Recap of NRF 2015 – Mobility Was a Hot Topic

2015 NRF

By Marco Nielsen, Vice President of Managed Mobile Services

One. Heckofa. Big. Show. More than 33,000 people attended the recent National Retail Federation’s Big Show in New York. And Stratix was right there in the mix. We had our mobility experts in a premier booth location with our partner BlueBird. And we hosted customers and guests in a private meeting room.

From mobile POS, mobile wallets, to beacon technology, “mobility” for the retailer was everywhere. Even though I have been part of this “Mobile Revolution” for too many years to mention, I’m continually amazed at the impact mobile technology is making in the world. I’m also excited that Stratix is playing a part in driving mobile technology that is improving efficiencies and productivity for businesses.

In “The Digital Divide” presentation, Deloitte stated that $0.36 of every $1 influenced by digital and that 19% of all in store sales influenced by mobile!









Additional quick facts that I ran across at the show:

  • Digital bridges all media
  • 84% use digital before shopping
  • Those using digital convert to sales at a 40% higher rate
  • 75% said social channels influence loyalty

Here are some additional resources for more info about the NRF show.

Want to learn more about how mobility services from Stratix can help? Please view this video.

3 Reasons to Take a Closer Look at Your Enterprise Mobile Spending



By Joey deVilla, Platform Evangelist, GSG

1. Telecom services are the biggest IT expense.

Gartner’s forecast for worldwide IT spending still identifies telecom services as the largest part of the global IT budget in the coming year, accounting for 43 percent of worldwide technology spending. That’s 50 percent larger than IT services, twice the spending on devices (which includes mobile phones and tablets), over four times the money for enterprise software, and over 10 times the spending on data centers. As the largest slice of the projected global IT budget pie, telecom – and by extension, mobile telecom – is the first, best place to look for cost reductions and efficiencies.

2. Mobile data is the biggest segment of telecom services.

Within that largest part of the global IT budget, the largest segment will be mobile data, according to IDC. At a projected $536 billion in 2015, not only will it account for nearly one-third of spending on telecom services – that’s 14 percent of the global IT budget – it’s also the fastest-growing part, increasing 13 percent year over year. As the biggest chunk of the biggest IT expense, you need to need to examine and optimize your mobile data use.

3. The mobile carriers are relying increasingly on mobileGSG-blog-graphic data for their revenue.

Before the era of the smartphone, mobile phones were used primarily for voice calls. Voice minutes were a precious metered resource and data, then largely used for texting, was unlimited. Today, thanks to smartphones, their apps, and services, data is now the valued product, while voice minutes and text are unlimited.

US wireless carriers’ revenue has been increasingly coming from data, and as of late 2013, it accounts more than half of their ARPU (average revenue per user). This trend is expected to continue; Gartner predicts that voice ARPU will fall 10 percent every year through 2018. As carriers make adjustments to their business models to profit off the new data-centric mobile world, your business should also make corresponding adjustments to its wireless plans and spending.

You can cut your mobile spending by up to 20%.

Mobile is a big deal in the telecom world, and it’s also your biggest opportunity to find savings opportunities. From managing, right-sizing, and optimizing for the ever-changing plans offered by the carriers, to fixing their billing errors and under- or non-delivered services, to disconnecting and decommissioning zero-use devices, a good look at your mobile spending (followed by taking the right corrective steps) can reduce your costs by up to 20 percent.

If you’d like your business to get the most out of its mobile dollar, talk to us about getting a free telecom audit. We’ll look at your plans, spending, and usage patterns, and give you recommendations on how to save on your enterprise mobile spending.

Contact Stratix to start saving on your mobility expenses.

Eliminate the Cringe Factor

MOC blog image

By Chris Koterski, Chief Information Officer

Customer care for enterprise mobility customers

If you are like me, when something I own doesn’t work properly and my only option is to call the product’s customer service line, I cringe. How long will I be on hold? Will the person be able to help me? It just seems that companies don’t always make call center customer service a priority. It’s no different for enterprise mobility support – we want the support to be painless. And maybe I’m extra-sensitive to this because I am responsible for the customer support center at Stratix. I know how it should work. Customer care should be efficient and overall a pleasant experience. You want support from the right person, with the right knowledge to identify and fix your problem quickly to minimize downtime.

What differentiates Stratix? Availability. Expertise. Focus. Stratix customers have access to 24×7 support through our Mobile Operations Center (MOC). Customers get individual attention from a Stratix representative assigned to support that customer. Our multi-tier support model offers all levels of support from end-user, to advanced technical support or device administration. With a proven track record of delivering customer excellence to major fortune 500 customers we have developed a relentless focus on customer satisfaction. With multiple contact methods we provide mobile assistance how you want it when you need it.

The Stratix MOC is staffed by highly trained mobility experts, located right here in our corporate office. They are measured monthly on productivity, quality, professionalism, and efficiency to name a few. Likewise, they are rewarded for high performance. As technology changes, we train our team to be a step ahead. And it’s not just mobile technology training – our support team is integrated into our customer’s business as a true extension of their team. In many instances we train our team members in the field in order for them to see exactly how the customer is using the mobile technology. This enables us to have in-depth business process knowledge, which is of tremendous value when a customer calls with a problem.

We train our team to deliver the highest quality service, and we measure their success. And then we take it one step further. We ask our customers to evaluate our service levels. We ask for feedback on every customer interaction. And the results speak for themselves. Stratix has consistently received a very high satisfaction rating from customers.

Call center services from Stratix gives you the white-glove treatment you want. No need to cringe at the thought of calling us for help.

Want to learn more about the Stratix MOC? Click here for more information.

The “What if We…” Approach

what if blog

By Cavell McDermott, Mobile Solution Architect

“What if we…?” These words have been spoken at the beginning of many sentences over the past 30 years at Stratix. The thoughts that followed these words have kept our customers at the forefront of enterprise mobility as it has evolved throughout this time period. Constant innovation has been the hallmark of the Stratix brand. Back in the 80s, mobility meant pushing a computer and printer on a cart powered by a big battery. The purpose was to update shelf tags while walking down the aisle. This was actually a project that started our partnership with a large building supply retailer all the way back in 1986. Mobility pioneers!

Obviously, the industry looks a bit different now than it did in 1986. But the “what if we…” approach has not changed at Stratix. We’re constantly finding ways to help our customers implement, integrate, and optimize their businesses with emerging technologies.

  • What if we design a vibration reducing mount so a tablet can survive attached to a forklift?
    Did it.
  • What if a customer wants to take a tablet into a refrigerated area? They’ll need a heated case.
    Did that too.
  • What if a retail store has limited counter space and needs to charge more than one device type? Nothing is commercially available for purchase. Let’s plan, design, and build a custom charging station!
    3d printed prototype, delivered.
  • What if we design a customer portal that can manage customers’ mobile assets from cradle to grave, while giving them real time, business relevant data in an easy to digest format?
    That’s itrac360.

Maintaining the status quo is the antithesis of our business practices. Plan, deploy, support, analyze. Rinse. Repeat. The mobile landscape changes rapidly, and it’s our duty to ensure that we’re always at the forefront. In fact, we call it the mobile revolution. We deliver and support the best possible mobile solutions to our customers. Do you have gaps in your available resources or expertise? We can fill them. Want to have an industry leader manage your entire mobile infrastructure? We can do that too. Our goal is to simplify enterprise mobility, and let you focus on running your business.

Watch this 2-minute video to learn more about Stratix.

Mobile Accessories: More Than Just A Fashion Statement



By Justin Sanderfer, Senior Product Manager, Custom Accessories

We’re not talking about phone bling. I want to tell you about functional accessories that allow consumer and rugged mobile devices to operate properly in “out-of-the-norm” environments, such as the airport, the factory floor or in extreme cold/hot areas.

Mobile devices that are being used in some industrial environments have historically required specialized and expensive gear to ensure they operate properly. Extended use situations require mounted charging panels; below zero temperatures require temperature control technology; and high radio signal traffic areas require filters to prevent interference with power equipment. Understandably, these are not typical out-of-the-box design specs for smartphones and tablets.

When no off-the-shelf fix is available, Stratix is prepared to tackle the problem.

For example, one of our customers uses forklifts to load and unload food products in massive freezer units. The forklifts have tablets on board for data entry, scanning, and communications. But constantly changing temperatures and humidity levels wreak havoc with an unprotected device’s internal components and touchscreen.

The first step was to visit the job site to evaluate the situation and determine the customer’s requirements. The solution: a custom sleeve for the tablet that maintains a constant room temperature and humidity level with a small heater and fan. The enclosure is powered directly from the forklift and can sit for hours at sub-zero levels. The team also equipped operators with special gloves that permit capacitive-touchscreen operation through the fabric.

In another example, a power company found that its tablets were emitting radio-frequency (RF) signals that interfered with plant components and controls, even at a distance of six feet. Turning off the signals (Wi-Fi, cellular, Bluetooth) wasn’t an acceptable option because communication to/from the tablets was a necessity. So the Stratix team came up with a “happy medium” solution. We designed a case that reduced the RF by 60–75% but didn’t block it entirely. Now users only need to keep the tablets two feet away from sensitive zones, and numerous interior Wi-Fi wireless routers maintain connectivity.

These solutions save money. Five years ago, the team delivered a wall-mounted recharging panel to accommodate a customer with thousands of devices at its depots. With a shift to a new generation of consumer device, the customer was prepared to spend as much as $1 million to replace the panels. The Stratix team was able to design an inexpensive adapter that allows the customer to continue using the existing panels. And they did, saving the company $1 million.

Our Custom Accessories team has few design limitations. We have created holsters, sleds, outboard memory and battery extensions, even headsets. And when partners or customers want to brand their accessories or match specific company colors, we have manufacturing relationships with leading makers.

Custom accessories aren’t what people typically think of as part of managed mobility services, but it sets Stratix apart as a true full-service provider. Accessories are not just a fashion statement.

Watch this 2-minute video to learn more about Stratix.

iOS 8 Has Arrived! What’s Your Mobile Strategy?

iOS 8 what does it mean to you







By: Marco Nielsen, Vice President of Managed Mobile Services, Stratix Corporation

Ready or not, here it is! iOS 8 is here. Is your organization prepared for the extensive list of new features and enhancements announced by Apple?

Here is a recap of some of the changes you can expect:

  • Size and battery life – 5.5” screen for iPhone 6 Plus and 4.7” screen for iPhone 6. Extended battery life, up to 24 hour talk time for iPhone 6 Plus.
  • Faster! – A8 processor.
  • Extensions – will allow one application to communicate and share data with another application.
  • Continuity and Handoff – lets you pick up where you left off between devices.
  • Touch ID API – biometric authentication.
  • Quicktype feature adds highly-requested predictive texting similar to SwiftKey and Swype.
  • Find My iPhone – Record and resend the last location before the battery died.
  • Siri upgrade – Streaming voice recognition like in Android when powered.
  • Location-based lock screen apps – With iOS 8 certain apps will appear in the bottom left corner of the lock screen based on where you are at a particular time.
  • Apple Pay – new way to pay for goods and services via Passbook.

What do enterprises need to be on the lookout for?

  • End users have the option to download and upgrade their devices over-the-air (OTA) or tethered with iTunes on September 17.
  • Be aware of the new features and supportability concerns.
  • If Stratix is providing your logistics and device deployment, we can upgrade your devices (if a supported model) to iOS 8.
  • Several new features may require updated EMM/MDM/MAM solutions. Contact Stratix if you have any questions. For most, there is a rapid announcement of updated software version upon launch of the updated Apple iOS.
  • iOS application developers should quickly and thoroughly test and validate that all their business applications run on iOS 8, with functionality retained.

Stratix is available to help you with the iOS upgrade. Please contact our Technical Support Center directly or call 1-800-883-8300.

Mobility Services: 3 Must-Have Services Every Organization Needs

Make or Break Services   

By: Brian Viscount, Vice President of Portfolio Management, Stratix Corporation

It’s hard to believe, but for more than 20 years enterprise businesses have leveraged mobile devices as a competitive advantage to increase worker productivity, enhance operational efficiencies and improve overall customer satisfaction. In the past, product life cycles, reliability, device security, operating system stability, and other attributes were dictated by enterprise customers. Today, consumers are driving the mobility roadmap. While this has resulted in a wider variety of device choices, they often do not meet the needs (lifecycle, reliability….) of multi-year enterprise deployments.

Mobility is no longer a competitive advantage, it’s table stakes, and enterprise customers are challenged to manage the growing investment of mobile assets as the underlying technology is changing faster than they can deploy a single project. This challenge has highlighted the need for mobile managed services, and enterprises realize they need these services to select, deploy, maintain and manage their mobile devices to achieve the intended benefits of mobility, as opposed to becoming a liability. You want to be able to turn on and keep on your mobile solution.

I believe there are three “must-have” services that every organization should include in its mobility program.

1. Mobile Planning and Deployment

Engage and activate employee involvement with a mobile concierge, someone to help design and define the mobile environment. Employees want mobile to work “out of the box”, configured with their applications, equipped with accessories and connected to both the corporate and carrier network.

2. Mobile Operation Center

What happens when a mobile device doesn’t work? Every enterprise mobile program needs access to 24 x 7 mobile experts. Having remote diagnostics to identify the problem, activate a resolution, and if needed, provide access to a spare pool inventory is essential. Also, your mobile service provider should routinely administer software updates to your mobile to avoid unexpected disruptions. A seamless experience is a must!

3. Mobile Monitoring and Management

Even when everything is working you need visibility to your assets. Where are they located? How are they performing? Are there trends to report? A mobile managed service provider delivers a comprehensive dashboard, a single pane glass for viewing all things mobile at your fingertips. It will enable you to:

  • Track devices through the entire life cycle. From procurement to end of life, providing complete visibility into deployed assets.
  • Review real-time data regarding repair frequency and status, call center activity and resolution. Understand how your mobile devices and mobile users are performing.
  • Define and monitor key performance indicators: mobile device population, usage, location, up-time, spare pool status, support desk and repair service level agreements, etc.
  • Manage app distribution, configuration, licensing, certification and security status.

We can help you turn on and keep on your mobile solution. A mobile deployment goes well beyond device selection and success is increasingly determined by having the right services available. Stratix has years of experience deploying enterprise mobility and can provide the mobile management services that you need to maximize performance. For more information call 1-800-883-8300 or visit us at