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Start Planning Now for the End of Windows Mobile and CE Support

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Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Windows CE operating systems have delivered powerful benefits by mobile-enabling many enterprises. But with both facing the end of Microsoft support in January 2020, savvy retailers are embracing the opportunity to modernize their mobile strategies as they select new operating systems.

Instead of simply old porting code to a new environment, retailers have the opportunity to reimagine their mobile applications to boost productivity, efficiency and accuracy by taking advantage of the dramatic advancements in mobile operating systems, technologies and device capabilities.

But migrating mobile apps is not without its risks, from time and cost over-runs, to business disruption to integration failures. Expert, experienced project planning goes a long way to minimizing issues and ensuring retailers develop and execute an optimal mobile migration process.

Embracing the Advancements

A lot has changed in mobile since many devices running Windows Mobile and Windows CE were first deployed. The runaway success of consumer-grade phones has spawned advancements in intuitive user interfaces and an array of mobile operating systems. Android, in particular, has matured into an enterprise-ready platform, and technologies including beacons, sensors, NFC and GPS have opened up exciting new capabilities to help retailers get closer to customers.

But moving from an array of disparate retail, supply chain and corporate mobile applications to a well-thought-out portfolio of souped-up, modern apps requires thorough assessment and planning. Rather than simply porting applications, retailers need to start with business goals to ensure the applications are taking full advantage of what is now possible. Designing a great user experience is paramount for successful adoption. Both require comprehensive project planning that starts with thorough requirements discussions with end users.

Retailers can now choose between Android, Windows 8 and 10, and iOS – and may find they need different platforms for different use cases. One important best practice is to design applications to be operating system agnostic, so they can more easily move from one platform to another as technology continues to evolve.

Getting the Details Right

The good news is that migrating applications to a new OS is much less arduous than it used to be, thanks to new utilities and technologies. There are many approaches and tools, and it’s important to understand the implications of each one. Green screen and terminal emulation apps, for example, pose different challenges than native or web apps.

Some applications will port over well, while others may need to be rewritten or replaced. It’s important to take a comprehensive approach, avoiding the trap of focusing too much on critical apps and ignoring lesser apps. Some apps have unexpected dependencies on other apps, and some workflows may have dependencies on multiple apps. Understanding these is key to avoiding poor user experiences, such as the need to carry two devices.

Because of the depth and complexity of fully scoping, planning and executing migration off of Windows Mobile and Windows CE, smart retailers are outsourcing these projects to experts such as those at Level 10. 

Contact us today to get started. 

Get Started with Level 10