Spirit Data Capture

Spirit News Spring 2017

Welcome to the spring edition of Spirit’s ezine for customers who are interested in information and news relating to handheld mobile computing and barcode scanning solutions.

- A Vision into the future of deliveries
- IT’s a matter of security
- The changing face of the industry
- Datalogic campaign
- Are you ready for a cold snap?

Industry trends and new releases

- Read all about it! Spirit’s blog focuses on new products
- Spirit’s Quality Assurance module
- The RJ2000 – good things can come in small packages!
- Rapid repairs

Recent reports and guides

- Making the most of today’s technology trends
- Rugged tablets come out on top in survey
- Recent Spirit case studies

Spirit in the spotlight

- Jon Harvey

We hope you enjoy reading this newsletter. If you would like more information on any of the items below, please call us on 01928 718800 or send an email to: helen.jones@spiritdatacapture.co.uk.


Industry news and views

A Vision into the future of deliveries

A new ‘last mile’ delivery process takes automation to a completely different level. Mercedes-Benz is developing a futuristic vehicle called the Vision Van. It will be powered by electricity, have an automated delivery system and will use drones to deliver packages weighing less than 2kg.

The new vehicle will be driven by joystick and will use algorithms to manage the picking and loading of packages. The van will be loaded by driverless vehicles. It will have automated cargo space management, a package dispenser and sophisticated route planning. Click here to find out more about this new concept.

IT’s a matter of security

The IT industry is expecting a further escalation in cyber attacks, many of which could affect mobile users. For instance, Computer Weekly (www.computerweekly.com/news/450410530/Ransomware-expected-to-dominate-in-2017) is predicting a significant increase in ransomware attacks this year – in which computers are locked and the cyber criminals offer to unlock them for a large fee. This could also affect devices involved in the Internet of Things (IoT).

Many smaller businesses are likely to turn to managed security service providers to help them to guard against potential attacks. Meanwhile, infosecurity magazine (www.infosecurity-magazine.com/opinions/failing-to-prepare-network-security/) warns that companies need to enhance their network security to protect themselves against possible security breaches.

Spirit’s team of technical experts are ready to advise on any of your security needs.

The changing face of the industry

There have been a few new acquisitions by companies in the mobile data capture sector recently. Firstly, Zebra Technologies’ wireless LAN portfolio has been bought by Extreme Networks. Extreme is committed to developing innovative products for the networking market and believes that this acquisition will strengthen its wireless LAN security capabilities. Spirit will continue to provide the full range of wireless infrastructure.

Meanwhile, it seems that Panasonic is due to acquire a majority (50.95%) stake in Zetes, the Belgian supply chain and mobility solutions company, although the Zetes brand name will remain. The deal is likely to be completed in the second quarter of 2017.

Datalogic

Spirit and Datalogic have joined forces to develop some high quality mobile data capture solutions aimed specifically at customers in the food and drink and automotive sectors. These solutions seek to streamline a company’s operations and boost the effectiveness of its internal communications.

This can lead to a significantly enhanced performance in a range of areas – for instance, the tracking and traceability of items through the supply chain. Our solutions include Datalogic hardware (e.g. rugged barcode scanners, linear imagers and mobile computers); software platforms and software application development and managed services. Contact us now for more information.

Are you ready for a cold snap?

We’ve already seen some chaos being caused by the recent snap of cold weather in the UK. But if you’re working with intrinsically-safe devices, it’s doubly important that they can withstand cold temperatures. Unfortunately, many ATEX-certified devices on the market don’t function properly at temperatures below -10oC.

With this winter predicted as being the coldest for six years, with a spate of sub-zero temperatures, your explosion-proof devices need to be able to operate effectively at temperatures below -10°C. If they don’t, this could lead to safety risks and a failure to comply with Health and Safety regulations – as well as having insurance implications. That’s why we offer state-of-the-art ATEX-certified products such as ecom’s Smartphone Smart-Ex® 01 and Tab-Ex® 01 tablets. These meet the criteria for safe operation in temperatures as low as -20°C. Contact us now for further details.


Industry trends and new releases

Read all about it! Spirit’s blog focuses on new products

Our November blog focused on some of the key handheld devices launched during 2016. These include:

  • Getac S410 – a semi-rugged notebook with a long-lasting battery.
  • Honeywell Dolphin 75e – a rugged mobile computer with a powerful processor
  • Opticon RS-2006 ring scanner – a compact and lightweight Bluetooth scanner
  • Xplore XSlate R12 – a rugged 12.5” tablet that can be used in hazardous environments
  • Zebra TC51 and TC56 – two touch computers with enterprise-class features
  • Zebra TC800 – a rugged Android industrial mobile computer for warehouse use

For more details of each of these new products, please visit the blog. You might also be interested in our most recent blog published last month, which explores the world of GPS.

Spirit’s Quality Assurance module

We’re delighted to tell you that we’ve developed a powerful and versatile Quality Assurance Inspection (QAI) module for mobile workers. This Mobile Connect™ software package streamlines the whole inspection process, reducing paperwork and saving time. The module includes a mobile app (designed for Android smartphones) that enables an inspector to give ratings of ‘Pass’, ‘Fail’ or ‘Not Applicable’ when checking an area, building, room or item. The QAI module’s handy web dashboard is very user-friendly and enables you to set up and configure the QAI system and to access and view data.

The new software module has already been put to good use by Tayside Contracts, for monitoring its cleaning, catering and janitorial services. The module has enhanced the whole inspection process and has even increased the productivity of some of the organisation’s operatives by over 50%. To find out more, please contact us or visit our website.

The RJ-2000 – good things can come in small packages!

Brother UK has added a new two-inch wide model to its family of rugged jet mobile printers (which already includes three and four-inch versions). The RJ-2000 is a lightweight, mobile direct thermal printer with an IP54 rating, and is therefore ideal for use in harsh environments, such as retail, logistics / warehousing and healthcare.

The RJ-2000 series offers a choice of receipt and / or label printers and various connectivity features. It’s up to 20% lighter and 15% smaller than the equivalent models from Brother’s key competitors. The new printer also comes with a range of useful accessories and power options.

Rapid repairs

Our standard hardware repair programme has a turnaround time of two to three weeks. But please remember that we also offer a rapid repair service for a one-off price if for some reason one of your hardware devices should fail and you need it back urgently. This service covers the whole range of handheld devices, from PDAs to printers, and from barcode terminals to tablets. The repaired device will be returned within three working days.

And don’t forget our unique range of managed services, tailored so that they meet your specific needs as closely as possible. We provide Platinum, Gold, Hardware Priority Plus and MDM Priority packages. Click here for more detailed information.


Recent reports and guides

Making the most of today’s technology trends

In conjunction with Gartner, Zebra has recently published a series of reports in which it explores the latest trends in disruptive technologies and their potential impact on businesses. Four main reports have been produced, aimed at the manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and the transportation / logistics industry sectors.

The ‘Eye on 2016’ reports translate recent digital trends into business needs for each of the above industries. Each report includes case studies that show how technology can address these needs. With new technologies rapidly reshaping major industries today, you can’t afford to ignore the latest digital business trends. To access the individual reports, please contact your Account Manager at Spirit.

Rugged tablets come out on top in survey

Xplore has conducted a survey into the ‘Top 3 reasons why mobile-centric companies now prefer rugged tablets’. The survey questioned hundreds of mobile workers and mobile computer resellers across the globe, asking them: “Which computer is right for you (or your customers)?” The results show that the respondents prefer 10-12 inch Intel®-powered rugged tablets to handheld devices or notebooks.

To download and read the full report, please click here.

Recent Spirit case studies

Two recent case studies illustrate the very different applications that our solutions are used for by our customers:

  • WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff is a leading consultancy in the engineering world. The company purchased some Panasonic FZ-B2 tablets from Spirit recently, for use in capturing borehole data. These rugged Android tablets have led to faster processes and a greater consistency and quality of data.
  • Thinking Software is an innovative supplier of business solutions that enhance workforce management. The company needed an innovative solution that would ensure that everyone present on an organisation’s site could be accounted for if an emergency arises. It chose Honeywell’s Dolphin 70e Enterprise Digital Assistant (EDA) for use with its unique roll-call and mustering system, MUSTERD, to provide real-time safety information in an emergency.
  • The Francis Crick Institute is an inter-disciplinary medical research facility that needed an effective internal logistics and goods tracking system. This was vital, as many of the institute’s items are extremely valuable and can’t easily be replaced. Spirit developed a web-based management portal and sourced Zebra MC55 and MC9200 devices, as well as providing our own Gold Managed Service and SOTI’s MobiControl device management software. There is also a video about the project.

To read the case studies in more detail, please visit our web page.


Spirit in the spotlight

This new feature takes a closer look at some of the people you might come in contact with as a customer of Spirit.

Jon Harvey

Jonathan Harvey is Spirit’s Director of Software, having joined us in 2015. He was previously an IT Project Manager at JD Williams and Development Manager at Appsense. Jon has extensive experience in a range of software management and IT roles, having worked with both traditional and Agile software and with project teams of all sizes.

As Director of Software, his key responsibilities include implementing and leading a range of both small and large software / mobile application development projects from concept through to completion. In his spare time, Jon is a keen runner and ‘Tough Mudder’. During the summer, he can often be found donning vintage-style clothes with his family at 1940s weekends around the country.


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Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to your colleagues. If you would like more information on any of the items, please call us on 01928 718800 or send an email to: helen.jones@spiritdatacapture.co.uk.


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