Many businesses are looking to improve their “Enterprise Mobility” by equipping their workforce with better tools to operate flexibly and efficiently.
In a post-COVID world, businesses have had to be more flexible with how they manage and deploy their workforce. Communication is at the core of this – businesses who have a top-to-bottom structure for effective communication can unlock efficiency gains like never before which, in turn, can boost profitability.
You can define “Enterprise Mobility” as a business model which allows free and flexible operation with regards to how the human workforce is distributed and structured. And in the pursuit of Enterprise Mobility, investing in the right technology to support the delivery of a business’ desired efficiencies is essential.
Businesses investing in the right technology to put in the hands of mobile members of their workforce are reaping the rewards of efficiency and profitability gains.
There are different areas of technology where businesses can look for efficiency gains. But the common theme is the device that workers use every day to perform their designated tasks for the business.
Now that workforces are more mobile than ever before – whether that means hybrid working or being able to work in different locations around the company’s premises – businesses need to equip their employees with the right device to work efficiently and in a way which suits them.
Many companies have researched employee productivity and have concluded that the fewer devices an employee has to use, the more efficiently they are able to work. Because of this, businesses are shifting towards putting handheld smart devices – commonly powered by Android – in the hands of their employees.
Thanks to Android, more and more everyday tasks can be executed using a smartphone or tablet, allowing workers more flexibility to collaborate.
With the power of a PC but with the added functionality and feel of a smartphone in their hands, employees can experience flexibility like never before. That’s why we have built a suite of Enterprise Mobility solutions which businesses can leverage to work smarter and communicate better.
In this article, we explore the key components of our Enterprise Mobility product range and explain how they can benefit businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Push-to-talk (PTT) communication is an established way for colleagues to communicate. Two-way radios are commonplace on many sites around the world and are popular because they enable instant communication, making them far more efficient than phone calls.
However, two-way radios have several significant limitations. The main drawback is that they are proprietary devices which can only be used for PTT communication. And while they are often very rugged, they are bulky units with large antennas which can be hard to carry comfortably. Furthermore, two-way radios are great for short-range communication (a few kilometers maximum) but they do not suit businesses whose workers are spread out either over wider areas or multiple locations.
Now that workers are relying more and more on handheld smart devices, our PTT application – Workforce Connect powered by Zebra Technologies – can be used on any Android or iOS smartphone or tablet. Running seamlessly in the background, it bolts PTT functionality onto a worker’s chosen smart device, delivering all the benefits of a two-way radio but without the drawbacks. Everything on one device, no need to carry a bulky, heavy unit and instant communication over limitless areas.
A push-to-talk app can be added to any device – including a worker’s personal device – but performs best when using a rugged smart device like a smartphone, tablet or touch computer. These rugged devices often have built in buttons which can be mapped to the PTT function on the application, making them as easy to use as two-way radios but without the drawbacks of a bulky, single-functionality device.
Businesses looking to boost their enterprise mobility should start by looking at the way their teams communicate. Click here to learn more about push-to-talk communication.
Scanning and data capture devices
Scanners are commonplace in a huge number of businesses. Many workers rely on their scanning device to quickly and accurately capture data that would take hours without the use of technology.
But with businesses looking to utilise smartphones and tablets more and more, a scanner could be considered yet another device that a worker has to carry. And the more devices a worker has to carry and use on a daily basis, the less efficiently they can work.
Our range of Zebra Touch Computers are the perfect all-in-one device for those with a requirement for scanning. Zebra Technologies is the market leader in scanning technology, proven by their presence all around the world, but scanning is just a part of what you get for your money.
Zebra Touch Computers are powered by Android, delivering the same user interface which millions of consumers around the world love. They deliver all the popular, familiar Android features but housed in a rugged body which can withstand constant harsh treatment. So instead of equipping workers with a consumer-grade device which cannot withstand bashes, scrapes, drops and intensive use, the business can save significant repair and replacement jobs by providing hardware which is truly fit for purpose.
To learn more about Zebra Touch Computers, click here.
Enterprise smart devices
Now that workers need to be more mobile than ever before, being contactable and connected with their teams wherever they are is highly important.
For many years, companies have issued mobile phones to their workers. Historically, these have been consumer-grade phones; on face value this appears to be a good idea, however there are some significant limitations.
Consumer smartphones, even from the leading global brands, are notoriously difficult and expensive to repair. And repairs are inevitable given that employees are constantly on the move and sometimes working outside or in harsh environments. It therefore makes far more sense for businesses to supply any employees who they would consider “mobile” within the business (for example someone who does not spend all day at a desk) with a rugged device instead.
But why not just let employees use their personal devices for work? There are a few key reasons why businesses should be reluctant to take this approach, primarily from an IT perspective.
Firstly, it is impossible to monitor what an employee is doing on their personal device, which can eat into productivity. A business should have control of its entire IT infrastructure, including smartphones. And when employees use their personal devices for work, there is no way of ensuring the company’s online security. IT departments simply cannot compromise when it comes to the integrity of their security systems.
We have made Samsung’s Enterprise range of smartphones and tablets an integral component of our Enterprise Mobility solution suite. They are built to IP68 and Military Standard rugged certifications, but also deliver all the Android-powered user interface (UI) features and apps that you would expect from a flagship consumer device.
The benefits to businesses don’t stop with the devices themselves either. By using Knox, Samsung’s Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform, the IT department can manage, monitor and tailor a fleet of devices to the organisation’s specific needs. Whether it is pre-loading or white-listing certain apps, pre-installing a suite of settings or implementing the business’ security features, Knox pushes over-the-air updates to each device at the click of a button, while receiving comprehensive real-time diagnostic data.
To learn more about our Samsung Enterprise range, click here.
“Rugged” is as rugged as it gets, right…?
Broadly, a device which has a high tolerance to harsh physical contact like drops, scratches and weight bearing, as well as substantial resistance against dust and liquid ingress, can be classes as rugged. However, there are plenty of environments where normal rugged standards may not be sufficient.
These can generally be split into two categories. The first, and perhaps more common, is environments where a device needs to perform generally above and beyond regular rugged standards. A good example is in healthcare – while a normal “rugged” device may offer high protection against regular liquids like water, it may not be resistant to more harsh, chemical liquids like bleach.
The less common – but highly dangerous – environments are where there are explosive liquids, gasses and dusts present. Using normal devices in these environments is simply not an option as they are not categorised as “explosion-proof”. If, for example, a non-explosion-proof device was dropped in the presence of an explosive substance and the battery created a spark (which is common when a device is dropped), there could be an acute and significant risk to human life and to a business’ valuable assets.
People who work in these environments often rely on handheld smart devices to communicate and access everyday applications like emails, phone calls, push-to-talk communication, job ticketing and more. That’s why US-based Sonim Technologies, who manufacture “ultra-rugged” smartphones, are a key component of our Enterprise Mobility product suite.
The XP8, Sonim’s ultra-rugged smartphone, behaves in exactly the same way as a consumer-grade Android smartphone, with a slick user interface and all your favourite apps. The difference, however, is that it is housed in a body which can withstand the most extreme treatment. Even compared with standard “rugged” devices, the XP8 offers a new level of robustness.
Sonim XP8 is an explosion-proof smartphone – one of the only ones available on the market, which makes it as rugged as an ATEX-approved two-way radio. It is also IP69 certified – as opposed to IP68 – which means it can be submerged in harsh chemical-based liquids like bleach and is resistant to waters of high pressure and temperature.
The XP8 is also unique in that it comes with a comprehensive 3 year manufacturer warranty as standard, which includes accidental damage.
Discover Sonim’s rugged performance standards and the XP8 device by clicking here.
For a more secure and mobile workforce
If you’d like to know more about our Enterprise Mobility solutions – whether you are a business looking for efficiency or profitability gains, or you are a reseller with business customers who need to improve their use of communications technology – we’d love to hear from you!
For an overview of our Enterprise Mobility solution suite, click here.