If your organization is migrating from legacy mobile devices and considering deploying consumer devices as part of the enterprise mobile strategy, avoid these common mistakes.
I recently had the opportunity to participate in Zebra’s Developer podcast hosted by Dan Quagliana and Mark Jolley from Zebra. I spoke a bit about some of our experiences dealing with deploying Software and OS Patches on Android devices in the Enterprise. Here are some of the highlights and notes from the questions that I covered during the discussion.
I recently stopped by the Elliot Bay Book Store in Seattle and was impressed with the amount of personal reviews their team had hand-written for book titles. I ended up picking up a lot more books than I would have at a regular book store where I would browse covers or spines of books. In this era of fake internet product reviews, it was refreshing to see a handwritten review from someone who read the text… additionally some of the reviews got a good chuckle out of me (see below). Could this well executed strategy of telling stories about products be applied to more than just a bookstore?
As with all technology in the enterprise, uptime is critical for handheld devices. To ensure this, mobile software deployments for thousands of devices requires careful planning, testing and attention to detail. I’ve outlined some best practices and tips learned from assisting many companies with their rugged Android deployments via Mobile Device Management tools (MDMs). These are the key areas that I typically will provide guidance to companies on.
When rugged devices first were deployed into the wild, the modern MDM solutions we know today did not exist. The pioneers of enterprise mobility had to create solutions for the problems they faced. Early in my career at Accenture we essentially built a platform on top of Windows CE that allowed applications to shared common components in order for us to rapidly build mobile applications. However, so many of the legacy devices that have served in warehouses, grocery stores, airports, etc., need to be replaced and so should the old way of managing rugged devices.
Near field communications (NFC) is an interesting technology that is built into most modern smartphones. Recently I read an article outlining how to read NFC tags on Android. The article did a good job at giving a basic overview of the implementation, but using the steps described left me with some questions and for my use case it did not work.
Each organization will have a unique approach to staging devices; however, there are overarching principles that should be considered by all organizations. Ensuring the topics below have been addressed should help shape a reliable and scalable process for provisioning ruggedized Android devices. These concepts and recommendations are based on BlueFletch’s experience of designing and piloting staging processes for many clients, from a few hundred devices to over forty thousand.