Enterprise-Class Tablets for Enterprise Asset Intelligence

Enterprise-Class Tablets for Enterprise Asset Intelligence

I have written before about how Zebra Technologies Corporation has grown into an IoT supplier through some strategic acquisitions. An integral part of the overall IoT ecosystem is asset intelligence application.

The company has introduced its next-generation ET50 and ET55 tablet computers, which combine the consumer styling with the enterprise-class features necessary to increase workforce productivity. With a choice of the Microsoft Windows 8.1 or Android 5.1 (Lollipop) operating system (OS) and two different display sizes, businesses can choose the modern enterprise-grade tablet that best meets their application needs and technology strategy. This brings enterprise asset intelligence to the mobile worker.


  • Operating Flexibility to Empower Business Applications: The ET50/55 is the first Zebra tablet computer available with the Microsoft Windows 8.1 OS and is Windows 10-ready. Windows gives access to legacy ERP systems and commonality to desktop solutions. The Android version of the ET50/55 tablet computer comes standard with Zebra’s Mobility Extensions (Mx) providing enterprise-class security; device management and data capture capabilities. The Android tablets are also equipped with Zebra’s AppGallery – an Android enterprise app store providing ready-to-use apps.
  • A Business Tool with an Enterprise-Class Accessory Ecosystem: Tablets need the right accessories to make them enterprise-grade productivity tools. New vehicle mount cradles are ideal for service technicians; delivery drivers and salespeople on the road while a forklift mount can handle most warehouse environments. Advanced scanning capabilities are available that can accurately and rapidly capture photos, NFC tags, bar codes in virtually any condition and on practically any surface.   Hot-swappable batteries augment the built-in battery and deliver 24 x 7 power to field service, transportation and logistics, retail, warehouse, manufacturing and government employees.
  • Features Designed for Enterprise Mobile Workforces: The ET50 features Wi-Fi connectivity while the ET55 adds 4G LTE cellular connectivity, and both models offer an advanced capacitive touch display that enables gloved or ungloved usage and the ability to use a stylus or a finger for annotating and capturing signatures. All configurations are designed to MIL-STD specification for drops to concrete and have IP65 sealing.
  • Enterprise-Class Services: Zebra OneCare Essential Services provide device diagnostics and coverage for normal wear and tear as well as accidental damage to internal and external components, significantly reducing unforeseen repair expenses.


Study Finds Manufacturing Industry Ready for Internet of Things

Study Finds Manufacturing Industry Ready for Internet of Things

Jim Hilton-197 percent of survey respondents in the manufacturing industry believe IoT is the most significant technology initiative of the decade.

OK, that is the kind of statistic that grabs the attention of someone who writes extensively about the Industrial Internet of Things. But the statistic also seems counter to other surveys I have seen where most manufacturers seem to be clueless about IoT and what benefits it will bring versus the imagined cost of implementation.

The press release came from Zebra Technologies Corporation. You know, the industrial printer company, right? I remember reselling Zebra printers 20 years ago. The press release led to a conversation with Jim Hilton, senior director, Global Manufacturing Principal, Zebra Technologies.

He came to Zebra by way of Symbol Technologies which had been acquired by Motorola Solutions which was acquired Nov. 1 by Zebra. Yes, it’s far more than a printer company. He describes the company as an IoT company that does printing. However, he also looks at IoT as an over-used term. He’s probably on the right track with that observation.

In November 2014, Zebra released global findings from Forrester Consulting on the adoption of IoT across numerous industries, surveying IT and business decision makers from nearly 600 global firms.

That is the source of the quote leading this post. Other findings include:

  • 83 percent of surveyed manufacturers either already have IoT implementations in place or plans to deploy within a year.
  • Wi-Fi, real-time locating systems (RTLS), security sensors, barcodes, GPS and mobile computers were cited as the most important technologies for enabling IoT solutions.
  • Less than five percent of respondents believe the manufacturing industry is not prepared to make the changes required to implement IoT solutions.
  • Half of the surveyed manufacturers cited cost concerns as the largest barrier to adopting IoT solutions while 46 percent indicated privacy and security concerns along with integration challenges.

Hilton went on to say, “Manufacturing operations are running more efficiently than ever before due to the installation of smart machinery and sensors on connected factory floors driving less machine downtime, better asset utilization and faster time to market. Our survey affirms that Industry 4.0 is well underway but more education and information sharing can be done to increase IoT adoption in the manufacturing space. Zebra Technologies is committed to bridging this gap by enabling a more intuitive manufacturing experience where processes, tools and staff are more deeply and smartly interconnected.”

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