Choosing your mobile strategy

Like it or not, drivers with a smart phone or tablet device have an expectation for the “other” technology they use for work: it should be just as easy to use. A few years ago the expectation was non existent. It did not matter if one’s personal and professional user experiences with technology were different; you just dealt with it.

Drivers, like any office worker today, come with strong preferences for the technology they use in their personal lives. Some swear by the Samsung Galaxy 3; others by Apple iPhone or by Motorola and even Blackberry. Whatever the case may be, drivers will probably not think that a traditional in-cab computing device and user interface will keep them as productive, connected or as entertained as the device they keep in their pocket–turned off when driving, of course.

Since times have changed, would you consider letting drivers use the more familiar and intuitive consumer-style devices to run your mission-critical business applications? This question is causing quite the stir in technology circles. A number of fleets have taken this road and have deployed smartphones and tablets to run applications like electronic logging, proof of delivery, integrated driver messaging, workflow and performance monitoring. Virtually any smart device can communicate with other computing devices and electronics in the vehicle today using Bluetooth short-range wireless, for instance, and do everything you can expect.

There are many issues to consider before jumping on the “bring your own device” (BYOD) to work bandwagon, however. While this may truly may be the wave of the future for mobile business computing, there are many obstacles to consider.

A hybrid approach has emerged the past few years that combines the best of both worlds. A number of in-cab computing platforms have extended options to add more mobile and consumer-friendly devices and applications. This hybrid approach is being called “corporate owned, personally enabled” (COPE).

PeopleNet Communications recently created a whitepaper that explains BYOD and COPE in detail. The latter approach, it says, is best suited for motor carriers. Some issues the paper addresses include power management, data usage, regulatory compliance, IT security, support and cost.

The whitepaper, or in PeopleNet’s case the “bluepaper,” can be downloaded from the link below:

BluePaper: BYOD vs COPE