With over a decade of experience in enterprise mobility, we know what it takes to perform a successful deployment; whether it’s rolling out new applications, installing devices or migrating from the legacy WinCE devices. We’ve worked with most devices, OSs, MDMs and application analytics software out there and we’ve learned a thing or two along the way. In the process, we’ve come to know the pains of performing such deployments. We used this hands-on experience and knowledge gained to shape the direction for Optiko, our solution for resolving typical issues in enterprise mobility.
How We Know What We Know
Back in the early 2000s when BlueFletch was just a twinkle in the founding partners’ eye, we all worked at Accenture on a project with the United States Postal Service. They were rolling out their first ever mobile devices — 320,000+ new devices along with custom software, to which we owned the development, rollout and support. We found that the devices in those early days were slow and WIFI connectivity was unreliable, among other issues. Despite being successful in that project, we often asked ourselves how we could gain more visibility into the devices in the field.
That one project was the first in over a decade of enterprise mobile experience where gaining visibility into what was happening on the devices, both individually and as a group, would have given our clients tremendous value by way of operational and process efficiency. Over the next ten years we continued working with clients to realize their mobile enterprise strategies. Among such clients were several major big box retailers, including The Home Depot, Haverty’s and Floor and Decor. We were brought in to upgrade in-store and warehouse rugged devices on projects ranging from choosing the best device to migrating legacy systems to a new MDM, validating MDM releases, validating hardware and developing and rolling out new applications. In connection with these rollouts, we were tasked to perform reporting and analytics through tools like Splunk and big data software stacks such as Hadoop Cassandra, SOLR, Elasticsearch among others, both to help operations as well as validate business value for these projects.
One thing became clear across all projects – insight into what was happening on an actual device and a history of the device behavior, would have saved time, money and headaches — especially in those war rooms where having no visibility into the device history meant finger pointing between the development, support and network infrastructure teams.
Optiko – Enterprise Mobile Intelligence
The common thread across projects and clients was always data and insight, or the lack thereof. While MDMs and dedicated app analytic tools serve a necessary purpose, there was a hole that needed to be filled. And so we created Optiko, our enterprise mobile intelligence solution that bridges the gap between traditional MDMs and application analytics tools.
Our goal with Optiko was to give organizations a flexible platform for enterprise mobile intelligence. We believe companies should not spend time and resources building complex systems for gathering data. With Optiko, we deliver value to all levels of your organization, providing insights that allow you to monitor, analyze and act on business critical information. Optiko increases the effectiveness of your devices and applications in the field by leveraging this previously unknown data. Everyone, from the C-suite executives down to help desk support teams now have insight into how the business actually operates, giving them the tools they need to streamline processes, take corrective actions and become more productive. Optiko gives the enterprise a complete view of hardware and user events, systems performance and business process analysis in one centralized location. We work with any platform, on any mobile device, with any MDM. And we’ve made compliance and monitoring easy with notifications and alerts that can be based on your own particular requirements.
Continuous Visibility vs A Snapshot in Time
I have a MDM and an app analytics tool. Why do I need Optiko?
Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools have agents for keeping apps in sync and checking against rules while app analytics tools are great for illustrating how your apps are actually being used. With Optiko, we marry and compliment the two, giving device analytics that can correlate the data from both.
We provide visibility by reporting on device state and the packages and apps installed. While your MDM will install and/or remove apps, set-up device configurations and perform other actions on the device, Optiko provides reporting on the MDM actions not typically available from the MDM itself. While MDMs give a snapshot in time, Optiko provides both current and historical data.
Traditional application analytics tools are great for the makers of consumer facing apps. They give you app level reporting metrics, like a user flow map detailing how the app is used. App analytics look at individual apps at a time and track metrics showing how a user interacts with an app. While this is very useful for a consumer centric application, a company with multiple applications on a fleet of rugged devices need more information. In order to get a complete view of their business, they need to also know what’s also going on on the devices themselves. Optiko gives our clients high level usage information on all apps just by installing it and Optiko will create metrics specific for your apps via SDKs. Optiko gives our clients the ability to correlate app events with device events such as loss of network connectivity, weak signal, network switching, battery level, location and issues that could cause events or crashes such as CPU, memory and storage. Optiko gives our clients the same level information as app analytic software without buying an expensive app analytics package, as well the additional bonus of device visibility.
Business Cases for Enterprise ROI
Here are a few examples of how our clients have benefited from Optiko –
Finger Pointing Party, Avoided
Most companies only have the ability to see what’s happening on the server side or what information the app is sending to the server, but they don’t have any information on what’s going on with the device. This inevitably leads to war room meetings with different departments pointing fingers trying to figure out what happened when something goes wrong. If they could see what was actually happening on the device at any given time you could answer those questions in seconds. With Opiko, you have a history, a periodic sampling of EXACTLY what was happening on a given device at the time a crash or event happens, so it’s easy to pinpoint network, application, device or security issues. In addition, Optiko identifies issues in the OS, network, hardware and software without relying on reports from end users. The result is reduced service and support costs, optimized device utilization and increased employee productivity.
From a deployment standpoint, whether you’re deploying new devices or upgrading CE (legacy) devices to Android, Optiko provides additional validation that your MDM is working and that you’ve configured it correctly, the correct app versions are on a particular device, there is appropriate in-store connectivity and there are no crashes, app usage or network issues.
Optiko saves the back and forth between application development and network teams by having data readily available. Historically, only the networking guys use a system of guesswork to figure out if network vs application issues are the cause of an event or a crash. With Optiko, we take the guesswork out of it by giving our clients, their network and the application support and development teams an exact picture of what was happening one the device at the time of the event.
Understanding how your applications and devices are being used allow you to define user behavior so you can invest wisely. From a planning standpoint, when you understand what apps and hardware are being used you can spend time and resources on those resources that are being used the most. For example, when your business team requests enhancements to an application that’s not being used frequently, you know user behavior so you know it’s better to put that investment somewhere else.
Unlock Your Potential
We know what it takes to maximize and maintain complex enterprise mobility systems. Our goal is to support the enterprise by providing a clearer, deeper understanding of what’s possible in mobile. With Optiko, we’re using best of breed technologies, searching and querying through hundreds of millions of records and generating metrics so you have the ability to search through those records very quickly. The clear, concise dashboard shows you exactly what issues need your immediate attention.
We’ve invested in the technology so you don’t have too. By building the tools ourselves, we allow our clients to focus on their core business. Optiko can get you further down the road, faster, so you can put your time and money into your core business.