Enterprises everywhere are thinking about how they will navigate the upcoming OS migration. Support is coming to an end Jan 13th 2020 on Windows embedded devices, so it’s time to start planning how you will migrate to other operating systems and which mobile computers to choose.
Dates to be aware of:
- June 10, 2018 – Windows Embedded CE 6.0 will be End of Life
- June 9th, 2019 – Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld will be End of Life
- January 14th, 2020 – Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 will be End of Life
Here is how to get started:
Choose a Provider
A service provider is an incredibly important piece of the Enterprise technology puzzle. The right service provider will be instrumental in helping you achieve easier, faster deployments and get the most out of your investment.
Look for someone that can do more than provide you with just the hardware you need. Your provider should be an industry expert that understands both the technology and your industry, so they can guide you on what solutions will best address your needs.
Your provider should recommend a long-term, future-proof solution—otherwise you will have wasted time and resources investing in a solution that will soon be obsolete.
Hardware and advice aren’t the only things that providers offer, however. A good provider will have a range of valuable services that make for smart business investments, like mobile device management, and onsite repair. These added services are great for helping to protect your investment.
Choose an Operating System
Once you are confident that you have the right provider, have them or your IT department assess the state of your operation’s readiness for migration. Are your devices working and capable of migrating to the new OS, or do you need to purchase devices? How many devices will you need to upgrade? And what OS will offer the highest performance?
Hardware manufacturers are beginning to point to Android OS as the dominant OS for enterprises using mobile computers. Rugged device manufacturers like Honeywell have begun tailoring their devices to Android, and three of Honeywell’s rugged devices, which run on the Mobility Edge platform, have been validated as Android Enterprise Recommended. This program makes it easier for organizations to select, deploy, and manage enterprise devices and services.
Choose a Device
Rely on your provider to help you with selecting the devices that are best suited for your application and your needs. They will likely point you towards a rugged device manufacturer like Honeywell, who is forward-thinking in their product design. Some of the devices Honeywell offers are:
Dolphin CT60 mobile computer—a rugged touchscreen device with an extended battery life. This device offers high-performance scanning and protection against dust and moisture.
Dolphin CN80 mobile computer—an ultra-rugged device built to withstand the rigors of harsh environments. The CN80 features both a traditional keypad and a large touchscreen interface for quick, efficient data entry options.
What’s Your Plan?
Have you struggled to nail down a solid OS migration plan? Even though this transition can be complicated and intimidating, you need not worry. Our team at Informs, Inc. can help you find the right strategy and device for the transition from Windows to Android.
Enterprise IT security is becoming increasingly difficult to manage. New threats are emerging daily (malware, phishing attacks, ransomware), and the cost of the attacks is rising accordingly. The average cost of a corporate data breach is nearly $4 million. In addition, there can be incalculable damage to a company’s reputation among its customers if sensitive data is compromised.
Mobile technology has become a critical vulnerability. More employees can access corporate data on a mix of company and personal devices, sometimes on remote networks that may not be secure. If you don’t have full control over your mobile device security, you are putting your corporate data risk. You must secure your mobile enterprise with the correct level of security – below, we’ve outlined a few tips to keep those mobile connections safe.
Leverage Device Management Tools
Mobile device management solutions such as SOTI MobiControl allow companies to quickly configure, deploy and manage mobile computers. The solution can help restrict mobile devices to using single applications in order to protect data, as well as establish secure mobile connections and protect important data using a secure mobile devices and configurable settings.
The Honeywell Mobility Edge platform allows companies to track your devices anywhere and anytime, while also extending security enhancements and support for the Android operating system through multiple OS updates. This consistent secure platform also streamlines large device deployments and protects sensitive company information.
These solutions also make it easier for IT to centrally manage and enforce corporate mobile device security policies.
Secure Mobile Connections
Mobile employees work everywhere – from remote job sites to urban coffee shops. That means they are accessing your corporate files and applications through a mix of wireless broadband and WiFi connections.
Experts recommend using a strong VPN solution to ensure that these communications remain encrypted, particularly when a mobile device is access the company network or a cloud-based system.
In addition, mobile device security should block enterprise devices from using public WiFi networks. Fake WiFi systems that are used to breach mobile devices account for 28% of malware attacks, according to a 2018 Enterprise Mobility Exchange poll. A VPN provides encryption, access management, and user authentication.
Control Third-Party Software and Mobile Apps
Enterprise mobile devices have come a long way since the days of green screen systems. These devices use consumer operating systems (Android), and leverage web-based applications and other solutions.
As a result, these new rugged devise operate much like a personal smartphone. Companies should tightly control or block access to third-party software solutions and mobile apps that users may be tempted to download on their devices.
Malicious apps account for a 24% threat of malware infections, according to the Enterprise Mobility Exchange poll. To better control app installation, companies can establish their own secure “app stores” with vetted and approved applications that end users can access. Mobile device management software can also be used to monitor and block the use of third-party apps.
For employees that use personal mobile devices in the field, the use of a remote virtual work environment and a VPN connection can keep corporate data secure.
Most importantly, it is critical you increase protection for the weakest link in your mobile device security infrastructure – your employees. The vast majority of malware and ransomware attacks are the result of employees falling for email phishing scams. Make sure employees are aware of mobile security policies, have been trained to recognize phishing emails, and are given ongoing education to keep them updated about the latest threats. Conduct regular mobile security audits, and do penetration testing by simulating phishing attacks.
With the proper technology and policies in place, you can prevent the majority of common cyber attacks that target mobile devices and applications. This will not only keep your mobile infrastructure up and running, but also protect corporate data and help avoid costly data breaches.
By now, you have probably heard that Microsoft is phasing out support on Windows-embedded devices. The first stages of the process are well underway, and come January 14th, 2020, all devices will be End of Life (EoL).
These are the dates to be aware of:
- June 10th, 2018 – Windows Embedded CE 6.0 will be EoL
- June 9th, 2019 – Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld will be EoL
- January 14th, 2020 – Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 will be EoL
It’s time to start planning to migrate over to another operating system (OS). You will need to have an OS migration strategy in place for your mobile computers, as Windows-embedded devices will no longer receive updates or security patches, leaving devices vulnerable to attack from viruses and malware. You’ll also be unable to add any new applications to mobile computers, meaning your operation’s growth could be stifled.
Here’s how you can get started:
Choose a Provider
Choosing a mobile computer means investing into your operation, and that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re in the process of OS migration, the right provider will be instrumental in successfully navigating the switch.
Your provider should:
Provide more than hardware
When you choose a provider, you aren’t just selecting which source you want to use for your devices, you are selecting valuable resource you can use for advice, maintenance, and support.
Understand the technology and industry
To really know which solutions would provide the most benefit to you, your provider must understand your industry, your operation, and your needs. A good provider will know how to best apply each solution, and which solutions would be optimal in addressing the challenges you face.
Recommend a long-term solution
You can tell if a provider is invested in your business by whether or not they recommend solutions that will provide you with the biggest return. Technology can become obsolete quickly as innovation moves forward, so any mobile computer should be future-proof.
Choose an Operating System
Your provider should assess the state of your operation and how ready it is for OS migration. They can help you decide on a high-performance operating system that will provide you with the most longevity for your mobile computers.
With Windows support ending, other operating systems have risen up to become the top choice for industrial applications. Android, in particular, has been popular. As an open-source platform, it empowers developers to respond quickly as new needs arise, and because it’s already so widely used on personal and commercial devices, your workforce is likely already familiar with it, which cuts down on training time.
Choose a Device
You will also want to assess your devices to determine your readiness for OS migration. Your provider can let you know whether you will need to purchase new devices, and if so, how many need to be upgraded. They can also recommend the best devices, like the ones built on Honeywell’s Mobility Edge platform. Mobility Edge is a unified hardware and software platform that extends device lifecycles and helps make OS migration easier.
Rugged devices manufacturers like Honeywell offer:
CT60 Mobile Computer
This is a rugged touchscreen device for transportation, logistics, and delivery workers that offers a long-lasting battery, high-performance scanning, and protection against dust and moisture.
Dolphin CN80 Mobile Computer
The CN80 is an ultra-rugged device for distribution centers and logistics providers that features both a traditional keypad and a large touchscreen interface to offer quick, efficient data entry options.
Successful OS Migration
The transition from the familiar operating systems of Windows to a new OS like Android can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The right provider can help you determine which OS and mobile computer devices are best suited for your operation.
Informs, Inc. is one of the largest Honeywell resellers in the US, and can provide support, advice, service, and assistance when it comes to your OS migration strategy. If you are looking to transition to a new OS, contact Informs today.
The mobile computing market has grown increasingly complex, with multiple form factors, operating systems, an endless array of applications, different wireless options, and constantly evolving technology. The typical approach that many enterprises have taken to mobile deployments – in which solutions were rolled out piecemeal by different departments, with a variety of hardware and software solutions patched together over time – has become unmanageable.
There is a way to reduce unnecessary internal and external costs in mobile deployments by adopting a platform-centric approach and selecting hardware designed with a long lifecycle as well as future-proof flexibility in mind. This can be accomplished in a number of ways.
Simplify Device Platforms
One way to greatly reduce deployment and ongoing support costs is to standardize on a common device platform. That does not mean to standardize on a single device – it simply means that you should select an operating system and mobility platform that is common across multiple form factors.
While the various versions of mobile Windows used to be the go-to platform for rugged mobile deployments, that is no longer the case. Android has emerged as the new standard for these installations, and major rugged device manufacturers now offer Android-based devices in handheld, smartphone, tablet, vehicle-mount and other form factors.
This provides commonality across all form factors. This platform-based approach is designed for rapid and easy application development, as well as testing, certification, provisioning, and deployment management.
For example, Honeywell’s Mobility Edge suite of tools allows companies to develop, validate and update applications on time and then go-live with the apps across all form factors simultaneously. This replaces the past approach of validating each application against every form factor individually, and then updating one device at a time – a process that was both time- and labor-intensive.
Mobility Edge also helps keep these deployments secure, by supporting multiple versions of the Android operating system, and providing ongoing update and patch management for years beyond standard offerings from other providers.
The platform-centric approach also reduces wasted labor and IT resources by streamlining development and support requirements in a way that makes it much easier and less expensive to create and maintain new mobile solutions.
Accelerated Deployment Reduces Costs
Taking a unified approach to mobile deployments can accelerate the entire process. Longer deployments cost more, take longer to certify, and can eat up scarce IT resources. This not only increases the backlog of mobile applications that require certification and testing, but can also result in a flurry of invoices for multiple suppliers.
By standardizing on Android and a platform like Mobility Edge, the entire process can be simplified (there are fewer vendors to deal with) and be completed much faster. As a result, the return on investment (ROI) for the mobility solution is also accelerated.
Mobility Edge also helps organizations design their mobile deployment with the future in mind. Devices can be rolled out faster and with less risk. IT staff wont’ be tied up managing the mobile deployment, and the devices themselves are built to support future iterations of Android as well as imminent application upgrades and patches.
Because Honeywell’s mobility products are designed around a common chipset, end users benefit from an extended device lifecycle, seamless operating system upgrades, and multiple years of support for security updates. Upgrading to newer devices or other form factors down the road is easy, because the platform remains consistent.
An ad hoc approach to mobility using multiple devices, operating systems, and solution providers can make mobile solution deployment and support more expensive and time consuming than they need to be. A standardized, platform-centric approach will reduce costs and make it easier to support and keep your mobile devices up to date for years to come.
For larger organizations, mobile computing deployments have grown more complex and challenging. These enterprises often utilize multiple form factors (forklift-mounted devices, hand-held computers, tablet, rugged phones) and multiple types of applications, from the warehouse to the field. Developing, deploying and maintaining these systems can be difficult, particularly as IT resources are often spread thin.
Honeywell’s Mobility Edge Platform is a unified software/hardware platform for Android that can help these companies reduce the cost and complexity of these deployments, while also improving productivity.
Using the Mobility Edge Platform, companies can test and certify all of their applications once, and then quickly deploy them across a wide range of Android-based form factors simultaneously. At the same time, users have access to a full suite of tools that can help increase the return on their mobile investment, while also reducing total cost of ownership (TCP) and ensuring the longevity of their deployment.
Mobility Edge is changing the way companies approach these mobility projects.
Simplified Deployment: Mobility Edge provides a common platform across Honeywell’s entire range of mobile devices and software solutions, which simplifies and reduces development costs. Core computing and communications capabilities are provided through a modular approach, and use-case specific features are provided in individual device form factors.
This “System-on-Module” core is a single, certified module that includes the CPU, memory, and a variety of wireless communications (including WWAN, WLAN, Bluetooth, NFC, and ZigBee). This approach provides a global mobile computing foundation, ensuring a consistent user experience (regardless of application or device form factor) and simplified support, since all devices are built on a common platform.
Optimized Mobility: The Honeywell SOM approach also makes it easier and faster to get devise into service, providing an easy to use set-up wizard, secure provisioning, a staging hub, and keypad creator.
The platform also helps boost mobile user productivity, enhancing the devices with data capture tools like Scan Wedge and Digital Scan Button, as well as a Wireless Tether that helps prevent the loss of peripherals (like Bluetooth scanners or headsets).
The common platform makes it faster and less expensive to train new workers, and provides real-time workflow management and visibility that can help mobile employees do their jobs with more quickly and with less unnecessary labor and frustration.
Reduced TCO: A common Android framework helps reduce the total cost of ownership of the mobile solution and hardware. Mobility Edge reduces the costs and time needed to deploy, manage, and optimize mobile devices using the same toolset across Honeywell’s portfolio of products. In the long term, maintaining the devices requires less time and effort, which frees up IT resources to focus on more strategic projects.
The platform also includes support for multiple generations of the Android OS, and support for hardware and software runs through 2025. This reduces the risk of the mobile investment and further lowers the TCO.
Peace of Mind: Mobility Edge also improves the security of mobile deployments through the protection of Honeywell Cyber Security and ongoing monitoring by the company’s Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT). Mobility Edge also provides periodic OS maintenance releases, including security updates and software patches that are applied consistently and universally across the entire mobile ecosystem.
Given the rapid evolution of mobile technology and the increasing complexity of these deployments, it’s more important than ever for enterprise to protect their investment in mobility. Honeywell’s Mobility Edge not only lowers the cost of these deployments, but also future-proofs the investment so that businesses can leverage the hardware and software over a much longer time frame, reaping even more benefits along the way. Contact our team at Informs to learn more.
One of the key challenges in deploying mobile technology has historically been the complexity of the solutions and their widely dispersed nature. Whether the solution was implemented in a warehouse or a field service environment, each mobile device had to be provisioned, configured and validated individually.
If there were problems with a mobile computer or application after the initial deployment, IT would have to retrieve devices for troubleshooting and repairs. The employee using the device would either need to be issued a spare, and had to incur costly downtime. When applications were patched or updated, the process could take days or weeks, depending on the size of the deployment.
New solutions have arrived to make these rollouts much easier. Mobile device platforms like Honeywell’s Mobility Edge have mitigated much of the complexity of a mobile deployment, making the process less cost intensive, less complicated, and easier for time- and budget-strapped IT departments to manage.
The Honeywell Mobility Edge is a unified platform designed for Android-based rugged mobile devices and applications. The solution makes it easier to build, manage and deploy enterprise-wide mobile solutions with less labor and risk. It does so via three key benefit areas:
Accelerated Deployments: The rapid provisioning suite increase the speed of deployments by allowing users to validate new applications once and then deploy them across all mobile form factors instead of validating the apps one device at a time. Mobility Edge expedites the development, certification, setup and training for applications on different device factors. This allows the IT department to deploy the application everywhere in the enterprise much faster and at a lower cost.
Optimized Mobile Performance: Embedded tools in the platform help optimize productivity and efficiency by capturing data faster and communicating easily and securely. Android-based hardware and the unified nature of the Mobile Edge platform also provide a more intuitive experience, which means mobile workers will have an easier time learning to use your applications and hardware, and can improve their own efficiency at completing tasks. This also reduces the cost of training new employees and seasonal workers on the technology.
Extend Mobile Device Lifecycle: Enterprise lifecycle tools in Mobility Edge help improve device reliability and extend lifecycles. The platform also provides an enterprise-wide method to deploy patch releases. Honeywell hardware is designed to support more operating system upgrades over time, which allows users to future proof their mobile devices, reducing the need for IT involvement in upgrades, and reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) for the mobile computers.
Mobility Edge delivers a secure, reliable platform for mobile application deployment that not only makes it easier to rollout new devices and software, but actually streamlines update and support activities as well. Honeywell has delivered a solution that makes it easier for corporate IT departments to support widespread mobile deployments involving multiple form factors, and do so without having to add more resources.
Mobility Edge reduces the cost and complexity of a mobile deployment, providing a faster return on investment (ROI) and long-term hardware and software stability as well.