As Malcom Turnbull declares doubts about the commercially viability of the NBN, many others claim high speed mobile networks to be the answer. And while many call for protection from high speed mobile networks bringing massive downloads speeds, others profess the consistency of fixed line to deliver a superior service over mobile while highlighting the potential health affects of 5G.
But where does this leave your business?
To answer this question, we need to look at this more closely, without all the hype, and we need to make a careful distinction between connectivity and functionality.
To understand the impact high speed mobile networks like 5G may have, all we have to do is look back at 4G. Many of the functions now available on the smart phone would have be unthinkable without 4G speeds and volume. Things like Voice Over the Internet VOIP and interactive map reading have all became mainstream. Looking ahead to 5G, the biggest impact is said to be the reduction in latency, from an estimated 60 milliseconds to 1 millisecond. Think of this in the context of IoT, connected devices and machine learning. What if driver-less cars could anticipate a crash, engaging the collision avoidance mechanism 60 times as fast.
So the world is changing and these high speed mobile networks will deliver new functionality, increasing reactions and responsiveness of just about anything.
But will your business be able to leverage the benefit of this enhanced platform?
Lets not forget that Ultra-high reliable communication and improved capacity are some of the major requirements of the 5th generation (5G) mobile and wireless networks. Achieving this means avoiding radio link failures and the service interruptions that occurs during the failures and their re-establishment. 5G millimetre waves can transfer heaps of data at very high speeds, but they don't travel as far as the lower-frequency waves used in 4G networks. High-frequency millimetre waves also have difficulty getting around walls, buildings, and other obstacles. When the 5G networks are built, the carriers will have to use more antennas, way more, to get the same coverage as our current networks.
This means carriers have to upgrade and roll out their massive infrastructures fist……… Secondly 5G brings with it new antennas, new devices, and new applications to fully support categories like driverless cars, virtual reality and connected drones.
So where does this leave you……….
Firstly you may for the foreseeable future need to deal with patchy network coverage. Finding a mobility solution that supports uninterrupted working is still a must for most businesses especially those operating in remote regions. This will ensure a smooth transition between areas of coverage and no coverage and will keep your workforce productive during outages. This is easier said than done. An app alone cannot deliver uninterrupted work, and an app alone is not future proof.
Native application build will get you someway there in terms of the app working offline, but for it to be meaningful to your business, its data that you need when you need it, and finding a solution that can manage that is not always straight forward. Secondly whatever solution you invest in needs to be future proof. Having the capability to quickly build and change new applications that will run on new devices, device firmware, operating system versions is a must. By controlling these aspects of mobility, your business will not only have access to the enterprise data it needs when required, but also the flexibility to keep those apps future proof.
Clinton Schroeder October 2017 TOKN
I am still constantly amazed at the number of companies I meet, where the device has lost the battle to software.
In an age where data collection , consolidation and visualisation is happening faster than John Napiers’ exponential equations could have predicted it would, CIO’s are fixed on the software, the software who sells it, what it does, who else uses it ………..rather than does it or will it work for me and my people. Now I’m not saying that these are unimportant questions to have answered, but in a world where we have over 24 000 different smart android devices alone, which is set to explode as we enter an age of digital devices and applications, we need to consider the whole picture, and we cannot be slave to the software anymore.
UI/ UX discussions, wireframes and workshops all rage and buzz words of the day , are becoming an increasingly dominant part of the modern technology /IT function and rightly so . A new career choice and the of the software solutions journey of discovery, we must have a UX/UI design , team and strategy ….. but have we missed something ? Are we simply following the sheep in front, marching to yet another the Software vendors marketing script.
“I invented the term because I thought human interface and usability were too narrow. I wanted to cover all aspects of the person's experience with the system including industrial design graphics, the interface, the physical interaction and the manual. Since then the term has spread widely, so much so that it is starting to lose its meaning” — Donald Norman
To truly critically evaluate and the user experience, we have to ask and answer some difficult questions. Some of those might isolate us from the crowd and make people feel uncomfortable. Some might even make your boss uncomfortable. Lets face it not many of us enjoy doing that , for some else’s user experience ……… But yet if we don’t, we simply can’t create the kind of stepchange and innovation required to make a difference. We need to critically examine and evaluate all element of the experience.
“Ah…. We cant use that device as the software wont run on it……….” Really?
Don’t you love seeing the little icons on the vendors web site PC, Tablet , smart phone , along with the words “ Any device “ next to it .What you find out when you dig a little deeper is that the software will run on a PC, Tablet and smart phone……. as long as its from a particular vendor and runs a specific operating systems and firmware. As we move from an age where the “provisioned device” ceases to exit due to cost, complexity, scalability and plain preference reasons, the demand for agnostic software solutions becomes critical.
The future …. Connected devices wont have time to wait for software vendors to remove barriers. Digital applications will transcend the debate around whether it should be native and web based, and they will just be.
The race between who can connect to what has begun, and will require tools and methods that are unconstrained by vendor/software paradigms. I'm not saying ” build it yourself " , far from it . But what I am saying is that we need to be more aware the problem we are trying to solve and even more critical of the tools we select to help solve them.
Clinton Schroeder August 2017
Many companies who use SAP as their ERP system will soon be on the road to an upgrade to the HANA database, that is if they are not already on that journey or possibly even having completed it. We are fortunate enough to already have our software tested and confirmed to work using HANA with no additional configuration/setup to be done. One of our customers has already done an upgrade to HANA and have already been using the TOKN mobility platform to perform their usual tasks exactly the same manner as before with no changes required at all.
The biggest impact so far that I have experienced with a switch to HANA is the sequencing of the records being returned from a database selection. An oracle database would first sequence the records returned from the database in some fashion before returning that recordset to the ABAP code which requested it. In the HANA database that does not happen by default, so if your ABAP code is not specifying the order that you want the records in, you will get them in any sequence as they are returned from the database.
This consideration turned out to not even be a consideration for TOKN because the records returned from SAP are seamlessly transferred to our connected mobile devices and those records (if required) can then be sequenced in the mobile app without needing to change any of the code on SAP. This saves money because you then don't need additional ABAP development changes which can be expensive and can also be subject to specific window periods of change. This assists our customers in a smooth transition with the solution just continuing to work, even in the face of a rather big change on the SAP environment.
The TOKN platform then also benefits from the added performance improvements which come with HANA to extract the data required from SAP even faster than before.
Talk to us for more information or visit our site at www.tokn.com.au. The site will be undergoing some major changes as we work toward building our profile and getting our message as clear as we can make it.