Here are some sample questions:
- What handheld hardware will you be using(make and model)?
- What add-on accessories will you be using (GPS, RFID, Digital Imager, Barcode, etc)?
- Where and how will the user be synchronizing their handheld(at home, office, shop, WiFi, GPRS, cradle, bluetooth, Satellite)?
- What operating system does your handheld computer have (Win CE.Net, Pocket PC, Palm)?
- Do the users have working conditions that will impact our solution design (users wear gloves and need big touch screen buttons)?
- What business process will be mobilized (work order, invoice, time sheet, project status, etc.)?
- What database do we need to connect to? How do we access it? Can you provide a data model?
- Do you need mobile printing?
- Do you need formatted reports? Will they be printed in the field, or in the office?
- Do you need internet access to this data? If so, who will design the website?
- Are you going to conduct a "proof-of-concept" first? If so, how many users? What is included in the POC. How do we measure success?
- Concerning roll-outs - how are we going to roll out this solution to your billion mobile users? How many at a time?
- How are you going to train the users?
- When are you going to have the handheld computers delivered?
- Who will install the software and document how to use them in the field?
These are a few of the questions that an experienced team of consultants and systems integrators will ask you before they provide you with a quote. If a consultant does not ask these questions upfront, it does not mean they are bad, just inexperienced and will likely not meet their timelines and cost projections.