Repeating a cycle that occurs every few years, the operating system producers and ruggedized mobile device manufacturers are once again phasing out the old and bringing in the new. For thousands of companies and millions of mobile workers, this means yet-another costly and painful round of infrastructure changes: Applications in the data center must be modified or replaced; custom software on the terminal must be re-written; millions of mobile workers must be retrained.

But none of that has to happen. There exists today a technology that eliminates this costly recurring migration cycle, once and for all. This game-changing technology is operating in the field today, and already proving its efficacy.

Game-changer #1: Browsers

Every ruggedized mobile device built in the last ten years has been shipped with a stock browser. These browsers are easily the most sophisticated user interfaces available. More importantly, the stock browsers have reached a high level of standardization, making them functionally immune to operating system and hardware changes.

An oft-repeated fallacy is that corporate IT and Operations departments prefer custom software on these devices. Although there are certainly cases where custom terminal software is a necessity, those cases are the exception, not the rule. Customized or third-party software on the terminal introduces additional maintenance and management headaches that are only exacerbated by OS and hardware upgrades 

The majority of ruggedized mobile devices are used with telnet applications and, more recently, web-based applications. The adoption of modern web-based applications has been limited by performance issues – the browsers on the ruggedized devices are generally significantly slower.  For most ruggedized device users, speed and performance matters.

There are a number of good reasons for the performance degradation. Most prominent among them is the need to extend battery life to at least one 8-hour shift, so a trade-off is made between performance and battery life. Browsers are slower than the simple telnet emulations they replace, and few organizations and operators fail to notice the difference. Even fewer can tolerate the difference

Arising from this difference is the fallacy that custom software is preferred. It is preferred only because until recently it was the only solution to the performance issue that was offered. That is no longer true.

Game-changer #2: Virtualization

It is now rare to find a corporate data center that hasn’t been virtualized. The impact of this development makes adoption of a new system architecture not only possible, but attractive.

First of all, virtual appliances are installed in a matter of minutes and are maintenance-free. That means they are immune to OS upgrades and hardware changes.

Second, fault-tolerance and redundancy are simple to implement, eliminating the danger of a single-point-of-failure in the data center. 

Third, and most importantly, virtualization allows for the system architecture that eliminates the need for managing custom and third-party software on the devices. Management and control of mobile enterprise assets can be brought back to the IT department, where it belongs.


Game-changer #3: Our Technology

Connect developed a virtual appliance that improves the performance of the browser on the mobile device and also converts telnet sessions into browser sessions. Thus, changes to the mobile device operating system and hardware are transparent, eliminating the need to modify or replace application or terminal software.