Monday, June 06, 2011

Windows Phone 7 and Italian Railroad

Motorola ES400
Recently I was traveling on a train in Italy and the conductor asked for my ticket.  He pulled out a Samsung smartphone using a Microsoft operating system.  He entered several data fields on his screen and then placed the Samsung device back into his leather smartphone case.

I pondered the fact that recently the Dutch railway purchased 10,000 rugged Intermec devices for use on their trains.  These were using Microsoft Mobile 6.5x.  We are at an interesting point in the evolution of mobility where two organizations with similar needs can both make a case for a different choice, 1) rugged industrial grade mobile handheld, and 2) standard consumer grade smartphone.

I think back to just four years ago and companies with mission critical mobile operations nearly always chose expensive and rugged industrial grade handhelds.  An entire industry was built around these types of devices.  Today smartphones have so much power and the cost is so relatively inexpensive, that it becomes a real question as to which mobile device type you choose.

I have recently seen Motorola's ES400 Enterprise Digital Assistant. I played with it at SAP's SAPPHIRE NOW 2011 conference. This device is meant to be all smartphone and a ruggedized device.  This device has barcode scanning capabilities and software included.  It will be interesting to watch this market and to see if rugged cases for standard consumer grade smartphones will be sufficient for many situations, or if there will be an uptick in Android and Microsoft Phone 7 rugged smartphones in the near future.

Whitepapers of Note

The Business Benefits of Mobile Adoption with SAP Systems
ClickSoftware Mobility Suite and Sybase Mobility Solution
Mobile Adoption Among Gas and Electric Utilities
Mobile Adoption in Life Sciences
Mobile Adoption in Oil and Gas
Networked Field Services

Webinars of Note

3 Critical Considerations for Embracing Mobile CRM
Exclusive SAP Mentor and Blogger Briefing:  Syclo and SAP Deliver Mobile Apps on Sybase Unwired Platform
The Future of Enterprise Mobility
The Latest m-Business Trends and How the Onslaught of Mobile Devices Affects Development Strategies
The Real-Time Mobile Enterprise:  The Benefits of Rapid, Easy Access
Redstone Arsenal's (DOD/Chugach) 3 Maintenance Challenges Solved by Mobile

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.