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Blog: Check Engine Light: Avoiding disaster in enterprise mobile

by | Aug 23, 2018 | Managing Mobility

A much-needed “Check Engine Light” for mobile devices.

The famous quote, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, came to mind recently as our European Sales Director found his car smoking and about to burst into flames.

He knew days ago the Check Engine Light was on and intended to get to the garage for a full check-up.  But he, like the rest of us, had become somewhat convinced that most of the time, this light is a benign indicator of something that can wait.  Sadly, this was not the time.

The evolution of the “Idiot Light” (and our trained response)

The concept of the Check Engine Light was first introduced into vehicles as an indicator of serious trouble with the engine (low oil pressure, overheating, etc.) and was quickly nicknamed an “idiot” light since it flagged imminent breakdown if not properly serviced.

Overtime, however, the simple light made it to the marketing department, where it was enhanced with a myriad of features and renamed the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL).

Like many products over the years, vehicle owners quickly realized that a lit indicator did not always mean imminent failure. In fact, it would often illuminate when the vehicle’s odometer reached a threshold to alert to recommended maintenance.  This “you need to come to your dealership and spend good money with me” quickly retrained vehicle owners to roll the dice each time the light came on – sometimes with good results, but often with not.

Today of course, this entire system is a gold mine of data for mechanics and even DIY car owners who can quickly tap into the data behind the light to accurately diagnose and repair problems – hopefully before they become critical.

We need a “Check Engine Light” to avoid downtime in enterprise mobility

The analogy for B2M customers is clear.  B2M’s Elemez mobile analytics offering is a proverbial “Check Engine Light” or “Malfunction Indicator Lamp” for mobile.  It’s a solution critical for those running enterprise mobility today who typically are running blind to issues as they occur and only manifest themselves through an increase in trouble-tickets, angry users and executives who wonder why mobility is not delivering on the promises made for its use.

In virtually every enterprise customer in the world today, mobile devices in the hands of their workers has shifted from a “nice to have”, to a mission-critical use of technology, which can disrupt the business if it breaks down.

Salespeople in a retail environment are using mobile to interact with customers in-store for purchases, inventory look-up, and even returns / exchanges.  Field workers use mobile to route to their next job sites, complete work orders and even upsell customers to additional needed services or features.   Pilots in airplanes have mobile devices in the cockpit covering all aspects for flight as part of their Electronic Flight Bag.  The list goes on and on.

Where 10 years ago there were few mission-critical mobile applications running in the enterprise, today it’s rare to find mobile applications not deemed critical to the business.  Downtime in mobility equates to lost revenue, increased costs, dissatisfied customers, fines and in extreme cases a loss of employment for those in charge.

Yet as pointed out in our post “Is ensuring mobile availability a weak point in today’s enterprise?”, while enterprises have long held a “5 Nines” mentality for the critical need to keep voice and data networks up and running for employees, they have historically not had the ability to do the same for enterprise mobility.

Those in charge of mobility in the enterprise, need a simple-to-use, easy-to-understand mobile and wireless analytics tool that gets under the proverbial hood of mobile devices to signal when things are not quite right with performance, and offer the needed insights and tools to quickly diagnose and fix the problem before a complete breakdown of mobility occurs.

This is B2M’s Elemez product line, already installed on over 1M devices around the globe and processing over 1.6 billion mobile events monthly to isolate and highlight the performance of each device.  With Elemez, enterprise customers and managed service providers finally have a real-time view into the health of mobility and the tools they need to keep mobility up and running 7x24x365.

Examples include:

  • Battery health and the ability to spot in real-time devices that are about to fail, or have quickly degraded in their ability to hold a charge for an entire shift for a worker.
  • Mobile application usage and performance, including the ability to spot applications responsible for high battery discharge and other performance areas outside of normal behavior.
  • Disruptions such as reboots (system, user-initiated) and other disrupting events which can signal something amiss in their health of that device versus normal behavior, and lead to troubleshooting using a wealth of data available through Elemez.
  • Connectivity and overall data usage to spot any regularly-recurring incidents or devices which for some reason are using an abnormally high amount of data which could signify additional trouble or misuse.
  • Utilization of mobility, to easily spot high, low and no usage of devices in the field which can warrant additional troubleshooting.
  • And many more features in development to provide a real-time view across all mobile devices and their current state.

With Elemez, mobility managers finally have the tools they need for real-time views and diagnosis of their mobile devices, apps and users.  And with this, the ability to quickly isolate any problems related to application upgrades, battery degradation and other issues which left unchecked can lead to an increase in downtime not acceptable today in a world of mission-critical mobile.

To learn more, get in touch!

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