SOTI extends Android Enterprise on Zebra devices

Over the past decade, SOTI and Zebra have had a long partnership working together to meet the enterprise mobility needs of organisations worldwide.

In 2013, Motorola Solutions announced the end of development of their Mobility Services Platforms (MSP) management solution, and selected SOTI MobiControl as the approved EMM solution for their devices. Why? Because SOTI’s industry-leading ability to manage Windows Mobile/CE and Android devices is unmatched; and as Motorola Solutions introduced their first Android devices, SOTI MobiControl naturally was the first EMM solution to support them as their partner of choice, says Shash Anand, vice president, Strategic Alliances at SOTI.

When Motorola Solutions’ Enterprise Business was acquired by Zebra Technologies in 2014, SOTI continued this strong partnership with Zebra—and SOTI MobiControl is still the only EMM solution that Zebra officially resells.

Today, SOTI once again solidifies this decade-long partnership through the release of an update to the SOTI MobiControl Android Enterprise agent that includes support for Zebra management capabilities including:

Provisioning of Mobility Extensions (Mx) to manage Zebra device-specific settings
Over-the-air (OTA) deployment of Zebra operating system (OS) updates
SOTI MobiControl agent persistence when a Zebra device is enterprise reset

For any IT Director/Manager tasked with the responsibility to maintain Android devices across the enterprise, this release is game-changing: it marks the first time any Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution is able to support OS updates and agent persistence on Zebra Android devices managed using Android Enterprise capabilities.

What does this mean for organisations?

Since Google first introduced Android Enterprise (formerly known as Android for Work) in February of 2015 as a framework for standardizing the management of Android devices, it has quickly become the preferred method for many organizations to manage their Android devices.

Android Enterprise’s broad management capabilities, including the ability to separate personal and work data on personally-enabled devices and integration with Google Play services for app distribution, were able to address the majority of the management and security requirements of organizations. But for many organisations, the majority was not enough.

Organizations that rely on business-critical mobility have business-critical line-of-business (LOB) apps running on work devices such as those offered by Zebra. Imagine being a retailer who uses an app on a handheld that scans for prices. What if that app stopped working after an update to the device’s OS? The downtime and loss of business could be significant.

When many of your core business tasks are dependent on mobile technology, the ability to control OS updates and automatically retain management of all devices (some possibly unmanned) after OS updates becomes paramount.

Currently, such capabilities are not available through Android Enterprise. With the latest update to its Android Enterprise agent, SOTI MobiControl becomes the first EMM solution in the industry to bridge this gap on Zebra Android devices.

Which Zebra devices can take advantage of the new enhancements to the SOTI MobiControl Android Enterprise agent?

Most Zebra devices outfitted with Android N or greater running the SOTI MobiControl Android Enterprise agent 13.4, build 1485 or higher will support the new features. The agent is available on Google Play and can be download from SOTI’s OEM downloads page by selecting “Android Enterprise” in the Manufacturer drop-down list.

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Marathon Des Sables extends use of GPS satellite tracking devices

Marathon Des Sables extends use of GPS satellite tracking devices

In some of the toughest sporting events in the world, SPOT Gen3 satellite tracking devices from Globalstar are key to keeping participants safe. 

Over the last three years, some 45 participants in the world-famous endurance race Marathon Des Sables (MDS) have been rescued in the Sahara, thanks to satellite monitoring devices from Globalstar.

It’s hardly surprising that some runners get disoriented or downright exhausted: the full event is the equivalent of six marathons in six days, covering over 250 kilometres of harsh desert terrain, and requires athletes to carry all their essential supplies except for water and a tent. This event, after all, is called ‘the world’s toughest foot race’ for a reason.

Read more: Tour de France to use IoT in digital race for spectators’ attention

On the spot

Now, MDS has announced that not only will it continue to use Globalstar’s SPOT Gen3 GPS satellite tracking devices to track and safeguard runners for a further three years in Morocco, but also on other events that it runs on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands (a three-day, 120km race) and also in Peru.

At each event, MDS officials will use SPOT to monitor the location of athletes and, in the event of an emergency, coordinate support teams, including security and medical vehicles, helicopters and sometimes even a camel.

“SPOT Gen3 has cemented its position as a critical piece of equipment for extreme races in all corners of the world,” said Gavan Murphy, director of marketing for EMEA at Globalstar. “The affordability of the service and lightweight, robust design of the devices makes it an obvious choice when competitors are battling exhaustion and heat in remote regions with limited communications.”

Read more: Harlequins expands use of wearables to improve player performance

Amazon battles

Meanwhile, the SPOT Gen3 devices will also be used for Raid Amazones, the female-only sister events to MDS, in which 140 teams take part in different sporting trials over six days – including a foot race, mountain biking, canoeing, orienteering and archery. Two such events are planned in Cambodia.

The decision by the Raid organisers to introduce the rugged and lightweight Spot satellite trackers will ensure all athletes can stay connected with officials during the event, and, should emergency help be needed, officials will be alerted instantly.

Nicole Ribera of Raid Amazones said the devices were chosen on the basis of their reputation for reliability and reach. “The Amazones taking part in Raids will benefit from SPOT’s accurate tracking and SOS function, while their families and friends around the world can keep up with their progress in real time, online – despite being thousands of miles away.”

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Software AG Acquires Cumulocity and Extends its Internet of Things Technology Leadership

Software AG Acquires Cumulocity and Extends its Internet of Things Technology Leadership

Cumulocity provides a comprehensive IoT cloud platform for integrating networked devices. Software AG now integrates the IT world with IoT devices and Operational Technology. With this acquisition Software AG strengthens its leading position in the IoT market.

Software AG today announced the acquisition of Cumulocity GmbH (“Cumulocity”), based in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Cumulocity develops innovative solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) offering connectivity for networked digital devices and sensors through a cloud-hosted IoT device management and application enablement platform. Embedding Cumulocity’s IoT solutions into Software AG’s portfolio allows enterprises to integrate their IT applications with operational IoT devices – providing maximum ease of use, flexibility and ultimately business value. For Software AG, the acquisition of Cumulocity is a further step in the expansion of its technology leadership in the IoT area, following the successful acquisition of the artificial intelligence company Zementis in December 2016. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Based on a strategic partnership, Software AG embedded Cumulocity’s IoT Cloud Platform into its Digital Business Platform software portfolio two years ago. The combination of the Digital Business Platform and Cumulocity’s Application and Device Management technology reduces the complexity of the Internet of Things and allows the scalable and flexible management of networks of millions of devices. Additionally, enterprises can integrate those IoT edge devices with any existing IT application and deploy other Digital Business Platform software products to those devices.

Karl-Heinz Streibich, Chief Executive Officer, Software AG said:
“The Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 are central growth markets for Software AG and for the entire technology sector.”

“With the acquisition of Cumulocity, we are strengthening our technological market leadership and facilitating our customers’ access to the Internet of Things. They benefit from an expanded, holistic product portfolio that combines the data from physical sensors with innovative, analytical software solutions.”

Bernd Gross, Chief Executive Officer, Cumulocity added:
“The successful cooperation between Software AG and Cumulocity started in 2015 in the context of a strategic IoT partnership – the merger is a next logical step. We are convinced that we will be able to accelerate our success story as part of Software AG. Especially our partners and customers will benefit from the merger of both companies.”

The acquisition of Cumulocity technology completes Software AG’s portfolio of core Internet of Things software services. These are streaming analytics, on-premise, cloud and hybrid – and now IoT device – integration, in-memory technology, dynamic process management and IoT edge device management.

Making full use of Software AG’s portfolio, enterprises can ideally operate at the interface of human and artificial intelligence. Complementary products for the analysis, evaluation and visualization of real-time, historical and predictive data ensure the optimal use of artificial intelligence in decision making processes. Remote monitoring and the control of machines in production diagnostics or in predictive maintenance are exemplary industry areas of application.

In addition to the acquisition of Zementis, Software AG has announced major, strategic IoT or Industry 4.0 alliances with major corporations in recent months including Bosch, Octo, Dell and Huawei.

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