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Understanding the importance of users in the field

image of construction workers

12-Jan-2014 - Motion Computing builds devices designed for field workers or

 those at remote or temporary worksites, to quickly connect to a network. Its market is, “Anyone standing up walking around using a computer.”

“Our biggest competition is still pen and paper,” said Scott Ball, Country Manager Canada at Motion Computing.

“We define success as, ‘the user using the device the way they intended.’ If they don’t take the device to point of service, point of sale, point of care, we’ve failed.”

User complaints about mobile devices include, “my application only works when it’s connected”… and “it’s too heavy”... and “we can’t see the screen outside.” If you want to get mobile workers to use a device, make it valuable to the user.

“I think a lot of manufactures miss that,” Ball said. “They’re too focused on the device to understand the importance of the user. This LINC device shows we’re serious about trying to make these devices work.”

LINCWorks RDA (Rugged Deploy Anywhere)self-contained portable units use wireless technology integrated with a proprietary six-antenna array and automated configuration software.
They’re designed for remote, rugged environment connecting, and machine-to-machine (MTM), like in SCADA environments.

Being self-contained they don’t require server connectivity, docking stations, or other aspects typically associated with mobile computing. Nor do users require much training.  

“I know one hospital that went from stationary devices to computers on wheels, and back to stationary devices, largely because there was no value to the mobile devices, because the applications weren’t deployed,” Ball said.

“When they went to computers on wheels, they didn’t move well into rooms, and power was difficult. Wireless infrastructure wasn’t location grade or voice grade. Applications weren’t deployed on the tablets. They were still using paper, forcing a hybrid charting environment. The nurses asked why they had to bother. Charting electronic devices interfered with the delivery of care.”

Moving to portable devices is difficult to get accepted. Asking a user who has never been involved with computing what device she wants to use isn’t going to get you a valid answer.

“It’s why we’ve done so many wireless infrastructures in health care, because they didn’t know what they needed,” said Ball. “IT skill sets in the healthcare field are somewhat limited. IT is the last thing to get funding in a hospital.”

As a 100% channel vendor, Motion Computing works with partners who have specific expertise in advanced wireless infrastructure products used in its target markets, particularly in providing networks, mesh technology, and telco-related solutions to an existing installed customer base.

“We also value capabilities in network sales support, professional services, implementation services, and technical support,” Ball said.