We’re proud to announce that Cognito iQ Mobile, our intelligent mobile workforce management application is available for the first time through the Google Enterprise Play Store. This is an exciting development as our customers can enable their employees to use their own personal mobiles at work, rather than have an additional device provided by the company.
It is becoming increasingly common for companies in all industries to adopt a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) strategy; Forrester Research says more than half of North American and European companies are developing BYOD programs in response to workforce demand. In one study, 42 percent of small business owners said that employees in all departments have asked to use their personal devices for business.
There is growing demand for BYOD amongst field service companies too and, in particular, amongst customers in the courier and retail logistics industries. There are two key reasons for this. The first is that these companies typically work with a proportion of self-employed drivers and couriers, making it expensive to provide each one with a mobile device, together with the associated costs of device maintenance, support and replacement.
The second reason is the cyclical nature of these industries. They experience an annual business-critical peak period during which they need to increase the delivery workforce. In December 2017, our customer Hermes delivered up to 60 percent more parcels each day than at any other time of year, by adding 3,000 extra vehicles and drivers to their existing fleet of 10,000. Providing each of these with a mobile device for this short period presents a huge challenge and can result in a shortage of devices, meaning that temporary staff are unable to work.
A BYOD strategy makes sense for both businesses and their employees. Workers gain in terms of familiarity and flexibility, as they are able to manage their personal and work lives on the same device. Businesses gain in terms of increased productivity, reduced costs, and improved employee engagement. In research carried out by Cisco workers in the UK were found to save 51 minutes per week, on average, using BYOD. The same study showed that companies can save $350 per worker, per year, rising to $1650 in firms with a fully comprehensive BYOD strategy.
By making Cognito iQ Mobile available in the Enterprise Play Store, we are enabling our customers to access these benefits for their mobile workers. We’ve also worked hard to address any concerns that customers may have. As end-users install the software without the support of an IT department, we’ve carried out extensive quality assurance and device testing and enhanced our automatic error diagnostics, so that we can proactively monitor and address any issues as they arise.
So far, we’ve rolled out our BYOD app to one customer as a trial, and they have successfully tested it across a large variety of devices. We are proud to have created an enormously powerful product enhancement that opens up a number of new opportunities. For example, because barcode scanning is a particularly important function for electronic proof of delivery, we’ve included a third party application that offers some advanced capabilities in this area. Future enhancements include exploring augmented reality capabilities that enable faster sorting and identification of parcels. For now, BYOD is a reality for Cognito iQ Mobile, and one that we are able to offer to new and existing customers.