In Zebra

In my last blog I explained that, for every 1% rise in device failure rates, TCO grows by 23%[1]. So how can you build on your investment in mobile technology, enabling high device availability aligned to business-critical workflows and ensure your mobile computers and printers deliver the anticipated benefits?

The best way to do this is to use remote monitoring and management tools to enable business intelligence and analytical insight to help maximise the lifecycle return and performance of mobile solutions. . Below are the top things you should consider when looking at remote monitoring and management tools:

  1. Track every asset, everywhere: Instances of loss and theft are all but removed when you can remotely track the location of mobile devices. You should be able to click on your mobile computers or printers using a web-based interface to see its location. Customers using Zebra visibility tools have even helped the police recover stolen vehicles, which they could locate via the mobile computers left inside.
  2. Predictive Insight: Mobile Device Management tools (MDM) deliver data on a range of customised thresholds – e.g. battery level, wireless performance, memory usage, application versions and more. But it requires expertise to both uncover trends in the data and see what changes should be made based on those trends. With this in mind, I’d advise looking for solutions that can automatically recommend changes for you. According to Forrester companies are aware of this need. It recently conducted research among 309 corporates which found that: “79% state that it’s important for their asset management solutions to give users proactive recommended actions to fix the device or address a problem before it becomes an issue.”[2]
  3. Manage device ‘cycling’: You’ll know that managing a fleet of mobile devices can be time-consuming. To reduce admin – and therefore costs – and ensure you always have sufficient devices in the right places, look for monitoring tools that allow you to easily track every device and its status. For instance, when a printer goes in for repair, how is it progressing and when will it be returned to the device pool?
  4. Detailed reports: Your monitoring solution should provide you with a range of reports – anything from active devices and out-of-contract devices, to usage reports, repair status, battery analysis across the estate, and many more. The Forrester research shows that companies agree with this view. “More than 70% would like mobile managed service providers to provide a whole host of reports including repair reports, printer usage, lost or stolen device reports, and device operation reports.”[3]
  5. Cloud-based efficiency: Your monitoring tools should be easy to deploy, run and use. I’d advise looking for cloud-based tools – ours are customisable, are quickly deployed and provide the Big Data muscle to crunch through usage data to provide recommendations to enhance the performance of your estate.


There are a number of tools available from Zebra, we continue to invest and develop further in our Visibility Services to take the mystery out of gauging critical asset performance and delivering business intelligence to improve business outcomes. Our services are designed to give you a robust and easy to configure platform that is capable of turning millions of transactions into recommendations that will improve the performance of your technology.

  • Asset Visibility Service (AVS): AVS uses a factory-installed agent on Zebra’s devices, linked to a web interface (with Big Data analytics) to provide you with predictive insight into device health and performance with recommended corrective actions. With AVS there’s no requirement to have MDM in place although it can be used to complement any existing MDM tool if you have one.
  • Operational Visibility Service (OVS): OVS is an integrated management platform that is provided inclusive of a Mobile Device Management (MDM) application and provides deeper insights and reporting across your device estate and staging, repair and helpdesk operations. In all over 20 operational and service reports are available – with data presented on a clear dashboard. It also interprets data from your devices to graphically display their status (e.g. identification, location and condition) along with easy to understand actionable information based on trending and historical data.
  • OVS Connect: Provides all the management platform and business intelligence enabled through OVS but takes advantage of a customer owned on premise MDM platform.

In my next blog I’ll look at how one Zebra customer, Whirlpool, uses OVS to transform its device management.

To learn more on how you can gain visibility over your mobile devices, click here.


[1] VDC TCO analysis for handheld computers

[2] Research conducted among 309 decision-makers directly responsible for their organization’s device management and/or asset tracking services within NA, Asia Pacific, and EMEA

[3] Research conducted among 309 decision-makers directly responsible for their organization’s device management and/or asset tracking services within NA, Asia Pacific, and EMEA

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