MobileFrame Blog

The Only Complete Enterprise Mobility Solution

Are Tablets Right For DSD?

New DevicesOn April 3, 2010 the enterprise mobility landscape changed forever, Apple released the first generation iPad sparking a wave of innovation among computer manufactures and application developers that has continued at a torrid pace. According to Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillett, tablet sales are expected to increase from the 56 million units sold in 2011 to 375 million in 2016, with 750 million tablets in use by then. Forrester expects that one-third of these tablets will be purchased by businesses. Application developers have been aware of this trend and according to a study by VisionMobile roughly 50% of mobile developers are now targeting tablets (this number is even higher for iOS Developers), which is up from just over 1/3 for developers last year.

Well that’s great but how does it apply to DSD?

If you have an existing DSD Solution in place then you know the hard work that was involved in getting the application built to your specifications, integrated with your back-end systems, testing on the desired mobile computer, etc. Based on our experience many legacy DSD solutions take 18+ months to be fully deployed within an organization. Many companies are not eager to jump ship, only to repeat that painful process again.

The Problem Lies With the Application

When discussing mobile applications it is important to understand the software market, and the 2 basic approaches for bringing solutions to the market, and their limitations.

  • Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software describes a category of software that is ready-made and available for sale to the general public. COTS software is designed to meet the needs of the mass market, and typically can be implemented easily into existing systems without the need for customization. Many organizations are familiar with COTS solutions like Microsoft Office, and QuickBooks. However COTS Solutions also exist for line of business applications like DSD, GPS, Routing, Mobile Proof of Delivery, and more.
  • Custom applications are software programs that are developed by engineers either within your company or a 3rd party, as opposed to being bought off-the-shelf.

The problem with these two approaches is that they are built utilizing Native toolkits, which enable the development of native (installed) applications on a single mobile OS platform, and target a specific device, and screen size. Therefore moving to a tablet can involve a complete rebuild of your existing solution, or waiting for your existing COTS software provider to add support for the type of device that you are interested in. The bottom line is that in both cases you are looking at a great deal of time and money.

The best solutions are those that combine the benefits of COTS solutions and custom applications, including the ability to rapidly deploy solutions on any operating system, but also provide your team with the tools needed to implement custom configurations quickly.  Over the past decade application platforms have been developed that provide this best of both worlds approach, enabling organizations to deploy a COTS solution built upon a proven and stable platform, with all of the tools needed to make changes quickly, integrate into different back-end systems, and even build new applications without the need to write any code.

What’s the good news?

At MobileFrame we have developed a COTS solution called the Direct Store Delivery Suite, which is built upon the MobileFrame platform so it’s fully customizable to suit the needs of your organization without time-consuming and expensive custom coding. This includes the ability to take the same application developed for one operating system and deploying to another in minutes. You do not need to rework the app if you want to go from a small screen like a handheld computer to a tablet or laptop. With our software this is all done by dragging and dropping fields on the page to the desired position, so it’s a very easy process. And, once you own our code-free mobility platform you can deploy custom apps for any department with any app requirement, including Warehouse Management, Work Orders, Asset Tracking, Fleet Management, Inspections, no additional cost.  Our system also includes the management tools necessary for a successful mobility project, including: mobile device management, project administration and deployment, automatic updates, an integration wizard and more.

Utilizing the MobileFrame platform and our Direct Store Delivery Suite you will be able to go mobile on any device you choose, and rest assured that you have the right technology partner to help grow your businesses for years to come.

If you would like to take our technology for a test drive please do not hesitate to contact us we are looking forward to hearing from you.

1-408-885-1200 | | Web