Organisations today are focused on achieving Enterprise Mobility by leveraging the internet and mobile technology revolution. And, the reason is, mobility is playing a critical role in achieving higher productivity.
However, the consumer mobile devices which people generally use has certain limitations. Consumer grade electronics of these devices cannot handle certain harsh conditions. The external and internal hardware components are not designed to sustain extreme heat, vibration, dust, humidity, and even a fall. Hence, the rate of failure is high in certain industries like manufacturing, logistics & transportation. For tough environments, when the execution and replacement costs exceed the devices’ procurement costs, the most viable choice is to deploy what is called – rugged mobile devices.
What Are Rugged Mobile Devices?
The external housing, as well as the internal components of rugged mobile devices, are designed keeping in mind the extreme conditions like high vibrations, extreme temperatures, humidity, dust and rough handling. They are explicitly designed to operate consistently in the tough work environment.
Rugged smartphones and tablets are widely used in industries like manufacturing, transportation, military, healthcare, public safety, field services and retail. They are used when following questions are raised:
- Is the working environment temperatures extremely high or low?
- Can employees use the devices with hand gloves?
- Can devices survive fall from heights? How much are the chances that devices may drop?
- What is the concentration of dust or ash in the working environment?
- Are the devices waterproof?
- How much is the intensity of vibrations in the work environment?
Let us go through examples across industries and work conditions where rugged mobile devices are used…
Manufacturing – The technician for repairing overhead crane can use the rugged device to refer to the design and the circuitry of the crane. He doesn’t need to carry design paper with him on the crane. And since it is rugged there is no worry about damaging the device due to falling from a height.
Chemical Industries – Rugged devices are used in chemical industries because there are various toxic chemicals around and temperatures are also high. Hardware and software component of these devices can sustain a chemical spill or smoke and even high temperatures.
Logistics & Transportation – Transportation vehicles travel through different geographies where there can be extreme weather, dust and heat, water and rough terrain. These conditions can be tough on the mounted devices. Regular consumer devices cannot handle these extreme conditions and vibrations. In such cases, rugged devices are preferred.
Summarising The Advantages Of Rugged Devices
Increase in product life cycle – Rugged devices have a longer life cycle in comparison to the consumer mobile devices. They are designed to last long, even in tough conditions.
The decrease in device breakdown – Since rugged devices are designed to work in the harsh working conditions, their failure rate is less, hence they require less of maintenance and replacement.
A wide range of operational parameters – Rugged devices are operational in the broad range of temperatures for an e.g. some of them can work in the temperatures in the range of zero degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, regular devices cannot sustain temperatures as high as 122 degrees Fahrenheit and even as cold as zero degrees, they have to be left indoors.
Better Communication – Mounted devices used in transportation & logistics vehicles have embedded GPS and Wi-Fi modems. Mount manufacturers make these docks explicitly with the functionality called ‘radio pass-through’ in which mobile devices can turn off the embedded radios and pass the signal through the dock hardware to stronger roof-mounted antennas.
Higher ROI – The durability and reliability of the rugged devices translate into the financial advantage as they can perform in the situations wherein the consumer mobile devices cannot sustain. Rugged devices eliminate costly repairs, replacements and the time taken to recover the work lost.
Rugged Devices & Enterprise Mobility
The durability and reliability of the rugged devices translate into the financial advantage as they can perform in the situations wherein the consumer mobile devices cannot sustain. These devices eliminate costly repairs, replacements and the time taken to recover the work lost. As a result, TCO – Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is lowered and Return on Investment (ROI) is higher. Since the main objective of the companies going for enterprise mobility is also for productivity, it has to be ensured that these rugged devices given to the employees are rightly used with proper security and without misuse.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution helps organizations to manage mobile devices over the cloud and achieve productivity & efficiency. It restricts usage of your company’s rugged mobile devices by not allowing any misuse of the devices by the employees for personal usage.
It is used across industries like:
- Healthcare and various other.
The right MDM Solution has all the features required for the organisations to efficiently manage and control their owned devices:
Kiosk Lockdown – Whitelist websites: Allow only those website & apps which are work relevant.
Content Management System – Remote Management – Remote Delivery – Remote Deletion: All the necessary documents and other variety of contents can be uploaded securely on a single Web-based dashboard. Thereafter, it can be published on different devices.
Device Tracking – Location Tracking – Geofencing – Messaging: Keep track of the movement of the devices given to your mobile workforce by setting a virtual fence.
Mobile App Management – Enterprise Apps – Upload APKs: Apps which are important for your business, can be uploaded on a common platform called Enterprise Apps.
Enhance Device Security – Security Incidents Notifications: Any untoward incidence like theft of the device or unlocking, are notified immediately to the Admin.
Remote Cast – Real-time view of the various devices activity: View the activity on the screen of devices given to your employee in real-time.
Business Monitoring & Messenger App: Get real-time updates and notification for security incidents, breach of geo-fence and so on. It also works as a two-way business messenger which facilitates seamless communication between your mobile workforce and the office.
Utilities – Remote Locking & Unlocking – Time Zone & Wi-Fi Settings – Developer API – Clear App Data: There is a number of other useful features ensuring proper lockdown and management of your organization’s devices.
Mobility is revolutionising all the industry verticals which calls for efficient management of the enterprise mobile devices including rugged mobile devices.