One of the great things about Motorola Solutions’ Fresh Ideas in Enterprise Mobility blogs is that they are information-filled, entertaining essays covering many topic that speak to many different industries, professions, and communities. From blogs on issues facing Retail, Warehouse Management, and Healthcare, to blogs featuring solutions for WLAN, RFID, and Online Security, Fresh Ideas in Enterprise Mobility covered a lot of ground, and offered thousands and thousands of readers valuable information they could use to help their organizations and themselves.These topics have all been covered in our Fresh Ideas in Enterprise Mobility blogs this year. If you missed any, here they are, the best blogs we published in 2013…10. Item by Item: Improving Omnichannel Retailing with RFID by Susan FlakeDid you know item-level RFID tagging is proving to deliver product inventory data that is up to 99.5% accurate? Motorola Solutions’ Susan Flake wrote about how RFID really is the way to improve omnichannel retailing back in April. This blog and the MSI whitepaper “RFID Omnichannel Superstar” it mentions are full of valuable information and as relevant today as it was back in April for retailers, who will be gathering in 2 weeks in New York City for NRF 2014.9. Warehouse Vision: What Will Your Warehouse Look Like in Next 5 Years? By Mark WheelerDrawing from Motorola’s “Future of Warehousing Survey,” in which warehouse IT and operational personnel in manufacturing, retail, wholesale, and 3rd party logistics shared their thoughts and plans about the next 5 years, Mark’s August blog is full of statistical information that provides a glimpse into the future of warehousing.8. Healthcare Mobility: The Side Effect You May Not Have Considered by Vivian FunkhouserHealthcare clinicians can use their own mobile devices to collect data bedside, a 30% increase from just two years ago. But with their devices connected to their organization's network, how can a BYOD policy affect data security? Vivian answers this plus more in her blog from May.7. 116, 24, 72 Means Trouble for Device Management Status Quo by Richard OrgiasRichard’s intriguingly cryptic title for his June blog addressed the issues facing companies trying to manage all of its employees’ mobile devices running on its networks. I won’t spoil the meaning of those numbers, but for network managers, they’re alarming and worthy of investigating. Richard provides great links in this blog, including one for Motorola’s comprehensive services portfolio including Run services.6. Cracking Down on Organized Retail Crime, From the ‘Boost’ to the ‘Fence’ by Karen BartuchKaren brings her own police experience and technological expertise to this blog on how organized retail theft is not only a major problem for retailers, but what law enforcement is doing about it with CCROC: the Cook County Regional Organized Crime Task Force.5. Tips for a Healthy WLAN Network – Hint: You Need Help! by Ming AhmadFor organizations with Wi-Fi networks supporting business-critical operations, Ming provided answers to support questions in a November blog. He discussed maximizing the availability of a network, making sure a network remains up-to-date, and where to find technical guidance.4. From Smartphones to Smart Coupons: Retailers Go Mobile by Rohan SuriPrint started the coupon revolution, now smartphones are mobilizing it. Rohan’s blog from July takes a look at what retailers are doing with mobile coupons to stay competitive. Imagine personalized deals and discounts for every single shopper, given to them at the exact moment they need them. Very interesting ideas here, if you missed it, check it out now.3. Is Your Hotel Polluted? Fighting RF Pollution in the 2.4 GHz Band by Daran HermansIn June, Daran provided a great technical blog for network professionals, hotel managers, and WLAN professionals. He dives into a very specific look at “RF pollution,” defining it, showing how it slows down Wi-Fi Internet access in hotels, and how to overcome it. This blog has been read by over 43,000 people in just six months. Expect more great technical blogs from Motorola experts in 2014.2. Secure Yourself, Your Family and Your Organization by Securing Your Photos by Lesley CarhartLesley proved to be our most popular blogger this year with her blog series on how to “Secure your Organization by Securing Yourself” receiving nearly 70,000 views. A senior information security specialist in the Motorola Solutions Security Operations Center, Lesley wrote at the end of September about how the photos we take every day with our mobile phones and devices and post to social media can be dangerous security risks.Here are links to the other blogs in Lesley’s series:What's Your Pa$$word? Secure Your Organization by Securing Your AccountsSecure Your Organization by Securing Yourself: Beware the Removable DeviceSecure Your Organization by Securing Yourself on Social NetworksLog Monitoring and Cyberthreat Detection 1. Retailer vs. Etailer – Making the Case for Reaching Store Shoppers via Wi-Fi by Frank RisoIf placing cookies on a website visitor's device is OK for e-tailers, then Retailers offering free in-store Wi-Fi access should be able to track the websites their customers visit, argues Motorola Solutions' Frank Riso in a very interesting blog about "showrooming” from October. Thanks to everyone who has read and shared links to our blogs in 2013. Whether you found links to these blogs on MotorolaSolutions.com pages, our Facebook, Linked In, or Google+ pages, from our tweets or from friends and colleagues, we appreciate and value your comments and opinions about our blogs. Please let us know what topics you’d like to see in 2014 in the Comments section below, or share with us on social media, of course. Thanks again, and we look forward to providing more great content in 2014! Special thanks to…Geetanjali Mirani, senior marketing manager for Global Solutions & Services, Motorola Solutions, for her tenacious management of Solutions & Services blogs and for helping to assemble this Top Ten list… Jennifer Mesenbrink, senior manager of digital and content strategy for Motorola Solutions, for her amazing guidance and insightful, intelligent editing on nearly every blog published in 2013…All of our 2013 bloggers! Your expertise and care are inspiring, and we look forward to more in 2014!Terrence Brown is a senior external communications specialist for Motorola Solutions. It’s easy to keep up with our Fresh Ideas in Enterprise Mobility blogs by signing up for our RSS feed here. Also, please follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/motosolutions, https://twitter.com/MotoRetail, and https://twitter.com/MotWireless for links to the latest blogs, as well as Motorola Solutions updates and news and interesting information about Retail, Manufacturing, Wireless, and more.
As many enterprises look to deploy wireless voice they need to make an important decision regarding the band on which to roll out this service. The simplest approach would be to just deploy voice on their existing 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n data network. They should, however, take a serious look at the option of a voice overlay on the 5 GHz 802.11a/n network. If the enterprise has installed dual mode radios in preparation for voice, then they have already made the strategic decision to separate voice and data and avoid the 2.4GHz Naughty list.
What is on this 2.4GHz Naughty list?
The top reason on this list is the well known problem of interference. But the issue of interference is much more mischievous than the standard example of microwave ovens. Interference comes in many shapes and sizes - just like the many reasons naughty children make the dreaded list of the big guy in the red suit. This is a long list and here are some of the common causes of interference at 2.4GHz:
Why are there so many competing technologies at the 2.4GHz band?
Because it’s unlicensed and radios in this band have become a commodity. Another flavor of Interference to look out for that is inherent to 802.11 at 2.4GHz: adjacent channel(s) interference. There are ways to mitigate this but you are limited to what you can do:
Bluetooth also operates in the 2.4GHz band and can cause issues with voice:
Another naughty item on the list are legacy 802.11b devices which don’t play well with others and as a result lower the effective bandwidth for all devices in the 2.4GHz band.
The cumulative effect of the “Naughties” (OK, I made up this word, but it works, right?) on running voice in 2.4GHz are
How can I avoid this long list of “Naughties” so I don’t get a lump of coal in my stocking from irate users?
A best practice is to deploy voice on the 5GHz band and leave all your data devices on 2.4GHz as data services are more resilient to the effects of the “Naughties”.
If there’s a “Naughty” list, then there must be a “Nice” list for running voice on the 5GHz band, right?
Absolutely, here is the Nice list…
To “wrap up,” if your enterprise is thinking about rolling out voice, take a serious look at dual band APs so you can put voice on 5GHz and avoid the Naughty List. It’s so much better to be on the Nice list!
Mike Frank is a Professional Services Release Management Consultant for Motorola Solutions. He would like to acknowledge the contributions of Santa’s helper Kris Hobbs, Enterprise Solutions Specialist II, Motorola Solutions to this blog.
Learn more about voice readiness assessments.
When I perform mobility optimization assessments for clients or have discussions with them about their overall mobile device strategy, the discussion quickly focuses on how to ensure that their devices are available and ready when needed. Security inevitably comes up because of its importance in ensuring appropriate access to devices and business data as well as planning on how to deal with lost or stolen devices.
Inadequate security and poor device availability are major contributors to high Total Cost of Ownership and missed Return on Investment targets for many company’s mobile device fleets. One of the major goals of Mobile Device Management (MDM) is to increase device availability and required security. Managed Service solutions use MDM platforms and custom apps to create and enforce security policies. Motorola Solutions’ service desk uses these as tools to perform remote software updates and to troubleshoot problems remotely with the goal of reducing the number of devices sent into repair unnecessarily – all of which help improve device availability. Additionally, key device data such as battery statistics, scanner statistics, location statistics, etc. can be captured as an enabler for looking for trends to identify potential devices issues proactively such as application memory leaks or batteries that are going bad – again with the goal of improving mobile device availability.
But, there is only so much your managed service provider can do to improve device availability. Your organization also has a key role to play. By making use of information on how your devices are being used – with data collection and analysis enabled by your service provider – communication in the form of reports, email alerts or even on-device alerts can be used to facilitate and enforce changes in behavior that positively impact device availability and support key business goals and drivers.
For example, a service provider cannot force employees to regularly charge device batteries, a policy that helps ensure mobile devices are available and delivering maximum performance throughout a shift. However, with a service like Motorola Solutions’ Mobility Lifecycle Management (MLM) solution, analysis and reporting can be used to allow managers to pinpoint such issues and allow them to work with employees to modify behavior so that it aligns with policy. Similarly, if a site uses mobile devices that are checked out during the day and according to policy should be returned to the site at the end of each shift, service provider analysis and reporting can be used to alert a team to modify employee behavior as required.
In my experience, many clients concentrate on the use of MDM tools and Service Desks to address basic device management but have too little focus on capabilities that allow them to diagnose and address workforce behaviors that may be impacting device performance and availability.
This summer I worked on a project with a transportation and logistics company. A segment of this company’s workforce is not full-time, so these employees do not come to company sites very often. These part-time employees are instructed to use mobile devices and scanning capabilities so paper is not required. Two major drivers for reducing problems (in this case reducing paper, an important business metric that drives cost and customer satisfaction) are ensuring devices are fully charged each day before going out on deliveries and ensuring the part-time employees are actually using the devices correctly and performing scans. As a service provider, Motorola Solutions is working to make sure they have information on which employees are not complying with policy. This is a key first step for making the behavior changes required to ensure devices are being used as intended.
Meeting your expectations for device investment may require that you find a way to monitor compliance for device use policies and modify as required. This is especially important to ensure correct employee behavior following the rollout of new mobile devices and/or applications, addressing inherent accepted behavior that does not completely follow policy for an existing mobile device estate, and to ensure new, temporary, or contracted employees use and follow mobile device policies.
This is a key capability of Motorola Solutions’ Mobility Lifecycle Management (MLM) solution. How is your organization doing? It may be time to add behavior to device availability and security as a key factor that impacts your ability to meet your mobile device operations goals.
Chuck Roark is Director Client Principals for Motorola Solutions, Inc.
Think back to 15 years ago - for most of us our mobile was just a phone - you took and made calls, maybe texted, but that was pretty much it. The advent of smartphones has revolutionised our lives; you can do almost anything that you can do on a computer on your tiny handheld device.
So when I complain about a video on my smartphone taking too long to buffer or that an app is crashing for no apparent reason, I think about how these ideas were just a twinkle in the eye of Steve Jobs and technology developers like him just a short time ago...it makes me appreciate what I have in my hand a little bit more.
Smartphones have become so ubiquitous to most of us that we use them wherever and whenever, so it’s no surprise that customers want to use them when they go shopping too, and that therefore they are rapidly changing the face of retail.
Partnering with a reliable wireless network provider like Motorola Solutions will help you to keep up with the connected shopper’s demands, as well as opening up new opportunities for you to promote products, clinch sales and build your reputation.
Watch our 3 minute video discussion on the role of wireless networks in the future of retail, highlighting how to:
Connect with your shoppers
Customers have more options than ever before to purchase an item so ensure that you are the chosen outlet for their custom by creating a personalised in-store experience. One of the first steps to achieving this is to open up your Wi-Fi using guest access (through Enterprise Class Local Area Networking) so that your customers can use their smartphones wherever they are in your store.
Making your network connectable won’t just benefit the shopper; you can also use it to store valuable data on their shopping habits and to create better tailored promotions and offers.
Today’s selling strategies aren’t about en masse promotions, they’re about selling to the individual by pushing out tailored offers through the most used channel - your customer’s smartphone.
Our video discusses how grocery chains are already taking advantage of their Wi-Fi networks to collect customer data, reward loyalty and tailor promotions.
Empower your sales team
A lot of customers are looking for personal service when they come to a brick-and-mortar store and they expect the best assistance from your sales team. Your store staff have to be up-to-date with all product information and deals as the shopper will be able to access most of this information already from their smartphone. Equipping your shop floor staff with devices such as tablets or mobile computers connected to your Wi-Fi network enables them to help customers in the best capacity possible.
See how sales staff across various businesses are using their devices to assist shoppers in our video.
Implement a stronger IT infrastructure
All of these Wi-Fi changes require a robust and secure network and sophisticated management of your infrastructure. Motorola Solutions offers the expertise to get personalised and memorable customer experiences up and running in your stores with Wi-Fi.
Our video discusses these processes and how your store needs to adopt innovative tactics.
Considering how far we have come in 15 years, and the negative impacts that some technologies and innovations have had on brick-and-mortar stores, capitalising on mobile Wi-Fi technologies today is vital to health of your store...who knows what developments the next 15 years will bring?
Watch our 3 minute video discussion now>>
Radios are everywhere these days. Have you noticed? Two-way radios are used in just about every business. Associates at your favorite local retailer, the attendant who takes your ticket at the movie theater, supervisors on a manufacturing floor, construction site workers builders a housing complex, and the logistics manager at a transportation hub all use two-way radios on a daily basis. These workers experience the power of instant push-to-talk communications every day and they find it difficult to imagine functioning without it.
Two-way radios, three ways.
So what are some of the reasons radios are so important? First it is the basic functionality of radio – push-to-talk for instant communications. Two-way radios are designed for the job. They are rugged and durable, with extremely long battery life and loud, clear audio. You will see simple radios, designed for just “talking and listening,” expert radios with color screens and keypads, and specialized radios that keep people safe in hazardous environments.
The “4 C’s” of coverage, capacity, cost, and control show why radios play such an important part of business today.
A modern digital radio system includes voice and data capabilities, which is an added benefit over older analog voice radios. Data features like GPS location, text messaging, telemetry, radio programming, encryption, and enhanced safety features are available on two-way radios using the same dedicated radio infrastructure which can be designed to be highly resilient.
Radio systems can also be integrated into your line-of-business application such as Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Work Order Management. And the modern radio can act as the hub of a Bluetooth™ personal network, connecting wearable devices that enable workplace data manipulation as well as hands-free audio.
So next time you are at your local retailer, attending a sporting event, driving through a construction zone, passing an emergency scene, or watching the airline employee load your bag into the plane, take a careful look at the people working there. You’ll see they are all using radios to do their job.
John Kedzierski is Motorola Solutions Director of Product and Solutions Marketing and previously the Motorola Solutions Area Sales Manager for the States of Illinois and Indiana.
Check out Motorola Solutions’ extensive portfolio of two-way radios for consumer, enterprise and government organizations. We have specialized radios designed for each customers’ specialized needs from onsite communications to local coverage, to multi-agency national radio systems.
We grow up wanting to make our own choices, and we learn that it’s not always easy to make good decisions. We often need help with the big choices in life, as they generate the most questions. Investing in a two-way radio or WLAN system is one of these complex choices. It can present a myriad of questions regarding the ongoing support of your technology: Who can help you maximize your system availability? Who will you turn to if you require technical guidance or repair assistance? How can you stay on top of system releases and refreshes? Making a decision can be overwhelming, but fortunately, you do not have to figure out the answers to these questions alone. A trusted service partner can help you navigate the support requirements for these increasingly complex systems.
Engaging a reliable partner in the support of your system will provide you the peace of mind that system availability will be maximized through technical support for issue resolution, equipment downtime will be minimized by utilizing your services expert for fast repair turnaround times or advanced exchange of hardware components, and you will always have someone who knows the answers to your toughest technical questions.
When selecting a service partner, know what to look for. A partner who is certified or authorized by the equipment manufacturer will have the highest level of technical expertise, often through mandates by the manufacturer that the partner attend training courses in order to fully understand the intricacies of your system. As your trusted advisor, a service partner gives you the benefit of having someone a phone call away who is not only an expert in how to successfully maintain your system, but who also understands the specific needs of your organization and how you need to utilize your system to achieve maximum results.
A service partner can support you in the present, but can also help you in determining the future progression of your system by working with you and your system manufacturer to help you identify an upgrade path that will ensure your system stays refreshed to continue meeting the communication needs of your organization.
You have a lot to manage when it comes to your two-way radio or WLAN system; remember that you do not have to shoulder the responsibility on your own. Engage a trusted and manufacturer-authorized services partner to support you in the repair, technical support, and lifecycle mapping of your system. This will help get you back to focusing on the mission of your organization, and make you feel a lot better about your choice.
Lisa Van Brunt is Senior Manager, Global Services Marketing for Motorola Solutions
For more information about partnering with Motorola Solutions, please visit us online: http://www.motorolasolutions.com/US-EN/Channel+Partners