Tapping Developer Expertise
Want to initiate a tablet mandate in your company? It is only fair to warn you that hiring iOS developers won’t necessarily help you to accomplish your objective. Why? The reason is because the combination of mobile development and enterprise IT expertise is extremely difficult to find.
In the case of Waste Management, the firm’s executive team got around this issue by utilizing Java developers. Many of these developers possessed minimal mobile skills, yet the company was able to form these tech specialists into the organization’s Android team. Most cutting-edge IT experts see the need to learn and acquire new skills and therefore foresee potential career opportunities. The company’s executive team reports that this IT initiative has energized the Waste Management team.
Let’s take a look at Level 3. The organization employed a different strategy. Level 3 combined a mix of hiring fresh talent and retraining current staff to move forward in the company’s iPad campaign. Avnet decided to go a similar route as Waste Management. Avnet trained the firm’s existing in-house experts. At the time, Avnet actively used about 20 mobile apps.
Some companies completely depend on out-sourcing to contractors. If your business decides to go the out-sourcing route you must be careful with contractors. Just because development firms have first-rate design skills doesn’t necessarily mean the firms possess adequate experience to perform the required integration and security measures that are a key businesses need, let alone understand the scale of enterprise apps.
Bill Martin the CIO of Royal Caribbean claims, “It’s kind of the Wild, Wild West out there, particularly when it comes to enterprise.” Martin adds, “The iPad is just a digital sign with a lot more capability.”
Royal Caribbean employed the same vendor (Four Winds Interactive) that the cruise operator used for the company’s iPad app initiative. Obviously, Royal Caribbean benefited from using Four Winds Interactive, because this is the same company that created the poster-sized interactive digital signs for Royal Caribbean’s ships in 2010. Even though some of Four Winds’ rivals have more iPad implementation experience, Four Winds is well-acquainted with Royal Caribbean’s business.
Security and Management
Security’s always a priority…or at least it should be. Yet many firms discovered that off the-shelf mobile device management software is up to the task. Some of these vendors that companies choose to provide this management software are also the same firms that offer and manage iPhone management software.
- Good Technology
All of these companies offer mobile device management (MDM) software that allows for remote wipe of lost tablets, remote updates, and policy settings based on the associate’s roles. For example at Holly Hunt, most warehouse workers have a locked-down setting that only permit an iPads access to specific apps. Whereas designated warehouse team leaders are permitted Internet access. No employees are authorized to download apps.
Avnet isn’t utilizing any MDM software on the company’s warehouse tablets, Avnet simply disabled certain apps and features with some subtle alterations…these alterations and the nature of the alterations cannot be divulged. Yet I am allowed to report that workers check iPads in and out with a paper sign-in sheet.
Sean Valcamp, Avnet’s Director of IT Architecture warns against making things too complicated in the tablet pilot stage. If Avnet expands from the organizations eight-iPad test to 25 then it might make sense to automate the iPad checkout process. Valcamp adds that before Avnet adds any bells and whistles, the company must first be satisfied that tablets make warehouse teams more efficient.
At this point the MDM market is anyone’s for the taking. The MDM market has a number of established players, but as of yet there is no clear market leader. Not to mention the features each vendor offers change in a fluid manner. MDM is NOT quite at the point of leave it and forget it…but that’s coming.Tweet