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26Jun/150

Modernizing Supply Chain and Logistics with Mobile Technology

supply_chain

Supply chain industry is about moving materials from point of origin to finally the point of consumption. To remain competitive in today’s economy, it has become inevitable for establishments to incorporate mobile technology in their operations.

Introduction of mobile devices increases efficiency, cuts cost, helps in making better decisions and streamlines operations in supply chain. For example, mounted touch devices in trucks, help drivers communicate, access corporate information while on the move, accept jobs and optimize route planning that ultimately brings down the fuel consumption costs.

Introduction of mobile devise has reduced expensive errors and increased customer satisfaction through customer centric operational activities and timely delivery of shipments.

Impact of Mobile Devices on Logistics and Supply Chain

1.      Uninterrupted and smooth communication between field forces

A few years back, it would have been hard to imagine organizations giving away handheld devices to their employees and drivers for efficient delivery of goods and shipment. But now, the scene has changed drastically with the availability of low cost devices which has resulted in uninterrupted and smooth communication between field forces.

2.      Real-time visibility in supply chain

Suppliers today are integrating their commercial applications on handheld devices. Real-time updates from the field enables the backend/central office to perform a systematic analysis of data, thereby directly helping business. Leveraging data collected by mobile devices helps in collaborating across numerous supply chain management functions. This seamless connectivity help organizations execute processes and transactions and allow them to track their assets.

3.      Consumers leading the charge

Today’s consumers are very demanding and they are willing to pay that extra buck for a better service like faster delivery time and hassle-free process of returning the products if they do not like it. To fulfil these demands, companies are now improving the visibility over customer orders and they are turning to mobile devices, applications and other tools to achieve data synchronization.

Challenges

Smart devices are powerful general purpose devices. They can do a lot more than what is intended. Therein lies the challenge. Users can access applications that are not business related, thereby losing focus and productivity. This may also cause unnecessary data usage cost. Also, because of the fact that organizations these days are not static anymore with dispersed offices, warehouses and remote employees it becomes difficult to resolve an issue if the IT support team is not there physically to address the issue.

Malfunctioning devices due to loss of battery power or change in settings can cause loss of productive hours.

Solutions

The solution lies in securing the devices from user misuse. There are solutions available today for securely controlling, monitoring, tracking and supporting devices. With such solutions organizations can rest assured that their workforce will remain focused and productive.

42Gears is a leader in dedicated-device management space. It is one of the leading device lockdown solutions provider and helps organizations benefit from the incorporation of mobile technology in logistics, transportation and supply chain.

 

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11Jun/150

5 Ways Mobile Devices are Transforming the Healthcare Industry

medical_blog

Connected mobile devices today are transforming how we work and that is why it is not surprising to see them making an impact on all industries including healthcare. Not only doctors, but other medical staff like lab technicians and nurses are also using mobile devices to improve the overall healthcare service.

Simplified mobile healthcare solutions have improved patient care and day-to-day activities of medical practitioners in the following ways:

1. Easy patient record management

An appropriate patient record system on mobile device:

  • Provide doctors easy and on-the-go access to patient history
  • Optimizes patient flow
  • Eliminate errors and duplicate efforts
  • Improves patient satisfaction throughout each phase of the treatment

2. Patient education

Mobile devices makes it very easy for doctors to make patients understand about their condition or illness through interactive visual contents. Virtual simulation and animated graphics explaining suggested diagnosis/treatments and expected consequent results has proved to be more effective and convincing.

3. Remote patient care

Elderly patients who are too weak to be admitted in hospitals can be given treatment remotely with the help of accurate and fast access to patient information on mobile devices. The two way communication of medical stats, health readings, images, videos and texts have worked really well with both patients and doctors. Plus, these devices are rugged and can withstand drops and bumps.

4. Direct drug order entry

Hand-written drug orders by medical practitioners and doctors can be easily misunderstood by patients which can potentially lead to mishaps. With the help of CPOE or Computerized Physician Order Entry that lets a licensed medical practitioner enter prescriptions and other medical orders into a tablet or mobile device, mix-up and errors can be avoided.

5. Practice management

With the introduction of tablets, medical professionals no longer have to synchronize activities like scheduling of patient visits and planning of resources with other facilities as these information are readily available on their mobile devices. Thus, making pre and post consultation process effective, efficient and prompt.

All the use cases mentioned above are beneficial and plays a critical role when it comes to overall patient well-being and efficient medical processes. However, use of mobile devices in hospitals and clinics bring up some unique challenges like intentional and unintentional alterations of settings by users, misuse by staff and the need for constant maintenance. Managing a large number of devices in the hands of medical practitioners in a facility is a big challenge.

The challenges of updating content remotely, tampering of settings and device misuse can be solved using device lockdown and device management solutions. Organizations across verticals commonly use SureLock for their device lockdown requirements. It works effortlessly with SureMDM which is a platform for managing mobile devices remotely. Together, these products have been set up by various hospitals, clinics and health care centers.

To know more about attending to challenges related to mobile device lockdown and management in the healthcare Industry, contact us at enquiries@42gears.com.

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1Jun/150

How Tablets are Redefining Classroom Learning

education1

Education sector is constantly trying to adopt new technologies to make learning more engaging, effective and affordable. Be it virtual lessons, visual simulations, or use of digital content, everything is being tried and tested.Rise of education standard has propelled use of technology.

For these alternative learning methods and for all the technological development in the education sector, tablets are being looked upon as a perfect medium. They embody a perfect solution because of their portability, flexibility, functionality and cost effectiveness. A reasonably priced tablet with right choices of settings could easily work like a computer.

These tablets aid in effective delivery of information in classrooms as they are interactive and very easy to use. Thanks to modern UI design methodologies, even young students can quickly learn how to get most out of tablets.

There are many advantages of providing tablets to students, here is a list of some of these advantages:

Tablets are acting as more than a text book: Tablets are capable of offering enhanced e-books featuring video, audio and images. Students can listen to the audio or watch video of any topic instead of reading about the topic. This augments the learning skills of students and is much faster and less time consuming.

Interactive delivery of information and extended learning: Using tablets in classrooms gives an interactive option for kids to learn their daily lessons. Often, interaction between teachers and students in large classrooms becomes difficult. In other instances, students may feel a little apprehensive or shy to ask a question to the teacher in front of the class, but with tablets, students can ask the same question without any hesitation, which the teacher can answer privately. Tablets and other mobile devices are also extending the process of learning beyond the walls of the classroom to children’s home as they have the option of playing the teaching session, recorded in the classroom.

Easy-to-create presentations: With the easy integration of presentation software like MS PowerPoint in tablets, it has become an integral part of numerous instructional settings. This is becoming quite popular, especially among courses that are geared more towards information exchange than skill development. Tablets can be a highly effective tool to do real-time writing, drawing and animation during a presentation.

Online tests: Tablets these days are replacing desktop computers for conducting tests online. When there are a large number of students and the tests have to be conducted smoothly, tablets can be used to resolve the situation if there are limited number of desktop computers.

Access to digital library: Searching for books in a traditional library is a painful and time-consuming task. With the help of a tablet, students can search a book of their interest by its title and author’s name, create wish list of the books and also bookmark on their tablet. With the availability of innumerable apps, teachers and students have instant access to a wealth of information from experts in their field.

Information display (School events, notices, news, exam schedules, bus schedules etc.) and sharing work: Tablets are easy tools for communicating information among students, teachers and parents. For example, using online shared whiteboards, students can work on shared problems.

Reduce use of printed sheets (going green) and save cost: Tablets are being used to reduce the need for textbooks and other printed materials. Digital content on tablets can easily be updated and can also potentially offer financial savings on materials and textbooks.

Challenges

Though education sector is moving towards digitized learning methods with the help of mobile technology, there are still a few challenges that need attention. These powerful mobile devices with interactive features could be easily misused by users and the task of ensuring effective use of mobile technology will always be a concern for school authorities. For example, students can download unauthorized applications and other prohibited content with a few taps on the screen and there will always be possibility of students tampering with the settings of the device.

Solution

The best way for schools to avoid any device misuse and tampering of settings would be to use a light-weight solution that would lockdown the device to only required applications, websites and other functions. Lockdown solutions like SureLock and SureFox can restrain the users and students from using unauthorized applications, visiting unauthorized websites, restrict downloads, protect device settings with a password without affecting the device functionality.

42Gears Mobility Systems provides all the necessary management and security tools that a school needs to effectively deploy and manage mobile devices. Read more about them here.

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29May/150

How to lock apps and websites on your Android device?

Applies to:
Product SureLock/SureFox
Platform Android

42Gears offers different kinds of lockdown solutions for different platforms and it is important to know which product or combination of products meet your requirements.

Two of our signature lockdown applications; SureLock and SureFox have two different functions.

surelockandsurefox

SureLock helps you lockdown your device and allow the users to use only Allowed Applications.

SureFox lets users browse only Allowed Websites.

However, SureFox has two different versions; SureFox and SureFox Pro. SureFox works like a normal browser with restricted browsing of only allowed websites whereas, SureFox Pro lets you lock down your Android device with only allowed websites.

 So, if you need to lock down your Android device with access to only selected applications and specified websites, do you have to use both SureLock and SureFox together?

Yes, you have to use both SureLock and SureFox together.

 Why not SureFox Pro alone?

SureFox Pro locks down the device and lets you specify allowed applications, however these applications need to be launched using the allowed websites.

For example, if the allowed website has a button to launch camera to take a picture, unless you allow Camera as an allowed application in SureFox Pro, the button will not launch camera. However, it needs to be noted that even after Camera is allowed, it will not be visible on SureFox Pro Home Screen hence, cannot be launched directly.

Now, we know that your requirement can be met by using SureLock and SureFox. SureLock locks down the device with only allowed applications, SureFox being one of them. SureFox in turn will allow browsing of only allowed websites.

surelock_surefox

So, how do you achieve this?

To achieve the above mentioned setting on your Android device, follow the steps mentioned below:

1. Install SureLock and SureFox (not SureFox Pro)

2. Launch SureLock

3. Access SureLock Settings by tapping on screen 5 times within 3 seconds and use Admin Password to login

4. Use Allowed Applications option to select allowed applications including SureFox

5. Go back to SureLock Home Screen and launch SureFox

6. On SureFox Home Screen, tap on screen 5 times within 3 seconds and use SureFox Admin Password to login

7. On SureFox Admin Screen, tap on Allowed Websites option to add websites you want to allow

8. Exit SureFox Settings and go back to SureLock Home Screen

Now, your device is all set for use. The device users will be confined to only allowed application and websites.

 

To download a trial of SureLock click here 

T download a trial of SureFox click here

To read more about SureLockclick here and SureFox here

To contact us, click here

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27May/150

5 Ways Construction Industry is Embracing Mobile Devices

construction

Construction Industry is all about scale and speed. It is known to mirror the prosperity of a nation. Numerous sub-business groups like developers, manufacturers, suppliers, contractors and field workers come together for successful implementation of any construction project . The inter dependencies of these diverse groups demand efficiency in all aspects ranging from design to implementation. The industry is in constant lookout for modern ways and newer techniques to increase efficiency , reduce costs and yet deliver high quality.

While there are many new adoptions like 3D printers for fabrication, comprehensive construction management software etc, the one big trend has been widespread use of mobile devices for increasing workforce efficiency and creation of a connected and paperless environment.

Mobile technology is slowly but surely changing the landscape of the construction industry. Following are some trends that are benefiting the industry immensely:

 Real- time data availability - Engineers and project managers equipped with mobile devices access and track data on a real-time basis which in turn leads to a much improved workflow. Flow of information also becomes seamless between engineers at the site and the head office. With real time data updates, monitoring performance of projects and the organization as a whole becomes efficient and effective.

 Going green with reduced paper usage- With the introduction of mobile devices, the workers are moving to paperless processes which includes electronic delivery of job sheets and receipts, scanning of inventory, scheduling jobs and ordering of materials among other things.

 Communicating with other parties – Use of mobile devices has created a collaborative and cooperative global ecosystem of workers where communication, sharing of information and support effort has become prompt and efficient.  For example, a worker in UAE easily communicates on a video call from the field and share videos, images and other resources with his designer in the US.

 Tracking and management of assets - Theft of materials is a challenge frequently faced by many construction companies because of the remote location of most construction sites. However, with the introduction of wireless technology and mobile surveillance solutions, managers are able to monitor multiple construction sites and warehouses. This helps is reducing incidents of thefts and misuse of construction material.

 Improving productivityMobile devices give a lot of flexibility to workers for online as well as offline data entry. Applications on mobile devices are capable of syncing up offline data once there is connectivity.  Mobile apps can also be seamlessly integrated with existing systems. For workers, mobile devices loaded with apps are a boon as they save a lot of time and also ensure data accuracy by eliminating erroneous and duplicate data right at the source.

Issues and challenges

There are times when ensuring effective use of mobile technology becomes a challenge. Like for example, deploying unsupervised mobile devices at a construction site for data collection and inter-department communication can be an open invitation for the users to use it for unintended and unproductive activities. Device and data security could also be a problem.

Relying on technology which could trigger unproductive hours, data security threats when not monitored may defeat the purpose of its deployment. One way to counter these issues is mobile device deployment using Mobile Device Management solutions and restricting the user to only required set of activities using Lockdown solutions.

Solution

The solution to above challenges while using mobile devices in Construction Industry lies in using Device Lockdown and Device Management solutions.

Mobile Device Management solutions like SureMDM provide features to monitor, update, maintain and track deployed devices across different locations. SureMDM is widely used for remotely managing and supporting devices in the field. It integrates seamlessly with SureLock which is a device lockdown solution liked for its simple yet comprehensive features.

42Gears offers a range of products for mobile device lockdown and mobile device management. Read more about the products here.

For queries and details about our solutions, contact us at enquiries@42gears.com.

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5May/150

4 Amazing Ways Museums are Enhancing Visitor Experience with Tablets

museums_tablets

Mobile devices are everywhere and they are also becoming all powerful with their ever increasing processing capability. It has become indispensable and important than ever to include the digital dimension in any business or institution. Museums have joined in to benefit from the mobile revolution.

Keeping visitors engaged and drawing younger crowds have always been a challenge with museums. The appeal of a museum is slowly fading away as people consider it as a place to go when visiting a new city just as a customary ritual. Things are changing though as museums are exploring mobile technologies to make visitor experience more engaging, educational and interactive.

Recent studies show that the average museum visitor is 50 years or older and there has been a lot of focus to promote, engage and provide rich experience to younger visitors through clever use of mobile technologies. These can be as simple as a smart-phone app that allows visitors to view museums’ schedules, buy tickets or even receive special broadcasts. There are even a few coordinated digital devices like mobiles and tablets provided by museums with interactive contents and functionalities to engage and educate visitors.

Here is a list of 4 ways by which museums are making use of smart phones and tablets to enhance visitor experience:

1. Interactive Devices for Visitors
The curators at the museum have realized that most people are either taking pictures or going through the details of the exhibits on their own mobile devices. So, instead of letting the visitors browse through the trivia on their own smart-phones, they are providing them with tablets that are well coordinated with contents; translations, explanations, facts among other things and services which allow them to communicate with museum staff. These devices are also enabled with options to text or email images, or post them on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking platforms.

2. Visitors’ Information Gathering Devices
A lot of museums are placing tablets in front of each exhibit to gather data to do predictive analysis on visitors’ behavior. For instance, to measure the time they spend in a particular location. It is helping museums to improve the layout and exhibit locations. These audience data are also being analyzed to equip museums to personalize gallery navigation services and communications of visitors based on their past behavior.

3. Educational Devices
Many museums encourage schools to initiate field trips to museums for a world-class learning experience for students through rich interaction via tablets. Students follow directional cues provided on screen, take notes or sketch with white-board features, interact and collaborate with their fellow students through notes and chat.

4. Common Information Kiosks
The other step that many museums have taken is the introduction of touch screen kiosks. These kiosks placed at common areas are an interactive way for the visitors to view exhibit details and offer them self-help options. These kiosks are also used to gather information about the visitors like their e-mail id and feedback about the whole experience of their visit.

Issues and challenges
Use of tablets in museums bring up challenges like:

  • Misuse by visitors in the form of tampering of settings
  • Ensuring device uptime
  • Managing large number of deployed devices
  • Updating exhibit details, services and content on the devices

Solution
Managing large number of devices and updating content remotely can be achieved using mobile device management (MDM) solutions. While most MDMs provide functionality to manage device, they lack features to prevent device misuse and tampering of device settings. Preventing misuse of devices and tampering of settings can be achieved using device lockdown solutions. Museums need a combination of device lockdown and device management to solve the above mentioned issues.

Many organizations the world over use SureLock from 42Gears for their device lockdown requirements. SureLock works seamlessly with SureMDM which is an MDM solution from 42Gears. The National Trust of Australia have used SureLock to set up visitor guide for one of their exhibitions using Android tablets which proved to be a huge success (read here). SureMDM offers extensive device management functionality along with the ability to update content, application settings and services.

42Gears also offers comprehensive solutions for video playing kiosks and web kiosks which could perfectly fulfil the requirements of museums. To know more about the solutions for museums and other similar set-ups, contact us at enquiries@42gears.com.

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24Apr/150

CloudTags Blends Digital and Physical Experience for Retail Customers with Help from SureFox and SureMDM

cloudtags_headerCloudTags is an Atlanta-based data start-up working with brick-and-mortar retailers to connect their digital and physical customer experiences. CloudTags' technology allows in-store customers to create digital collections of everything they interact with by using location based devices that are provided by the retailer.

CloudTags uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to allow shoppers to digitally interact with physical products using tablets provided in the store, delivering product information, reviews and recommendations as the shopper browses. This means a tablet with internet access in the hands of shoppers. Tablets and smartphones with all their features and connectivity to internet are susceptible to misuse, often compromising the device security.

CloudTags' primary requirements were protecting the tablet settings from intentional and unintentional changes by the shoppers, ability to track and locate a device and lock it remotely in case it was stolen from the store.

After rigorous verification and testing, CloudTags chose SureFox and SureMDM for the pilot phase. CloudTags was happy with the features and performance of the products and decided to deploy them across all customer locations.

The intuitive workflows of SureFox and SureMDM ensured that there was a very small effort in learning and subsequent deployment of CloudTags solution. The solution has ensured that while CloudTags' customers benefit from innovative use of tablets, they do not have to put in a lot of effort to protect deployed tablets from misuse. They are now empowered to focus on the core business than worrying about safety and uptime of devices.

For more details, refer to the case study:

http://www.42gears.com/case_studies/case_study_cloudtags.html

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22Apr/150

Using SureMDM Web Console with Google Chrome

Applies to:
Product SureMDM
Platform All

SureMDM Web Console works best with Firefox 26.0+ or Internet Explorer 9+ and we strongly recommend all users to use these browsers to make maximum use of the features.

However, if you want to use SureMDM Web Console with Google Chrome, you may get a prompt to install Microsoft Silverlight. (like image shown below).

download_silverlight_chrome

You get this prompt because of the latest update in Google Chrome. To avoid getting this prompt every time you access SureMDM Web Console, we have a workaround. Once you complete following one time steps, you would be able to seamlessly access the console.

1. Open a new Chrome browser window and access  chrome://flags/#enable-npapi

2. Under Enable NPAPI, click on Enable

3. Click on Relaunch Now button at the bottom of the page to complete

If the issue persists and require further help, you can reach out to our tech support team at support@42gears.com.

You can also chat with one of our representative, using our Contact page.

 

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22Apr/150

SureLock helps Ever Africa in its Fight Against Crime in South Africa

ever africa

Ever Africa invests in ventures in the ICT space in Africa, with an emphasis on applications that have a positive social impact in the telecoms, media and security sectors. Their latest mobile app Namola, is a security application which aims at use of mobile technology to fight crimes in City of Tshwane. This free application has empowered GPS enabled Android smartphone or tablet users to directly send alerts to the nearest Tshwane Metro Police armed responders and request for assistance.

Ever Africa faced challenges with the misuse of devices given to the armed responders. Android smartphones given to the police were powerful general purpose devices which had numerous applications for information, fun and entertainment. This caused shift in responders' focus to unwanted activities on the devices rather than the task at hand. The data connectivity on the device if misused would result in huge mobile bills. To overcome these challenges, Ever Africa did an extensive search for a solution and found SureLock to be the perfect product for locking down the armed responders' devices. Users were given access to only applications that were required to perform their tasks.

SureLock gave Ever Africa a comprehensive solution to ensure that all the devices were used only for intended purpose. It was key to the success of their project and helped them take a major step towards making a positive social impact.

For more details, refer to:

http://www.42gears.com/case_studies/case_study_ever_africa.html

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21Apr/152

5 Ways Hospitality Industry is Embracing Tablets to Enhance Customer Experience

hospitality

Hospitality Industry is always on the lookout for ways to enhance customer experience. This industry can truly exploit the potential of tablets and smart devices, thanks to the number of touch points it has with customers. Smart mobile devices in Hospitality Industry provide the opportunity to go green, increase efficiency and make guest experience memorable.

Through our interaction with players in the Hospitality Industry, we see the following trends in which benefits are being drawn from the use of Tablets:

1.  Menus in Restaurants

Many upscale restaurants make use of tablets for menu. The menus are made interactive by putting pictures of how the dish looks and how it is prepared. For example, customers have the option of choosing how they want their meat to be cooked. Once the order is placed, customers get to know the estimated time in which the food will be served.

2.  At Front Desk

Many hotels place a tablet on the front desk for guests to know about the hotel facility while they are waiting for check in formalities to be completed. This is a good way of using the wait time and sharing information with guests. Good video content and interactive information sharing leave the guests impressed.

3.  Infotainment During Hotel Stay

Guests are given tablets at the time of check in. These tablets have options like room service, menu details, applications to book appointments for various facilities within the hotel like spa, taxi booking, request concierge for a print-out, schedule wake-up calls among other things.

4.  At Lobby

The lobby of a good hotel or a restaurant sees a lot of traffic. The norm has been to place newspapers and magazines for the waiting visitors or customers. However, this experience is immensely enhanced by placing tablets in the lobby. Videos and offers are shown on it for effective marketing.

5.  As Feedback Forms

Customers in restaurants are being asked to share their feedback on Tablets. Filling physical forms is passé. A touch screen seeking inputs is a joy and customers are more than willing to rate the service.

Issues and challenges

The above use cases are beneficial and contribute to customer experience. Use of tablets in organizations bring up challenges around their misuse by the staff, tampering of settings by the users and the constant need of ensuring their uptime. Managing a large number of devices deployed across a facility is a big challenge.

Solution

The challenges of device misuse and tampering of settings can be solved using device lockdown solutions. Organizations the world over widely use SureLock from 42Gears for their device lockdown requirements. SureLock works seamlessly with SureMDM which is a platform for managing mobile devices remotely. Together, these products have been deployed by many organisations in the Hospitality Industry.

To know more about attending to challenges related to mobile device lockdown and management in the Hospitality Industry, contact us at enquiries@42gears.com .

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