Following the decision to replace its ‘consumer grade’ PDAs, Aspire Housing has signed a three-year contract with Spirit Data Capture for the provision of Motorola MC65 rugged PDAs as a managed service alongside MobiControl software for device management and helpdesk support.
Aspire’s previous PDAs had insufficient battery life for a complete working day and weren’t tough enough; if they were dropped, they tended to disintegrate.
Debbie Simpson, system development administrator, Aspire Housing, said, “Before moving to the Motorola devices and the support from Spirit, most of my working days were spent resolving issues or returning broken devices back to the manufacturer. On average, I would return at least one each week – the process was very frustrating and time-consuming. We needed an economical way of upgrading our hardware from consumer-level devices to a more professional and fully robust model that would give us some technical continuity and stability.
“We also wanted a fully-managed service for the new PDAs. This included a solution that would allow remote access to the devices for problem solving while the operative is still in the field, and remote upgrades of our mobile application. Basically, we didn’t want to know if there was a problem – we just wanted a supplier that could sort out any issues for us.”
Spirit supplied Aspire with Motorola enterprise digital assistant (EDA) devices, rated IP-64 for protection against solids and water ingress, running the Windows 6.5 Professional operating system. Spirit’s managed service includes its MobiControl device management system alongside a continuous technology refreshment programme. The contract also includes a first-line helpdesk service and end-user training.
Simpson said, “The MobiControl software has enabled us to roll out software much more easily. Under the old system, I had to call in all 60 operatives, clear down their PDAs and reinstall the software via an SD card.”
The new Motorola devices are now being used for logging jobs on Aspire’s housing management system, scheduling and assigning them, and for receiving and completing works orders which are then sent back to the housing management system.
Simpson says: “I used to manage our mobile assets on a spreadsheet but trying to maintain it with the amount of swap-outs I had to deal with was very difficult. All asset management is now maintained and updated regularly by Spirit.”
Spirit also maintains a buffer stock so that any exchange EDAs can be shipped immediately to Aspire, with new devices typically delivered by 10am the next day.