Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Canyon County Selects MobileDataforce® for Mobile Automated Building Inspection System

Canyon County Selects MobileDataforce® for Mobile Automated Building Inspection System

County seeks to control costs related to building inspections and to improve efficiency of field inspectors

Boise, Idaho—January 25, 2007 – MobileDataforce® a leading provider of business critical mobile software applications today announced they were selected by Canyon County, Idaho to provide a Mobile Automated Building Inspection system. The purpose of this mobile solution is to help control costs related to inspections by improving the efficiency of the County’s building staff and the administrative staff they work with on a daily basis. This will be accomplished by replacing the paper based system for conducting and reporting inspections with an automated and mobilized system. The mobilized system will synchronize and integrate with the existing permitting and inspection request system used today.

The Mobile Automated Building Inspection system, using MobileDataforce’s PointSync Mobility Platform, will dispatch to the inspectors’ mobile devices a list of inspections to be conducted each day. While still on the construction site, inspectors will be able to file their reports and synchronize with the central office database.

Expected cost savings will come from reduced fuel consumption, reduced mobile phone usage, minimized overtime pay and reduced administrative work. Additional benefits will come from improved contractor communications, more accurate and timely reports and near-real time information.

About the PointSync Mobility Platform

PointSync Mobility Platform is an enterprise class solution used to rapidly design, develop and deploy field inspection applications. It is architected to provide database centric mobile inspection applications with bi-directional synchronization, GPS, barcode scanning, connectivity, security and enterprise database integration all within one solution.

About MobileDataforce

MobileDataforce is a global leader in the development of enterprise class and business critical field inspection applications for use on mobile handheld computers including Smart Phones, Tablet PCs and laptops. MobileDataforce has offices in Europe, North America and in Australia to support their expanding customer base and sales channels. Privately held, MobileDataforce has been mobilizing inspection processes since 2000. For more information, please visit our website at www.mobiledataforce.com.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mobile Software Platforms for Handheld PDAs and Smartphones for Enterprise Mobile Software Solutions

I was reading an article from Gartner last week that mentioned by 2009 companies would be seeking mobile software platform solutions for use with smartphones and handheld PDAs, rather than single purpose mobile software applications. I agree and have been evangelizing this strategy for some time now. Let's discuss why I believe this statement to be accurate.

A single purpose mobile software application is designed for only one business process -for example, an electrical substation inspection. It has no value beyond that one inspection process. A mobile software platform in contrast, would enable an infinite number of different mobile software applications and inspection software programs to be designed, developed and deployed on the same platform.

Last year I was working with a large electrical utility company. They had 7 different enterprise applications that all had their own mobile handheld PDA applications. The IT department had no interest in learning and supporting 7 different mobile client applications, design environments, security architectures, help desk organizations, vendors, etc. They wanted one mobile software platform that could provide mobile handheld clients for all of their enterprise applications. This would reduce costs, headaches and enable their IT team to learn one environment that could support all of their mobile client needs. MobileDataforce's PointSync Mobility Platform is designed specifically for this purpose.

A mobile software platform should provide the following components:
  • Mobile application development environment (easy to learn visual development)
  • Mobile synchronization middleware
  • Mobile application, device and user manager
  • Mobile databases and database server(s)
  • Integration and adaptor tools

A mobile software platform enables a business to mobilize all of their field operational processes, not just a single process.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Google Earth, Job Estimates and Mobile Handheld PDAs

Have you downloaded and played with Google Earth yet? There are versions of desktops and for mobile handheld PDAs and iphones. You can download the client and then see all kinds of very interesting maps, 3D buildings, satellite views, fly overs and more. In addition to all the fun and games, there are real business values you can gain from Google Earth.

Let's say you are a Fencing contractor. You want to provide a quick estimate of a job without spending the time and money to drive to the other side of town. Google Earth enables you to enter a home or business address and get a relatively new satellite view of the address. You can zoom in almost to ground level and see the exact yard, driveway, parking lot etc. Next in Google Earth you can select the ruler tool and measure the length and width of the yard, parking lot, roadway, etc to learn the dimensions. You can then provide a ball park estimate based upon the satellite view and measurements you took from the air. Very Cool!

I entered the address of my in-laws house. Google Earth quickly flew me to the address and I zoomed in to their driveway. I could see their horse trailer and their truck trailer parked in the driveway. I zoomed in further and could take exact measurements of their property lines, roof dimensions, length of driveway, yard size, distants to street, etc. This information could be used by:

  1. Roofing Contractors
  2. Asphalt Contractors
  3. Cable Companies
  4. Phone Companies
  5. Fence Contractors
  6. Landscape Contractors
  7. Lawn Maintenance Contractors

These are just a few of the contractors that could save a great deal of time, fuel and other resources by studying the close-up satellite photos of their prospective jobsites early on in the sales process. These maps and satellite photos can also be printed off and added to the job estimates with drawings.

PointSync Mobility Platform 4.0 for Automotive Inspections and Services on Handheld Computers

MobileDataforce Launches PointSync Mobility Platform 4.0 for Automotive Inspections and Services on Handheld Computers

New version features over 220 pre-built functions to help quickly design, develop and deploy customized mobile solutions for the Automotive Industry

Boise, Idaho - January 05, 2006 – MobileDataforce® today announced the release of the latest version of the PointSync® Mobility Platform for Automotive Inspections and Services, the next generation of the company’s award-winning mobile software solutions for handheld computers. This major release includes over 150 new features, innovations and enhancements to support the needs of the automotive industry.

“This is a significant development for the automotive services industry,” said Kevin Benedict, CEO of MobileDataforce. “PointSync Mobility Platform 4.0 will change the way mobile solutions are developed for the automotive industry and will reduce the time it takes for our customers to recognize a return on investment by reducing the time it takes to design, develop and deploy new automotive services solutions on handheld computers.”

Key new features and enhancements include:

· Enhanced graphical user interface tools, including interactive SPLAT diagrams
· Built in support for VIN scanning and decoding
· New Visual Debugger to quickly debug mobile automotive applications during customization
· New Data Mapping Wizard speeds integration with existing back-office tools such as financial, CRM, HR, scheduling, and many other software packages
· New SQL Builder speeds up business rule development for mobile automotive applications
· Enhanced library of over 220 pre-built functions for mobile application development
· Expanded support for multiple PointSync applications and databases in a hosted environment

To learn more, visit http://www.mobiledataforce.com/Solutions/auto.asp

About PointSync Mobility Platform

The PointSync Mobility Platform for Automotive Inspections and Services is an enterprise class solution used to rapidly design, develop and deploy mobile applications for the automotive services industry. It is architected to provide database centric mobile applications that can be deployed and synchronized from the field.

The PointSync Mobility Platform is popular with companies providing mobile services such as vehicle inspections for insurance companies, auto auctions, auto lease returns, mobile dent repair, detailing and other repair services.

About MobileDataforce

MobileDataforce is a global leader in the development of enterprise class mobile software solutions for the automotive services industry. MobileDataforce has offices in Europe, North America and in Australia to support its expanding customer base and sales channels. Privately held, MobileDataforce has been mobilizing business solutions since 2000. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.mobiledataforce.com/.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Mobile Software and Handheld PDA Technology Innovations for 2007

The two following innovations for mobile handheld PDAs and Smartphones are the most innovative I have read about in a long time.

  1. Flexible flat screens

  2. Flash memory in laptops to improve boot-up speed
The flexible flat screen is pictured here. It is about the thickness of paper and can be plugged into a Smartphones, handheld PDA or ruggedized handheld PDA etc. It can be rolled-up and inserted into a tube that fits in your pocket or brief case. It would allow you to read ebooks on 8"x 11" or A4 sized screens, or view CAD drawings or maps stored on your Smart Phone. It would enable your Smart Phone SIM card, that holds gigabytes of maps, to display them on portable, flexible full sized screen. I love it!!!

MobileDataforce has many customers that find it necessary to buy two different mobile handhleds, one a ruggedized handheld computer, and another a ruggedized laptop to view maps. If a flexible screen could be plugged into the ruggedized handheld, so full sized maps and CAD drawings could be viewed, then this would remove much of the need for the additional and expensive ruggedized laptop.

Now on the subject of the flash memory boot-up. Have you ever wished your laptop would boot up instantly like your mobile phone? If so, there might be a solution for you. In the next few months new laptops are supposed to be available that boot-up from flash memory, so they don't have to wait for the hard drive to start spinning in order to boot up the laptop. This should enable laptop users to boot-up in seconds and save us mobile road warriors a lot of time.

Innovations in Mobile Handheld PDA Technologies

This week I have read about two very interesting new technologies that have the potential of improving a mobile workforces' technology experience.
  1. Laptops and Tablet PCs that can boot up nearly as fast as a mobile smartphones and handheld PDAs.
  2. Flexible screens nearly as thin as a sheet of paper. See attached image.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could push a button at your laptop was instantly on? It is reported that this technology is only a few months away. The laptops would boot from flash memory, not a hard drive. Time is money!

A company out of the UK just raised $100 million in funding to lauch their flexible screen technology. Ponder this...a screen could be rolled up into a small tube that fits in your pocket or brief case. When needed, you could unroll your screen, lay in on the table, or hold it in your hands and plug it into your Smart phone, PDA or rugged handheld and look at full sized CAD drawings, maps, blueprints, or newspapers.

We have many customers in the construction, facilities management and engineering industries that need to look at maps and CAD drawings daily. They love the utility and convenience of a ruggedized handheld computer, but need the larger screen size of a laptop to effectively view maps and drawings. These flat and flexible screens just might be the answer.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

County Selects MobileDataforce for Mobile Building Inspection Solution for Handheld PDAs

Canyon County Idaho has selected MobileDataforce's PointSync Mobility Platform to mobilize their Building Inspection processes for use on mobile handheld PDAs. In 2006 Canyon County experienced rapid growth and record breaking building inspection requirements. In order to meet the high demand, they sought a method to streamline their building inspection processes through mobilization. The result of this search is that MobileDataforce was selected to both develop and implement a mobilized building inspection process for Canyon County.