wavelink’s approach using our Velocity, Terminal Emulation, and browser mobility products as the example.

Global Presence

Wavelink is a global company with offices on five continents and distributors and partners on every continent except Antarctica. Our products are internationalized in local languages for businesses to use around the world. The products are built with the ability to support multi-national corporations in mind.

Our worldwide sales force works with local resellers and distribution partners offering global product distribution and expertise. Our products are also available for instant delivery via our online webstore. We also make our licenses easy to distribute, offering tools to pass licenses to devices, hands free.

Like our sales and partner network, our technical support organization is available around the world. Our customers can count on 24 x 7 x 365 support for their Wavelink deployments, in a number of languages. Our online community made up of users – big and small, is a place where customers can trade notes on best practices in “real life” implementations, and supplements our support organization.

Proven Expertise

Our Velocity, Terminal Emulation and Industrial Browsers are horizontal products that work across many markets and applications. Some are used casually, but others are used in operations where downtime is measured in millions of dollars per hour. Most of these operations have goals to increase productivity by 5% or more each year.

The ability to provide reliable, always available products to connect workers to host applications is mission critical.  Wavelink is battle hardened with three decades of experience in this “must work to support my business” client based terminal emulation. Over 30,000 companies around the world are running over 10 million Wavelink TE licenses and millions of our other applications to run their operations every single day.

Designed for Business Continuity

In the same fashion, our products are created to be flexible, allowing you to operate as you need to use them, not how we force for you to deploy and use them. In addition, we offer all the value added accessory system parts you may ever need, but again, you only need to use the things you need, when you need them.

Knowing full well there are IT and Network Administration staffs in enterprises, we don’t dictate your architecture; we work in the enterprise as you define it. For example: We don’t require servers to be on the subnets where your devices operate. Nor do we use nonstandard technologies, protocols, or methods like network tunneling that tie your hands. Finally, we don’t throw everything on one single server in your network and call it an “architecture” (that’s really more like a “single point of failure”).

To wrap up this segment, Wavelink works – in whatever language client or computer operating system you need it – reliably, all the time. With support near whatever location you are implementing. And when something in your network or application doesn’t work we offer you the ability to create a backup and fall back plan to continue operations. Mission critical enterprise strength is a serious commitment. We take your business seriously.

I Am a Control Freak and Here’s Why

Technology in the hands

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.

Splashtop

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.

A Smart Solution to Minimize Downtime

Downtime is wasted time. No debate there, right? So, as you’re considering your next generation mobile deployments, one obvious expectation is to be able to ensure you can troubleshoot these new, smart devices, minimizing delays whenever possible. Whether caused by mobile device settings or software, the ability to remote in, check out the issue, and resolve it quickly, is powerful – and imperative to maximizing worker productivity.

Last week, we announced our partnership with Splashtop, and the release of our Smart Device Remote Control. It’s a big deal for us, and very timely for businesses throughout the supply chain. More and more firms are starting hardware refreshes to mobile computers running Smart OSes like Android or planning for Windows 10.

Warehouse UC1One of the most relatable benefits of remote control – from customer stories using our long-proven Remote Control for Windows CE and Windows Mobile, is the ability to avoid “No Fault Found” service responses. For these companies, Remote Control addressed the scenario of a device having a problem in the field, and being sent to a service depot somewhere, only to be returned without any resolution – because, at the service center, all appeared to be in good working order. “Good working order” is good news, but the pain for these customers was explained in a couple of points:

Workers leaving the point of activity

When the device started acting up, the worker had to leave their task, walk to the closest person on-site who can help them, then walk back to their task location. Productivity losses really begin to mount the moment that worker walks away from their task location, and continue bleeding until they are physically back at their task location and able to resume their task. It may not sound like much, but consider the worker at the far end of a 250,000 square-foot warehouse (or larger in many cases), who has to walk all the way across the floor to swap out their device.

Staging time

Once reaching an on-site contact, that worker is standing idle for whatever time it takes to stage a replacement device from the spares pool – more downtime. Are spares pool devices usually sitting charged, in a docking station, loaded with the latest versions of mission critical apps, ready to go? The answer should be “yes”, but many admit to a less-ready state for spare devices.

Shipping out the “broken” device

Consider the costs of sending a device out for service, unnecessarily. It’s all wasted time, and money. Even if you’re not paying shipping under a service agreement, you’re cost is built into your spares pool of devices. When that device comes back with a note reading “No Fault Found”, you haven’t really gotten any benefit for the downtime you have incurred.

Smart Device Remote Control is a powerful tool for preserving mobile productivity. Used in conjunction with Avalanche for enterprise mobility management, companies not only gain more control by keeping devices and apps up to date. They gain the ability to troubleshoot and resolve issues on the floor, as they happen, so workers can get back to work as quickly as possible.

Crucial Questions With VP of Worldwide Sales: What You Need to Know

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Steve Bemis has extensive experience in hardware and software sales and management with a focus on mobile environments.

Since 2008, he has been an integral part of Wavelink with his role as vice president of worldwide sales. He is responsible for driving over 30 million in sales annually.

With this kind of experience in the industry, we wanted to pick his brain regarding current topics facing today’s industry. Here are his responses:

  • Tell us a little bit about the typical Wavelink customer. What problems does Wavelink solve for them?

The typical Wavelink customer is someone from a company you might deal with regularly—Amazon, FedEx, UPS, Bed Bath & Beyond, IKEA, and Sysco Foods, just to name a few.

Some of our oldest customers are food retailers, such as Safeway and Kroger, who use our software to help their local grocer order the food that the wholesaler delivers every day.

We are all about driving efficiency. This efficiency can occur in a retail space by perhaps allowing the associate real-time access to stock status and pricing, or it can occur in the distribution facility by making sure the product is shipped on time and as efficiently as possible.

Wavelink is all about mission critical applications.

  • Android migration is a trending topic right now. What are the biggest hurdles for companies with Android?

The biggest hurdle is deciding how to move your legacy systems forward. Everyone can agree that the compelling feature Android brings is a fresh look and feel; the challenge is how to bring that while still preserving the investment in Back Office systems.

Wavelink has been an industry leader doing exactly that for years. We have seen companies looking to upgrade their systems realize this to be a 500+ million dollar undertaking. Not only is this expensive, but it carries huge risks as we are talking about touching the very systems that are deemed mission critical.

Wavelink has products that can allow for this shift in technology while still mitigating the risks and costs.

  • How are companies using Velocity and what is it?

Velocity is a revolutionary product.

As with all of our products, Velocity aligns with our strategy of evolution vs. revolution. We can leverage it to provide everyone the user experience that our customers are looking for while maintaining their back-end systems with no changes to their host applications.

This allows them to recognize huge ROI with little risk. On top of that, we can leverage our Speakeasy product and add voice as simply as another modality, without all the legacy issues that came with adding voice in the past.

Download our free white paper and find out how you can make your Android migration as painless as possible.

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The New Android World: Dealing With BIG Migration Expenses

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Your business has most likely been running Windows Mobile or Windows CE for a device generation or two. From the introduction of PocketPC in the rugged device market in 2001, Microsoft delivered a stable platform that brought mobile productivity to manufacturers, retailers, and the entire supply chain in between.

However, the last five years have really forced a reevaluation of where to look next.

What’s next?

At first, there was the discussion of consumer devices moving into the hands of workers who traditionally carried rugged mobile computers. While the lines determining where consumer-grade fits and where it fails became clearer, the operating system landscape was significantly altered.

Since its first introduction to the rugged mobile computing market in late 2011, Android has grown in both the number of rugged devices shipped and the number of device form factors for which it’s available.

Since 2015, analyst firms such as VDC Research have pointed to statistics that prove Android is reaching “critical mass” in the market.

With industry experts recognizing Android as a viable candidate for your next mobility hardware refresh, your focus may be shifting to the remaining barriers to choosing this OS. That’s good.

A major area of concern: the expense of a migration.

App migration is expensive

When the first Android-based rugged devices entered the market, the most common objection concerned the mobile apps, with questions like, What am I supposed to do with my applications? Are there equivalent apps already available for Android? Will my application vendor build me an Android version? How much will all of this cost me?

It’s a huge jump—probably not seen since the days of moving your applications away from DOS around the turn of the century. And just like then, a big benefit of making the leap is an application experience that’s significantly more user-friendly.

That’s all nice, but at what cost?

Since the first rugged Android devices, many application providers, including Wavelink, have brought their apps to Android. Vendors have faced two choices:

1. Bring the existing application, in its current form, over to Android

2. Rewrite the whole application for this new operating system

The first option was a relatively quick solution, but wouldn’t fully take advantage of all that the Android OS offered. The second option—while it could allow developers to optimize the app for Android—was a much larger development effort (read: more expensive to create).

Terminal Emulation

Wavelink brought Terminal Emulation (TE) to the Android operating system in late 2011, just in time for the first rugged Android devices.

With TE, early adopters of Android devices could stay with their trusted mobility client and begin to roll out new devices. TE has been a proven platform for decades, and the ability to adopt new hardware without the risk of new software at the same time has been a relief for many customers. However, with its “green screen interface,” TE left something to be desired by those looking for a more Android experience.

Android—and fellow consumer operating system, iOS from Apple—really changed the mobile experience. Finger-tapping, swiping, pinching and panning are all new ways to navigate on a smartphone.

Aside from the way we interface with apps, the devices offer bright, beautiful screens. Display technology advanced with incredible clarity. How does one take advantage of all of this—the full Android experience?

In the same way that application vendors were reluctant to fully rewrite their apps for Android, companies around the globe discovered the same pains of cost, risk, and effort to migrate from their existing applications to new alternatives on Android.

To solve this, Wavelink created the Velocity platform.

Velocity

Velocity takes your existing telnet client or web application and modernizes it for a touchscreen experience. What does that mean? Your existing, trusted “green screen” client becomes an Android app—complete with screen-tapping navigation; a clean, intuitive user experience; and the ability to offer full color and graphics so workers can easily read and interpret task workflows.

You don’t need to migrate to a new application when you can modernize with Velocity. Underneath that elegant interface is the tried-and-trusted telnet client performance you’ve relied on for years. You can continue to depend on your Android application with confidence.

Only now, the user experience for your workers is much more intuitive and familiar, and it replaces multiple keypresses with single screen-taps.

Learn more by downloading our free white paper below!

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The Unparalleled Success of Speakeasy ROI Speaks for Itself

‘Tis the season for shouting. The U.S. presidential candidates are wielding their high-decibel voices in a cry for votes come November’s election.

Personally, I tune out every time there’s shouting and yelling. I gravitate towards the solid stalwarts of the world whose good deeds speak for themselves. I’m much more easily swayed by the power of one’s example than by the chest-thumping examples of one’s power.

A shout-out to the quiet power of Wavelink Speakeasy

While it’s tempting to shout from the rooftops the good deeds of Wavelink Speakeasy, customers of the solution make the best spokespersons.

One such example is the Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS) distribution center in Memphis, Tennessee. The facility supplies Toshiba repair teams across the country with parts and products, and prides itself on fast service.

Distribution director Daniel Sanders wanted to streamline the picking process, make it easier for pickers to fill orders, and eliminate the quality control step.

“When we researched the voice solutions on the market today, we saw that much had changed,” said Sanders. “After checking out Speakeasy and several other products, we chose Speakeasy.” The solution was deployed on top of the Wavelink Terminal Emulation client, which provides the interface back to Toshiba’s Warehouse Management System (WMS). The complete deployment is managed by Avalanche, the trusted Wavelink Enterprise Mobility Management solution.

ROI in three months and annual savings of $549,548

The quality control step that Sanders wanted to eliminate now takes place simultaneously with the picking.

“Immediately after an item is picked, Speakeasy uses a check digit in conjunction with the host to confirm that the correct items and quantities are in the order. Removing that second quality control step alone increases productivity up to 25 percent, without affecting our high accuracy rate of 99.8 percent. Overall productivity was further improved because we were able to assign the quality-control employees to more valuable roles that add to our bottom line.”

One unexpected benefit is that Speakeasy passed the company’s Lean Six Sigma, a methodology that relies on a team effort to improve performance by routinely removing waste. “Passing Lean Six Sigma says a lot about the solution’s quality,” said Sanders. “And our executives back at headquarters noticed. In fact, they had me shoot a short video of Speakeasy in use at the center so they could learn more about it. We originally planned to use the solution in only two places—the parts-pick and supply-pick areas. But now, because we can easily justify the return on investment, in the future we plan to use Speakeasy in other work areas, too. With Speakeasy, we’re seeing a projected annual savings of $549,548 in productivity, training, and audit costs alone. The solution paid for itself in fewer than three months. Speakeasy delivered everything it promised, and more.”

Independent research aligned with Toshiba’s success

Studies by VDC Research revealed that organizations employing voice-based technology have consistently cited gains of more than 20 percent in both picking accuracy and worker productivity. Approximately 40 percent of warehouse labor costs are related to order preparation. “This heightens the need to reduce warehousing errors, and picking errors in particular, as organizations strive to optimize the perfect order,” reported VDC’s Kathryn Nassberg and David Krebs. “Cost of freight, labor, and lost customers are the three factors that have the greatest financial impact when errors are made.”

And as product marketing manager Rob DeStefano explains in “The Android Expectation” white paper that you can download below, Speakeasy runs completely on the mobile device, meaning that everything that takes the spoken phrases and turns them into text for fields within your application is handled within the mobile device.

“As far as your host application is concerned, there’s no difference between data entered via voice and data scanned from a barcode, or keyed in by the user,” DeStefano said. “You’ve made a significant investment in your host applications. There’s no need to compromise that investment to get the latest mobile tech for your workers.”

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Terminal Emulation — the ‘Zip Code’ for Task Workers

I’m old enough to remember when the U.S. Postal Service introduced the “Zoning Improvement Plan” or ZIP codes in 1963. And a memorable slogan from an early ad campaign introducing this new process-efficiency plan has stuck with me ever since: “Mail moves the country. ZIP codes move the mail.”

In the areas of warehouse and distribution center modernization, there’s an ever-increasing need for process efficiencies to boost both productivity and accuracy. The margin for error is being scrutinized and warehouse operations present opportunities for competitive differentiation.

Achieving the “perfect order” (encompassing picking accuracy, on-time delivery rate, shipping without damage, and order entry accuracy) is increasingly the goal.

Terminal Emulation—an enterprise mobility staple since the 1990s

Though not nearly as old as the first ZIP codes, Terminal Emulation (TE) has been a staple for enterprise mobility solutions since the 1990s when wireless mobility gained traction. TE made it easy to see and capture the data from the server-based supply chain management systems.

Wavelink TE has a proven 20-year track record of meeting business needs. Without question, it’s a task worker “productivity catalyst” for enterprises across industries.

And as product marketing manager Rob DeStefano explains in “The Android Expectation” white paper that you can download below, Wavelink brought TE to the Android operating system in late 2011—in time for the first rugged Android devices.

“With TE, early adopters of Android devices could stay with their trusted mobility client and begin to roll out new devices,” DeStefano says. “The ability to adopt new hardware without the risk of new software at the same time has been a relief for many customers. However, with its ‘green screen’ interface, TE left something to be desired by those looking for a more ‘Android experience’”.

DeStefano explains that Android—and fellow consumer operating system, iOS from Apple—really changed the mobile experience. Finger-tapping, swiping, pinching and panning are all new ways to navigate on a smartphone. “Aside from the way we interface with apps, the devices offer bright, beautiful screens. Display technology advanced with incredible clarity. How does one take advantage of all of this—the full Android experience?”

According to DeStefano, in the same way that application vendors were reluctant to fully rewrite their apps for Android, companies around the globe discovered the same pains of cost, risk, and effort to migrate from their existing applications to new alternatives on Android. To solve this, Wavelink created the Velocity platform.

“Velocity takes your existing telnet client or web application and modernizes it for a touchscreen experience,” DeStefano says. “What does that mean? Your existing, trusted ‘green screen’ client becomes an Android app—complete with screen-tapping navigation; a clean, intuitive user experience; and the ability to offer full color and graphics so workers can easily read and interpret task workflows.”

DeStefano says you don’t need to migrate to a new application when you can modernize with Velocity. “Underneath that elegant interface is the tried-and-trusted telnet client performance you’ve relied on for years. You can continue to depend on your Android application with confidence. Only now, the user experience for your workers is much more intuitive and familiar, and it replaces multiple keypresses with single screen-taps.”

Here are some additional key points about Wavelink TE:

Modernize the host application automatically

Velocity handles the conversion of your host application’s text interface automatically, so you can devote your software-development resources to other projects. Your workers gain a mobile application that is contemporary and familiar, while your business avoids the costs of having to develop one.

Skip the middleware

The Velocity platform consists of the mobile app/browser and administrative console. Complexity doesn’t get between your mobile devices and your host application.

Customize keyboards

Many of today’s touchscreen devices have few, if any, physical keys for data entry. Velocity lets you create customized onscreen keypads, so you can present workers with the data entry keys appropriate for the task at hand.

Raise productivity with an optimized mobile experience

Powerful scripting and reformatting capabilities let you automate data parsing and customize your workers’ mobile experience like never before.

Get the white paper now!

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Speakeasy Makes It Easy to Improve Picking Accuracy and Productivity

Picture warehouse worker Peter Piper picking a peck of pickled peppers.

Let’s say Peter works for Goya Foods, America’s largest Hispanic-owned food company that distributes more than 2,000 Latin American products worldwide.

Did Peter perfectly pick the proper SKU of Goya pickled peppers? Were they the green Jalapeño? The Aji Picante? Were they sliced or whole? Did he pick them quickly? And what the heck is a peck, anyway?

Here’s the dill… I mean deal.

Warehouse operations are under pressure from customers who demand orders faster, and from high-error costs and labor costs. More SKUs drive the need for increased inventory visibility, accuracy, and efficiency.

As Kathryn Nassberg and David Krebs of VDC Research explain, ensuring greater speed and accuracy in warehousing, especially where individual picking is concerned, can reduce the cost of errors and boost worker productivity.

“As long as the human element continues to play a central role in warehousing,” say Nassberg and Krebs, “any technology that optimizes workflows and improves accuracy will add tremendous value.”

Voice-based technology improves picking accuracy and worker productivity

Research conducted by VDC revealed that organizations employing voice-based technology have consistently cited gains of more than 20 percent in both picking accuracy and worker productivity.

Around 87 percent of organizations surveyed experienced at least a ten percent improvement in picking accuracy, and 89 percent of organizations experienced at least a ten percent increase in worker productivity.

The pressure for warehousing to boost productivity and cut costs will only continue to grow.

VDC Research says 40 percent of warehouse labor costs are related to order preparation.

“This heightens the need to reduce warehousing errors, and picking errors in particular, as organizations strive to optimize the perfect order. The cost of freight, labor, and lost customers are the three factors that have the greatest financial impact when errors are made.”

And as product marketing manager Rob DeStefano explains in “The Android Expectation” white paper that you can download below, the Android rugged mobile computing platform is reaching critical mass in the market. Industry experts recognize Android as a viable candidate for your next mobility hardware refresh. But such a refresh brings with it three areas of concern:

  1. Implications for your mobile apps
  2. Workers and the Android user experience
  3. Android and your Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems

Specifically addressing the first area of concern, the implications for your mobile apps, choosing an Android device—and modernizing your telnet or web application with Wavelink Velocity—means you can make the leap to Android without having to touch your host apps.

Velocity modernizes the mobility clients you’ve installed that are already working with your host.

And even if you choose to voice-enable your Velocity-based applications with the Wavelink Speakeasy solution, the same promise holds true.

Speakeasy runs completely on the mobile device, meaning that everything that takes the spoken phrases and turns them into text for fields within your application is handled within the mobile device.

As far as your host application is concerned, there’s no difference between data entered via voice and data scanned from a barcode, or keyed in by the user.

Speakeasy redefines voice enablement

As Rob DeStefano explains, Speakeasy isn’t a traditional voice application.

“It’s a whole lot easier—enabling voice on an app you’ve already have deployed. But it’s fully operational and fully functional. Don’t mistake easier for less than full function. It’s full-featured voice, without the complexity. It’s not the legacy voice application of old.”

And what about Peter Piper and that peck of pickled peppers at Goya Foods? The company implemented Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Speakeasy concurrently.

With support from a Wavelink engineer for implementation, Goya developed the pick flow, supporting screens, and error messages for Speakeasy. With just an hour or two of training, and with quick-reference guides in hand, pickers began pulling items.

With voice commands, pickers and forklift operators move from point to point more safely. The Prince George, Virginia plant, which is the testing site for the system that is being rolled out to other Goya sites, hasn’t logged a single accident since implementing Speakeasy.

Additionally, the Prince George site notes big boosts in picking accuracy. For any errors caught at bay doors, someone would manually have to go re-pick and pack those items. “We would have from 40 to 60 mis-picks a night,” said Luis Ramos, General Manager. “Now that has gone down considerably to be almost non-existent, which translates to efficiency.”

Learn more about Speakeasy and Velocity from Wavelink. Download the white paper.

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