Broken, outdated and unsupported equipment are frustrations that all businesses have to deal with at some point or another. If a company has determined that replacing the equipment is the right choice, what can they expect before, during and after the transition?

Here are six considerations for when the time comes to replace hardware or software at an enterprise level.

1. The Money Factor

To lease or to buy, that is the question. It’s a big question when considering full-scale enterprise mobility devices because the cost can vary greatly. Depending on the size of a company and the number of devices, POS systems or AIDC equipment needed, leasing may be a more cost-effective choice.

As technology innovations occur more rapidly and product lifecycles continue to shorten, many customers may find a mobility‐as‐a‐service (MaaS) subscription service to be a great option. MaaS is a customized package of product and service needs rolled into a single, predictable monthly payment, and includes such things as procuring devices, configuring them, deploying them, and maintaining/servicing them. As a subscription-based service, it dramatically reduces upfront capital costs and streamlines the deployment and maintenance process.

Buying devices outright can be a good option for smaller operations that only need a few pieces of equipment, particularly if they’re rugged devices that will last quite some time.

2. Team Buy-In

Nothing’s going to fly if the team isn’t on board. A company’s IT team and engineers, in particular, should be supportive of the new technology, devices, and equipment. Ideally, they’ll be involved in the research and testing of potential new devices to give recommendations on what would work best for employees and what could potentially improve employee performance.

End-users also need to be comfortable with the change. If possible, consider a pilot/testing period where employees can try out the device. Big changes may be met with resistance. Does the new technology function similarly to the equipment the employees were familiar with? Does it use the same operating system? Is it ergonomic, and a comfortable weight and size? Will the battery life last an entire shift? Employees who will be using the equipment on a daily basis will care about these details.  

3. Choosing a Device

Aside from making sure the team likes the new equipment, practicality plays a role in device selection as well. Companies should look for devices that will support multiple operating systems with a years-long OS roadmap. The last thing a company wants is to purchase a bunch of shiny new devices only to find out they don’t support the latest OS updates after only a few months.

That brings up the question: Is new the only way? Or is a refurbished device just as good? As long as the refurbished device is still compatible with the current OS (and its near-future evolutions) and meets all compliance standards, it’s fine to save some cash and go with a refurbished option.

When considering a refurbished device, pay attention to:

  • The retailer’s reputation
  • The condition the equipment arrives in (inspect the equipment ASAP upon receiving it)
  • The warranty and return policy (hint: the longer, the better)
  • The price point (if a new device is only nominally more, it may not be worth it to upgrade)

4. Choosing a Provider

When working with an enterprise technology provider, consider all the factors involved with the purchase. Companies should look for a reseller that is financially sound and has a good reputation, of course, but also ask about post-purchase support options, the financial arrangements and process, and the provider’s coast-to-coast depot operations.

The provider should be able to give long-term support through all aspects of enterprise mobility, including staging, kitting, configuration, in-warranty logistics support, out-of-warranty repairs, scaling operations, etc.

5. The Deployment Plan

Once the replacement devices are on-site, the next step is to roll it out to employees and get them up-to-speed quickly. Companies can benefit from having a solid deployment plan and schedule organized to keep it a smooth process and minimize surprises.

Determine whether the provider will be helping to deploy and install the technology or whether it will be an internal process. If the vendor is helping with deployment, find out their depot footprint — it’s good to work with providers that have multiple warehouses in close proximity to keep shipping costs down and turnaround times shorter. And as always, strong communication with employees and with the provider are vital.

6. What to Do with the Old Equipment

Replacing equipment does not mean throwing the old stuff in the garbage (in fact, that’s likely illegal). Instead, companies can benefit from repurposing old devices in other departments, or participating in a trusted buyback or disposal program. Technology providers can help determine the best use for older, broken or outdated equipment.

Ready to replace your outdated hardware? Contact us to figure out your next steps and get the process rolling smoothly.

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