Making Mobile Work: Getting Deployment Right

05 Jul 2016

Making Mobile Work: Getting Deployment Right

Avoiding Common Pitfalls is Key to Successful Retail Rollout

Getting mobile devices into the hands of store associates and managers — as fast as possible — has been a major priority for retail IT departments, as consumers declared loud and clear that these are table stakes for stores worthy of their business.

According to the RIS News' 2016 Retail Technology Study, providing mobile devices for associates/managers is a top 10 strategy for 2016, garnering 42% of top-10 tech votes. Nearly half of retail respondents have started or plan to start a deployment. About the same percentage report a planned or initiated mobile POS deployment. Advancing mobile commerce capabilities and advancing mobile/store enterprise capabilities are two of the top 10 major retailer strategies over the next 18 months.

But as the minority of retailers with mobile deployments already in place have discovered, there is a steep learning curve to achieving and maintaining a successful mobile deployment. In addition to the typical challenges associated with any mass rollout, mobile adds new dimensions that magnify the difficulty. These include:

  1. Addressing wireless network vulnerability. To accommodate a massive step up in demand, retailers often need to upgrade wireless networks to be much more robust and reliable. No matter how great the app design or elegant the interface, if the connectivity is poor, the mobile solution is seen as broken. We see many retailers underestimate the importance of investing in a highly secure wireless network that will withstand their loftiest bandwidth need projections — and then some.
  2. Selecting and configuring MDM/EMM. Retailers expressed early and emphatically a desire for the consumer-grade devices that customers confer with being modern and on trend. Mobile Device Management/Enterprise Mobility Management applications shifted quickly to accommodate these new devices and operating systems and are a critical part of a successful rollout. “Mobile expansion cannot occur without operational integrity and reliability, which is achieved, in part, through the use of enterprise mobility management (EMM) suites,” according to Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites, June 2016. But selecting and configuring these powerful tools — particularly in the short time frames demanded by today’s mobile projects — is a complex task that benefits from experienced hands.
  3. Planning and executing rollout and support of huge numbers of devices. Retailers commonly fail to anticipate the unexpected costs and scope of a rollout, which impacts the ROI as well. Unlike most store equipment projects, mobile deployments can mean issuing hundreds of devices a day. Getting it right starts with smart product selection and extends all the way through training and support — which often requires responding to help desk demand as much as 30% higher than for fixed devices.Even deployed retailers often continue to experience common pitfalls that prevent them from gaining the full benefits of mobile.

Robust assessment and planning is key to getting a large scale mobile rollout right and correcting issues with current deployments. To help retailers learn more, Level 10 is sponsoring a webinar in partnership with RIS News. The webinar, titled “The Mobile Boom Gets Real Using an In-Store Checklist,” will be offered on Thursday, July 14 at 2pm Eastern time. The 45-minute session, presented by John Pruban, president of Level 10, and moderated by Joe Skorupa, editorial director of RIS News, shows retailers how to proactively plan a mobile rollout or upgrade in a proven way that minimizes risks and ensures success.

Analysts call mobile the glue that holds omnichannel retailing together. So getting mobile rollouts right is imperative for retailers seeking a path forward in today’s fast-evolving retail climate. Register today to learn how to avoid mobile rollout pitfalls and ensure success.