Mobile Across Time
Guest Author: Andy Murray (Not the Tennis player)
My time in mobile
Over the last seven years, whilst working within mobile field force enablement and service optimization I have seen a lot of different mobile devices, on various operating systems come and go and none more so than in the last few years.
What I have seen
The mobile phone industry is always reinventing itself and since Apple joined the space, design has been as important as the functionality. There was a time, not that long ago, where the key concern when using a device for a business function was that the device be resilient and solid. What this meant a number of times in my experience was that the procuring manager would choose a device like a Symbol MC35 with a rugged shell and in at least one instance they even paid for a ‘no questions asked’ insurance policy that would replace broken devices, even if the device arrived back in a block of cement.
What I have experienced
In more recent times the management team are recognising that if the device is attractive and functional the engineer or business function user is much more likely to treat the device with more care and respect. Today’s mobile devices bring richness and applications, while still operating as phones – that is actually 2 devices in one.
The richness of our current offerings
Here at ClickSoftware, we are aware of all of the above and as a result offer a number of mobile approaches where tasks can be sent to the end user via a number over different methods
- WAP messaging – a basic yet efficient solution, completely device agnostic which is still widely used.
- On board application – the richness of a native application, running on Windows or Windows Mobile devices (usually rugged ones).
- HTML5 to smartphones running on platforms like Apple, Blackberry and Android, supporting both connected and disconnected modes.
What is next?
We are now seeing more support in the mobile arena, with big players like Google, RIM, Microsoft and Apple trying hard to make mobile working unique and edgy (not just for the kids). With the improving chip size and data channels we are genuinely able to work external to an office and do complex things like capture ‘before and after’ photographs of jobs, issue detailed plans and documents to field crews and get results back in real-time.
I love the ever evolving mobile sector much like Gil, and spend a lot of time reading up on what all the device manufacturers are up to next.