Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WMS in the Cloud: The Power of the Mobile Device, Often Ignored

By Dan Villanueva
Vice President, Marketing
Vangard Voice Systems

The excitement, projections, and growth anticipation about enterprise cloud computing in general and WMS-in-the-Cloud specifically, in time will be an absolute game changer for the SMB marketplace. It’s a no-brainer, once the SMB market, not typically risk takers, are satisfied that it can entrust their business to this evolving distribution model.

Few doubt this value in the model or and all hope that this innovation 'evens the playing field' for all customers.

However, the ‘Rodney Dangerfield’ of cloud-computing’s future is the role of the mobile device in this proposition. It’s not always just about ‘the cloud’ per se. It’s also about the increasing power of today’s mobile devices. So significant, the ruggedized mobile computer can also function as the ‘mobile server’ driving the all the on-board data access and data collection capabilities to support a diverse mobile workforce.

Our recent partnership with BellHawk Systems Corporation exemplifies how sophisticated manufacturing, industrial and retail supply chain applications can be cloud-deployed to devices operating a web-browser, or alternately as a .Net application. The .Net application can operate in a wireless and un-wired store-for-forward environment. When bandwidth is available, the flexibility allows the updating of back-end data bases and other associated applications.

This mobile paradigm continues to reassert itself with our device-centric, server-less voice solution for existing mobile applications. Because of mobile innovation we offer ‘voice made easy'. All of yesterdays complexity, simplified on today’s mobile platform.

The upside of wireless mobility and mobile voice deployments remains its lower cost to buy, apply and maintain compared to server-based and dependent implementations. PLUS it offers the flexibility to deploy over the cloud. And we owe this architectural alternative to the power of the ruggedized mobile computer, the new server, in a mobile world.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Enterprises Report Frustration with Outdated ‘Pioneering’ WMS Voice Technology

by Dan Villanueva

It was no surprise to us when a recent research report was published indicating that enterprises using older ‘pioneering’ voice technologies in their DCs were disappointed with both the costs and complexity of their existing (server-based) WMS Voice implementations. The report indicated the WMS voice users were using outdated rigid architectures, incapable of keeping up with rapidly changing business processes.

The survey indicated that because of the lack of flexibility and the substantial change management costs related to their existing WMS voice solution, that when business processes changed:

• 42% said ‘we batch a number of changes together to justify the time and money’, or;

• unbelievably, 37% said ‘we don’t consider [voice] changes because the cost to have the vendor modify the [WMS] application is just too high.

Three Steps Backwards

Imagine that. Voice productivity is all about optimizing your workforce, streamlining business processes and remaining competitive. Now, enterprises are ‘taking three steps backwards’.
They either delay voice productivity upgrades to their WMS until they can afford it, or avoid them all together. Why, because 1990’s voice technology, simply can’t keep up with today’s fluid distribution processes. Again, we're not surprised by the results of the survey. And our customers…they know better.

Innovation changes everything. Discover how mobile voice innovation can be a game changer in your distribution system.