Spreading like wildfire is the idea of mobile workers utilising their own devices as part of their role. A number of recent articles such as EMF’s have shed light on why this phenomenon has started to really take hold.

It certainly makes sense from both the organisations perspective and the individuals. The individual is familiar with the device and the organisations saves money by not having to purchase addition devices.

However, there are certainly pitfalls of this approach, not least the issue of privacy, is it technically legal to wipe the device of an individual?

One of the other fundamental issues is the need to develop cross platform applications as each individual could have a different infrastructure. E.g. one person wants to use an Android tablet whilst one other wants to use their iPhone. This could potentially present an issue when building an organisations mobile infrastructure.

At CommonTime, we believe the solution is a cross platform MEAP solution such as our mDesign. mDesign allows organisations to develop applications which are cross platform and can be produced 80% faster than traditional development methods. And now with our recent partnership with Notify MDM, mDesign is now able to offer remote services of the highest quality.

Of course this does not solve the debate of whether an organisation should utilise BYOD, it does however give organisations who do, the ability to create mobile processes which work as effectively as if they had a single device infrastructure.

Readers may also be interested in How to Developing an applications, Become a Software Developer Helper. Read more info in our developer Queen Mastropietro.




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Urban Outfitters’ iPhone POS Devices   

I recently got back from Miami and in-between the partying I managed to do a fair bit of shopping as well. On one such occasion I happened to stop buy a local Urban Outfitters clothing store. I was surprised to see that the store was now processing all card transactions on iPhones. Essentially the store clerk was able to now take payment from anywhere in the store without the need of being near a till. They could process the payment and then go back to a nearby stand to collect a wirelessly printed receipt and put your clothing in a bag. Not only would this save a huge amount of time on busy days (think Black Friday or Boxing Day sales) but also, if you want to be a bit more salesy,  allow salespeople to close a sale before someone changes their mind.

As I work in the industry I was keen to discuss the system with the salesperson and seeing as I had just spent an exorbitant amount of money on clothes I’m probably too old for, he was more than willing to discuss it with me.

What he explained to me was that this system is not only designed to make their lives easier but to also allow greater collection of data. Salespeople are able to capture customer data including purchase history on their device and then upload it to an administrative console. The device can also be used to check stock of items all of which is deigned to speed up anthe sales process.

The devices have a credit card swipe reader attached and then the customer can use their finger to sign the touch screen device. It will then print the signature on the receipt as well.

In the UK where we use chip and pin for our devices, it is easy to imagine an alternative version where you input your PIN number instead of signing.

A device like this works in stores such as Urban Outfitters which attract a younger, more technology savvy patron, however I can anticipate some people having qualms about a salesperson using their mobile phone to make a transaction, especially in stores which aim at a more mature clientele or perhaps more sophisticated high involvement purchases.

It is however great to see that organisations are making use of more contemporary devices and using them in such an innovative way rather relying on the way they have traditionally always done it.

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