"Bring your own device" reflects the trend of employees wanting to work on different mobile devices, including tablets, Maris says. "These devices do not use the same operating systems so solutions developers like Motorola are having to look at how to accommodate multiple operating systems."
When talking about the production end of the supply chain, there are other issues as well, says Jim Hilton, Motorola Solutions' senior director for manufacturing. He notes that the business applications that need to function on each device are very specific as are the jobs of the workers using the device. Additionally, the environment in which the mobile device has to operate "is not quite the quiet, carpeted space you find in offices," he says.
Motorola Solutions has launched a number of initiatives to help its customers adapt to this multi-device and multi-platform world. "We recognize that our major customers are going to use multiple operating systems and that they need a way to cope without having to rip out and replace current hardware and software," says Maris. "As a result, we have developed a layer of middleware that will translate data from any operating system to whatever operating system the receiver is using, then translate it back again before returning it to the host system," he says. "We make this transparent and correct and everyone is happy."
Motorola Solutions also has recently introduced an Android-based rugged tablet for use in manufacturing, says Hilton. "We did this for one specific reason," he says. "Shop-floor personnel need more real estate on the screen, whether it is an engineer fixing an asset who needs to look at a schematic and be able to blow up a section, or whether it is a manager who needs to be away from the shop floor but needs to stay connected so he can watch critical components on the production line." The tablet also needed to be as rugged as the work environment, he says, "so we took pains to ensure that our tablet would meet all the demands of the job."
Deciding to go with Android rather than a Microsoft operating system was not an "or" decision but an "and" decision, he says. "We have these two giants out there, and we think there is a place for both, as do our customers, so we will accommodate both."
To view Mike Maris' video in its entirety, click here
To view Jim Hilton's video in its entirety, click here
Keywords: ARC Advisory Group, Cloud, SaaS & On-Demand Systems, Software Architecture & SOA, RFID, Wireless, Bar Code & Voice, Supply Chain Visibility, Asset Management, Collaboration & Integration, Business Intelligence & Analytics, Technology, Supply Chain Analysis & Consulting, Global Supply Chain Management, Jim Hilton of Motorola Solutions, MultCPGevice World, Personal Communications Devices At Work
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