June 22nd, 2016 is the official End of Service day to MSP - legacy Motorola's MDM system. Customers who are still using this system cannot expect any updates or patches or even telephone or e-mail support from Zebra. Frankly, I think that MSP is a pity because for managing Windows CE / Windows Mobile device, it was - and still is - a great tool. I therefore intend to provide continued support on MSP, of course. However, for the future, particularly with a view to new types of devices and new operating systems, I would encourage customers to consider migrating to a new MDM tool like SOTI MobiControl.
Soti released MobiControl version 13.0. From the perspective of entriprose class MDM the most important change is the new way of working with software packages. Packages are not any more installed via Deployment Rules, but using profiles where you can specify not only the order of installation, but also a version of package used. Versions of packages in the profiles may be changed later without having to first remove the required profile and then re-create. From my point of view, this was a pain of the previous MobiControl versions.
Among other enhancements coming with MobiControl version 13 we can list the support of Android for Work, Windows 10 (Azure MDM enrollment), greater management capabilities on Sony devices (Certificate Management, Root Detection, Disable Cellular and NFC functionality) and improvement to the Self-Service Portal (SPP) . SPP allows end users to manage their mobile devices individually via a dedicated web interface and locate, lock, message or wipe devices if lost or stolen.
Zebra Technologies released recently a new enterprise Android based touch computer - TC8000.
TC8000 main features:
Standard (1 GB RAM / 4 GB Flash) and Premium (1 GB RAM / 8 GB Flash) models
Processor Qualcomm 8060, 1.7 GHz
WVGA 4“ capacitive display
No physical keyboard
Multiple 2.4 m drop to concrete resistance
Powerfull 6700 mAh battery – withstands up to 3 shifts
Android KitKat 4.4.3 with proprietary Zebra Mx extension
Pre-installed and pre-licensed All Touch Terminal Emulation client (=Wavelink Velocity)
WorkForce Connect PTT Express and SimulScan
Integrated 1D or 2D bar code reader, 2D reader can be optionally standard or medium-range imager
2D reader models feature a proximity sensor for automated triggering
Micro SD card slot
Premium TC8000 models feature more memory, a gyroscope, digital compass, color camera, and NFC reader for fast and easy tap-to-pair connections to Bluetooth accessories such as printers and scanners.
The TC8000 Series is not intended as Symbol MC92N0 replacement. The TC8000 is positioned above the MC9XXX in the premium hand held product category and is sold alongside the MC9XXX. There are no plans to incorporate a Windows version of the TC8000 or Long Range Laser (Lorax). However, a new Long Range Imager version will become available in Q2, 2016.There also will be a condensation resistant variant available for the TC8000 at the end of Q1, 2016. Accessories include batteries, one, four and five slot cradles, USB cabel and wired headset cables. Multi-slot cradles with optional mounting accessories may be installed into 19“ IT racks or on a wall.
Zebra and Wavelink see the main potential of TC8000 on any enterprise applications of All-Touch terminal emulation (ATTE, Wavelink Velocity).
The top specification and robustness of the TC8000 corresponds with quite high price of the product.
Recently, Wavelink released the first version of their new terminal emulation software called Wavelink Velocity for mobile devices running Android Jelly Bean and KitKat. Velocity fully leverages multitouch displays by taking the text-based information from the host system and converting it automatically into an intuitive mobile experience that is easy to navigate and use. For the first year of sales Wavelink has an exclusive agreement with Zebra that this software will be offered only for Zebra / Symbol mobile devices.
Like the legacy Wavelink TE client Wavelink Velocity also supports session persistence via Wavelink ConnectPro, license management via Wavelink License Emulation server etc. Speakeasy voice technology is not yet supported, but it is planned for the future.
The same software is also available through the Zebra channels as All-Touch Client. The product will be supported on the following Android devices: MC32xx, MC40, MC67, TC55, TC70, TC75 and ET1.
The original web client Wavelink Velocity allowing the web session persistence was renamed to Wavelink VelocityCE.
In August 2015 Zebra released the next version of their Wi-NG 5 wireless platform - labeled 5.8. Let's introduce the news associated with it.
Zebra NSight - Network Visualization, Monitoring, Reporting and Troubleshooting
Visualizing network statistics and events - Simplified and unified network views based on user’s role. 20+ configurable widgets to view various trend charts and graphs on the network and user stats : utilization, bandwidth, client count and client mix, RF health/utilization, application visibility/usage by client/WLAN/AP/summary, etc.
Custom live updating dashboards for every role
Live troubleshooting tools — packet capture, wireless debug logs, TCP/IP ping and traceroute
Interactive floor maps with support for heat maps and the ability to visualize the RF attributes and identify issues / problems areas
Real-time and historic trend analysis to simplify network growth planning
Guest Access / Captive Portal Enhancements
Guest Self Registration
Device registration with (optional) one-time-password
User registration with email/mobile number as user identity
Passcode notification over Email and/or SMS
Customizable registration forms (name, email, mobile, member, location, age, custom, and more)
Opt-out option for guests
Social Authentication – Facebook and Google
Mobile friendly web portal with template customization (color, banner, preview)
External success URL
Analytics and capacity up to 2M user identity (storage/analytics supported on the platforms: NX-95XX, NX-96XX, VX-9000 and NX-75XX)
Application Visibility and Control
The Deep-Packet-Inspection engine on the Access Point such as 802.11ac AP (AP-7532, AP-7522, AP-7562) and on the Controllers (NX-5500, NX-7500, NX-9500, NX-9600), provides visibility and control over layer-7 applications right at the edge.
Facilitates detecting and classifying applications with support for dynamic signatures and the IT admins can leverage the application context to create effective rules to fine-tune access to the wireless network, providing service differentiation and network capacity planning.
Mobile Extension Enhancements
Coverage Hole Detection - Client Assisted Diagnostics enhancement that uses 802.11k standards and adds Zebra specific Wi-NG Extensions to provide report on potential wireless infrastructure issues. Works with Zebra Android devices MC18, MC40 and MC92N0
Assisted Roaming - Enhanced roaming for sticky clients with 802.11v standards support. Works with any client device that supports 802.11v.
Scan Assist and Fast BSS transition - Wi-NG Extensions to 802.11k and 802.11r standards to support faster scanning over DFS channels and fast roaming. Works only with Zebra Android devices MC18, MC40 and MC92N0.
Centralized EX3500 Management
Centralized EX-3500 Ethernet switch management from the NX and VX platforms
Adoption, provisioning and monitoring of EX-3500 switches along side WiNG APs for unified view of the network
Network feature enhancements
EAP Termination - Adds support to terminate EAP session on a Proxy RADIUS server and allow authentication on the external RADIUS for flexible deployment.
Increase max VLANs per WLAN - Increases the number of VLANs in a pool from 16 to 32 to support high density deployments
Traffic Shaping - Adds support for traffic shaping that can be applied to any locally bridged or tunneled traffic (both wired and wireless) through the device.
Provides secure wireless connectivity to multiple devices without wireless interface.
Supported on the AP-6522 and AP-6562 platforms
Centralized T5 Management Enhancements
Additional monitoring and provisioning from the central NX/VX platforms including range command for the DSL ports, scheduled reload, VLAN override by RF domain, and show commands – show wireless clients, show MAC table
Zebrahas launched aportfolio ofcheapWi-Fi products,collectively called as Wi-NG Express.This is aseries of802.11n and 802.11ac access points, one physicaland one virtualcontroller. Controllersare calledWi-NG ExpressManager. Accesspointsare based on the existing typesAP-6511, AP-6521, AP-6522, AP6562, AP-7502 andAP-7522 andcan be identified bythe letterEin the name ofAP. Wi-NG Express devices has notall of the options of traditionalWi-NG 5(eg. missingCLI, there is nointegratedWIPS, RADIUSAPetc.). Butfor smallandmedium-sizedinstallations oftenenough.The main attraction isthe price tocompeteSOHOmanufacturerssuch asNetgearandZyxel.
As with the "big" Wi-NG 5 the Wi-NG Express supports AP in the role of a virtual controller - the AP has an ability to control up to 24 additional APs of the same type. For larger networks (max. 1024 APs) there are NX7510E and VX9000E Express Managers available. They come with 64 pre-installed licenses. Express Manager is useful in an implementation of the centralized WLAN management at different locations or when using different AP types. Configuration of Wi-NG Express is only possible via a web interface, which is similar to the classic interface of the AP-6521 with firmware 5.5.6 or later. Products are not interchangeable, ie. classic Wi-NG 5 Controller cannot manage the Express AP and vice versa Wi-NG Express controller cannot control the Wi-NG 5 APs. The same about the virtual controllers.
In the Q2 of 2015 Zebra Technologies introduced the second generation of their industrial Symbol TC55 phones with Android 4.4 KitKat. You can choose between configurations without the scanner, the SE655 1D scanner or SE4710 2D imager. The device is supplied with a USB charging cable, but not the power supply. TC55 is offered with two-years Zebra OneCare maintenance contract that does not include comprehensive care. There are both configurations including support for Google Mobile Services (GMS) and Enterprise configurations without GMS.
Existing TC55 devices with Jelly Bean, can be upgraded to KitKat without the possibility of returning back to Jelly Bean.
At the end of summer 2015 Zebra will terminate the MC3100 series, ie. MC3100 batch and MC3190 WLAN versions, and also industrial gun terminals MC9190-G. Specifically, MC31xx have the last book dat set on August 28, 2015 and MC9190-G on September 14, 2015.
The MC3100 Series is superseded by MC32N0 mobile devices utilizing newer hardware components and improved batteries. The MC32N0 are available with Windows CE 7 and Android Jellybean. Windows Mobile is not available. All accessories (except the batteries) are compatible with a MC3100 Series.
The MC9190-G terminals are superseded by MC92N0-G with the same robustness and faster hardware. Currently, the MC92N0-G are available with Windows CE 7 and Windows Mobile 6.5.3. In the near future Android (KitKat) version should be released. The MC92N0 accessories are compatible with the MC9000 and MC9100 Series.
From the above it is clear that Android is finding its way to the industrial scanners and Microsoft mobile operating systems are retreating from the use. End of support for Windows Mobile 6.5.3 is scheduled from Microsoft for 2020, Windows CE 7 will be supported by a year longer. The question is, what changes in the market will feature mobile version of Windows 10 (if at all).
SOTI launched MobiControl version 12 with new features and improvements.
New Features include the following:
Device Configuration via Profiles A Profile is a named collection of device configurations that represent a user persona or common configurations. Profiles provides the following enhancements to device configuration:
Improves visibility of device compliance by providing a versioned installation status of a Profile across all targeted devices.
Assign a profile to devices matching properties such as manufacturer, model, OS version, installed applications, etc.
Assign a Profile to devices where the associated user is a member of one or more LDAP groups. Exclusion of members based on LDAP groups is also available.
Schedule deployment and subsequent revocation of a Profile.
Extended security model provides greater flexibility for administrative roles to manage specific Profiles.
Optionally delegate the installation of a Profile to the device user through the “Profile Catalog”.
Enhanced Device Enrollment
Reduces the need for multiple Add Device Rules by mapping LDAP groups to Device Groups in a single rule.
Provides a single enrollment URL for end users to initiate enrollment with on-screen step-by-step enrollment instructions for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
Restricts enrollment to approved OS versions.
MobiControl Stage MobiControl Stage is a rapid provisioning solution that allows for immediate “out-of-the-box” device set up. MobiControl Stage supports rapid staging for Android and Windows Mobile/CE.
Expedites the enrollment and initial provisioning by scanning barcodes to configure network connectivity and download the MobiControl device agent.
Reduces bandwidth overhead by provisioning devices directly from a local HTTP or FTP server.
Zebra Printer Integration MobiControl 12 introduces support for managing Zebra Wi-Fi and Ethernet-connected printers including:
Distribution of configurations such as network, printer labels, fonts, etc.
Maintenance tasks such as firmware upgrades, executing test prints, and gathering logs etc.
Configuration of alerts based on various printer attributes.
Must download the SOTI Connector from Zebra and purchase the Zebra Professional Services
Here is the list of some other news related to the MobiControl v12:
MobiControl Manager has been discontinued and is no longer supported or compatible with MobiControl 12.
Anonymous authentication to the Web Console has been removed. Users will be prompted to provide a password for a default account with the username Administrator if console security was not enabled prior to upgrade.
Support has been discontinued for Pocket PC and Smartphone 2002 devices with MIPS, SH3, SH4 and eVC3 processors.
Removed the ability to disable SSL for Agent communication.
Added option to delete devices from the Web Console when un-enrolled by the end user.
Adds Android+ support for BQ, Kyocera and Sony
The following device configuration features were added to Motorola/Zebra EMC devices via Device Feature Control payload:
Disable Hardware Keys
Disable USB Mass Storage
Disable USB Debugging
SOTI licenses are available as perpetual, end user hosted and SOTI hosted.