Mi-Corporation http://www.mi-corporation.com Mobile Information Solutions for Mission-Critical Processes Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:51:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.1 2014 Holiday Wish List: Apple, Android & Windows Tablets http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/2014-holiday-wish-list-apple-android-windows-tablets/ http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/2014-holiday-wish-list-apple-android-windows-tablets/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:16:27 +0000 http://www.mi-corporation.com/?p=13798 If you’re reading this blog post, I can only hope that you’ve already completed your holiday shopping and that your loved ones are not headed for some last minute holiday stuffed animals, address books, fast food gift cards or other Read More

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If you’re reading this blog post, I can only hope that you’ve already completed your holiday shopping and that your loved ones are not headed for some last minute holiday stuffed animals, address books, fast food gift cards or other “worst gifts”. If that is the case, fortunately I’m here to help.

According to a recent CNET survey, tablets still top people’s Holiday wish lists, with 42% wishing for one and 30% planning to give one. While some people might have a “been there, done that” attitude towards tablets, it pays to take a look at what’s new—and it might even put you on the “nice” list.

Apple Tablets

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Obviously you have to start by looking at the Apple iPad Air 2. It’s not a lot different than the iPad Air you might be familiar with, but it’s thinner, packs a higher resolution display and depending on your application can be up to 2.5x faster than the already fast Air. If you’re into photography, the new hardware and software enables all levels of photographers to take stunning pictures. It’s not cheap, starting at $499, but it’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your giftee as they pull it out of its shiny packaging.

Android Tablets

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If you’re more of an Android person, you have more great options than ever before. The Google Nexus 9, running the relatively new Android 5.0 Lollipop, is the premium contender. Featuring an 8.9” display, a 2.3 GHz 64-bit NVidia Tegra K1 processor and either 16/32 GB of storage space, you’re definitely in for a treat. You’ll save a few dollars compared to the iPad with this tablet starting at $399, and if you put one of these in your significant other’s stocking, you might find yourself under the mistletoe before long.

Still on the Android front, if you’re like me and do about 90% of your holiday shopping on Amazon, you’ve undoubtedly seen more than your fair share of ads for all sorts of Kindle Fire devices. The newest and fanciest is the Fire HDX 8.9 which also features an 8.9” display, a super-fast processor and up to 64 GB of storage space. It even weighs less than the iPad Air 2, and certainly with Amazon providing more and more content, it could be a great fit for your everyday tablet or for the family. It starts at $379 and could easily be one of your eight days of gifting. Of course, if you’re looking for something a little cheaper for the kids, consider whether Santa should bring them the Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet, which costs $119 and includes a 2-year worry free guarantee. As the description for this one states, it’s “a real tablet, not a toy,” so your kids can be just like their adult idols when it comes to mobility.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

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Last, but certainly not least, while it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and games of the holidays, we will all likely make our New Year’s resolutions to be more productive and more efficient. The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 can certainly help make this one resolution you can actually keep. This tablet/laptop/ultrabook hybrid runs Windows 8.1, meaning that all of your productivity apps keep on ticking. At the same time, it’s a great tablet for watching movies, playing games, and keeping in touch with the relatives you’ll see again next year. It starts at $799, but given the amount of functionality that’s packed in–including a high quality handwriting digitizer–it’s actually a bargain when you compare it to more traditional laptops. And who doesn’t like a holiday deal?

If you haven’t already put this blog post aside, quickly unwrapped the hair gel you were planning to give your significant other, and purchased a tablet instead, I hope you’ll at least consider it. While our focus at Mi-Corporation is on mobility productivity, we’ve also loved seeing tablet adoption into all aspects of life over the last few years. If gifting a tablet makes you a little more popular, so much the better.

We wish you a very happy holiday from our family to yours and we’ll see you with your shiny tablet in the New Year!

 

Chris DiPierro

Mi-Corporation CTO

 

 

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Enterprise Mobility Projects: Why Bother? http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/enterprise-mobility-projects-bother/ http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/enterprise-mobility-projects-bother/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:22:08 +0000 http://www.mi-corporation.com/?p=13755 In this day and age, mobile devices are mainstream and continue to make big strides in the enterprise. As we start to wrap up 2014, it is useful to look ahead to the coming year to explore what the landscape Read More

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In this day and age, mobile devices are mainstream and continue to make big strides in the enterprise. As we start to wrap up 2014, it is useful to look ahead to the coming year to explore what the landscape of enterprise mobility might look like in 2015.

Recently, the Enterprise Mobility Exchange and Field Technologies Online both released reports offering an interesting glance at what enterprise mobility will look like in 2015 based on trends of the past.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange: “Global State of Enterprise Mobility 2015”

The EME report surveys Mobility Practitioners (at companies that purchase and use mobile technologies), Mobility Solution Providers (such as Mi-Corporation, that offer mobility solutions of various kinds), and Mobility focused analysts (like Tony Rizzo at Blue Hill Research, and many others).

Key takeaways:

  • 21% of practitioner organizations are still scoping mobility solutions for their needs.
  • 62.5% of practitioner organizations have invested in mobile apps related solutions in the past 12-18 months. About 52.1% plan to invest in mobile apps solutions in the next 12-18 months.
  • Biggest driver for these investments: to increase productivity (68% of mobility practitioners).
  • Top challenges for investments: securing stakeholder buy-in (34%), and integration with legacy systems (37.5%).
  • Biggest benefits organizations have seen from these mobility projects: reduction in time spent on tasks/field by their staff and gaining a competitive edge for their business.

Field Technologies Online: “Field Mobility 2015”

The field mobility report features input by Sarah NiCastro, Editor-in-Chief of Field Technologies Online, analysts such as Aly Pinder Jr. from Aberdeen Group and David Krebs from VDC Research, and companies like Russell Reid, Trane, Luminex and more with a significant field workforce.

Key takeaways:

     Top 3 Challenges for Mobile Workforce

  1. Ensuring mobile workers are at optimal efficiency/productivity.
  2. Ensuring accurate data capture in the field & real-time information.
  3. Improving first-time fix rates.

     Top 3 Drivers for Field Mobility Investments

  1. Maximizing productivity/performance.
  2. Improving customers’ experience & satisfaction.
  3. Reducing costs.

     Top 3 Criteria for Selecting Field Mobility Software

  1. Ability to integrate with current back office systems.
  2. Ability to work untethered/without connectivity.
  3. UI/Ability to map the workflow.
  • 45% of organizations are only ‘somewhat satisfied’ or ‘dissatisfied’ with their mobility ROI.
  • 37% of organizations have a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) or Internet of things (IoT) solution in place already, and 40% plan to soon, foretelling a major trend to come for 2015.

A common theme you’ll see repeated here, which we have seen often as well, is the interest of organizations to maximize productivity. If a $1,000, $5,000 or $10,000 investment per employee will make them 20-50%+ more productive, should the company hesitate to make a significant investment in mobility? This reminds us of the days when organizations first started to roll-out $1,000-$2,000 laptops to each employee, resulting in boosted productivity and making laptops more or less a given for any new employee. It will be interesting to see if the same trend will appear with enterprise mobility.

Share your thoughts with us, and the reasons you’ve seen for organizations to invest in mobility initiatives, by tweeting us @Mi-Corporation.

 

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Mi-Corporation Supports Microsoft Government Cloud for Mobile Solutions http://www.mi-corporation.com/news-and-events/mi-corporation-supports-microsoft-government-cloud-mobile-solutions/ http://www.mi-corporation.com/news-and-events/mi-corporation-supports-microsoft-government-cloud-mobile-solutions/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 18:50:52 +0000 http://www.mi-corporation.com/?p=13749 Mi-Corporation Joins Several Hundred Partners and Customers as Microsoft Launches Complete Cloud Platform for U.S. Government Entities to provide the best cloud & mobile options December 16, 2014 – Mi-Corporation today announced its support for the Microsoft Cloud for Government Read More

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Mi-Corporation Joins Several Hundred Partners and Customers as Microsoft Launches Complete Cloud Platform for U.S. Government Entities to provide the best cloud & mobile options

December 16, 2014 – Mi-Corporation today announced its support for the Microsoft Cloud for Government and described its work to deliver best-of-breed Mobile Data Capture solutions for Government inspectors in the field in order to boost productivity, increase efficiencies, reduce costs and provide better service to citizens at agencies.

Mi-Corporation’s announcement followed Microsoft’s One Government Cloud Summit in Washington, D.C., where Federal, State & Local Governments gathered as Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Azure Government and the January availability of Dynamics CRM Online Government (Dynamics CRMOL G). Both products are critical elements of Microsoft’s complete cloud offering for government.  Attendees also heard Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella share his vision for the industry and discuss how government organizations can thrive in the mobile-first, cloud-first world.

“We are seeing tremendous uptake and enthusiasm from our partner community around the promise and potential for the Microsoft Cloud for Government,” said Vince Menzione, General Manager of Microsoft’s U.S. Public Sector Partner business. “Partners have committed to building on the Microsoft Cloud for Government, from public safety-focused partners who need specific CJIS support for managing drastic increases in storage to large system integrators developing hybrid solutions to more seamlessly help government agencies move to the cloud.” 

According to Greg Clary, PhD, CEO of Mi-Corporation, “Mi-Corporation is proud to be a Microsoft Gold ISV, delivering the very best mobile data capture solutions for inspection and case management for agencies, now through the Microsoft Cloud for Government to achieve transformative impacts. Progressive agencies are adopting Cloud & Mobile solutions and we are pleased to offer them the best ways to achieve their goals and improve citizen service delivery.”

Mi-Corporation government solutions have delivered benefits such as making agencies’ data 100x more accurate, saving $675,000 per year for the USDA and taxpayer, and reducing inspection process times from 4 weeks to 2 days. Mi-Corporation has previously received the 2013 Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation Award and was featured on Microsoft SLG.TV as well.

With Mi-Corporation solutions on the Microsoft Cloud for Government, small, medium and large sized governments all get the  most complete, comprehensive and flexible solutions, spanning infrastructure, data, productivity, and business applications.

About Mi-Corporation (Mi-Co):

Mi-Co, a 15-year industry leader in mobilizing mission-critical business processes, offers enterprise-class solutions that quicken business cycles, drive productivity, and increase revenues. Their mobile solutions support the use of Windows 8 Tablets, the Digital Pen, iPads, Android Slates, Smartphones and other mobile devices across diverse industries. Organizations like the NC Department of Agriculture, the United Nations, The US Dept. of Transportation, and many others use Mi-Corporation mobile forms, mobile applications, and reporting products. For more information on Mi-Co, please visit www.mi-corporation.com.

 

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Mobility Summit 2015 Keynote Speaker Tony Rizzo on MBaaS http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/mobility-summit-2015-keynote-speaker-tony-rizzo-mbaas/ http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/mobility-summit-2015-keynote-speaker-tony-rizzo-mbaas/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 15:03:08 +0000 http://www.mi-corporation.com/?p=13729 Meet this year’s Mobility Summit keynote speaker Tony Rizzo, Entrepreneur in Residence at Blue Hill Research. Tony Rizzo joined Blue Hill Research in mid-2014 following a 20 month stint heading up TMC’s enterprise and consumer mobility and wearable technology coverage. Read More

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Blue Hill Research Image w Tony Rizzo

Meet this year’s Mobility Summit keynote speaker Tony Rizzo, Entrepreneur in Residence at Blue Hill Research.

Tony Rizzo joined Blue Hill Research in mid-2014 following a 20 month stint heading up TMC’s enterprise and consumer mobility and wearable technology coverage. Prior to TMC, Rizzo spent several years within the mobile vendor community. Before his journey into the vendor community, Rizzo spent five years as the Director of Mobile Research for research analyst firm 451 Research, covering all aspects of enterprise mobility, including mobile app development, infrastructure, devices, EMM (MDM/MAM) and everything in between. There he lived through both the early and later stages of consumer and enterprise mobility and the first stages of the BYOD enterprise mobility phenomenon following the release of the original iPhone.

Rizzo’s Research

In a recent article, Rizzo discusses his research of the “new” mobile enterprise app play: Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS). Here’s a quick synopsis of the results of Rizzo’s research noted in the article.

“Mobile Backend as a Service seems to be emerging as the necessary new enterprise mobile app game, and those that don’t embrace it will find themselves at competitive disadvantages.

However, it is worth noting that all of the old caveats for mobile app development still apply. Even in an emerging world of disposable and in-the-moment mobile app development, mobile strategy remains, as I am extremely fond of claiming, ‘A long-term strategy and never a short-term fix’.”

Key takeaways of the article:

    • Dynamic Solutions: Even the most state-of-the-art Mobile App Development Platforms can’t keep up with today’s enterprise shift to cloud-based computing. In today’s enterprise world, mobile applications MUST be dynamic.
    • Shorter Time Needed To Plan: Primary and other key stakeholders need to be able to quickly come together to develop apps that meet revenue-generating and/or business intelligence gathering requirements, as well as easy integration into planning and development processes.
    • Flexibility & Agility Required: IT must have significant flexibility at their disposal to quickly bring together, in the cloud, both front end/user interface capabilities and easy backend connectivity to numerous potential resources.
    • MBaaS Key Advantage: The key MBaaS competitive advantage is that all of the underlying complexity is handled by the MBaaS platform, leaving enterprises free to focus specifically on business issues, etc.
    • 3 Key Business Components: Rizzo lists the three key business components of any enterprise mobile app project as rapid development, speed to market, and reasonable cost.

 >> Read full article, “Mobile Backend as a Service is the New Mobile Enterprise App Play”

 

At Mi-Corporation, we wholeheartedly embrace rapid development to reduce time to market and we’re able to achieve rapid development by using Agile methodology. Agile requires that we develop features in short sprints and get customer feedback or product owner feedback frequently. Agile has proven to be so effective that we are now applying it to other parts of our organization including management problem solving and product management.

While low cost licenses are portrayed by competitors as effective, sometimes you get what you pay for. Very often in an enterprise solution, even moderately priced to expensive licenses are indeed the lowest cost part of the solution. For proper solution building, customers require commitments of executive time, internal personnel time and consulting time, all of which are expensive. For strategic, mission-critical mobile solutions incorporating Mi-Corporation’s mobile forms, mobile applications and reporting tools, successful customers recognize the value of these critical investments upfront.

 

>> Learn more about and register for Mobility Summit 2015

>> Meet other Mobility Summit 2015 Speakers

 

 

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Apple Watch: The Details, Speculation and Controversy http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/apple-watch-details-speculation-controversy/ http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/apple-watch-details-speculation-controversy/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 23:07:37 +0000 http://www.mi-corporation.com/?p=13657 The Strategy Apple’s curtain of secrecy on the details of its upcoming products are nothing new to technology pundits. Apple fans have begun to embrace the secrecy and the time leading up to major product reveals as much as the Read More

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apple watch

The Strategy

Apple’s curtain of secrecy on the details of its upcoming products are nothing new to technology pundits. Apple fans have begun to embrace the secrecy and the time leading up to major product reveals as much as the products themselves.

It has become a strategic win for Apple, a way to get its fans excited and the pundits talking so that when the products launch, more people come into stores to see what they’ve already been talking about for a considerable time. Although this behavior is commonplace with its regular iPhone and iPad product launches, Apple’s move into the wearable market has gotten everyone’s attention again.

The Details

Originally announced at WWDC in September of this year, the Apple Watch is the company’s initial entry into the wearable market. This burgeoning market is already occupied by a number of smartwatches, health monitors, pedometers and activity trackers. Other than a handful of renderings and screenshots, the details on the upcoming Watch were scarce. However, Apple achieved a delicate balance of maintaining its cloak of secrecy while providing enough information to get everyone talking and speculating.

Unfortunately for those products already established in the market, people weren’t just talking about the Watch, they were now comparing Fitbits and Pebble Watches to the Apple Watch, not the other way around. Fortunately for everyone though, but possibly these competitors, the momentum has continued this past November when Apple released the WatchKit to its developers. Similar to HomeKit for home automation, or PhotoKit for interacting with a device’s photo library, WatchKit is a set of APIs for developers to develop applications for the Apple Watch.

Through WatchKit and its documentation, more details on the Watch have come to light.

Screen Sizes

  • Small (38mm model): 272 x 340 pixels
  • Large (42mm model): 312 x 390 pixels

Screen Types

apple watch app screen

  • Screen for Apps: The app screen looks exactly as it was shown in September, with many tiny, circular app icons that can be selected to launch native applications.
  • Glance: Provides short tidbits of information that user’s can quickly read in a single ‘glance.’
  • Actionable Notifications: Allows users to respond, go into the app, among other actions.

Not surprising is that the Apple Watch will require and rely heavily on the user’s phone that it is paired with. Users should not expect to play games on the device, but treat it as a notification and app launch pad. As Apple says themselves, the Watch “compliments your iOS app; it does not replace it.”

 

Author:

Chris Becom, Software Developer

 

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Check out the latest addition to Microsoft’s SLG.tv http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/check-latest-addition-microsofts-slg-tv/ http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/check-latest-addition-microsofts-slg-tv/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 04:18:14 +0000 http://www.mi-corporation.com/?p=13601 Microsoft recently launched a new resource for customers in State and Local Government: SLG.tv. SLG.tv is an always-on, on-demand video channel hosted on Microsoft.com featuring videos of interest for customers in state and local government. The videos covering a range Read More

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Microsoft recently launched a new resource for customers in State and Local Government: SLG.tv.

SLG.tv is an always-on, on-demand video channel hosted on Microsoft.com featuring videos of interest for customers in state and local government.

The videos covering a range of topics including:

  • The Microsoft Government Cloud – including Office 365, Microsoft Azure and Dynamics CRM Online
  • Modern applications and solutions designed for state and local government customers focused on health and human services, justice and public safety, finance, and administration
  • Real stories from state and local government customers, including the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the City of Charlotte, and more.

An exciting addition to SLG.tv is this video featuring Gautham Pandiyan explaining how Mi-Corporation’s mobile data capture solutions can help government agencies become more efficient and provide better customer service all while reducing the costs associated with paper forms used in their field data capture processes.

Watch the Microsoft SLG.Tv video featuring the Mi-Corporation impact for Government Agencies here now!

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Scaling Mi-Corporation Applications http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/scaling-mi-corporation-applications/ http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/scaling-mi-corporation-applications/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:39:08 +0000 http://www.mi-corporation.com/?p=13592 Mi-Forms has a well documented history of providing mobile solutions for the enterprise, but just how does it scale? Many of our solutions rely on a single IIS web server and a variable number of mobile devices. In fact a Read More

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Mi-Forms has a well documented history of providing mobile solutions for the enterprise, but just how does it scale? Many of our solutions rely on a single IIS web server and a variable number of mobile devices. In fact a customer can have a single server, or even a VM, that hosts Mi-Forms Server on IIS and SQL Server Express all in one. This provides customers with a quick way to get started, but what happens when the resources that provides are not enough? What if your IT infrastructure requires extra security considerations, or the demand is higher than that?

Recently I was tasked with a very large implementation of the Mi-Forms platform. This customer will have up to 30,000 users and needs to make sure that any platform they adopt is able to deal with the resource load that that scale will bring. The solution we created is far more robust than many would need, but in this case it puts the customer in a great position to deal with growth.

Mi-Forms Server 10 and IIS 7.5 were installed on four identical Windows 2008 R2 servers. Each server has 32 Gb Ram, and 500Gb storage. SQL Server 2012 was installed on two identical servers with similar specifications as the IIS Servers. A Fujitsu load balancer tied the four servers into a single URL, using a sort of cached Round Robin method to deliver traffic. When a user accesses the URL, the load balancer checks to see if there was a server recently accessed by that user, and if it is available it delivers that user to the same server. The SQL Servers are clustered as well, improving the data redundancy. Testing was done that included sending 10,000 sessions at once to the system to make sure it would process everything. Of course sending that many forms to a server at once is extremely unlikely, it is important to be prepared to respond if such a scenario occurs. This test took a couple of hours to complete, but the process was successful where a single server may have become overloaded.

Having all of these resources may seem like overkill, but this solution resolves issues that may be encountered when one server has too much load, or one server fails to respond. The beauty of it is that as their users grow and they find that they need more power, they can simply add more servers into the mix. Large or small, we can provide solutions that fit your organizational needs. And importantly, when small becomes large, we can scale our solutions to suit.

 

~Kevin Burgess, Mi-Corporation Technical Team

 

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Mi-Corporation Nominated for Mobile Star Awards http://www.mi-corporation.com/resources/mi-corporation-nominated-mobile-star-awards/ http://www.mi-corporation.com/resources/mi-corporation-nominated-mobile-star-awards/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 15:11:45 +0000 http://www.mi-corporation.com/?p=13556 Mobile Village’s 13th annual (2014-15) Mobile Star Awards program is the largest hardware and software awards program of its kind. Both industry leaders and cutting-edge startups compete on equal footing for mobile software awards, consumer and enterprise devices awards, success story awards, Read More

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Mobile Village’s 13th annual (2014-15) Mobile Star Awards program is the largest hardware and software awards program of its kind. Both industry leaders and cutting-edge startups compete on equal footing for mobile software awards, consumer and enterprise devices awards, success story awards, and visionary awards.

Mi-Corporation has been nominated in the following four Mobile Enterprise Awards Categories:

Mobile API or Application Development Platform:

Mi-Enterprise Apps is nominated in the Mobile API or Application Development platform category. Mi-Enterprise Apps (MEA) enable you to leverage the mobile revolution with a flexible, robust middleware framework and securely integrate data from your mobile apps into your enterprise database, document imaging, ECM/EDM, and/or other core systems – including ERP, financials/materials management, health information, clinical, and HR suites.

Mobile Data Capture / Database:

Mi-Forms is nominated in the Mobile Data Capture category. With Mi-Forms, you can quickly and easily create e-forms for mobile devices, iPads, tablets, digital pens, and laptops. Packed with features, your e-forms application is interactive and easy to use, and you’ll be able to collect data online & offline. With support for voice recognition, text input, pick lists, time stamps, photo capture, handwriting interpretation, and GPS, you can quickly build a fast, flexible data collection solution tailored to your requirements. Once the data is captured you can securely integrate the data into your enterprise database, document imaging, ECM/EDM, and/or other core systems.

Mobile Field Service:

Mobile Inspection Software is nominated in the Mobile Field Service category.  Mobile Inspection Software by Mi-Corporation (MISM) will allow your field workforce to spend time on what matters, not paper, and enable managers to keep a real-time pulse on their field teams. MISM also provides powerful analysis tools: charting, reporting and dashboarding tools based on industry-standard technology, both on-premise and in the cloud. Managers can visualize results of their field teams’ inspections, export it, approve inspections and understand the KPIs and metrics of their inspectors and take action based on this data.

Success Story Awards Categories: 

The successful implementation of Mi-Forms at Lightower is nominated in the Success Story category. Lightower is the premier, all-fiber provider of custom, high-capacity network services that ensure optimal application and business performance. Lightower has reported that Mi-Forms mobile forms technology has led to more efficient field data collection processes and cost savings of $400 per day. Learn more about this project here.

Let Mobile Star know you think our end-to-end mobile platform which allows you to transform your paper-based field data collection processes to digital processes deserves these awards by voting here. Voting ends December 15th.

 

 

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Judging the Tabby Awards – Business 2014 Contest http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/13514/ http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/13514/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 17:39:47 +0000 http://www.mi-corporation.com/?p=13514 The ‘Tablet economy’ has arrived in full force and has revolutionized all our lives, while creating an estimated 500,000 jobs in the US alone from Tablet app development. From watching Netflix movies on your couch, to starting to modify spreadsheets Read More

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The ‘Tablet economy’ has arrived in full force and has revolutionized all our lives, while creating an estimated 500,000 jobs in the US alone from Tablet app development. From watching Netflix movies on your couch, to starting to modify spreadsheets in an airport, we’ve all seen the impact of Tablets in our personal & professional life. At Mi-Corporation, we’ve been gratified to see the mainstream adoption of this type of technology to streamline processes, after 15 years of working on Tablet projects with various organizations.

I was honored to be invited to judge the Tabby Awards-Business 2014 contest this year, a contest organized by TabTimes, a leading Tablet-focused media publication that has quickly become an authoritative source of information regarding the Tablet market. With 130 submissions from 4 different continents and covering 3 major Tablet operating systems – Windows, iOS and Android – this was a well-sourced, extensive contest with categories such as “Collaboration”, “In-the-Field”, “Education & Training” “Sales” and more. The panel of 20 independent judges was led by Alex Bratton, author of Billion Dollar Apps and CEO & Chief Geek of Lextech Global Services, and co-chaired by Jeff Klaumann, former Head of Samsung Apps US, Samsung Electronics.

Judging this contest, offered me the opportunity to see what sets apart the best-in-class Tablet apps, versus other ones, what types of impacts these apps could have in B2B organizations, and factors for future Tablet app developers to keep in mind. A few items to point out to organizations looking to build best-in-class Tablet apps are:

1)      Make installation/setup easy and seamless: Some of the apps in my portfolio were far easier to setup and install and this made a difference in their perception and usability in my mind as a potential user. While I understand that some apps are deployed through corporate app stores, through MDM packages, and in other controlled ways, a simplified setup process is key as it’s the “First Sight” experience for most users and you want them to fall in “Love at first sight!”

2)      Use Tutorial Screens/Videos: I noticed some of the best app developers used a pop-up or other type of screen to help users with no or little familiarity on how to use their apps, and provide a quick tutorial, coaching and helpful ‘how to’ reference guides. This makes a huge difference as employees flow in and out of organizations and you can never train all of them constantly, all the time, or retrain when they forget how to use features in your app.

3)      Focus on the User-Experience: Storyboard the app experience from the end-user standpoint. Think of their day-to-day work, when they will use this app, under what conditions, and what’s in it for them to get over the initial training curve….imagine some possible frustrations for them, head them off when possible with technological solutions, and offer opportunities for them to provide feedback to the app developers. Our experience at Mi-Corporation, has been that most mobile projects fail due to poor user adoption and 90% of the risk in projects is centered around the users. The best apps certainly seemed to have a great grasp on what their users’ pain points were & hit the nail on the head at making some of these pains go away.

 4)      Setup Integrations to Popular Cloud services: Despite the best intentions of many IT organizations to control or ban access to cloud storage providers like Dropbox, Box.Net etc., most B2B Tablet users will find a way to download some of these apps and use them. Rather than fight the tidal wave, enable users to access these cloud systems from your apps for even easier file sharing, storage etc. Some of the best apps took this open approach with integration points to these types of products.

5)      It’s not just about technology: The best Tablet app developers had extremely prompt, useful and courteous support lines of communication. The best technology is going to have issues. Customers are going to require customization, some system in the background is going to malfunction and hardware is going to go belly up. Having the right “A-team” on board to help support your users and other stakeholders, makes a world of a difference in the success of your project as well.

I enjoyed the judging process for the Tabby Awards-Business 2014 contest, and hope was able to provide valuable feedback to the contestants. I encourage you to review the list of the winners here. Good luck to all Tablet app developers as you continue to supercharge the Tablet economy and provide great value to businesses & consumers!

~ Gautham Pandiyan, Mi-Corporation VP Sales & Marketing

 

PS – as a disclaimer, while my company, Mi-Corporation, was declared a winner in the Windows “In-the-Field” category in this contest, TabTimes took great pains to make sure there was no conflict of interest for any of the judges and I was not involved with this decision at all. I was responsible for judging other categories that Mi-Corporation had not submitted any entries for and where our competitors had not either.

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Bonjour From the 2014 Government Technology Exhibition and Conference (GTEC) http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/bonjour-2014-government-technology-exhibition-conference-gtec/ http://www.mi-corporation.com/blog/bonjour-2014-government-technology-exhibition-conference-gtec/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 04:26:21 +0000 http://www.mi-corporation.com/?p=13494 This past week I had the opportunity to participate in the GTEC conference with our ruggedized mobility partner Motion Computing and over 6,000 other participants to exchange ideas and advance the business of mobile software solutions in the Canadian government. Read More

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This past week I had the opportunity to participate in the GTEC conference with our ruggedized mobility partner Motion Computing and over 6,000 other participants to exchange ideas and advance the business of mobile software solutions in the Canadian government. The conference featured keynote addresses, seminars, panels, workshops, round-table discussions and the exhibitor showcase displayed the most current software, services & devices in the world helping to drive the Canadian public sector forward.

During the two-day event, Scott Ball, Country Manager with Motion Computing displayed and demonstrated their world-class ruggedized device portfolio and I was able to demonstrate how the Mi-Forms field mobility solutions can positively impact an agencies desire to automate old paper-based processes, increase productivity & streamline processes. Though many government attendees let me know they are interested in mobilizing their workforce, budgets and procurement processes are still being fine-tuned as they prepare for the mobile explosion that is about to spread throughout the federal and provincial agencies.

During the open exhibition hours there were some very interesting and compelling technologies along with give-a-ways that were attractive to attendees of all ages. I’m a sucker for a free remote controlled helicopter but my business card was not selected in the “end of show drawing.” Maybe next year!

Click here for a full list of 2014 GTEC exhibitors.

~Ron Saffell, Senior Solutions Executive

 

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