Showing posts from September, 2009

Airlines Make Some Improvement by Using RFID and Bar Codes on the Frontlines

In today's edition of the Wall Street Journal in the Technology section is an article written by Daniel Michaels called Airline Industry Gets Smarter with Bags - Carriers, Airports Use Scanners, Radio Tags and Software to Improve Tracking of Luggage . This article details some of the steps that airports and airlines are taking to use bar codes, bar code scanners and RFID tags to improve the tracking of bags. Why? Each bag that they lose costs them on average of $100 to return to the angry owner... read more . *********************************************** ***********************************************

SAP and Mobile Computing

SAP's NetWeaver supports both connections to EDI trading partners, and to mobile computing devices. It is interesting to consider how similar traditional EDI and mobile computing are to each other. This article details some of the similarities. The bottom line, both EDI and mobile computing require the exchange of data between the SAP ERP and a third party. In the context of mobile computing it is the mobile device. In the context of EDI it is your trading partner (supplier, customer, logistics partner, etc.) If you would like to read more about SAP and EDI click here . *********************************************** ***********************************************

Mobile Application Development - Focus on the Browser

I came across this article today by Carl Weinschenk on the challenges of selecting the right mobile OS and hardware platform for application development. The problem is many companies have users in all camps. This is a common issue, that all mobile application developers must ponder. *********************************************** ***********************************************

54 Questions to Help You Select the Right Mobile Handheld Computer

Mobile computing requires mobile computers. Which brands and models you select can be a hard decision. The following list of questions are designed to help you think through some of the big issues that will enable you to narrow down the selection list. The first big question you should answer is what is the primary purpose of the handheld or mobile device. Is it barcode scanning, GPS, RFID, surveying, map reading, voice calls, email, digital signatures or field data collection? The second big question is what is the environment that the device will be used in. Is it used in the office, clinic, warehouse, cold storage or out in the rain on a construction site. There are a large number of very good handheld computers, PDAs , Tablet PCs, laptops and Smart Phones to select from, however, the key to getting the right mobile device is to research the business purposes and the environment in which the solution will be used before making a selection. The following questions should help you

Mobile Inspection Application ROIs

A few years ago I worked with a state agency on a very interesting mobile application development project. The agency was responsible for inspecting pharmacies and other locations that handled drugs and narcotics. In order to perform their tasks, they were required to drive into the main office, rummage through paper files, remove these paper files and load them into a box to take with them to the inspection sites. They would use a carriage with wheels to transport this box to their automobiles. Let's pause a moment to think of the costs and inefficiencies of these task. They would do the following: Drive to the main office where previous inspection documents are stored Sort through file cabinets for earlier inspection results Read through these files to determine any previous non-compliance or failed inspection issues Record these issues and highlight them for review at the site Load these files into a box and carry out to their vehicles Re-inspect the site and record more informa

Mobile Application Development Strategies for Handhelds, Smart Phones and PDAs

The mobile application framework on the mobile handheld computer, Smart Phone or PDA can be thought of as a mini-EAI application (enterprise application integration platform). In the world of SAP they have NetWeaver for integrating all of the various applications together. NetWeaver is described as an integrated technology platform. Many different mobile software applications are found on a typical mobile device and they all need to be integrated together as well including: Radios - Bluetooth, wifi, RFID, GPS, Phone Data collectors - RFID, barcode scanners, digital images, voice memos, GPS, credit card swipers, mobile applications and forms Databases, synchronization technologies OS with downloadable applications All of these various applications need to be integrated together using some kind of mobile integration technology platform. The OS can take care of many of the simple features and functionality, but a database driven integration platform for the mobile device is required if yo

13 Key Steps to a Successful Mobile Application Development Project

Companies now days are looking for ways to do more with less. Many recognize that their mobile workforce is being managed inefficiently and extending business process automation to mobile field workers is becoming a priority. Saving fuel, reducing paper, reducing administration work load, more efficient dispatches are all important. The following 13 points identify how you can get started automating and mobilizing these business processes. Step 1 – Understand the ROI/Scope of the Project and Plan Ahead “What’s the number one reason a mobile project fails?” is a common question we get asked. The answers are that many companies don’t put enough upfront thought into defining the requirements, scheduling testing resources and planning a deployment strategy. The results of these deficiencies are project scope creep, cost overruns, missed deadlines, poor user acceptance and sometimes even complete project failure. Step 2 – Build a Team of Stakeholders Make sure the members of your team ha

Mobile Applications and 69 Enterprise Support Questions

Often the focus of a mobile software project is on gathering the functional requirements, designing, developing and deploying the mobile solution, but little or no advanced planning is given to the question of how to support it once it is deployed. The following list contains many of the questions your IT helpdesk and support department will want and need to know: Who does the field worker call if there is a mobile device problem? Who does the field worker call if their mobile application is not synchronizing correctly? Who trains new employees on how to use the mobile device and application? If there is a mobile software problem, who fixes it - IT, consultant, contractor, your systems integrator or VAR? How do you get in contact with them? Who does the field worker call if the mobile application needs edited or upgraded? If the user downloads a new version of the mobile operating system and the mobile application doesn't work, who will fix it? How do you prevent mobile users fro

Advice for Mobile Start-ups and Mobile Developers

There are a lot of business and technical issues to consider and points to ponder if you are developing a mobile software application to use internally or to sell, or are creating a start-up mobile software company. I have a lot of personal experience in this area and have documented much of it in over 475 blog articles on this site. To save the reader time searching through the entire blog library, I have collected a few of the articles especially relevant to those starting new mobile application projects and new mobile start-ups. Mobile Software Application ROIs for Mobile Service Businesses Mobile Software SDKs and Toolkits for Handheld PDAs and Smart Phones Hosted or Non-hosted Mobile Software Applications for Handheld PDAs and Smart Phones Mobile Workflows in the Field, SAP and Other ERPs SAP and Mobile Applications for Field Services Questions to Ponder before Starting a Mobile Software Development Project for Handheld PDAs, iPhones and Smartphones The following link goes to a a

Mobile Software Application ROIs for Mobile Service Businesses

The ROI (return on investment), in this context, is the term used to describe the value of a mobile software solution relative to the expense of designing, developing and deploying it. If a mobile solution cost $145,000, how do you justify the investment? Management needs to see that their investment will provide a quick and positive return. The following list contains some of the most common justifications for mobilizing business processes: Eliminate time spent in the office re-typing data collected in the field: Enable field service technicians to synchronize information directly with the office database. Eliminate time spent on the phone dispatching service tickets or work orders. Both the time of the dispatcher and the time of the service technician: Dispatch electronic service tickets direct from your work order management system in the office with the mobile device of your service technician. Save time finding each work location: Send driving directions, or links, in the electr