When it comes to mobile security and network requirements, logistics experts know there's an extensive list of considerations to keep in mind. Volume of incoming and outgoing data is probably the most obvious and impactful, since it determines the physical space, level of security and network bandwidth required. However, it's certainly not the only priority.
Key Factors Impacting Mobile Security & Networks
Determining whether to use a carrier or Wi-Fi, for example, is a key consideration for any logistics manager. Carrier coverage often goes overlooked, but is something that can be vital to a company's success. Unlike deploying an upgraded device to an existing user, deploying active devices to new users typically requires a carrier activation. This task is impossible without access and a stable connection to the appropriate carrier network(s). If application, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) or Mobile Device Management (MDM) software setup is involved, even strong carrier network coverage may not be enough. A secure and reliable Wi-Fi connection will more easily power expedient installation and setup. With all that said, in either case, good bandwidth is essential.
Another thing to consider are the various tools and programs available for different operating systems. Android, iOS and Windows devices all have their positives and negatives, so it's important for logistics teams to investigate operating system requirements, and understand their differences. Being knowledgeable about which device/operating system will provide customers with the greatest organizational efficiency and impact is a huge potential advantage – and differentiator – for a logistics team.
There are dozens of MDM software solutions out there, but how a customer chooses to configure theirs can influence kitting requirements. By now, most companies either already have an MDM in place, or recognize the security and value they bring to an enterprise. This makes it crucial for teams to start the configuration conversation early in any customer onboarding or planning process.
While these three requirements are the most common ones we notice that are lacking awareness within the industry, there are a few additional considerations for logistics managers to keep an eye on. UniFi access points is one of them.When dealing with a setup that features dense device placement, wireless networks can be overburdened, and therefore bogged down by traffic. Using multiple UniFi 5GHz access points next to each other boosts overall network's range and strength, allowing teams to power through multiple device downloads or setups simultaneously. (FYI: A facility rule of thumb should be that there are no more than 30 devices per access point radio.)
If a team primarily works with Apple solutions, consider using an Apple caching server. For those unfamiliar with this technology, an Apple cache server essentially stores local copies of iOS software on an internal server, saving network bandwidth while speeding up software downloads and updates.
While Apple's top of mind, the company's Device Enrollment Program also helps streamline the onboarding of enterprise mobile devices by automating MDM software enrollment and eliminating basic setup steps. This allows devices to get up and running quicker than a manual configuration. Programs like these save your team valuable time and resources and reduce their manual effort and error risk.
The concept isn't revolutionary, but it's important to remember nonetheless. Quality hardware certainly comes with a larger price tag on the front end, but this additional cost can make all the difference down the line. In addition to saving money and time replacing technology more frequently in the future, higher quality hardware often significantly improves operational bandwidth, efficiency, and functionality.
With today's obsession over wireless and cloud technologies, it's easy to forget about traditional wired innovations sometimes. The most efficient and successful logistics teams implement a solution that combines both Over-the-Air and hardwired technologies. Don't fall for the trap that simply buying the latest and greatest technology makes teams an overnight success.