The big manufacturers of industrial barcode scanners and lift truck tablets have issued their decree….ANDROID is the future and the future starts now. OK, we all understand it cuts costs (re OS), maybe easier to develop custom applications and some really cool hardware peripherals will support Android out of the box- but that’s not the elephant in the room: Companies have spent so much time and money optimizing their WMS applications for their specific workflows that they are truly customized for maximum productivity, efficiency and error reduction. Now WMS managers, VP’s Directors et al. are being asked to migrate to a new OS and, by the way, please keep the great efficiencies of our existing applications, and, how long will that take? Can our internal team do it? Do they know enough about Android? And how do we take advantage of the future hardware options (wireless scanners, Bluetooth headsets, smart glasses)? And our voice technology that we have installed, how does that transition work? Do we need to move to new applications, servers, handhelds?
If you are or have customers or prospects moving from Microsoft handheld devices to new Zebra or Honeywell Android-based devices and are using TE to connect to your WMS systems, then your evolution from Windows to Android and adding voice just got a lot easier. For instance, both Ivanti and StayLinked have developed outstanding tools to migrate Microsoft TE screens into beautiful, GUI based Android screens for both Web based and TE based applications. By using these tools, organizations can take their existing optimized applications and migrate them onto the new Android OS. In addition, GUI interfaces can be modernized; touch screens can be exploited; dynamic fields can be integrated and AccuSpeechMobile projects can be migrated from the old OS to the new; both leading vendors have worked with AccuSpeechMobile to deliver an integrated solution that can integrate voice from the old into the new with ease; as well as exploiting the benefits these newer technologies offer to further automate and optimize critical workflows.
This migration path can be a big boon to VARs in the hardware and software channels to expand and assist in these tumultuous times. Many organizations are understaffed in both the operations and IT areas. For them to be able to rely on subject matter experts in both the new hardware and OS choices provides a comfortable path for concerned operations executives to get real choices and real answers to this fast-moving requirement. A unique opportunity exists for trusted partners to step into this chaos and provide consultative expertise to allay the concerns of the customers. There is a sincere level of urgency as Microsoft has stated they will stop supporting CE types of operating systems in the next few years. This combined with the overall hardware market embracing Android has operations executives on edge.
The good news is that many well-established VARs have seen this coming. They are not only prepared for the coming deluge of requests to switch; but, have the skill sets to make it as painless as possible. The fact is, this is an outstanding opportunity for organizations to reevaluate where they may have process weaknesses and find alternatives to bolster them. The ability and flexibility of Android combined with the power of newer, more agile hardware, allows for fresh perspectives when it comes to finding new ways to optimize the supply chain for on-demand delivery and error free orders.
The potential for forward looking future proofing has never been more optimal. Android is here to stay and by having a well-planned, critical deployment strategy, many companies will be in an excellent position to take advantage of the new technology that comes down the road, both hardware and software. While some companies still have IT departments that feel Android is an issue regarding security, soon those concerns will need to be allayed, as the Android OS is the standard for new mobile scanning devices.