SMBs don’t just operate in offices; they operate on the frontline
SMBs don’t just operate in offices; they operate on the frontline, in challenging environments that are often too much for the capabilities of standard smartphones and tablets. So, if SMBs are to transform their productivity on every front, they’ll need to embrace the latest rugged technology.
Rugged technology isn’t new; it’s actually been around for quite a while, but it’s now very different from its early incarnations. The original ‘rugged’ devices were large and cumbersome, their size exacerbated
by their chunky plastic and rubber protective cases. Functionally, they included the features and applications that users required but were several steps behind the phones and tablets created for regular consumers. And they invariably came with an extortionate price tag.
However, today’s rugged devices are very different, both physically and technologically. Not only are they bringing real efficiency and productivity to the frontline, but they’re also delivering to the bottom line, too. So, how’s it being done?
The new rugged
The latest rugged devices are designed to enable frontline workers to work more flexibly, responsively and accurately—and without the constant need to return to base. For example, a policy of putting more police officers on the street will be swiftly undermined if they regularly have to go back to the station to fill out forms. Physically, rugged devices are stronger and more reliable than standard devices, but they now share the sleek aesthetics normally associated with their consumer counterparts.
Samsung’s rugged devices meet MIL-STD 810G certification¹, meaning they will perform at altitude or when subjected to humidity, immersion, salt fog, dust, and vibration. They can withstand the shock of a 1.2m drop, without any additional casing. This makes them ideal for use in busy, dusty workplaces like factory floors and building sites, and in wet environments, both indoors and out.
They can be recharged quickly and easily, without causing any undesired downtime, with batteries that can be easily swapped out². POGO PINs make it possible to charge multiple devices at once, without the need for cables³.
Many devices now have not only larger screens, but also an ultra-slim bezel. This creates a larger screen to body ratio, providing improved visibility and usability. The displays also have increased touch-sensitivity, enabling them to be operated even when the user is wearing gloves. This makes life considerably easier for workers in challenging environments—hospitals, for example—where such protective gear is mandatory.
In addition to familiar interfaces that will enable frontline workers to get going straight away, rugged devices also include specialist features that empower them to do everything they need, without having to carry multiple devices.
Programmable keys provide short cuts to most frequently used apps while the unique Push-To-Talk function turns devices into walkie-talkies, enabling colleagues to stay in constant touch.
Barcode scanners ensure the smooth capture and transfer of data, while built-in mPOS technology lets workers take payments on the spot⁴.
The dustproof and water-resistant S-Pen⁵ is highly responsive and enables precision input on tablets, even with gloved hands.
Finally, users can switch to DeX mode to use their rugged tablet⁶ like a PC⁷. Because Samsung DeX is optimised for a range of productivity apps like Microsoft 365, users can work seamlessly across multiple applications using the full PC desktop versions.
Get Rugged, get productive
From construction to manufacturing, healthcare to utilities, the latest rugged devices are bringing previously siloed teams together, creating efficiencies, and delivering smarter, quicker communications and workflows. For example:
- Emergency workers can photograph and record incidents, and take statements from witnesses who can electronically sign them there and then. Push-To-Talk and emergency functionality enables workers to send location data or alerts without having to return to their vehicles.
- In construction, digitised drawings and notes can be shared, thus eliminating the need for paperwork and its associated problems. Video-calling enables supervisors, engineers and vendors to collaborate without having to return to the site office.
- In the health sector, rugged devices are revolutionising patient care. With real-time digital access to critical patient records (which, unlike hand-written notes, cannot go missing), medical practitioners can administer treatment fast and make life-saving decisions.
- In manufacturing, rugged devices can be integrated into the production process, capturing and driving operations in real-time. By helping to modernise and streamline production lines, rugged technology can reduce downtime and underpin new efficiencies.
- In the utility sector, field workers need durable and long-lasting mobile technology that can survive the treatment that comes with operating in water-logged tunnels or atop energy pylons. And with their large screens and excellent processing power, rugged tablets can give engineers access to the data and plans they need to carry out surveys and inspections fast.
Ultimately, rugged devices are delivering the reliability that underpins better performance and a higher return on investment. When a 1% increase in device failure rates leads to a 5% increase in the total cost of ownership, small businesses simply can’t afford to work with anything else⁸.
Samsung case study – Hermes
Distribution and logistics company Hermes chose Samsung as a mobility partner because of its agile and rugged devices.
With around 12,500 XCover devices deployed across the Hermes workforce, drivers can scan multiple bar codes at once—which means faster van loading—and couriers can access critical information in real-time, transforming the way Hermes delivers parcels.
“Working with Samsung enables us to truly realise our digital future.” Marcus Hunter – Head of IT Services, Hermes UK
This editorial from Samsung highlights the productivity issues that SMBs face and reveals how embracing new technologies will help them to thrive in an increasingly fast-paced and competitive business environment.
- When tested on a flat surface, without its protective casing can withstand a drop of up to 1.2m. Drop test results meet MIL-STD 810G standard.
- Additional battery sold separately.
- POGO Charging Dock sold separately.
- Additional software required to take payments directly on a device.
- S Pen can only be used on the Tab Active Pro and Tab Active2.
- Only available on the Tab Active Pro.
- Not all applications support full desktop versions
- Panasonic Business, Consumer vs rugged: Why rugged offers more bang for your buck