The Countdown Continues: 7 Myths of Implementing Mobile Retail Workflows

Last week we introduced the series “7 Myths of Implementing Mobile Retail Workflows”. We continue counting down this week with myth #3, 4 and 5.

Myth #3 – With Mobility Comes Mobile Device Losses Due to Damage, Theft and Hacking

Mobile devices, by their very nature, are easy to carry and difficult to track. Any mobile device could be dropped, or could easily be stolen. Also, when someone unauthorized gets possession of a small device, they may try to hack into the system to modify or install software.

These problems are magnified if consumer devices are used. First of all, consumer devices are attractive to consumers, they recognize what they are and understand their value. There is a robust secondary market for stolen iPads, Kindles, Nexus Tablets, etc. Second, these consumer devices are fragile and can be easily damaged if dropped or banged on a counter edge. Third, consumer devices are easily accessed by anyone who has physical possession of the unit. There are ways to mitigate these issues. There are protective cases that offer both drop-protection and can limit access to buttons to prevent access to the systems, but a better choice is to use a rugged, enterprise tablet.

Rugged systems will endure a lot of what your store will throw at them, and all without the need for bulky cases. Rugged, enterprise tablets are much less likely to be stolen. Some of these tablets don’t just rely on the fact that there is virtually no gray market for stolen commercial-grade tablets, they also include a security option. Motion Computing tablets include the Computrace option which let retailers track and if-necessary erase the data on any stolen tablet.

Myth #4 – Implementing Mobile Workflows = Implementing New MDM programs for Mobile Devices

Deploying mobile devices in your stores for any purpose brings along a set of challenges for your IT staff. These devices need to be monitored, the OS will need updates, applications need to be installed and maintained. There is also a need to push data to these devices, like updating the database of merchandize or sending promotional information. Perhaps most importantly, the systems need to be locked down to prevent unauthorized programs from being installed which may risk your corporate data.

Tablet PCs running Windows 7 Professional include the industry-best remote management suite of tools. You probably already use these tools for your countertop systems, everything works the same on these tablets, making them easily manageable.

Myth #5 – With a New Mobile Solution, Extensive Training Should be Expected

Yes, if consumer devices are used for your mobile retail workflows, you’ll need new software. This new software will probably create in-store process changes too. Both of which will require retraining. To manage these consumer devices, you’ll also need to install 3rd party MDM (Mobile Device Management) software, which also will require training.

More importantly, while consumer devices are easy to use as entertainment devices, this does not translate to ease of device management. Your IT Staff will need new skills, either developed through training or by hiring people experienced in new MDM capabilities and new retail software. Extensive experience and certifications for Windows capabilities will be lost. In-store sales associates will need to learn new processes that the new software introduces. Much of the training for new associates is done by the current experienced staff that will be lost when new software is rolled out. Each store, each manager and each associate will need training.

The better alternative is to use mobile devices that retain your current software and IT capabilities. In most cases, that means running the Windows OS. By running the same software on your mobile devices as the countertop systems, training requirements are minimal, if at all.

Read the whitepaper: 13 Unlucky Lessons Learned - Deploying Mobile Point of Sale with iOS

By Bob Ashenbrenner

Mobile POS Architect, Motion Computing