Why Rugged Android Devices?

As conventional devices are becoming increasingly fragile, rugged devices are stepping up to the plate to ensure that people in challenging professions are able to count on their devices.

Is Android the right choice for your rugged enterprise application? Until recently, Android was only an option on consumer grade smartphones and tablets, which of course made it a risky choice for more demanding application environments — this is no longer true. As technology changes by the minute, a number of rugged device manufacturers have launched Android-based industrial mobile computers. One glaring benefit to the development and evolution of Android in rugged mobile devices is the high level of end user familiarity can make training easier and less expensive. Take a look at some of the most common benefits when implementing Android devices into your organization:

Track Your Fleet

When you need to know where your employees are, the GPS in Android smart phones can let you know exactly where everyone is located. That allows you to keep up with your fleet, find out whether or not everything and everyone is moving on time, and even track unscheduled stops and shifts in the daily schedule.

Clock In Remotely

NFC chips in Android devices make it easy for employees to clock in with their mobile devices. That means less paperwork–not to mention a higher level of honesty and integrity. By integrating this technology into your everyday processes, you can enhance your ability to keep up with important records and ensure that every employee is starting their work day on time for maximum efficiency and productivity.

Increase Connectivity

Rugged devices are specifically designed to go wherever your employees do — that doesn’t just mean they’re built tough. It also means that they have enhanced connectivity that makes it possible to access the internet, run important programs, and keep up with work tasks even when employees are out of reach of towers that normal devices would need to operate.

Better Sound Performance

When you work in a noisy environment, it can be difficult both to understand the person on the other end of the phone and to be understood by them. Rugged Android devices are designed to correct this critical fault: they have enhanced voice clarity and better speakers specifically engineered to make it easier for both parties to hear one another. This is the perfect solution when you can’t leave a noisy warehouse or construction site, but still need to answer your phone.

Enjoy Tough Devices

Phones are intended to go wherever their users go, but traditional Android devices are often very fragile, making them difficult for individuals in harsh environments. Rugged Android devices, on the other hand, were created with the specific needs of their users in mind. They’re perfect for individuals in a number of professions who find themselves going through traditional phones all too fast. Protections include:

  • Shock and vibration protection for individuals who find themselves in conditions where the phone is subjected to numerous small impacts over the course of a typical day
  • Drop protection to make up for phones that go flying in the worst of circumstances
  • Waterproofing that is designed to make devices usable not only in the rain, but even underwater

Rugged Android devices are becoming increasingly common in many work environments. From law enforcement professionals who need to know they can count on their device to keep working no matter where their daily job duties take them to construction workers who have sacrificed all too many phones to drops, shocks, and water damage over the course of their careers many individuals will find that rugged Android devices are the solution to a lifetime of problems. As conventional devices are becoming increasingly fragile, rugged devices are stepping up to the plate to ensure that people in challenging professions are able to count on their devices. To learn more about rugged Android devices, or for assistance in picking the best device for your needs, feel free to contact us. See our full list of featured rugged Android devices.

The Many Benefits Of Mobile Device Management — Why It’s So Important Today!

Mobile device management for enterprise is an evolving organizational trend that deals with the business as well as technological aspects of the rising trend of mobile and handheld device usage in routine business operations.

What is mobile device management? Mobile device management is the organizational area dealing with deploying, securing, monitoring, integrating and managing mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, in the workplace. Tablets, and smartphones are arguably less secure than desktop computers and laptops often because they lack pre-installed malware protection. Mobile device management for enterprise is an evolving organizational trend that deals with the business as well as technological aspects of the rising trend of mobile and handheld device usage in routine business operations. You might be wondering how Group Mobile can help — First off, those sleepless nights worrying about data safety will be over for good! Don’t leave your corporate data vulnerable to thieves, we will help prevent this from occurring with our iCare™ Mobile Device Management Service.

Whether you have employees out in the field, in a warehouse, or working remotely from home, they are likely connected with mobile devices. As you assign more employees mobile devices, it is important to focus on mobile device management. There are various benefits to these services, and it will allow you to have greater control over the IT aspect of your operations.

iCare Mobile Device Management

 

  • Tracking – Using the MDM software, Group Mobile will track the unit throughout its useful life. In cases where a unit is reported lost or stolen, it can be tracked and located.
  • Remote Software Management – Update your software remotely. Updates can be distributed to the entire list of devices, or be segmented by device type, location, work-group, or serial number.
  • Battery Management – Manage battery capacity remotely on every device to enable quick replacement when capacity falls below an acceptable level.
  • Remote Control – Have a problem or issue with a mobile device? We can remotely login to your device for troubleshooting and problem resolution.
  • Historical Data Collection – The MDM software logs activity as the device is used. The data log can be accessed for analysis that may require additional training or software updates.
  • Multiple OS Support – MDM services are available on Windows, Android, and iOS devices.

Stay Organized

It’s important to stay as organized as possible, especially when you have a large number of mobile devices deployed across your operations. Various mobile device management services will allow you to stay organized in different ways, including:

  • Tracking devices
  • Managing battery life
  • Remote management of software
  • Remote assistance
  • Historical data collection

It’s impractical for you to ask employees with mobile devices to provide you with information on the device. Additionally, it’s only going to set you back if you have to process everything manually regarding dozens of mobile devices. Through the use of mobile device management software, you will be able to maintain communications with the device as well as the back office server. With the iCare™ Mobile Device Management Software each device is loaded with a Mobile Device Management (MDM) client prior to shipping. The client software is initialized and tested to ensure communications to the back-office server. The server component can reside at the customers site or be hosted by Group Mobile for an additional fee.

A significant amount of money can be saved when you deploy mobile device management services as well. Your users may need assistance from time to time. You will be able to gain control of a mobile device remotely. This will allow you to resolve problems and troubleshoot to get your employee back to where they need to be.

Mobile device management services are customized to the individual needs of your business. Depending upon the number of employees you have, the number of mobile devices, and how often upgrades are made, the services may be more complex. You will be able to get the assistance you need so that you can focus more on your business and less on threats and security.

To learn more about mobile device management services, contact the Group Mobile iCare services team.

Is a Two-in-One Device the Right Mobile Computing Tool For You?

It’s easy to see why two-in-one devices are a popular choice for mobile workers in rugged environments, as these devices have all the benefits of a traditional computer or tablet but with the added bonus of a flexible form factor, rugged, fully mobile, and lightweight.

With such a plethora of mobile computing options these days, you might wonder why a “two-in-one” device is even needed. With the option of a laptop or a tablet, why not just pick one or the other? Well, for those who work in rugged or hostile environments day in and day out, there are special workplace needs that might not be completely met solely by a laptop or solely by a tablet. With the two-in-one mobile computing model, you don’t have to pick one, you can have both! This unique environment is where two-in-one devices fit in. Two-in-one devices are a hybrid of a laptop and a tablet, for those who need the computing power of a laptop yet the light weight and flexibility of a tablet. Here are a few of the main benefits of these versatile devices:

Lightweight

Often weighing in at only a few pounds, these devices allow you to complete the job without carrying around a heavy computer all day. For those with mobile jobs that require substantial travel by foot, or call for access to computing when away from a vehicle or computer stand, the ability to hold a device in one hand without straining your muscles is a huge energy-saver. Two-in-one devices like the new Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2 tip the scales at only a few pounds, so you don’t have to hit the gym to carry it around.

Rugged

Rugged two-in-one devices are purpose-built with flexibility and a long lifespan in mind. Manufacturers understand the need for hardy devices that can withstand substantial abuse throughout its working life, so there are many options for two-in-one devices that meet rugged certifications such as IP65, and MIl-STD-810G. All the devices mentioned here and many others we offer are fully rugged – meaning they are tested to military and industrial standards for ruggedness. This means you don’t have to worry about travel, the elements, or just tough working conditions taking the life out of your device. For mobile workers in rugged environments who need electronic access on a daily basis, this kind of reliability in harsh conditions is not optional, but necessary.

Mobile

For those workers traveling long distances in rugged environments, or spend most of their day inside of a vehicle, the ability to easily pack and transport electronic devices is extremely important. Many two-in-one devices retain all the mobility of a tablet, coming in astonishingly compact sizes. One example is the Getac V110, with a thickness of barely 1.3 inches. Devices like these are easily slipped into a pack or briefcase, while retaining all the computing power of a traditional laptop. And don’t worry about tossing it around – the Getac V110 and many other thin two-in-one devices are still fully rugged.

Flexible

The beauty of two-in-ones is that they can function as both a laptop and a tablet — many have unique features that highlight this benefit. Detachable screens and keyboards are one of those features, found in the Panasonic Toughbook 20. This notebook is lightweight and very versatile, allowing you to attach and detach the keyboard with only one hand. With a 10-point multi-touch display, there is no loss in interactivity by removing the keyboard and using only the touch display. Detachable notebooks are an excellent choice for mobile computing, allowing workers to access a lightweight touch screen while on the go, all the while, still having access to a full keyboard when needed.

It’s easy to see why two-in-one devices are a popular choice for mobile workers in rugged environments, as these devices have all the benefits of a traditional computer or tablet but with the added bonus of a flexible form factor, rugged, fully mobile, and lightweight. To learn more about two-in-one devices, or for assistance in picking the best device for your needs, feel free to contact us. See our full list of featured rugged convertible two-in-one devices.

Vehicle Mounting Solutions for Mobile Workers!

Vehicle mounts enable you to customize your fit and ergonomics to ensure you have the laptop or tablet in your vehicle when and where you need it.

For many public safety workers, their vehicle is their second home. And since we all live in the 21st century, reliable access to electronic communication devices is a must – not just to complete job requirements, but also to ensure continuous communication with coworkers and others, often for safety purposes. Whatever your communication device may be, having a reliable vehicle mounting solution is essential. Having a computer, cell phone, tablet or other device fall while driving or working and be inaccessible is not only inconvenient, but can significantly impact your workplace safety and efficiency. Here we’ll discuss some of the most popular vehicle mounting options for many public safety workers.

Gamber-Johnson Mounts 7160-0327_g1_thin

Consider installing a Gamber-Johnson mobile workstation in your vehicle. The right computer stand for mobile workers is one that securely mounts to the vehicle, provides flexibility for both passenger and driver to access the computer, and allows for the computer to be removed, if needed, to take on the job. A laptop mount for mobile workers should also be custom-built for the type and size of computer it will hold, to ensure a solid fit. Gamber-Johnson makes vehicle mounts for just about every vehicle on the market. If you’re a mobile professional and you frequently find yourself on your computer while in the driver’s seat, a vehicle mount, which includes a universal laptop tray, is a good option for holding your device inside your vehicle. Another great benefit to mounting your laptop in your vehicle is that you get a stronger GPS signal when integrating a GPS antenna. Gamber-Johnson offers a large assortment of mounting hardware, and accessories.

Havis Mountsc-hdm-176

Havis also supplies a huge range of mount options. Havis offers docking stations and cradles for specific electronics and car models, but they also have a unique offering of universal mounts:

  • Universal laptop mount. This mount can be used to access any laptop with a width of 11.5″ to 14.1″ and a thickness of 0.7″ to 1.2″. For departments with a variety of computer types, this would be a prudent purchase.
  • Universal tablet mount. Similar to the laptop mount, this universal tablet mount can accommodate any tablet with a width of 9.3″ to 11.2″ and a thickness of 0.6″ to 0.9″.

RAM Mountsram-vb-189-sw11

RAM offers the most extensive selection of vehicle-specific mounting solutions in the industry. These bases are engineered to conform to your vehicle interior and are constructed from high-quality steel. Installation is simple with the use of your existing passenger side seat leg bolts. Several adjustment points throughout the mount enable you to position your laptop in the most ergonomic and comfortable position possible. Some of those mounts include:

  • No Drill Mounts. There are many options for seamless integration of a vehicle mount into the RAM, using the passenger side seat rails. One example is the laptop mount for the Dodge RAM 1500 and 2500/3500, which offers telescoping features and dual swing arms.
  • Ergonomic Mounts. In addition to being no-drill, many mounts offer ergonomic features to ensure comfortable typing and laptop viewing from a car seat. One example is this Dodge Ram Mounting Kit, which is a laptop mount with a multi-adjustable swing arm.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of vehicle mounts for every possible make, model, and mobile computing device. Finding a durable and reliable vehicle mount is essential for the longevity and efficiency of your mobile office, so take your time finding the perfect mount for your needs. If you have any questions about the mounts discussed here or any other type of vehicle mount, or would like assistance in selecting the proper vehicle mount for your purposes, please feel free to contact us. We pride ourselves on providing trusted technology advice for all mobile workers.

Benefits of Rugged Smartphones & Why You Want to Make the Investment!

Rugged smartphones can work in extreme external conditions and thus are ideal for professionals such as police and fire, miners, construction and utility workers, scientists, hunters, geo-scientists, agriculturists and many more.

Is your office the great outdoors? Are you frequently dropping, scratching and breaking your consumer smartphone? If you answered yes to either of these questions, consider taking the rugged smartphone route!

Why would you want a rugged smartphone? For starters, there are many associated benefits when adopting rugged smartphones including massive cost savings, enhanced device flexibility and an improved worker experience. Rugged smartphones will work in extreme external conditions and thus are ideal for professionals such as police and fire, miners, construction and utility workers, hunters, geo-scientists, agriculturists and many more. Lastly, there is a lot to be said about safety– personal safety, the ability to call for help when you need it no matter what situation you’re in — is to many, the most important aspect of a ruggedized phone.

Why should you make the investment? Consumer smartphones can look like the more cost-effective option compared with ruggedized devices due to their low initial purchase price. However, when the potential costs of worker downtime, accelerated replacement cycles and the support needed for a successful implementation are taken into account, it’s clear to see that the true costs of deploying mobility to support your organization go far beyond the initial purchase price of the device itself. Consumer-grade mobile devices can introduce unforeseen complexities and hidden costs once the initial purchase has been made. All in all, although your initial purchase price may be higher with a rugged smartphone, the softer operational costs will be much lower with an application-rich, purpose-built device, thus making your TCO significantly lower and guaranteeing a return on investment delivering far more business value in the long run.

Another notable benefit of rugged smartphones are the unique features not found on consumer grade devices such as Push-to-Talk, thermal camera, exceptionally powerful batteries for long days in the field, shatter-proof display, capacitive touchscreen and a large selection of rugged accessories.

Learn more about Group Mobile’s portfolio of rugged smartphones…

 

The ROI of Rugged Computers: Are They Worth the Investment?

Rugged mobile computers have the potential to offer a stunning return on investment for your business. When you work with a rugged laptop, tablet, or handheld you can be confident in the fact, no matter where work takes you, your rugged device can come along.

When you choose the ideal laptop or tablet for your computing needs away from the office, you want to be sure you’re getting a product that will stick with you for time to come. Rugged computers have a higher price tag than many consumer devices. You want to be sure, if you’re going to spend money on a ruggedized device, that it’s going to be worth the investment. Knowing the (ROI) return on investment of rugged computers can help you make those critical decisions for your business.

Rugged Computers Go the Extra Mile

For many individuals, from contractors working on-site to people who work outside on a regular basis, a computer is only as useful as the device will allow. Rugged computers are designed to be usable wherever you are. They can be used:

  • Out in the rain without having to worry about water damage
  • In the back of a truck, bouncing around with the rest of your equipment, without having to worry about damage from vibration
  • In locations exposed to dirt, dust, and other conditions that could cause a more traditional mobile computer to stop functioning

A rugged laptop or tablet’s greatest ROI is that it can go anywhere you can. Take it with you on those important trips, haul it along when you’re headed out to a job site or out into the wilderness: it’s tough enough to take it.

Rugged Computers are Highly Durable

In some cases, you might not be headed out to a job site or spending a great deal of time outside. That doesn’t mean, however, that accidents can’t happen wherever you are. Ask yourself a few key questions:

  • Do you travel frequently, hauling your computer along with you through airports, to hotels, and anywhere else you have to go?
  • Do you often find yourself setting up at restaurant tables that aren’t as clean as you’d like or where spills are more likely?
  • Are you naturally clumsy, with a tendency to drop your computer bag at the worst possible moment or spill a drink when you’re sitting behind your desk?
  • Do you work in dusty or otherwise dirty conditions on a regular basis?

If any of these conditions ring true for you, it doesn’t matter if you often work in rugged conditions or not. A rugged device could be the solution to everything you need! Any time your mobile computer has to be fixed, you’re losing time and money. Not only do you have to pay for it to be fixed, you also have to find a solution for handling your computing needs while your computer is out of service or put off that work until you have your computer back in your hands. A rugged mobile computer ensures less time lost because it’s less likely to become damaged over the course of a normal work day.

The Support You Need to Keep Running

In every stage of the new device implementation process, from pre-deployment question and answer sessions to support after you’ve gotten used to your new mobile computer, but faced with a problem, you’ll receive all the support you need to make the most of your rugged computer. This includes:

  • Solutions for your most common problems
  • Help figuring out which rugged technology is the right fit for you and your business
  • Vital technical support when you need it most
  • Smooth roll-out services that will have your new technology working seamlessly in no time
  • Training for members of the team who need it
  • Extended help desk and repair of broken items

The investment in a rugged device comes along with all of these vital services, ensuring that you’ll be able to keep your equipment running smoothly. That means minimal lost time for your business as a whole, from the pre-deployment phases to the post-deployment need for support.

Rugged mobile computers have the potential to offer a stunning return on investment for your business. When you work with a rugged laptop, tablet, or handheld you can be confident in the fact, no matter where work takes you, your rugged device can come along. With less lost time, the ability to use your computer even in rugged conditions, and high-quality support, rugged mobile computers are an investment that will certainly pay off. Contact Group Mobile today to learn how we can help choose the right rugged mobile solution for you.

Brand New! — Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2 Semi-Rugged, Two-in-One Tablet!

The new Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2 combines advanced performance with a flexible form
factor, making it a powerful mobile computing solution for enterprise deployments.

Have you heard the buzz word two-in-one device? Two-in-one devices are set to increase their market share for a number of reasons both for vendors and for customers. Also known as hybrid laptops, these two-in-one laptops are easy to travel with, offering the flexibility as the new norm – where workers might spend some days in the office and some in the field. A hybrid is a laptop where the screen can be completely detached from the keyboard base and serve as a standalone touchscreen tablet. The base is a proper keyboard, complete with USB ports and its own battery source. Two-in-one laptops combine the features of both laptops and tablets, but really give you the best of fz-q2_frontboth worlds!

The new Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2 combines advanced performance with a flexible form
factor, making it a powerful mobile computing solution for enterprise deployments. The FZ-Q2 two-in-one tablet comes standard with a full sized backlit keyboard to ease heavy data entry tasks and can be easily detached to provide users with a lightweight, portable tablet. The FZ-Q2 two-in-one tablet can be safely sanitized with a disinfectant solution for home health, food service or inspection applications. Additionally, the FZ-Q2 is equipped with a unique HDMI-in feature for the cable industry and on-site diagnostics. To meet the diverse market needs, the FZ-Q2 two-in-one is equipped with the Intel Core m5 vPro processor, 8GB of onboard RAM, and 128GB or 256GB of solid state drive storage.

A full range of accessories are available with the Toughpad FZ-Q2, notably a full desktop cradle for seamless transition from the office into the field, and a rotating hand strap to achieve maximum productivity. Learn more about the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2…