Monday, April 25, 2011

The Military and Mobile Devices

The U.S. military is preparing to release in July 2011, a new mobile development environment called the Mobile /Handheld CE Product Developers Kit, an Android-based smartphone framework and suite of applications for tactical operations.  This is part of the Joint Battle Command-Platform or JBC-P Handheld program.

The platform is intended to help mobile applications developed for the military to better integrate with the following systems:
  • Mapping
  • Blue force tracking (friendly forces)
  • Tactical Ground Reporting, or TIGR tactical graphics
  • Critical messaging (such as SPOT reports, Medevac and Mayday)
I see this as similar to what SAP is doing with the Sybase Unwired Platform and project Gateway.  They are developing platforms to enable a standard way to integrate with core processes.

Lt. Col. Mark Daniels, product manager for JBC-P says, "Allowing industry to freely develop apps within a government-led software environment means the Army can leverage fresh ideas and technology while still maintaining disciplined governance."  It is for the similar purpose of maintaining disciplined governance that it is necessary for SAP to define how mobile devices integrate and interact with SAP.

"We're going to allow third-party developers to actually develop capabilities that aren't stovepiped," said Daniels. That means there will be interoperability across the entire family of military systems of JBC-P, which would include the platforms, the aviation, the logistics community, the tanks, the Bradleys and the handhelds.  Eliminating stovepiped applications is also a motivation of SAP's.

Whitepapers of Note

The Business Benefits of Mobile Adoption with SAP Systems
ClickSoftware Mobility Suite and Sybase Mobility Solution
Networked Field Services

Webinars of Note

The Real Time Mobile Enterprise.  The Benefits of Rapid, Easy, Access
Redstone Arsenal’s (DOD/Chugach) 3 Maintenance Challenges Solved by Mobile

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Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.