Thanks @intel for tweeting this. It has been fun looking at the #firstcomputer tweets. Motion’s very first tablet was released in 2001 – the M1200
. From the beginning, Motion tablets were built for business. Our founders saw the need to support the growing mobile workforce with a tool that would enhance their productivity – and they delivered a truly innovative solution. Over the years, we’ve made it our business to understand your business. We’ve added vertical expertise in healthcare, retail and field service and expanded our offerings to deliver a holistic mobile solution that includes peripherals, wireless services and software. We are proud of the progress we have made in the past 12 years and honored to be a part of solutions like this one with Graphium Health
. Just for fun, we asked a few folks here at Motion about their first computer.
Richard Van Buren, Motion’s Creative Services Senior Manager got his first computer in 1991. The AES (Austin Electronic Salvage) 486 computer with 4 MB RAM.
Our Alliance Partner Specialist, Sarah Granger was given a Dell desktop computer system in 2004.
Debra Dresser, our Sr. Director of Operations, started early. Her family got one of the first PCs in 1985 – the Apple IIC.
Britton K. Cronin
By Motion’s Retail Expert Bob Ashenbrenner
It’s always interesting to hear what your peers are doing…especially when it comes to ever-evolving technology. We decided to help retailers find out what their peers are doing with mobile technology. Working with Retail TouchPoints, we put together and distributed a survey. The infographic (PDF) displays some of the key findings. Particularly interesting to us is that 61% plan to keep the same software when going mobile. It makes sense - keeping the same software means reduced implementation and training costs. Costs that according to a recent VDC report often add up to being greater than an upfront investment in mobile solutions that support current systems. Learn more about the survey findings in this Whitepaper (PDF) called "Integrating Mobile Across All Touch Points"
With all of the excitement of Social Media and Digital Marketing, there have been a lot of articles and commentary lately about the demise of the 4P model. For those that don’t know or need a refresher, the 4P model stands for Product, Pricing, Placement, and Promotion. A good, simple overview of the 4P model is presented on the NetMBA site
Ogilvy and Mather published an article about the 4Ps being out and the 4Es being in. While I agree with the value of the 4E model as an extension or addition to the 4Ps (I have this as required reading in the undergraduate digital marketing course that I teach), it does not replace the 4P model.
There have been numerous attempts to EXTEND the 4P model over time. There have also been arguments about what constitutes the main P’s with some arguing that People should be added (for customer segmentation).
Some argue that the 4Ps have been replaced by the 7Cs. An alternative way of thinking about this is that the 4Ps approach the marketing mix from the vendor/producer viewpoint while the 7Cs approach marketing mix from the Customer/Consumer standpoint. I think that this is another model that goes deeper and is complimentary to the 4P model.
As a way of highlighting the continuing importance of the 4P model, I point to the recent issues in the marketplace around Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet launch as a way of showing how critical the 4Ps really are to successful marketing. Regardless of your personal viewpoint (Pro or Con) regarding the Surface RT platform, the product has had a challenging launch and ramp by any objective measure and it can be clearly tracked back to three of the four P’s.
From a Product standpoint, the Surface RT has had strong positive reviews for it’s industrial design but has also had negative responses to it’s lack of available apps and inability to run legacy Windows applications.
From a Pricing standpoint, there has been strong pushback from reviewers on the initial pricing for the Surface RT. While there have been pros and cons about the Surface RT pricing and price positioning (with and without keyboards), the fact that it is raised as a value concern in various reviews shows that Pricing and price-positioning is an important part of the marketing mix.
Finally, Placement has been a major issue as the product was initially available only in Microsoft’s stores and online. There was some commentary early on in the announcements that this was a point product for Microsoft and would not be available through broad distribution as a way to minimize competitive conflict with Windows 8 OEMS but that has proven to be an issue for the product’s acceptance in the marketplace.
From a Promotion standpoint, Microsoft has done a good job of building Awareness. Using the 4P model it is possible to see clearly the challenges that they have in driving Consideration and, most importantly, Conversion.
While there is always value in extending models and creating complimentary models, the claims that the 4Ps are irrelevant are questionable at best. Like good brands, good models stand the test of time.
Founder, Motion Computing
See blog at http://techbizfutures.wordpress.com/
One of my favorite parts about working at Motion is getting to see how the products are being used. I’ve been amazed at the broad range of environments and industries that our products have ended up in over the years. These experiences have taught me not to be too narrow in my thinking when developing new products and solutions. Of course it’s always great to have a clearly defined target user (construction worker, retail sales associate, nurse, etc.), but it’s also important not to make decisions that needlessly exclude other potential users. Here are a few examples that have surprised me over the years:
> Helicopter power line inspection
Symbion Power is the leading aerial inspector of power line systems throughout the United Kingdom. For the past 22 years they have been at the forefront of technology adoption which aids them in conducting more efficient inspections.
Symbion Power specializes in overhead line inspections for the electricity supply industry and provides aerial surveys using the very latest technology in thermal imaging and corona discharge cameras, coupled together with an extensive range of visual patrols from air to ground. Prior to deploying Motion tablets, Symbion Power was using a paper-based system to conduct aerial assessments with maps and handwritten notes to detail inspection results, which was later manually transcribed into a spreadsheet. By deploying Motion Computing Tablet PCs, they were able to improve both their efficiency in the air and quality of data collection with advanced inspection applications, digitized maps and improved GPS software all at their reach.
I’m not even sure what he was doing, but we got an unbelievably beautiful picture of Tibetan monk overlooking a Himalayan valley while using a Motion Tablet PC.
> Snow resort
As the southern hemisphere’s largest snow resort, with 3,075 skiable acres and 72 lift gates at 30 locations, Perisher has the highest terrain, the greatest number of lifts and the most reliable snow in Australia. Perisher’s management team implemented a paperless ticketing system and Motion Tablet PC-based mobile computing solution to provide the more than 700,000 yearly skiers with even more efficient service and enhance the overall resort experience.
> Hot Air Balloon
Out of Australia, a hot air balloon company uses a Motion Tablet PC for GPS and mapping during flights!
> Sound Technician
Kings of Texas swing, Asleep at the Wheel, are a famed western-swing, boogie-woogie and roots-music outfit that’s been on the upswing for nearly 40 years, turning out an incredible 25+ albums while playing an unrelenting schedule of one-nighters that would make a vaudevillian dizzy. The band prides itself on continuous reinvention, exploring new avenues and sounds; however, they don’t ever have to worry about ensuring premium audio quality for all members of the audience thanks to sound technician Jim Finney and his Motion J3500 Tablet PC, which he uses for mobile audio mixing.
> Swiss Air Rescue
It is Rega’s mission to provide medical help from the skies directly to the scene of an accident, around the clock. Regardless of whether it is an avalanche, a traffic or forest accident or someone has to be rescued from a glacier crevasse, Rega is always prepared to come to the rescue. The extensive documents necessary for each flight are now always up to date and available on the Motion Tablet PCs. The work process is now electronic, which significantly reduces manually-intensive paperwork. Data can now be accessed quickly and easily, even when the helicopters are in flight.
In addition to being very interesting, all of these unexpected uses have provided some great insights, including:
- Removable batteries that are small enough to fit in a coat pocket, which keeps them warm when outside in the winter for improved battery life
- Rugged stylus for when a regular one just won’t withstand the extreme environment
- Rapid scan settings which allow the barcode scanner to read multiple codes in a 10 second period
- Removable magnetic stripe readers for at-need credit card transactions
- Quick release vehicle mounts that make it easy to grab and go
Each of these product features resulted from customers using our products in ways we didn’t initially expect. By listening carefully to their requests, we came up with solutions that were attractive to a much broader audience.
Different industries often have similar workflow requirements even though the specifics tasks may be very different. Over time, we’ve found that the defining attributes of a workflow (entering data while standing or walking, working outside, gathering large amounts of data, working out of a vehicle, etc.) are more important than the SIC code of a company.
In 2009 the research team at the Deloitte Center for the Edge, led by John Hagel III, introduced a concept they titled ‘The Big Shift”. Their research showed that competition was changing rapidly on a global basis and the current way of doing business was fundamentally broken. They showed that return on assets (ROA) for public companies had declined by 75% since 19651. They stated that The Big Shift “represents the convergence of long-term trends, playing out over decades, that are fundamentally reshaping the business landscape.” A major trend that is reshaping the competitive landscape is around two powerful changes in the business world; digital infrastructure and knowledge flows.
The digital infrastructure is an interesting, well-known phenomena and I may cover this in a future blog post. The more fundamental and critical shift is the change in knowledge flows. Companies that can acquire information, interpret it, and take action faster than the competition may have significant competitive advantages. In the new paradigm knowledge is an asset that should be nurtured, managed, and protected just like inventory, distribution networks, or cash.
What does this really mean from a tactical standpoint? There is interesting research that breaks down information processing in a business context in a very meaningful way and provides a hierarchy of information management that can enhance knowledge creation and management in their organizations (Sinkula, James M, 1994)2.
The research breaks down the information processing to four key stages:
Information Acquisition – how and where does the organization get the necessary information;
Information Distribution – sharing information appropriately and in a timely way to facilitate action;
Information Interpretation (and resultant actions) – reviewing the information, drawing appropriate conclusions, and acting on the conclusions;
Organizational Memory – storing the information and the processes around the acquisition, distribution, and interpretation to enable consistent refreshing over time.
These four steps are inter-connected and absolutely critical in driving time-sensitive decisions that are fact-based, effective, and optimized for success.
If you subscribe to the Deloitte theory that Knowledge Flow is an asset to an organization then becoming world class at the first three stages is critical for competitive success. The Organizational Memory component is critical for long-term value creation.
Each of these four stages are worthy of their own overviews and over the next few weeks I will be posting more about each of these areas. I’d be interested in any questions or feedback on the above.
- Hagel, J., Seely Brown, J., and Davidson, Shaping Strategy in a World of Constant Disruption, Harvard Business Review, Oct. 2008.
- Sinkula, J. M., Market Information Processing and Organizational Learning, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 58, January 1994, p 35-45
Founder, Motion Computing
See blog at http://techbizfutures.wordpress.com/
Motion participated in the music portion of Austin’s SXSW for the third time this year. I am continually amazed at the success of SXSW and the diverse crowd it brings to Austin.
This is an interesting event for us from a sponsorship perspective. It’s not about marketing to our customer base; it’s about being part of the Austin community and supporting a local event that has grown to be the largest of its kind – in the world.
We have a tradition of sponsoring the Ray Benson Birthday Bash, kicking off the music festival. The event accomplishes two things that are deeply rooted in Austin culture. First, it provides a platform for up-and-coming artists that Ray, and his band Asleep at the Wheel (AATW), want to support by giving them a stage to show off their talents. Second, it supports the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM), a non-profit organization with a mission to provide access to affordable health care for Austin’s musician community. This year we were able to show off a great new video that features AATW’s sound technician, Jim Finney, using Motion Tablet PCs to optimize the sound experience for all members of the audience.
On a completely different note, we also supported the annual Heart of Texas Rockfest. Free to the public, Rockfest showcased over 120 bands during a four day period. With an estimated attendance of over 10,000, it’s a great way for Motion to help promote SXSW music. This year, Motion’s chairman and founder, David Altounian, went to the show to see his son Aaron‘s band Yayo perform. And as luck would have it, Motion events manager Jo Lynn Smith’s daughter, and an Austin paramedic, snapped a pick of our sponsorship banner while she was on her shift keeping event goers safe.
This is a really great time of year for us, and we’re thrilled to be a part of an event that has become a launching pad for such start-ups as Foursquare and Twitter. With a dedicated focus on driving technology forward, it sets the stage for what we see in technology throughout the rest of the year. This doesn’t even count the enligthening social media event I attended sponsored by WCG, which I plan to cover in my next post.
Mary Anne Gunn
Director, Corporate Communications
This is Motion’s 10th year at HIMSS and my fifth. Healthcare continues to be an important vertical market for us, so I’m always excited to attend this show. What am I looking forward to discussing this year? Here is a list of my top five in no particular order:
- How fast is the industry moving to support mobile data? In Jeff Rowe’s article, “HIMSS12 helps health IT professionals manage ‘relentless pace of change,’” he notes how HIMSS Board Chair, Charlene Underwood explained that attendees will have access to a broad range of thought-leader sessions to find out directly where the industry is headed, and HIMSS is placing special focus on mobile health, among other topics. For example, mHIMSS, a recently launched HIMSS initiative, will be featured at both the week-long Interoperability Showcase and in the new-this-year Knowledge Centers.
- Are tablets affecting nurse and physician mobility differently? Are nurses using tablets more to run existing applications with intensive data collection and input or are tablets being used by physicians whose primary focus is consuming data?
- How are healthcare IT departments coping with BYOD or more simply, doctors with iPads? This has been a very hot topic since HIMSS 2011. Healthcare IT professionals seem to be embracing the fact that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Patient data needs to be available across a variety of form factors (phones, tablets, desktops), applications and operating systems. In the same HIMSS article that I referenced in the first bullet, Dr. Holly Miller, vice-chair of the HIMSS Board of Directors, noted that, “One of the things that’s going to be a game changer from the point of view of doctors is the ability to have EHR systems interoperable, so that discreet data can be integrated from one system to another.” This emerging capability, she added, “will be especially important when a patient is transitioning across care environments, such as being transferred from one facility to another, or referred from a primary care physician to a specialist for consultation.”
- Where is the money going? Healthcare priorities can change significantly from year to year, and HIMSS helps us get a sense of healthcare providers’ current budget priorities. Is it storage, improving compliance or supporting mobility? If healthcare providers don’t have a budget by the time they get to HIMSS, the odds are it isn’t going to happen in 2012.
- What do my peers think? HIMSS is a great chance for me to spend some time learning about the future of healthcare IT through in-depth conversations with customers, ISVs and hardware providers who are truly driving changes in the industry.
Mobility is coming to retail in 2012. As one large retailer recently told me at NRF, “Last year we talked about mobile, this year we are implementing it.” Almost every other booth had a mobile solution of one type or another. These solutions ranged from simple mobile shopping apps for smartphones to very ambitious integrated solutions involving tablets, smartphones and smart displays.
One thing that stood out was the uncertainty around how to handle mobile payments. There was everything from a wide range of dongles and sleds that attach magnetic stripe readers (MSRs) to tablets via a USB port, to more integrated approaches, such as our CL900 SlateMate™ that securely integrates an MSR and barcode scanner into the tablet’s internal frame.
We also received a lot of interest in a handheld multi-format device from VeriFone that handles credit cards, debit cards, chip & pin and near field communication (NFC). When used in conjunction with Motion® tablets, this device creates a rich, point-of-sale (POS) experience that can include high-quality photos, video and sound along with up-to-the-minute information regarding inventory and special offers. With real-time access to product information and availability via the tablets, consumers can make more informed selections and then, using the VeriFone device, can privately input their payment information to complete the transaction. This is particularly attractive for Europay, MasterCard and VISA (EMV), NFC or debit card transactions, where the customer needs to interface directly with the payment device in order to complete the transaction.
Virtual dressing rooms
Kinect is going to be a game changer for retail. Microsoft® was demonstrating a very simple application that allowed users to virtually try on clothing by projecting their image on a large screen and overlaying images of the clothing. Imagine uploading a picture of your future wedding reception to see how your dress will look in a specific location or trying on snowboarding gear while playing Shaun White’s latest game on the Xbox 360.
Data mining encourages customization
Retailers are obsessed with learning as much as possible about their customers and using that information to present them with customized offers. The show floor was packed with software companies claiming to be able to bring all of the divergent streams of customer data together in one easy-to-digest sales tool. Ideally, this data will end up on a tablet in a sales associate’s hand. There were also many companies promoting cameras and smart displays that can track where people are clustering in the store and what products they are gravitating toward. This will help retailers do a better job of merchandising, staffing and creating the ultimate in-store experience.
It’s clear to me that mobile POS tools are going to be adopted by a wide range of retailers this year, and these implementations will be as varied as the retailers they support. The common factor is a desire for increased customer satisfaction, improved revenue and higher employee productivity.
Without fail, the question comes up every year. In an interesting post on Digital Trends, Rob Enderle questions whether the largest consumer electronics tradeshow is even relevant any more. After just returning from CES, I’m skeptical that the mega, horizontally-focused tradeshow is going to last much longer. These types of tradeshows often become victims of their own success and so massive that they collapse under their own weight. While they definitely gather together the latest cutting-edge technologies, the exhibition halls are so immense that it becomes increasingly hard to navigate and fit in all you want to see as well as be seen.
For exhibitors, tradeshows cost a lot of money if you want to do them right, and the return on investment isn’t always obvious. The arguments against tradeshows are pretty straightforward and are all generally variants of:
- Information travels so quickly now that there are only a couple hours between what you see under non-disclosure and what you can read on Engadget.
- Shows have become so big that smaller vendors are often overshadowed, and attendees have a harder time finding the cool new things they are looking for.
- There are much more efficient ways to generate higher quality leads.
- Tradeshows are just excuses for parties for vendors, customers and press.
While all of these criticisms are valid, and I’ve certainly been to some memorable tradeshow parties over the years, I still think tradeshows can play an important role in a marketing plan. Tradeshows help Motion in three key areas:
Brand awareness and credibility
|Because of Motion’s focus on vertical markets, horizontal marketing isn’t a big focus for us. As a result, decision makers may not be as aware of our brand as we need them to be. A well-designed booth at an industry-specific tradeshow (NRF, DistribuTECH, HIMSS) really helps us build credibility in a specific market (retail, utilities, healthcare). We also partner with key software providers in order to build and demonstrate our credibility in and commitment to that market. It’s always rewarding to have someone come into our booth and say, “I saw your product in my software provider’s booth, and they said I should come talk to you.”
Enhancing our partnerships and market understanding
Industry-specific tradeshows are a great place for us to meet other companies that are focused on the same market in order to cultivate partnerships. Over the years, a number of Motion’s most effective marketing programs and collaborations have started with a discussion at a tradeshow. In addition, it’s a great place to meet with potential resellers and get a real-time view of how our competitors are positioning their products. We almost always come back from a major tradeshow with new ideas about how to better market our products and services.
Good sales leads
Traditionally, this is the driving force behind tradeshow attendance, and it remains the primary driver for us as well. The biggest challenge is separating the free t-shirt hunters and people looking for continuing education credits from the legitimate buyers. Again, our strategy revolves around focusing on industry-specific tradeshows rather than horizontally-focused ones. We never use contract workers to staff our booths; it‘s always a Motion employee or a trained reseller partner. As a result, we are able to have more in-depth conversations and are quite often able to leave with a number of very well-qualified opportunities.
We strive to make our events’ budget as impactful as possible, which includes taking advantage of every marketing opportunity available, such as:
- Pre-show mailings
- Virtual events and webinars affiliated with the show
- Speaking opportunities for us, our partners and customers
- Advertising in the event guide or magazine
- Lead nurturing programs for every lead we capture
- Post show mailings to the attendee list
Even in this era of social media and marketing automation, I know Motion will continue to invest and focus on industry-specific tradeshows. It’s a cliché to say that people do business with people they like, but there is a lot of truth to it as well. Most relationships need occasional face-to-face interaction, and tradeshows are a great way to renew existing relationships as well as develop new ones.
2011 was a huge year for tablets and saw a multitude of both consumer and business-focused devices hit the market, and 2012 is sure to be no different. With more tablets to choose from than ever before, it’s essential for businesses to examine their workflows and find a solution that truly fits their environment, not the other way around. In other words, do not let technology drive your workflows.
Unfortunately, for some time now, technology has been dictating our workflows. For example, in a hospital setting, a 100 lbs. cart may be essential during a full round of medication administration. However, during one-off or single medication administration, it means extra work for the nurse who has haul along the entire cart because the barcode scanner is attached, creating unnecessary, physically-demanding and time-consuming work.
In a retail environment, a sales associate may use a tablet to show a customer different products, a handheld barcode scanner to check inventory or a magnetic stripe reader attached to a smartphone to process transactions. Each device is another piece of equipment for the sales associate to carry around, meaning they don’t have the flexibility of fewer devices to manage, and the process becomes more time-consuming and less efficient and mobile.
No one is happier than we are that businesses are getting excited about tablets, but it’s essential that before they jump on the bandwagon, they really educate themselves on the different types out there and find a solution that works best with the workflow it’s being incorporated into. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work; instead, many businesses need custom-fit solutions that are specifically designed for their environments and powerful enough to support their unique workflows.