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Spirit news – December 2018

Can you hear the rustling of wrapping paper in the distance, or some mind-numbing supermarket musak? Yes, it’s that time of the year again – Christmas. And as usual, the retail outlets went into overdrive some weeks ago. But before you start the chore of writing all those cards (if you haven’t already!), why not spend a few minutes catching up on the latest news in the mobile enterprise sector? As always, our newsletter is packed with snippets of information, news and articles relating to the use of handheld devices and the streamlining of supply chain processes. And while you’re browsing through it, you might even find something that could help your company this Christmas…

So, happy reading and we hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2019!

In this issue, you can find the following articles:

Industry news and views

  • Spirit wins MSH award!
  • Government trials of barcode scanners in local elections
  • Google could boost High Street sales
  • Beware the dangers of free VPN…

Industry trends and new releases

  • You wear it well…
  • Keep on track with RFID
  • Elo, Elo, Elo, what’s all this about?
  • The versatile Getac K120

Recent reports and guides

  • Getac creates mobile technology infographic

That’s the Spirit!

  • Spirit’s Christmas closing times
  • The new SOTI ONE platform
  • Data destruction and IT recycling
  • Recent Spirit case studies
  • In the spotlight: Geoff Littler

We hope you enjoy reading this newsletter. If you would like more information on any of the items below, please call us on 01928 718800 or send an email to: helen.jones@spiritdatacapture.co.uk.

Industry news and views

Spirit wins MSH award!

Spirit was one of the winning companies in the first-ever Managed Services and Hosting (MSH) awards in London in September. We received a Highly Commended award in the ‘Best Enterprise MSP Project’ category. The reward was a recognition of the unique range of managed service packages that we’ve developed to meet different business needs.

Ebbie Khadem, Spirit’s Managing Director, said: “Being Highly Commended is a reflection of the experience, expertise and skills of our personnel, and they all fully deserve this recognition. We’ve developed an exciting range of managed services for our clients and we are continuing to enhance these and to add to them.”

Government trials of barcode scanners in local elections

A recent article in PublicTechnology.net focuses on yet another new potential use of barcode scanners – for checking the identities of voters in local elections from barcodes printed on the polling cards. The system is still under trial, with a total of 11 councils across the country due to take part in further pilot trials during the 2019 local elections.

Other ID options being considered include photo identification; a mixture of photographic and non-photographic identification methods; and traditional paper polling cards. The trials are part of a government initiative to enhance the security of the UK’s election processes.

Google could boost High Street sales

Google has joined forces with a young company, NearSt, to provide Internet search facilities that will tell customers what products they can buy from their local shops. This could help to ease the pressure on High Street premises that have been feeling the pinch in recent years due to increasing numbers of people shopping online.

The new technology connects with the retailer’s point-of-sale system so that people can use their smartphones to see what items a specific shop sells, along with the price. The concept has been trialled in London and will now be fed out to High Streets across the UK. This could help to dispel a little gloom next Christmas for shops – although even now, online purchases in the UK only account for 18% of all retail sales.

Beware the dangers of free VPN…

A recent report in The Register suggests that many popular, free virtual private network (VPN) apps originate from China and have sub-standard security and privacy policies. Nearly 60% of all free VPNs are either backed by or based in China, and are provided by companies who go to great lengths to hide their identity.

VPNs have become popular as they obscure the user’s true public address. Someone from a different country could come to the UK and use a VPN to make it appear that they are based here (and vice versa). However, unscrupulous companies can insert adverts and dubious downloads into unsecured pages.

Industry trends and new releases

You wear it well…

The initial buzz about wearables might now have worn off but these small devices can prove to be indispensable. This is especially true in environments such as a warehouse, where they can give warehouse operatives a greater freedom, as they enable them to have their hands free to carry out other tasks, such as picking up parcels.

Wearables come in various shapes, sizes and styles but we focus on those that will be particularly useful for business purposes. Products available from our eShop include the Dolphin 75e wearable computer and 8670 ring scanner from Honeywell; a range of different wearable computers and ring scanners from Zebra; the RS-2006 ring scanner from Opticon; and the new Unitech WD100 wearable rugged 4” computer, which offers powerful data collection features.

Keep on track with RFID

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) identifies products by using radio waves to read the data in RFID tags. Different standards allow tags to be read from varying distances. This technology is particularly useful in the retail sector, as tags can be incorporated into higher-priced products so that they can be tracked throughout their lifecycle. The data can be used for pricing and warranty information and even for recycling.

Although RFID was hailed as the successor to barcodes, it can take years to implement an entire RFID system. However, we can help with its implementation, and we offer RFID devices from several leading manufacturers – most notably, rugged personal digital assistants (PDAs) from Cipherlab, Honeywell and M3.

More new product releases have arrived recently. Here are a couple – please get in touch with us if you’d like more information:

Elo, Elo, Elo, what’s all this about?

Have you heard of Elo yet? Elo is a global leader in touchscreen solutions and interactive signage displays. The company actually invented the touchscreen over 40 years ago and now provides the world’s largest choice of touchscreen displays and computers. Its products are designed in California and have been installed in over 20 million retail and hospitality outlets around the globe.

Elo’s products come with a standard three-year warranty. You can find details of the Elo E-Series and X-Series of touchscreen computers on our eShop – or just give us a call if you’d like to know more.

The versatile Getac K120

The Getac K120 is a new, fully rugged tablet with a 12.5” LumiBond® display that uses Getac’s Sunlight Readable technology and a capacitive touchscreen. It runs on Windows 10 Pro and has an eighth generation Intel® Core™ i7/i5 processor. It also boasts LifeSupport™ battery swappable technology.

This new tablet is very versatile and comes with a range of options. For instance, its enhanced security options include Intel vPro; a Windows Hello Face authentication camera; and multi-factor authentication. It also offers multi-mode usage and an extensive selection of accessories. Contact us now to find out more.

Recent reports and guides

Getac creates mobile technology infographic

Getac has created a fascinating infographic that’s based on recent research by Gartner: ‘Top 10 technologies that are defining the future of mobility’. The research “helps infrastructure and operations leaders prioritise the mobile technologies that will have a major impact on their organisations”.

The top of the list of technologies is mobile security, a topic that Gartner identifies as ‘foundational’, but which directly affects all of our mobile interactions. The second item on the list is mobile application development tools, which are opening up new possibilities for the future. You can access the Getac infographic here.

That’s the Spirit!

Spirit’s Christmas closing times

Please note that our office will be closed from 5pm on Friday 21st December and will re-open at 9:00am on Weds 2nd January 2019. We look forward to doing business with you again in 2019!

The new SOTI ONE platform

SOTI has launched an exciting suite of integrated mobility solutions called SOTI ONE, which is now available from Spirit. The solutions it contains are designed to make business mobility smarter, faster and more reliable. The end results are lower costs, less complexity and less downtime.

The new platform will include SOTI’s MobiControl enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution; Assist, a purpose-built helpdesk for identifying and resolving mobile device and application issues; Snap, a solution that makes mobile app development, deployment and management quicker and easier; and Central, an online community for all SOTI partners and customers. Give us a call to find out more!

Data destruction and IT recycling

Spirit has developed a great working relationship with J Brand, a company with whom we collaborate on Wifi installations and other services. We are now delighted to say that we can offer comprehensive data destruction and IT recycling services in conjunction with Canopus Solutions, a J Brand subsidiary.

With the recent introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this is a particularly useful service for companies of all sizes. We can collect, track, itemise and process all of your redundant IT equipment and mobile hardware. We can erase all data and provide you with certification of its destruction. In accordance with our responsibilities under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive, we can also re-use or recycle items if appropriate.

Recent Spirit case studies

A recent case study involved Winterhalter:

Winterhalter is a leading supplier of commercial glass and dishwashing solutions. The company has a nationwide network of repair and maintenance technicians and needed to equip them with more powerful, reliable and accurate handheld devices. In conjunction with Getac, we configured and installed Getac V110 rugged tablets. We also provided SOTI’s MobiControl, which the company is using to manage its estate of Android mobile phones. Both solutions are already saving Winterhalter a significant amount of time, trouble and money.

To read this case study in more detail, please click here.

In the spotlight – Geoff Littler

Geoff Littler joined Spirit in 2008 as our Technical Support Manager, responsible for our IT and repair centre. Five years ago, he became the Technical Sales Manager, with responsibility for supporting large mobile projects.

Geoff has a comprehensive understanding of all areas of the supply chain. He loves working with customers and advising them on the best solutions to meet their specific business requirements. In his spare time, Geoff enjoys yoga.

For more information or advice, give us a quick call on 01928 718800. If you need to find out which products have reached their end of life, go to our eShop , scroll down to the bottom, and under ‘Advice & Support’, click on ‘End of Life products’.