Getting employees out of the back offices and onto the sales floor, streamlining apps to increase warehouse employee productivity or queue busting mobile payments are just a few ways that enterprise mobility solutions increase business value. But along with the benefits come a handful of challenges. How do you secure business and personal devices, deliver the right content to the right users and protect corporate data? Balancing security risks with the benefits of increased productivity is essential. Today’s enterprise mobility demands flexibility, customization and security.
A launcher is the part of the user interface that lets device users customize the look and functionality of their home screen, launch mobile apps and make phone calls, among other tasks. At BlueFletch, we’ve built a launcher for our enterprise clients that allows them to customize their devices for the way they do business. Here are a few of the features we think every enterprise launcher should contain in order to optimize device functionality, streamline business processes and ensure device and app security.
From increased productivity to maximized security
Enterprise organizations in the retail, warehousing/manufacturing and transportation & logistics verticals usually own a fleet of mobile devices that are shared by their employees. Out of the box launchers for these devices typically launch apps and lock down everything else. That’s all. But so much more is possible with a custom enterprise launcher.
A fleet of enterprise grade shared devices used in conjunction with a custom launcher gives businesses the ability to control costs through process efficiencies and maintain security while maximizing device flexibility with a breadth of custom permission and features.
A launcher that is device, MDM and security paradigm agnostic allows the enterprise to customize their devices for the way they do business. A custom launcher presents users with a customized home screen that is specific to your needs and is branded to your organization. Increased security and optimized efficiency are the byproducts of a customized solution made specifically for your business processes.
The enterprise must secure and manage devices, apps and content. A launcher can help accomplish this goal in a number of ways. Single sign on, locked settings and a guest mode all make devices more secure.
Imagine a retail environment with an in-store closed wifi, but when the sales associate steps out of the store they can connect to the mall’s public wifi and all of the companies secure information is potentially compromised. Your launcher should limit all settings so that apps will not open unless the device is connected to the allowed wifi network.
Single Sign On
Single sign on and nfc badge authentication allows for super fast sign-ins, but when used in conjunction with a SDK it also serves as your mobile application’s identity provider, allowing gated access to applications and even feature access from within applications. In other words, single sign on can secure apps on a device the way you secure web apps on desktops. Role based permissions are also possible and can be passed along to individual apps, allowing edit permissions and screen access granted or denied within the applications themselves.
A guest mode will allow clients, customers and vendors access to allowed information on the device while keeping corporate information secure. Guest mode can feature open applications such as gift registry, item lookup or customer check-in to be used without authentication.
Keep Control In-House
Controlling access to information in-house is another security feature found in a customizable launcher. For example, an organization could remove Google Play and replace it with an app store that is tailored specifically to that organization, in-cloud or on-premises, effectively limiting app availability to approved apps only.
A custom launcher allows your organization to centralize the activities you need your phones to handle. Your devices function better when they are customized specifically for your business. Users can check work email, schedule meetings, reach out to contacts, work on documents and interact with business apps quickly and efficiently.
Time == Money
With a custom launcher, the device can launch your company’s apps (and even deep link into the app) when employees scan bar codes or enter info into the search feature. It can even integrate with VoIP services. Decreased navigation time and increased ease of use means employees get more work finished faster. A time savings of minutes per user per day multiplies into huge time savings when you’re dealing with an enterprise fleet of tens of thousands of devices.
Single sign-on capabilities means employees are not signing in to every app individually. It also means that VoIP extensions and telephones numbers can be automatically assigned to devices or by user selected extensions, eliminating the need to support a separate paring application or complex manual processes.
Good UX == Happy Employees
A launcher can be customized to have intelligence over the things you scan – for example, a sales associate scanning a customer’s receipt will pull up the order, while an associate scanning a product barcode will pull up product information from a different app.
A customized application order allows employees to view the apps in a customized order for their job function, streamlining their workflow.
Predictive or contextual search features are another possibility when working with a custom launcher. Like google search within your apps, the search feature predicts what you’re looking for and gives options to choose from. With a custom launcher you can customize specific search contexts to search within your apps and even your own data.
Secure apps are major concern for enterprise mobility, but having the Single Sign On capability means you don’t have to sacrifice the UX experience for your associates. All your apps may be password protected but your associates save time by not having to login over and over. Good UX and ease of use always makes for happy associates.
Notifications without Google Play Services
For organizations without Google Play services, there is no way to send notification to devices without building your own infrastructure. A custom launcher can push notifications from your server without google play services, allowing your team to get the information they need in a safe, secure, in-house environment.
A custom launcher gives your organization flexibility in how you allocate devices, enabling every device to be customized for every employee, at any time.
VoIP user selected extensions allows for increased flexibility within your organization. With a custom launcher, organizations don’t have to assign an extension to a specific device. It allows your organization to assign an extension to a user so that extension follows that user, regardless of device. So a team member in the paint department doesn’t have to use a paint department phone – he or she can log into any device and the team member will get the paint department extension assigned automatically.
Flexibility of use is also exemplified in notifications that follow the user, not the device. Custom enterprise launchers allow for automatic topic subscription, making it easy to send targeted notifications based on location, site, role, active directory group, etc. For devices that do not have Google Play services, a custom launcher can push notifications from the server, keeping all information in-house and secure.
The ability to log in with multiple identifications increases device flexibility. Someone from the corporate office can pick up a device at a store, log in with their corporate credentials and have access to all of their information there on the device. Guest mode is another example of how a custom enterprise launcher provides increased device flexibility.
Optimize Functionality to Advance Your Business
Enterprise mobility is an essential element in business today. Going mobile allows businesses to securely communicate and collaborate more efficiently, opening up new value and growth potential. In today’s enterprise mobile world, business users expect and deserve new functionality to make them more productive and successful at work. Providing your devices with increased flexibility and enhanced user experience is a key ingredient for advancing your business success.