Mar 14, 2017

When I Grow Up I Want to be a Musician: Finding Harmony with the Right (Mobile) Instrument

by Bob Ashenbrenner

Sometimes, working in the rugged tablet industry, I can identify with the oft-referenced – but not always accurate – notion that you can’t always have something both ways. But, in reality, it is possible to create a rugged tablet that has the looks and style of consumer devices while having the impeccable strength and durability to survive in the harshest of environments and the heaviest of hands.... Continued

Mar 07, 2017

Driving Change in the Supply Chain…without Disruption (Part 2)

by Bob Ashenbrenner

Just like you found and installed a better tool on the assembly line, you need to find and deploy better information tools whose reach can span the entire shop floor: mobile devices that run the software you have, the software that defines your work. ... Continued

Feb 28, 2017

If You Want to Get Things Done, Don’t Let Innovation (or Tech) Become Disruptive (Part 1)

by Bob Ashenbrenner

Innovation should not equate to an unrealistic agenda of dramatic change. In fact, the whole reason we innovate is to minimize disruptions, eliminate the risks and uncertainty that come with drastic change, and reduce downtime. ... Continued

Feb 21, 2017

Putting the “Total” Back in Total Cost of Ownership

by Bob Ashenbrenner

Remember that there is more to the TCO stats than comparing how many cheap tablets will break versus the premium sticker price for rugged tablets. Organizational and productivity costs dwarf the initial device purchase price every time.... Continued

Feb 16, 2017

Rugged Tablet, Meet Satellite Radio (Because Sometimes You Really Need Your Computer + Comms to Work Anywhere and Everywhere)

by Bob Ashenbrenner

Thorium X, the field industry’s first-in-class satellite communications rugged tablet, is a convergence of the best-in-class technologies covering the entirety of the extreme communications spectrum. It merges the Xplore D10 rugged Android tablet (as the core, no-compromise computing platform) with the Iridium satellite network (comprised of 66 satellites orbiting Earth).... Continued

Feb 07, 2017

DistribuTECH Digest:  Get Your Mobile (Data) Download Now

by Bob Ashenbrenner

Although DistribuTECH has always been about optimizing power generation, transmission and distribution, this year was all about optimizing the industry’s utilization of “information.” Utilities are becoming masters of data collection thanks to their years-long effort to implement “smart” technologies. But the resulting prevalence of data is posing new challenges. ... Continued

Jan 31, 2017

Utilities Workforce Reality - Aging and Yet More Vibrant

by Bob Ashenbrenner

A high-quality workforce is a tremendous asset to any Utility. And utility technicians, across the board, have a lot of experience and skill. The challenge to utilities is that this “asset” is older than the average workforce currently driving other U.S. industries. ... Continued

Jan 24, 2017

What’s Your Definition of BYOD: eBYOD or cBYOD?

by Bob Ashenbrenner

When comparing eBYOD (employee) against cBYOD (customer), it’s clear that they have very different applicability and implications for Utilities. cBYOD may be a smart customer engagement strategy, but eBYOD is not a smart mobile workforce strategy for Utilities – especially those worried about keeping operating costs low, increasing hardware ROI and using mobility solutions as a revenue-generating stream at the point-of-service.
... Continued

Jan 17, 2017

Big Data and Mobility: How Well Will They Work Together? It Could Depend on Your Mobile Device

by Bob Ashenbrenner

To take advantage of the Big Data model, they’re going to require devices that are mobile and connected to reliable communications networks and to equipment, most likely via RFID, barcode, serial ports, etc.... Continued

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