The year 2020 is less than 6 years away and the only thing I can say is that based on the last 6 years the next six years are sure to present an entirely new set of gadgets, technologies and services. Let’s take a guess at what three common products today will look like in 2020. The smartphone has exploded in sales over the last six years, out selling the number of people on the planet and applications numbering in the 100’s of thousands. While today’s applications are largely entertainment in nature in 2020 the smartphone will be the console to your world. We will use it to start our cars, lock our homes and it will be our single financial instrument for trade. Due largely to the efforts of Tesla Motors, the electric car is coming of age. In 2020, every auto manufacture will have one or more offerings and charging stations will be common place at your most frequent destinations (grocery stores, shopping malls and even Starbucks). Lastly, I am constantly amazed at the service industries that continue to evolve as our society seeks to improve our life style. While cleaning and landscaping service providers have existed for more than 100 years their growth continues to increase. In additional to these traditional services we see newer services such as mobile mechanics and grocery delivery on a mass scale. Convenience is in our DNA and technology will enable an entirely new set of services going forward. What do you think 2020 will look like?
Often one of the most difficult tasks company’s face is how to define their place in the world and differentiate themselves from their competitors. Every company is different, even those that provide the same product or services. This is because companies are more than just the products and services they sell. Companies are a collection of individuals and as such each brings a unique view of the world which influences “HOW” as opposed to “WHAT” a company produces. It is the “HOW” that truly determines the image or brand of a company. Taking a long look at HOW you are different from your competitors is one method for identifying your unique value. Another method to help define your company is to look not at the items you produce but the end result of what these items produce. A company that manufactures drill bites may describe themselves as the leading provider of “accurate holes” for cabinet manufactures.
With the invention of the internet and continued advancements in search engine technology, the World Wide Web has become the largest single depository of information available to man. However, even with all this information there are still times when I cannot readily access something I am looking for. It may be because I did not use the best search criteria or maybe it simply does not exist. At DecisionPoint, everything we do is related to mobile computing. As such, we have deep knowledge on this subject. If there is something related to mobile computing that you need please give us a try. We are eager to hear your needs and identify a solution.
With the 100’s of thousands of mobile applications available for download one would think that finding a mobile business application is a simple search away. However, the reality is that the majority of these applications for download are consumer and or entertainment in origin. The mobile business application market is still a niche, vertically oriented marketplace and as such, the number of applications available for any particular industry varies greatly. For example, if you are a plumber looking for a field service application you will have many off-the-shelf applications to choose from. However, if you are in the sign installation business your options are more limited.
There are more mobile computers and smart phones to choose from than ever. With multiple operating systems (Android, IOS, Windows Mobile, etc.), differing display sizes, a virtually unlimited number of form factors and peripherals (rugged, camera’s, scanners, radio options and so on) how do you choose the right device? The key is to defining and prioritizing your requirements. We recommend the following:
There is no arguing that mobile computing is exploding. There are new applications and devices released every day, but why? Many reasons can be put forward but they all can be categorized into one of two camps: technology advancements or human connection. Technology advancements are easy to see, small form factors, brilliant displays and ergonomic packaging. However, in my opinion the single technology that made the mobile explosion possible is the development of wide are wireless connectivity. It is the ability to have a conversation via voice or text and connect to the internet from anywhere without wires that led to the development of the smart phone and countless applications. Without this connectivity mobile devices would still be those specialized devices of the 1980’s and 1990’s being used in warehouse and retail stores to track inventory. Human connection is the other reason for mobiles mass appeal. It allows us to connect, share and learn in real time. The most downloaded and used applications contain one or more methods for connecting with others, whether it be family, friends, per groups or complete strangers. Technology will continue to change and evolve but our need to connect is eternal. While no one knows what tomorrow will bring you can be assured that mobile is here to stay.
The “last mile” is a phrase used in a many industries to describe the final segment between a company and its customers. In the public utility sector it is the segment of cable or pipe that connects each individual customer to the main trunk. In the transportation sector it describes the final distance between the last distribution center and the customers’ delivery point. The “last mile” is arguably the single most important segment of any distribution system for two reasons. First, it represents the only direct link between a company and its customers and second, without the “last mile” all preceding infrastructure, systems and processes have lessor value.
Technology is constantly changing. Some technologies ride a rollercoaster of favor and fade as they seek to find their place (RFID), while others replace earlier versions (imagers for lasers), and then there are those that create a permanent place in our world (the internet). Three current technologies that appear to be creating a permanent mark on the IT landscape are “Big Data”, “Cloud Computing” and “Mobile Computing”.
Big Data as defined by SAS Institute Inc.
“Big data is a popular term used to describe the exponential growth and availability of data, both structured and unstructured. And big data may be as important to business – and society – as the Internet has become. Why? More data may lead to more accurate analyses
Smart phones and tablet computers are extending the reach of mobile computing solutions in the enterprise. There are many reasons for this including CPU performance, new operating systems choices, size and availability. However, the most obvious reason is device cost as compared to traditional ruggedized mobile computing options. While the initial acquisition cost of a consumer device is often 1/3 to ½ the price of a ruggedized device, this is only one piece of the true cost over the solution’s life. When evaluating device cost there are a number of factors that should be considered including:
Additional protective peripherals: Consumer devices are not designed to take a fall. As such, many enterprises purchase cases, holsters and other peripherals to protect the device from the elements and abuse.
Guest Written by Sunny Ahmed – Business Development Manager
APEXWare™ Field Service (FS) enables you to capture lost revenue, provide proof of service delivery, reduce inventory shrinkage, and reduce back office administration. A field deployment of wireless handheld devices with integrated bar code scanners enables your business to run completely paperless. APEXWare™ FS is also offered as a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, thus eliminating the need for costly IT infrastructure (on-site server, IT resources).