If you follow the latest developments in the barcoding and supply chain automation industries, you’re no doubt aware that Windows CE is in the process of being replaced by the Android and Windows IoT operating systems. There has also been a lot of industry discussion regarding the integration of consumer-grade devices like tablets and smartphones into various distribution and service operations. Over the last two years, we’ve heard from a growing number of customers and partners with questions regarding these technology changes. The two primary questions were how their organizations could integrate these new devices into their operations coupled with how they could support their applications across these multiple technology platforms.
Well, we have good news for users of RFgen's mobile technology. As part of our strategic planning, we’re currently wrapping up a large, multi-year R&D project that allows RFgen powered apps to run, both online and offline, regardless of operating system and device. We’ve named this enhanced version of our mobile technology RFgen's Mobile Unity Platform™ as it provides unified user experience and seamless interoperability regardless of operating system or device. In fact, I am happy to report that this system is currently live and in-production on both Android and iOS consumer devices with a pilot customer.
In addition, the release of this technology offers a number of opportunities for new and existing customers to reduce support costs and plan effectively for the future. Many companies that currently have remote user activities like remote or consignment inventory management, DSD solutions, or field service applications are probably going to be impacted by the pending operating system changes. RFgen's Mobile Unity Platform™ will continue to provide the same fast and reliable applications inside the four walls of the warehouse, but now gives our customers an enhanced option to upgrade their remote activities while consolidating their technology stack.
RFgen engaged with a customer who required a multi-platform iOS and Android capable solution to perform consignment management activities in the field. In this specific scenario, field reps would visit hospitals to manage consignment stock which in turn generated both billing and replenishment activities. As part of this solution, data specific to the location would be extracted from SAP and delivered to the sales rep’s consumer-grade mobile phone via a cellular network. Operations would then be performed offline on the device while in the hospital facilities using full data validation, and then transmitted back to SAP when the activity was completed.
The solution consisted of a number of user screens and included both imaging and barcode scanning operations. The RFgen SAP implementation team worked with the customer to design and implement the entire solution, supporting iOS and Android devices, in less than 6 weeks from start to finish.