How many mobile devices is too many mobile devices?
For Aaron Barthle, vice president of IT at Morning Pointe Senior Living, the answer was clear: The facility’s associates were switching between so many devices they might as well have added “juggling” to their resumes.
The 23-year-old company, based in Ooltewah, Tenn., owns 32 senior care communities spread across Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, all dedicated to assisted living, personal care and Alzheimer’s memory care.
“The role of technology in how we provide services to residents has continued to evolve over the years,” says Barthle. And by 2018, the technology that staff was using was becoming a burden.
“Going into a senior living community, you would notice that our care staff would be holding a number of devices: a two-way radio for communication throughout the community, a nurse-call pager and, in many cases, a cordless phone,” Barthle says. “To have a care individual who’s roaming the building and juggling two or three different devices became a problem we wanted to solve.”
Morning Pointe tried replacing the range of devices with consumer-grade smartphones, to no avail.
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Eventually, it discovered the Zebra Technologies TC20 mobile computer, a do-it-all device capable of replacing the radios, pagers and phones that staff relied on. The TC20, seen above, is roughly the size of a smartphone, but is far more rugged and durable.
“By using applications and enterprise mobility management software, we’re able to present the care staff with a single device that is industrial-grade and uses wireless internet,” says Barthle.
The launch meant evaluating the wireless infrastructure within each individual community. Barthle found that Cisco Meraki, which Morning Pointe uses for wireless infrastructure and network backbone, was up to the task.
SMBs Have Started Adopting Enterprise Mobility Management
Organizations are increasingly adopting enterprise mobility management solutions as they realize that the native security and management controls of individual mobile devices are inadequate in many business settings.
“EMM solution providers recognize that the trend is toward increasing complexity when it comes to employees and their mobile devices,” explains Jeanine Sterling, Frost & Sullivan’s mobile and wireless communications industry director.
While EMM vendors have typically targeted large enterprises in highly regulated industries, Sterling sees a burgeoning move toward capturing small and midsized businesses.
“The tiered nature of most EMM suites does allow smaller businesses to opt for more limited support and capabilities,” she says. “There are some excellent, affordable first-tier solutions that can meet their needs.”