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Currently buyers say their top considerations when purchasing mobile devices for their workforce are cost (72%) and life expectancy of the product (54%). Yet the majority of buyers still expect to replace their mobile workforces’ devices every 2-3 years.
Buyers said an “As a Service” approach for mobile hardware, as opposed to paying out in advance with a large, one-off capital expenditure, would help them to purchase up to date technology more quickly (54%), manage costs better (49%) and free up budget to purchase more accessories (34%).
The new approach of payments for hardware spread over three years at 0% interest, with helpdesk support and secure, end of life disposal was also attractive to buyers for reasons beyond cash flow. 53% said it would help them to maintain and dispose of devices more effectively and 33% agreed it would be a more secure way of disposing of mobile technology.
The service elements buyers most wanted included in the subscription model were a three-year warranty (65%), a payment plan with 0% interest (46%), and delivery of devices straight to the workplace (46%). Optional extras they were keen to see offered included Insurance (45%), extended standard warranty (43%), accidental damage warranty (43%), accessories (39%), specialist software applications (34%) and a trade-in programme (34%).
Despite the enthusiasm for the service, 69% of buyers were unaware of companies offering the service-based solution with 0% interest. The independent research, carried out by Opinion Matters on behalf of Panasonic Toughbook, questioned 250 UK technology buyers of notebooks, tablets and handheld devices for mobile workforces.
"69% of buyers were unaware of companies offering the service-based solution with 0% interest..."
“With the rapid advances in design and functionality of mobile devices and the resulting productivity gains for mobile workforces, businesses are keen to keep up to date with the latest developments,” said Kevin Jones, Managing Director for the Panasonic Mobile Solution Business in Europe. “This is resulting in an expensive capital expenditure every two-three years. But buyers are telling us that they would much rather move to a new subscription-based model, similar to the growing popularity of software as a service. Panasonic’s new Toughbook as a Service Solution helps our current and future customers overcome this challenge.”
Panasonic launched its new Toughbook-as-a-Service (TaaS) earlier this year. It’s a unique, interest free, monthly payment model for rugged devices. Businesses can now equip their mobile workforces with any rugged Panasonic Toughbook notebook, tablet or handheld device without having to worry about large upfront costs in capital expenditure. Toughbook-as-a-Service
Toughbook-as-a-Service is an end-to-end subscription, powered by European digital services provider, Econocom. It allows companies to pay for their Toughbook devices monthly, over a three-year period. Uniquely TaaS subscribers pay the same as a cash purchase, even though payments are spread over a longer term - eliminating the need for large upfront costs and allowing organisations to benefit from an OPEX-based solution rather than CAPEX.
TaaS solutions include access to Panasonic Toughbook devices, delivery, 3-year warranty, helpdesk support, and end-of-life services such as collection, recycling and data wiping. As well as the rugged hardware, customers can choose to add into the monthly payment, on the same 0% interest terms*, options for their solution including vehicle mounts, docking stations, specialist software applications and other device accessories, as well as extended and accidental damage warranties.
Customers can also choose to personalise their TaaS subscription with a number of optional extras, including a trade-in programme, which allows businesses to upgrade their technology without losing the value of their existing estate. TaaS also provides the ability to bundle in airtime, MDM and data analytics, for example.
Click here to download an Executive Summary of the research Mobile Computing as a Service: Breaking the expensive cycle of mobile technology refreshes.
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Rugged smartphones for any situation in life that can cope with both - tough environments at work and active leisure lifestyle - are successfully conquering the market more and more. RugGear®, leading manufacturer of rugged mobile devices, is...
Rugged smartphones for any situation in life that can cope with both - tough environments at work and active leisure lifestyle - are successfully conquering the market more and more. RugGear®, leading manufacturer of rugged mobile devices, is expanding its range of outdoor smartphones with the RG650. The new model is a robust smartphone of the mid-level class with a design suitable for everyday use and a reasonable price of 199 EUR.
RG650 - hard outside smart inside
The RG650 is the ideal device for anyone looking for a robust and reliable smartphone with an excellent price/performance ratio that can withstand the toughest environmental conditions. Users who like to travel in extreme environments and don't want to strain their sensitive and expensive smartphones will find the RG650 to be a device in a design suitable for everyday use that will be reliable in the rough moments of life.
The outdoor smartphone with Android 8.1 (Oreo) has a 5.5 inch 18:9 HD+ “Edge-to-edge” display. In addition, the RG650 meets not only the IP68 standard but also the military standard MIL-STD 810G and is therefore protected against all kinds of liquids, dust, oil mist, vibrations, shocks and even drops from up to 1.5 meters on concrete. The display has a high luminosity (>500 Nits) and can be used outdoors in strong sunlight. Equipped with a powerful speaker (approx. 95dB@10cm), the RG650 is ideal for use on noisy construction sites, for outdoor sports or at festivals.
PTT accreditation & User defined button
RG650 features industrial PTT accreditation and is compatible with mainstream PTT solutions in the market such as Motorola’s Kodiak - a leader in enterprise communications. Define the yellow side button to do anything you want for example: launching the camera, a favorite app or Push-to-talk, all with one press.
Rugged smartphone for everyone
Rugged phones are evolving from niche products to all-in-one devices for everyday use. According to IDC market research, more than 95 million smartphones are damaged by crashes every year. This is immediately followed by moisture damage. The bottom line: Damage to smartphones is worth almost $30 billion.
With the RG650 RugGear is developing a mobile device with a large battery capacity that can cope with all environmental conditions. Despite its compact and slim design with dimensions of 151,5 x 74 x 12,5 mm (L x W x H), the RG650 meets the industry’s toughest military standard MIL-STD 810G. It also works reliably in a temperature range from -20°C to +60° C. The use of a special polycarbonate mixture for the housing and specially arranged crash zones to dissipate the impact energy help to protect the sensitive electronics from impacts and vibrations. The RG650 can also show off its durability: the 4,200mAh battery ensures it can reliably carry users through a full day’s use. Various sensors such as ambient light sensor, accelerometer,, proximity sensor and compass round off the equipment package.
Scope of delivery and availability
The RugGear RG650 comes with a USB 2.0 cable, charger and QuickStart Guide. The RG650 is available from December 2018 for an RRP of 199 EUR from leading specialist dealers and on Amazon.
Find out more @ www.ruggear.com
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In the final instalment of our series decoding the various acronyms and abbreviations found in the world of rugged devices we explore the meaning of ATEX certifications...
In the final instalment of our series decoding the various acronyms and abbreviations found in the world of rugged devices we explore the meaning of ATEX certifications...
When looking at a rugged devices spec sheet we will often see the words ATEX certified. So what is ATEX certification who is it relevant to and why is it important?
ATEX is the name given to two European Directives relating to controlling explosive atmospheres. The name actually comes from the French term ‘Atmospheres Explosibles’ and generally if you don’t think you need your devices to be ATEX certified then the likelihood is they don’t need to be - because if your devices do need to be ATEX certified then they really, really do need to be ATEX certified and you should know all about the subject already.
However, for the rest of the class and as a general recap lets take a quick look through the world of ATEX, starting by what exactly is an explosive environment.
So what is an explosive atmosphere?
Contrary to popular belief, in official terms at least, explosive atmospheres are not those situations where you’re engineer turns up 2 hours late and then realises within 5 minutes he doesn’t have the right parts in his van.
In the realms of ATEX at least, an explosive atmosphere can be caused by flammable gases, mists or vapours or by combustible dusts. If there is enough of the substance, mixed with air, then all it needs is a source of ignition to cause an explosion.
In the realms of ATEX at least, an explosive atmosphere can be caused by flammable gases, mists or vapours or by combustible dusts.
Using the correct equipment can help greatly in this, and if your customers operate in such environments, then it is vital (and probably contractual) that your engineers also comply with the regulations. This means that if you want them to benefit from the various positives of a digital workflow then the devices you provide them with must be ATEX certified.
Where can explosive atmospheres be found?
Perhaps surprisingly for some, ATEX workplaces are not restricted to oil refineries, petrol stations or grenade factories.
In fact, many workplaces may contain, or have activities that produce, explosive or potentially explosive atmospheres. Examples include places where work activities create or release flammable gases or vapours, such as vehicle paint spraying, or in workplaces handling fine organic dusts such as sawdust or grain flour - yes even an old flour mill can be a potential home for violent explosions.
So what exactly is ATEX?
As mentioned earlier ATEX is the name commonly given to the two European Directives for controlling explosive atmospheres:
1) Directive 99/92/EC (also known as ‘ATEX 137’ or the ‘ATEX Workplace Directive’) on minimum requirements for improving the health and safety protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres.
From the field service providers point of view this is the area of ATEX that your customers need to worry about.
2) Directive 94/9/EC (also known as ‘ATEX 95’ or ‘the ATEX Equipment Directive’) on the approximation of the laws of Members States concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.
Now this is the one that from a field service operations perspective we need to pay closer attention to, because it is our responsibility to ensure our engineers are given ATEX certified devices if we are sending them into such an environment. Fortunately, many rugged tablets are ATEX certified so selecting one shouldn’t be too big an issue.
So what about those outside of Europe?
OK, so this is where things get a little complicated as there are essentially three separate certifications across the globe. In the USA there is Hazloc which is part of the National Electronics Code.
Hazloc and ATEX aren’t necessarily interchangeable - i.e. Hazloc certified devices would not be acceptable to use within the EU unless they are also ATEX certified.
As for us folks stuck in dear old Blighty?
Well when Great Britain pulls the plug on Europe and triggers Brexit as with many EU directives change will be required, although in this instance we’ve pretty much got it covered with our own regulatory equivalent of Directive 99/92/EC which are put into effect through regulations 7 and 11 of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR).
However, there is also the IECex certification which is a conformity Scheme developed by The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The hope is that the IECex will eventually become a single mark of conformity that can be accepted worldwide in order to facilitate trade and reduce certification procedures and costs. In essence, “one standard, one test, accepted everywhere.”
Why the ATEX sign is so important
Basically, manufacturers/suppliers (or importers, if the manufacturers are outside the EU) must ensure that their products meet essential health and safety requirements and undergo appropriate conformity procedures.
This usually involves testing and certification by a ‘third-party’ certification body (known as a Notified Body) but manufacturers/suppliers can ‘self-certify’ equipment intended to be used in less hazardous explosive atmospheres. Once certified, the equipment is marked by the ‘EX’ symbol to identify it as such.
Certification ensures that the equipment or protective system is fit for its intended purpose and that adequate information is supplied with it to ensure that it can be used safely - which means that you can assure your customers and your staff that you have taken the required steps to offer safe working conditions whenever challenged by a potentially explosive environment.
A selection of ATEX certified tablets...
AEGEX 10: €2,559.00 Aegex’s modern tablet will be the first of its kind to run Windows 10 furthermore be affirmed ATEX Zone 1, IECEx Zone1 and UL C1D1 for worldwide use on the planet’s most dangerous situations.
PANASONIC FZ-G1. € 2,749.00 The FZ-G1 is built to operate flawlessly in every environment - from intense heat and sunlight, to pouring rain and freezing temperatures.
XPLORE BOBCAT: €2248.92 With a MIL-STD-810G rating, optional hazardous area ATEX/IECEx Zone 2 certification (Pending), and Windows 8.1 Pro, the Bobcat can go from the boardroom to the work site without missing a beat and looking the part in every situation.
Getac T800 ATEX Windows Tablet: €2,317.00 Built for today’s mobile workforce, the new Getac T800 ATEX Windows Tablet features an 8.1 inch display, the latest wireless technology and unique SnapBack add-ons and runs Windows 8.1 Pro
Bartec Agile X Tablet PC: €3,222.00 The BARTEC Agile X is an extremely slim-line, rugged and highly flexible industrial tablet PC for rough environments. Thanks to its broad range of functions, the Agile X is the perfect assistant to service technicians, operating staff, engineers and project managers in the field and in industry.
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- Rugged Mobile Computers
- Tablet and Vehicle Mounted Computers
- Barcode Label Printers
- Mobile Printers and Plastic Card Printers
- Label Design Software
- Printer Supplies
- Application Development Software
- Barcode and RFID readers
All about Varlink:
Varlink, the specialist distributor of mobile computing and data capture products, supplies Janam Technologies’ enterprise class rugged computing handheld range. Janam Technologies specialises in providing purpose built products suited for mission critical workforce management, healthcare, retail and warehousing solutions, where wireless networking, barcode scanning and real-time data management are key requirements.
Janam combines deep industry knowledge with advanced technology to deliver products that increase productivity, reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction.
The Janam range at Varlink has something to suit most customer requirements, from their basic XP PalmOS to the XM, XG and the new XT Series Windows based enterprise class mobile terminals.
The XT85 is Janam’s GPRS, SIM enabled device which brings together best-in-class technology with a fully rugged yet compact form factor, ideal for field based applications, whilst the XP Series is small and lightweight, designed to support barcode scanning applications and improve productivity.
The Microsoft Windows or Linux-based XG is a powerful tool that delivers state-of-the-art computing performance in an exceptionally rugged gun-shaped mobile computer.
The XM Series is a range of feature rich handheld terminals designed for speeding up response times when accuracy and operational efficiency are vital. All these devices and more information are available at www.varlink.co.uk/janamrange.
- Rugged Notebook: Algiz XRW
- Rugged Tablet PC: Algiz 7 and Algiz 10X
- Rugged PDA: Nautiz X3, Nautiz X5, Nautiz X7
- Rugged Smartphone: Nautiz X1
- Rugged Imprinter: SP400X
Handheld is the world’s fastest-growing manufacturer of rugged mobile computers, winning several prestigious national and international awards for its technology and growth, including the Red Herring Global 100 award, which honors the most innovative technology companies worldwide.
All Handheld products are lightweight, ergonomic and have the power and capacity to handle the most demanding mobile field or industrial applications, carry IP65 or 67 ratings and meet stringent MIL-STD-810F/G military standards for withstanding water, dust, drops, vibration and extreme temperatures including sunlight-readable displays.
Handheld’s lineup of rugged PDAs and mobile computers is specifically developed for use in tough environments in industries such as geomatics, logistics, forestry, public transportation, construction, mining, field service, utilities, maintenance, public safety, military and security.
Take a look at our website for more information about Handheld, our products and contact details to our local offices throughout the UK, Europe, the US and Asia Pacific.
The Finnish Forest Centre uses the Handheld Algiz 7 rugged tablet PC to collect and maintain forest resources data. The data is used to promote sustainable forestry and to develop and maintain the most comprehensive and up-to-date forestry related e-service.
The Algiz 7 rugged tablet PC is small, light and fast, with multiple connectivity options and a wide range of functionality. If you work with detailed maps or other visuals and need a larger display than a handheld, or if you need full Windows functionality, this Algiz tablet's 7-inch screen and Windows 7 platform make it a great solution. And with its IP65-rating it's tough enough to work in the most challenging environments.