HL Group recently completed the total migration of a mobile asset inventory solution for a federal agency. The goal of the migration was to move their solution to the latest mobile devices and enhanced functionality – without loss of production. While doing so, they needed to preserve their current investment in their existing mobile devices: leverage the old while bringing in the new.
The Changing Components
Ten years ago, the mobile device options that included bar code scanning and ruggedized enclosures were primarily from a handful of companies – Motorola (now Zebra) and Intermec (now Honeywell). Today, in addition to these manufactures updated options, there are more vendors in the market, like AML – and we have the availability of smart phones, industrial tablets and PC’s.
While it’s good to have a selection of new mobile hardware options, there is still the challenge of the software and network that they run on. The older device solutions were built around the Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system (Win Mobile) – which is now facing end-of-life in January 2020. So customers are not only facing replacing aging mobile devices, but they also need to ensure that their applications will execute under new operating systems like Windows 10, Android or IOS.
The Agency Challenge
The federal agency was facing this challenge of aging devices and changing operating systems. They also had a need for improved network security when it came to their mobile users. HL Group was able to meet this challenge with our latest version of mobilePLUS 4.3.
mobilePLUS provides a solution that runs in all three of the major commercial mobile environments – Win Mobile, Windows 10 and Android – with identical functionality and user interfaces in all three.
The decision to migrate their previous solution to mobilePLUS 4.3 met all of their requirements for new mobile device options (while still leveraging the old), better network security and new functionality. All of this was accomplished for a fraction of the cost, effort and disruption an upgrade of this proportion usually incurs.
The Challenges of Devices & Platforms
Last year, we published “Navigating the Challenges of Mobile Devices & Their Changing Platforms.” We reviewed the options for organizations facing this major shift in mobile devices. One approach, with many benefits, is to update application solutions to smooth transitions in technologies. This was the approach chosen by this Federal Agency.
There are three key benefits from the application update approach:
- Device & Platform Agnostic
- Application compatibility for Windows 10 and Android mobile devices
- Ability to expand mobile device pool with latest market offerings
- Provide a common user interface, functionality, network interface, training and support resources – across all platforms
- Improve functionality
- Updated functionality to support Agency’s current functional and security requirements
- Expanded configuration tools to tailor solution to specific needs
- Availability of optional RFID functionality
- Preserve existing investment
- Maintain use of existing Win Mobile devices (while available) and migrate users over time – spreading out cost and effort investments
- Leverage existing system investments for communications, databases – on premise or cloud-based
- Use existing security policies and procedures for new users
HL Group is proud that we were able to successfully provide an improved option for this Agency that has been our client for nearly twenty years. Our customers are a cornerstone to success – and the reason that we’ve been in business all these years. They not only provide revenue, but they challenge us technically and give us the opportunity to grow in how we serve them and others.
Are you in a similar position with your solutions and mobile device environment? Maybe we can help. HL Group welcomes the opportunity to discuss your situation and see what options may work for your specific challenges.
Wes Haubein is the President of HL Group, Inc., a premier provider of mobile asset inventory management, RFID and supply chain solutions. He writes regularly about management, solution integration and technology.