Labor Day 2017: Honoring the Great American Mobile Worker!

Group Mobile would like to invite mobile workers to visit our website, here you will find a large selection of hardware and a suite for professional services perfectly suited for mobile industries!

Do you know the history of Labor Day in the United States?

We all know about Labor Day. After all, who wouldn’t want to be informed about an extra day off work? Just because we know that the day is a rest from our labor doesn’t mean we know the true history behind Labor Day. Here’s a quick overview of why we celebrate Labor Day.

Labor Day got its start in the late 1800’s, when union leaders in New York City decided that they wanted to host a massive festival for workers across the city. Because Labor Day was not yet a national holiday, in order to attend those laborers would have to give up a day’s wages. Early in the first Labor Day celebration—which was held on September 5th, 1882—few people turned out. Over the course of the day, more and more people joined the festivities and by the day’s end the rally boasted 10,000 people!

News of this celebration of hard-working Americans and all our labor force has contributed to the nation spread, and in 1887 Oregon became the first state to declare Labor Day an official holiday. It took just under a decade for the festivities to gain traction across the country, and in 1896 President Grover Cleveland declared the first Monday in September as an official national holiday to celebrate American laborers.

This year on Labor Day, Group Mobile is honoring mobile workers! The world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion in 2016, representing 37.2% of the total workforce. Mobile workers, virtual workers, freelancers, independent contractors, and other terms have been used to describe those of us who more or less works anytime, anywhere. And this type of work is becoming a new norm around the world, so the growth of mobile workers is likely to continue. Such workers often work from multiple locations, and use at least three devices. Mobile workers carry their work in their pockets or carrying case, powered by a multitude of applications. Group Mobile would like to invite mobile workers to visit our website, here you will find a large selection of hardware and a suite for professional services perfectly suited for mobile industries!

Three different Getac devices are in stock and ready to ship in 48 hours, the Getac V110 convertible laptop, F110 rugged tablet and S410 semi-rugged laptop. These rugged computers are three of the most popular computers manufactured by Getac with the most popular custom features on the market.

Enter Discount Code: LABORDAY

Happy 4th of July From Group Mobile!

Rugged computers have proven time and time again to save end users and organizations large amounts of money, time, and grief due to their durability, reliability, longevity, and 3- to 5-year full warranties.

Why choose a rugged laptop or rugged tablet? There are many different types of rugged computers and the features that make them different from conventional, commercial-grade computers; as well as other considerations such as vehicle docking and mounting, integrated wireless and cellular broadband, GPS, cameras, barcode scanners, backlit keyboards and other capabilities that are often mandatory in mobile or outdoor computing.

Rugged Computers, also known as hardened computers, and ruggedized computers have been around since the late 1970s / early 1980s, so they basically have been around as long as the PC industry itself. It was quickly discovered and understood that commercial-grade PCs, designed for office workers or even highly-mobile, white-collar workers and frequent flyers, would not hold up in an in-field, in-vehicle, outdoor, or warehouse/factory type of environment. Rugged technology has been developed to allow what is a fairly delicate piece of sophisticated electronics, to be able to function and survive while on-the-go, in the field, and even in tough environmental conditions. Rugged computers have proven time and time again to save end users and organizations large amounts of money, time, and grief due to their durability, reliability, longevity, and 3- to 5-year full warranties.

Countless studies have shown that rugged and mobile computers cost less to own, even though their initial price is higher. Not to mention, the headache-avoidance factor associated with fewer repairs and less equipment failure is incalculable. Rugged devices are absolutely essential in today’s mobile computing environment. Public safety, field service, construction, healthcare, natural resource-related, military, field work and exploration, public and private utilities, building and home inspection, geospatial, aviation, marine, distribution and warehousing, transportation… the list goes on and on of the industries and fields of endeavor that are able to take advantage of computer automation and the subsequent productivity gains as a result of the availability of rugged and ruggedized computers.

Rugged Computers have features like magnesium or aluminum casings, shock-mounted disk drives or solid state drives, waterproof and backlit rugged keyboards, and hardened sunlight-readable displays. Some rugged computers are able to withstand a 6-foot drop on to concrete or even submersion in water. These days, all form factors of computers have been ruggedized including laptops/notebooks, tablets, and handhelds/smartphones.

Contact one of Group Mobile’s mobile solutions experts to see how implementing rugged technology can benefit you.

How to Guarantee Your Agency Will Have In-Vehicle Connectivity and Ensure Success for Mission Critical Applications

A multi-network concept refers to any setup that provides the vehicle with more than one network connection, meaning, there can be a mix of technologies onboard ranging from cellular and Wi-Fi to LMR, satellite, or new formats as they come online, such as the FirstNet network for public safety.

Technology in the squad car is advancing every day which means staying on top of the best IT advances can be a huge challenge for any department.  Video surveillance, license plate recognition (ALPR), electronic ticketing systems and the latest vehicle dispatching and tracking technologies enable officers to safely cover more area, and coordinate with other officers and agencies. Today’s police officers, paramedics, firefighters, utility workers, transit operators, and other public safety workers rely on advanced mobile applications, such as automatic vehicle location, traffic signal prioritization, computer aided dispatch, route and schedule management, and fare payment systems that increase productivity and improve safety.

The main point of access for these applications is often from the vehicle, because it’s equipped with onboard wireless connectivity and transmits and receives data on a nearly continual basis. In-vehicle connectivity has become customary, with first responders and field service personnel driving cars, vans, and trucks equipped with a network connection that provides convenient access to voice, text, and video data.  However, if the vehicle has only one onboard connection, the setup involves a certain amount of risk. Any issues with network coverage, bandwidth, or usage can mean delayed communications or, worse yet, no communications at all. Losing the onboard connection can have extreme consequences, and can even mean the difference between life and death. How do you reduce this risk?  By adding at least one more onboard network connection you can greatly reduce this risk. An alternative connection – to a secondary cellular network or some other format, such as Wi-Fi or satellite – creates a layer of insurance. When the primary connection isn’t up to the task, the alternate connection can be brought online to keep communications intact. Having two or more available connections onboard the vehicle, or “multi-networking”, protects against worst-case scenarios, and increases resilience for emergency response and other in-field services.

So, what is involved in a multi-network concept? A multi-network concept refers to any setup that provides the vehicle with more than one network connection, meaning, there can be a mix of technologies onboard ranging from cellular and Wi-Fi to LMR, satellite, or new formats as they come online, such as the FirstNet network for public safety. A multi-network router installed in the vehicle is used to manage the switches from network to network. So, when are these typical network changeovers? Changeovers usually happen at three points of operation: When leaving the depot and transitioning from Wi-Fi to cellular, when returning to the depot and transitioning back from cellular to Wi-Fi, and while the vehicle is in motion, with the router switching from one network to another to optimize in-field connectivity.

With the right multi-network solution in place, changeovers from one network to another can happen automatically without any kind of manual intervention, and the necessary security protocols are maintained without interrupting the flow of work, even when there’s a VPN (Virtual Private Network) involved. Furthermore, the selection criteria for each network connection can be customized, based on things such as vehicle location, vehicle speed, or the type of data being transmitted. The overall result is more efficient network usage, more effective field services and lower operating costs. Law enforcement and other organizations are now using more video, and at a higher resolution. The video is typically stored in the vehicle and then transmitted to the backend system at periodic intervals. The mobile router can be configured to use a dedicated link to send video, so the data-intensive video transmissions don’t disrupt or slow down the other services in use. Alternatively, the router can be configured to send video transmissions when the vehicle returns to its home base, using the depot’s faster, more secure Wi-Fi connection to transfer video. Now, how to choose the right mobile router for your workforce to ensure connectivity in the field.

The operating costs and in-field effectiveness of a multi-network platform are heavily influenced by the ability of the router to manage seamless network changeovers and protect data. The router’s switching speed, security features, and programmability all affect how well the solution performs, and how much it costs to manage. It’s important to consider all these factors when evaluating the various options available for mobile multi-networking.

Transitioning to a multi-network environment is a serious undertaking. To maximize your return on investment and fully realize the benefit to your organization we recommend three things to look for in a multi-network mobile router:

  1. Switching speeds that are fast enough to support seamless connectivity.
  2. The ability to provide continuous security without impacting performance.
  3. A policy engine that can be configured for intelligent switching and customized operation.

Choosing a mobile router that meets all three criteria lets you create a multi-networking environment that not only enhances efficiency but also adds value. Group Mobile works closely with Sierra Wireless to offer the world a comprehensive offering of hardware, software, and services for connected devices and machine-to-machine communications. Together, Group Mobile and Sierra Wireless provide innovative, reliable and high performing solutions.

Group Mobile’s team of industry experts can assist you in selecting, designing and implementing a multi-network environment for mission-critical fleets, request a free personalized quote.

Popular Accessories for Rugged Tablets, Laptops and Handheld Computers!

Choose additional tools that will make it possible for you to handle your daily job tasks as easily on the road or in the field as you do in the safety and comfort of a traditional office.

With so many rugged accessories to choose from today, how do you evaluate the must-have accessories you need for optimum productivity? So, you’ve selected the rugged device that will work best for you: a tablet, handheld or laptop that’s tough enough to handle everything you do across the course of your daily job responsibilities. Or, maybe your IT department has chosen the rugged computer for you and your department and you’re not exactly sure how to make it work as a valuable tool for you. The next step is selecting the mobile accessories to accompany your rugged computing device: the additional tools that will make it possible for you to handle your daily job tasks as easily on the road or in the field as you do in the safety and comfort of a traditional office.

So, first evaluate your job requirements and begin to ask yourself the following questions: Do I need to use my rugged tablet or laptop in a company or personal vehicle? Do I need the ability to print or scan documents while on the road or in the field? Will I be charging my rugged computer in my vehicle?  Do I need the ability to dock my tablet or laptop inside my office for use at my desk? Do I need connectivity over commercial, municipal or public safety wireless networks using either a built-in or plug-in data card or mobile router? Do I need a shoulder strap to easily carry my tablet or laptop in the field? Will I be using my rugged laptop or tablet on a forklift therefore requiring a forklift computer mount? Will I be operating my rugged device for long hours which will require a spare battery for my device? Do I need a bar code scanner to read labels from just a few inches to 40-feet away? Do I need a rugged keyboard to easily attach and remove from the unit and often fold for easy transport? These are only a few of the vital questions to consider when evaluating your work environment and what must-have rugged computing accessories you need for optimum productivity.

There are plenty of accessories to choose from, but these five must-have rugged computing accessories will help make your daily tasks easier and ensure your rugged device keeps up with all of your needs to increase productivity and efficiency at work, now who doesn’t want that?

  1. Rugged Printers and Scanners

How many times have you been out on a job site, only to discover that you needed to share information with someone in paper form? From printing out critical instructions for a patient in need of detailed care to printing an invoice or receipt on the go, you can’t always rely on digital formats. Public safety and field service workers heavily rely on the availability of rugged mobile vehicle printers. Mobile rugged printers are easy to operate and maintain in the field, offering full-page printing with high resolution text, graphics and images. Another added benefit to mobile rugged printers is how easily adaptable they are to almost any vehicle in your fleet. Rugged printers are just as tough as your rugged tablet or laptop and can be easily attached to your device for precise, professional and simple mobile printing.

Many people working in realty, home healthcare, insurance appraisal, police, legal, and construction to name a few will highly benefit from a rugged vehicle scanner. Do you really need a rugged scanner? It depends on what your job entails! If you regularly handle a great deal of paperwork while you’re on the road or find yourself needing to get clients’ signatures in the system quickly, a rugged scanner can help provide the speed you and your clients need to keep your day running smoothly.

  1. Rugged Keyboards

Rugged keyboards are ergonomic and can be an invaluable tool for workers in the field. Many rugged keyboards are completely sealed form the elements and designed with LED backlit keys for use in dark environments or inside vehicles at night. Rugged keyboards are used by police, medical professionals including travel nurses, oil and gas, mining and energy, EMS and fire and fleet management. Rugged keyboards designed specifically for your business will provide real return on investment and exceptional value.

  1. Vehicle Mounts

Some people are perfectly content to store their rugged devices in a bag or case, pulling it out whenever they need it. In other cases, however, you may find yourself wanting to install your rugged device within your vehicle. Vehicle mounts are the perfect mobile solution: they hold your device where you need it, making sure that it’s always at hand. Vehicle mounting solutions offer a flexible form factor that delivers strength and durability to protect your technology investment. Worried about drilling in your vehicle? Consider the No-Drill vehicle mounting solution — 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.

  1. Power Accessories

You don’t always have the luxury of heading back to the office to plug in your device as the battery starts to run low. When that flashing power indicator shows up, you want to have options! Some rugged devices offer hot swappable batteries allowing you to swap out the battery while your device is still running. In other cases, a vehicle charger will be enough. Wherever your day takes you, make sure you have plenty of battery power to keep pushing through your work day.

  1. Gateways and Modems

Do you need internet connectivity no matter where you are? If being able to bring in data is a critical part of your daily job, you need to be sure that you’ll get wireless access no matter where your day takes you. Gateways and modems will provide the wireless signal your device needs to ensure that you have access no matter how far from the office, or how far off the beaten path you might be on a given day. Carry the internet with you wherever you go and enjoy the assurance that data is just the press of a button away. Many companies rely on mobile workers that need access to the same tools available at the office.  These tools need to be accessible anytime, anywhere – even for workers in vehicles, on the move and at remote work sites. Organizations can more efficiently manage operations by knowing the location and status of their mobile assets.

Once you’ve selected your rugged device, make sure that you have the accessories that will accompany it to make your work day run smoother and more productive. Our team of mobile solution experts can evaluate your business and streamline a solution to increase productivity and efficiency of your workers — a common goal we all have in mind.

Contact a Group Mobile sales professional to get started.

How Secure is Your Mobile Router? How to Ensure Your Organization is Protected!

Do you ever wonder how easy it is to hack a mobile router? Is your fleet or agency at risk? Workers in the field need easy access to mission-critical data, plus a way for supervisors to control and manage vehicle operations, therefore a mobile router is a necessity to create a unique Vehicle Area Network (VAN). The VAN creates a secure, encrypted mobile hotspot, in and around the vehicle, so front line personnel can use a mobile device like a rugged tablet, smartphone or rugged laptop to access secure databanks. Designing and implementing a secure, multi-network setup for public safety professionals to use can be challenging. For instance, police officers work across multiple networks as coverage dictates, and require the hand-offs between networks to be quick, secure, transparent, and seamless to the user.

Managing a VAN means dealing with frequent connects and disconnects, and IP addresses that change regularly. This type of dynamic operating environment makes it harder to partition and segment the network, and makes it harder to protect transmissions. Without the proper security mechanisms in place, the network risks being accessed by unauthorized users and is more vulnerable to various types of attacks. That includes Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which can shut down operations and act as a smokescreen for other malicious activities, such as viruses and ransomware.

Mobile routers and gateways are entry points to an enterprise intranet, so it’s vitally important to implement equipment secure enough to provide the right level of safety. Because there are no specific guidelines or regulations covering the security of in-vehicle networking equipment, the decision of how much or how little protection to offer is, by and large, up to the vendor. Some offer more security features than others, and some have a more comprehensive strategy than others for dealing with security in an in-vehicle environment. Make sure the vendor you choose has been around for a while, comes highly recommended, and has a lot of product in the field —this will make a big difference, especially when problems arise. These points play a heavy role in why public safety officials choose Sierra Wireless time and time again.

When choosing a secure mobile router selection, begin with these questions:

  • Does your vendor have a dedicated department that leads and coordinates security efforts?
  • Do they recognize best practices for security and implement them across all their products and systems?
  • Do they employ subject-matter experts who drive company-wide initiatives for security?
  • Is there a standardized process for identifying, evaluating, and fixing any security
    issues with their products? How do they decide which issues to address first?
  • How good are they at helping IT teams understand what needs to be done? Do they take a proactive approach on security matters, with regular updates, email alerts, and technical bulletins that keep customers aware of the latest security issues?

Your mobile network can involve hundreds of vehicle-mounted gateways, which can create a complex management project for you or your IT staff. With the right partnership, you will be able to deploy the best, most cost-effective network for your needs. Your partner should be capable of covering the entire experience from planning and design, through implementation and test, to full operation and complete project life cycle management, so you can leverage their expertise, as needed, at any point along the way. Contact one of Group Mobile’s mobile technology experts to learn more on secure mobile router implementation and management.

5 Must-Have Rugged Computing Accessories You Need For Optimum Productivity!

Evaluate your job requirements to determine which rugged mobile accessories can streamline your productivity making you a better, more efficient employee.

With so many rugged accessories to choose from today, how do you evaluate the must-have accessories you need for optimum productivity? So, you’ve selected the rugged device that will work best for you: a tablet, handheld or laptop that’s tough enough to handle everything you do across the course of your daily job responsibilities. Or, maybe your IT department has chosen the rugged computer for you and your department and you’re not exactly sure how to make it work as a valuable tool for you. The next step is selecting the mobile accessories to accompany your rugged computing device: the additional tools that will make it possible for you to handle your daily job tasks as easily on the road or in the field as you do in the safety and comfort of a traditional office.

So, first evaluate your job requirements and begin to ask yourself the following questions: Do I need to use my rugged tablet or laptop in a company or personal vehicle? Do I need the ability to print or scan documents while on the road or in the field? Will I be charging my rugged computer in my vehicle?  Do I need the ability to dock my tablet or laptop inside my office for use at my desk? Do I need connectivity over commercial, municipal or public safety wireless networks using either a built-in or plug-in data card or mobile router? Do I need a shoulder strap to easily carry my tablet or laptop in the field? Will I be using my rugged laptop or tablet on a forklift therefore requiring a forklift computer mount? Will I be operating my rugged device for long hours which will require a spare battery for my device? Do I need a bar code scanner to read labels from just a few inches to 40-feet away? Do I need a rugged keyboard to easily attach and remove from the unit and often fold for easy transport? These are only a few of the vital questions to consider when evaluating your work environment and what must-have rugged computing accessories you need for optimum productivity.

There are plenty of accessories to choose from, but these five must-have rugged computing accessories will help make your daily tasks easier and ensure your rugged device keeps up with all of your needs to increase productivity and efficiency at work, now who doesn’t want that?

  1. Rugged Printers and Scanners

How many times have you been out on a job site, only to discover that you needed to share information with someone in paper form? From printing out critical instructions for a patient in need of detailed care to printing an invoice or receipt on the go, you can’t always rely on digital formats. Public safety and field service workers heavily rely on the availability of rugged mobile vehicle printers. Mobile rugged printers are easy to operate and maintain in the field, offering full-page printing with high resolution text, graphics and images. Another added benefit to mobile rugged printers is how easily adaptable they are to almost any vehicle in your fleet. Rugged printers are just as tough as your rugged tablet or laptop and can be easily attached to your device for precise, professional and simple mobile printing.

Many people working in realty, home healthcare, insurance appraisal, police, legal, and construction to name a few will highly benefit from a rugged vehicle scanner. Do you really need a rugged scanner? It depends on what your job entails! If you regularly handle a great deal of paperwork while you’re on the road or find yourself needing to get clients’ signatures in the system quickly, a rugged scanner can help provide the speed you and your clients need to keep your day running smoothly.

  1. Rugged Keyboards

Rugged keyboards are ergonomic and can be an invaluable tool for workers in the field. Many rugged keyboards are completely sealed form the elements and designed with LED backlit keys for use in dark environments or inside vehicles at night. Rugged keyboards are used by police, medical professionals including travel nurses, oil and gas, mining and energy, EMS and fire and fleet management. Rugged keyboards designed specifically for your business will provide real return on investment and exceptional value.

  1. Vehicle Mounts

Some people are perfectly content to store their rugged devices in a bag or case, pulling it out whenever they need it. In other cases, however, you may find yourself wanting to install your rugged device within your vehicle. Vehicle mounts are the perfect mobile solution: they hold your device where you need it, making sure that it’s always at hand. Vehicle mounting solutions offer a flexible form factor that delivers strength and durability to protect your technology investment. Worried about drilling in your vehicle? Consider the No-Drill vehicle mounting solution — 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.

  1. Power Accessories

You don’t always have the luxury of heading back to the office to plug in your device as the battery starts to run low. When that flashing power indicator shows up, you want to have options! Some rugged devices offer hot swappable batteries allowing you to swap out the battery while your device is still running. In other cases, a vehicle charger will be enough. Wherever your day takes you, make sure you have plenty of battery power to keep pushing through your work day.

  1. Gateways and Modems

Do you need internet connectivity no matter where you are? If being able to bring in data is a critical part of your daily job, you need to be sure that you’ll get wireless access no matter where your day takes you. Gateways and modems will provide the wireless signal your device needs to ensure that you have access no matter how far from the office, or how far off the beaten path you might be on a given day. Carry the internet with you wherever you go and enjoy the assurance that data is just the press of a button away. Many companies rely on mobile workers that need access to the same tools available at the office.  These tools need to be accessible anytime, anywhere – even for workers in vehicles, on the move and at remote work sites. Organizations can more efficiently manage operations by knowing the location and status of their mobile assets.

Once you’ve selected your rugged device, make sure that you have the accessories that will accompany it to make your work day run smoother and more productive. Our team of mobile solution experts can evaluate your business and streamline a solution to increase productivity and efficiency of your workers — a common goal we all have in mind. Contact a Group Mobile sales professional to get started.