Getting ready for a big mobile device deployment

Who do you engage for mobile device deployment when you’re one of Australia’s largest logistics providers, at a critical expansion phase, coming into the busiest time of the year, needing 2000 new rugged mobile devices deployed fast?

On top of handling large device numbers in short time frames, an experienced hardware partner—who can proficiently manage the entire process without business disruptions—will prove vital to your success.

An established partnership between this national logistics provider and Leopard Systems allowed an innovative hardware solution to be delivered nationwide in record time, achieving their enterprise mobility objectives during peak season.

Yet some companies, without an enterprise mobility solution partner, buy devices that sit idle in warehouses for months…if not years…instead of getting their mobile devices rapidly deployed.

Therefore, we ventured behind the scenes of this unique large-scale enterprise mobility rollout – to highlight the value of partnering with an expert team; from initial hardware advice, through to a fully-functioning nationwide mobility fleet solution.

 

We spoke with Leopard Systems’ Operations Manager, Ben Green, and Systems Engineering Manager, Chris DeLeon, to find out how this important project was successfully delivered by the Leopard team.

Know-how from the start

 

It begins with meeting with the national logistics company to discuss exactly what they need, their equipment options and the project investment.

In short, the project required 2000 new rugged mobile devices for two autonomous business divisions. Additionally, there was a requirement for 3200 charging cradles and as many matching charger cables for the new devices along with the retrofit of 1200 vehicles already in the field.

Applying our deep knowledge of vendor hardware products, extended warranties, connected hardware services and other necessary requirements, Leopard Systems carefully scoped the project and presented the best possible contract and plan to the client. Every effort was made to meet the client’s enterprise mobility requirements, and ensure they had adequate services to address any technical issues and manage updates in the future.

Satisfied with the terms, the client approved Leopard’s proposal. Almost immediately, the equipment was ordered from overseas. The four to six weeks to ship the new equipment to Leopard’s Melbourne distribution and service centre was sufficient time to plan the deployment and prepare the software.

A plan for success

In collaboration with our client, Leopard Systems mapped out all contingencies, process steps, timelines and requirements of the project in detail.

The team determined the necessary services, how the new devices were to be processed through Leopard’s distribution and service centre, what software and peripherals (i.e. cables, sim cards, cradles) were needed, how the devices were to be shipped, where they needed to go, what cables needed to be customised, and so on.

“By scheduling and prioritising everything, we got well organised during the lag time. That’s the key to achieving a rapid large-scale rollout like this one. We know the final delivery date and work back from that providing for all contingencies to ensure we meet our client’s terms”, said Ben.

Such detailed planning reduces unforeseen risks and errors, and ensures a smooth, rapid deployment. In short, every device will reach its designated end-user, ready to go.

Robust software for rugged devices

Concurrently with the planning, the Systems Engineering team managed the production of the final software image for the new devices.

Leveraging Leopard’s proprietary automation technology, the Systems Engineering team compiled all the client’s important software components, device settings, network parameters and system configurations, to create a ‘staging image’ for the new devices prior to rollout.

 

Mobile devices in the staging area for testing

“Our role is highly technical. Although it’s a seemingly simple and efficient process for the client, behind the scenes all our expertise and experience come into play. We’ve been doing this since Leopard began; our technical knowledge guarantees a successful large solution rollout”, said Chris.

Every device detail and software setting were considered. Extra components were included in the staging image to allow future software fixes and updates to be handled remotely via Leopard’s Mobile Device Management (MDM) service. With Leopard’s ongoing support, this fleet of devices will have minimal field errors and negligible downtime.

Software gets the green light

Following the preparatory work, the staging image was put onto several test devices and sent to the client for thorough User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

A strict sign-off process ensures the client is 100% happy with how the software works on an actual device after full testing in their day-to-day operations. Once final client approval is provided, the exact software version is given the green light to be installed on all the devices.

“The new software must be completely tested by the client. The last thing we want is to send out 2000 devices with an error on it, and get 2000 complaints in return! Thankfully, the UAT devices and our approval process prevent this from happening, saving all parties a lot of headaches and concern…”, Ben commented.

All hands on-deck to unpack & process

When 27 pallets of hardware stock arrived at Leopard’s secure storage warehouse, the physical set-up of each device began in earnest. The distribution team unwrapped 20 boxes per pallet, then unpacked 10 devices from each box. Each device was tested for function and loaded.

Using Leopard’s exclusive staging process—installing mobility software, rapidly and accurately, for hundreds of devices per day—the client-approved software image was transferred onto 2000 new devices.

Additionally, an asset number was added to each device at this step, to ensure our client could easily track and manage individual devices in their new fleet.

 

Mobile devices are received, prepped to the customers requirements and then wrapped up ready for delivery direct to the fleets.

And, off they go!

After Leopard’s fast software staging and efficient cable modifications, which was completed in under two weeks, the deployment of this new mobility hardware solution to the field was rapid. Every device, cradle and cable were systematically inspected, tested and checked off before being repacked into boxes for rapid deployment from Leopard’s distribution centre.

Consequently, the client quickly harnessed more business revenue because they could respond to the needs of their market effectively and efficiently with the new hardware solution.

Getting cables ready to go for a mobile device deployment
Getting cables ready to go for a mobile device deployment
Cabling for a mobile device update and deployment

Deploying a box of value

Buying best-fit hardware devices is a key component to a successful enterprise mobility solution. In addition, the software, operating system and correct setting configurations to install are important, as are the technical support staff and in-house expertise to manage a largescale deployment and ongoing device services.

Fortunately, Leopard Systems have over 25+ years’ experience with the roll out and management of large mobility projects – just like this one.  Leopard’s tried-and-tested systems and processes along with the highly skilled and knowledgeable staff, work together to guarantee a successful deployment that’s fast and efficient.

As you’ve discovered, Leopard Systems don’t just ship you a box. They deliver a device that’s packed with value, ready to switch on and work in the field from the moment the box arrives.

 

 

If your company is facing a challenge to get your enterprise mobility solution off the ground, or you need to hasten your device deployment, speak to Australia’s largest enterprise mobility solution provider, Leopard Systems today.