Doing mobility right

Planning for an efficient, effective mobile infrastructure

Mobility Blog ArtToday – whether by accident or design – virtually every business relies on mobile technology to get through the workday.

From a small business owner’s smartphone, to a retail associate’s line-busting mobile point-of-sale device, to a web-enabled delivery truck, mobile technology is changing how and where work gets done. But making sure all of those devices deliver the expected return on investment is no accident. It takes sound planning and design, backed by coordinated implementation and management, to do business mobility right.

The Zones mobility practice is committed to helping customers take business mobility from ad hoc to advanced. It begins with solution architects, systems engineers and product specialists assessing an organization’s business needs and existing mobile infrastructure.

Often – and sometimes at surprisingly large organizations – the team will find that the mobile “strategy” in place is a loosely assembled bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenario, with the organization perhaps picking up the carrier bill for employees. While such a system may keep people connected, it’s probably costing more than it should, and it does little to keep their devices – or the organization – protected.

After an assessment is completed and presented, the team will craft a solution that pulls together all of the elements – devices, wireless networking, carrier selection, security, management software, and back-end integration. By taking a holistic approach to mobile solution design, clients gain efficiencies at every level.

Once the design is approved, the team goes to work sourcing and implementing a customized solution.

Finding the right solution

For a corporate mobility initiative, the solution might include a choose-your-own-device (CYOD) plan that offers workers a standardized set of device options (smartphones/tablets/notebooks); an enhanced wireless network that supports secure high-speed connectivity, mobile device management (MDM) or enterprise mobility management (EMM) software to manage and secure devices; and a multi-carrier or multi-region carrier portfolio tailored to specific use and travel plans.

In the retail and restaurant industries, Zones supports a wide range of mobile initiatives designed to enhance the customer experience – most of which revolve around speeding the time to transaction. Such initiatives include advanced mobile, drive-thru, and in-restaurant ordering platforms, as well as multi-function smart-devices that let salespeople complete customer transactions on the sales floor, eliminating check-out lines.

Hospitals and other large provider networks typically turn to our mobility practice to execute mobile point of care solutions that assist with a wide range of clinical activities such as patient monitoring, mobile imaging and therapeutic interventions. Our solutions enable these activities while addressing the healthcare industry’s significant security, privacy, and compliance regulations. Typical mobility projects in the healthcare space include medical-grade tablet and notebook deployments, and robust wireless networks that must operate in challenging electrical environments without generating additional interference on essential frequencies.

For field sales and service workers – and the companies and agencies that employ them – mobility is key. We design a wide range of solutions that enable workers to stay productive, even in harsh environments and remote areas. From ruggedized smartphones, tablets, and notebooks to signal amplifiers, we design solutions that keep people connected.

Fleet management and logistics professionals are no longer satisfied with knowing where their vehicles are supposed to be; they want to know where they are, where they’ve been, and where they’re going next. They also want to know whether drivers are on schedule, and whether any of those drivers are speeding to stay on schedule. Zones designs complete fleet systems that keep drivers and vehicles connected with dispatchers, and that keep data flowing between the vehicle and backend systems at headquarters.

In K-12 and higher education, mobile initiatives have been underway for many years. The challenge for IT leaders in education is that another mobile initiative is always just around the corner. On college campuses, bandwidth is always at a premium. Students and professors want to work wherever they might be, regardless of the burden it puts on the network. In elementary education, one-to-one initiatives are sending waves of devices into classrooms, and IT has to keep them all on the same page. We design solutions for the education market that answer the demand for ever more bandwidth, as well as advanced device management solutions that allow IT to centrally update and maintain devices throughout the building.

Implementing it the right way

During the implementation phase, we follow a quality assurance process that ensures a smooth deployment. From our regional integration centers, we support and maintain image packaging and device certification, and can assist with efficient technology adoption by vetting and simulating real world use cases in our proof of concept lab where we can test hardware and software configurations.

Regardless of the industry or project scope, Zones take the same disciplined approach to crafting business mobility solutions: assess, design, implement, and manage. In this way, our customers are assured that the solution we provide meets their needs – and the needs of their customers, workers, or constituents – exactly.

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This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of Solutions by Zones magazine.
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