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Just Enough Wireless Computing

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Just Enough Wireless Computing

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  • Copyright 2003
  • Edition: 1st
  • Premium Website
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-099461-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-099461-5

  • Identify the right wireless technologies for your enterprise-and implement them
  • Decision-maker's framework helps you make sense of today's complex wireless marketplace
  • Covers wireless strategy, technology, planning, deployment, management, support, and more

The decision-maker's guide to competitive advantage with wireless technology.

  • A wireless primer for technical decision makers
  • What wireless can do for your company: an overview of today's wireless technologies and their business benefits
  • Includes and extensive set of example applications and three in-depth case studies
  • How to get started: exclusive decision-makers framework, questionnaire, and checklists guide you through capturing your business requirements, defining your solution, cost-justifying it, and planning its implementation

Just Enough Wireless Computing gives decision makers the clarity, insight, and practical techniques they need to cut through the confusion of today's wireless marketplace, identify the right wireless solutions, and implement them.

Ian S. Hayes presents an easy-to-use framework for understanding today's complex array of wireless devices, solution providers, technologies, standards, architectures, and acronyms. Using real-world case studies and illustrations, he helps you-

  • Determine exactly which wireless technologies offer the greatest business value in your environment
  • Walks you through assembling and integrating solutions that work

Whether you're a line-of-business manager, CIO, solutions provider, or software engineer, this book will help you transform the promise of wireless into quantifiable, sustainable competitive advantage.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Defining a Successful Wireless Solution

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Click here for a sample chapter for this book: 0130994618.pdf

Table of Contents



1. Introduction.

What Is Wireless Technology? Why Is Wireless Technology Interesting? Who Uses Wireless Technology? Why Now? Wireless Today. Wireless in the Future. Why Consider Wireless Technology Now? How to Use This Book. The Goal—Just Enough Information. Scope. Using the Book.



2. How Wireless Can Help.

Capabilities and Opportunities. Gain Mobility. Exchange Data When and Where Needed. Locate and Monitor. Simplify Workflow. Alternative to Wired Connections. Benefits. Improve Productivity. Reduce Costs. Increase Revenue. Enhance Customer Satisfaction. Improve Safety. Strengthen Company Image. Sharpen Competitiveness. Approach. It's All About Processes! Example: Improving Field Service. Process Opportunities. Why Start Now? Gain Immediate Business Benefits. Gain Implementation Experience. Be Better Prepared for Future Capabilities.



3. How Others Are Using Wireless.

The World of Wireless Applications. Voice Applications. Data Applications. Enterprise Applications. Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Field Service. Locating and Tracking. Customer Service. Sales Force Empowerment. Information Access. Data Collection. Inventory Control and Quality Assurance. Safety. Consumer Applications. E-mail. Short Message Service (SMS). Locator Services. Telematics Services. Amusements. Commerce. Internet Access. Telemetry or Asset Monitoring Applications. Wireless Application Examples. Wireless Application Case Studies. Case Study: Atlantic Envelope Company. Case Study: Honeywell. Case Study: Penske Logistics. Wireless Application Resources.



4. Recognizing an Opportunity.

Is Wireless Technology a Potential Solution? Identifying an Opportunity. Choosing the Best Candidate. Assessing Feasibility. From Business Objective to Implementation Strategy.



5. Defining a Solution.

Wireless Building Blocks. Wireless Decision Process. Business Requirements. Management Considerations. Solution Requirements. Solution Considerations. Technology Strategy. Implementation Requirements. Implementation Strategy. From Business Requirements to Technical Requirements. Devices. Wireless Applications. Information Infrastructure. Wireless Network. Moving from Requirements to Design. Working Around Wireless Constraints. Rethink Constraints. Switch Paths. Reprioritize Features. Find Creative Workarounds. Break the Problem into Smaller Parts. Phase Your Solution. Example Solutions. Example Architecture: E-mail Service. Example Architecture: Wireless LAN. Example Architecture: Data Capture. Example Architecture: National Tracking and Location.



6. Justifying the Solution.

Quantifying the Benefits. Identifying Benefits. Types of Benefits. Benefit Characteristics. Measuring Benefits. Calculating the Costs. Costing Issues and Considerations. Hardware Costs. Software Costs. Project/Program Management. Development and Integration Costs. Deployment Costs Recurring Costs. Intangible Costs. Producing the Justification. Analyzing Costs and Benefits. Assessing ROI. Writing the Project Justification Report. Selling the Solution. Presenting the Solution. Demonstrating Feasibility. Building (and Keeping) Internal Support.



7. Implementing the Solution.

Planning the Implementation. Planning Considerations. Implementation Approach. Deployment Approach. Implementation Roadmap. Managing the Project. Why Projects Fail. Project and Program Management Structures. Business Process Redesign. How to Look at Processes. The Current Situation. Redesigning Processes. Testing Your Design. Implementing the Project. Choosing a Team. Choosing a Methodology. Implementation Preparations. Preparing for the Rollout. Planning. Communications. Training. Installations. Getting Assistance. Consulting Strategies. Choosing the Right Partner. Types of Consulting Firms.



8. Management Considerations.

Business Considerations. Ownership. Support. Standards. Usage. Privacy. Security. Legal Considerations. Disclaiming Liability. Monitoring Employees or Customers. Device and Data Ownership.



9. Solution Considerations.

From Concept to Pilot. Benchmark Components. Perform a Proof-of-Concept. Prototype the Application. Pilot the Application. Building in Extensibility—“Agnostic” Design. Securing the Solution. Device Misuse and Theft. Unauthorized Network Access. Data Interception. Viruses. Putting Security in Context.



10. Wireless Devices.

Device Considerations. Cultivate a New Mindset. Fitness for Purpose Approach. Other Factors Influencing Device Selection. Looking to the Future. Device Features and Issues. Voice Capabilities. Size, Weight, and Portability. Display. Data Input Mechanism. Processing Power. Memory. Durability. Battery Life. Integration. Extensibility. Bundled Software. Third-Party Applications. Personal Information Management (PIM) Capabilities. Internet and E-mail Capabilities. Cost. Device Categories. E-mail Devices. PDAs. Phones. Laptops, Notebooks and Tablet Computers. Special-Purpose Devices. Gadgets. Futuristic Technologies. Accessories and Peripherals. Device Management and Support. Wireless Device Resources.



11. Wireless Networks

What Is a Wireless Network? Wireless Versus Wired Networks. Do It Yourself Wireless Networks. Versus Purchased Wireless Network Services. The Data Versus Voice Distinction. Wireless Network Features and Issues. Coverage. Bandwidth. Latency. Reliability. Security. Interoperability and Standards. Cost. Wireless Network Options. Wireless Network Types. Infrared. Bluetooth. 802.11x WLAN. Wireless Wide Area Networks. Selecting a Wireless Network. Considerations When Selecting a Wireless Network. Wireless Network Summary. Wireless Network Resources.



12. Wireless Applications.

Application Development Issues. Application Components. Device Components. Server Components. Partitioning Functionality among Components. Application Design and Development Considerations. Usage Scenarios. Screen Design. Navigation. Information Requirements. Coding the Application. Application Approaches. Leverage Existing Back-End Functionality. Re-Purpose, Transcode, or Clip Web Content. New Application Functionality.



13. Support.

Technical Support Considerations. Network Management. Device Management. Systems Management. Change Management. Support and Management Tools. Business Support Considerations. Human Support Considerations. Support and Management Resources.



Appendix A. Wireless Business Requirements Questionnaire.

Why? What are the goals of wireless solution? What is the potential ROI of the solution? What types of benefits are expected? Who is going to fund the implementation? What are the plans for future growth? Who? Who will use the solution? How do users currently do their work? What is the users' level of technology experience? Will the user face any physical constraints in using the application? What are the personal traits and preferences of the users? What will it take to support and manage users? How will the user deal with a loss of power? What? What is the purpose of the wireless application? What kinds of inputs and outputs does the application require? What other things might the user want to do? What kinds of additional applications are desirable? What kinds of processing requirements does the application have? When? What hours of the day will users use the application? In what time zones are users located? Will the application be used concurrently or intermittently? How quickly must information be delivered? (Immediacy) How long does data remain valid? (Latency) How many versions of the same data exist? (Synchronization) How important is data quality? (Integrity) Where? Where do users intend to use the application? If use is primarily local and within a company building, describe the premises. If users will roam, describe the expected locales. What are the conditions like in the user's environment?



Appendix B. Solution Providers Offering Wireless Functionality.

Device and Accessory Manufacturers. Wide Area Network Carriers and Operators (Voice, Data, Paging, Satellite). Wide Area Network Infrastructure and Tool Providers. WLAN Providers. Middleware Providers (Enabling Services, Platforms, and Tools). Wireless Application Providers. Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs). Wireless System Integrators.



Appendix C. Glossary of Terms.


Index.

Preface

Preface

Over the course of the past forty-plus years, we have seen computers shrink from the size of a room to the size of a wallet, and telephones move from walls and desks into our pockets. We have witnessed the rise and growing strength of a worldwide network for information interchange. And now we are seeing the convergence of these trends, forging a powerful platform from which we can reshape the way we do business and live our lives. This platform is wireless technology. The possibilities created by its arrival are the topic of this book.

Wireless technology first entered my life through a mobile phone, the same way it has probably entered the lives of millions of others. As a management consultant and frequent traveler, the advantages of being able to communicate easily and conveniently in almost any location are powerful and instantly addictive. No more telephone booths in airports. A means of notifying clients when hopelessly stuck in a traffic jam. Combine that telephone with my PDA, add the ability to surf the Internet and send and receive e-mails and we are starting to reach consultant nirvana! But as powerful as these benefits are, they barely scratch the surface of what is possible from wireless technology.

Much of my work revolves around making companies more effective, finding ways to better serve customers, enhance efficiency, and increase revenues. Process improvements are inevitably the basis for these benefits. The real power of wireless technology is its ability to support substantive process improvements. This power becomes clear when delving into the groundbreaking applications created by the wireless pioneers. Firms like Penske Logistics, Honeywell, and UPS are using wireless technology in innovative ways to streamline operations and offer new services. The more I studied these firms, the more excited I got about the potential of the technology. Clearly, wireless technology could benefit almost any company in almost any industry. Yet surprisingly, companies are adopting wireless technology at a much slower than expected rate. Why?

The world of wireless is just too confusing. Walk into any bookstore. Pick up any trade publication. Listen to any solution provider pitch. It is a mind-boggling landscape of hype, acronyms, and endless technical details. And nothing is standing still. Networks, devices, and applications are evolving at a dizzying clip. Vendors seem to appear and disappear every few minutes. Standards are in flux and there are no runaway market leaders. Is wireless technology really ready for prime time? Who has time to make sense of this market? No wonder so many managers and executives remain on the sidelines. But the benefits of wireless technology are real. The companies that overcome its challenges are reaping these benefits and gaining a substantial competitive advantage.

My goal in writing this book is to help your company capture this advantage by providing a simple framework for navigating the wireless maze. From examples of real-life wireless solutions in use, to technology overviews and a step-by-step approach for devising your own solutions, this book will give you a foundation for launching a wireless initiative within your company. In today's busy world, few managers and executives have the time for in-depth research, yet they still need to make knowledgeable strategic decisions on the use of technology within their companies. In keeping with its title, this book seeks to educate you and give you just enough essential information to begin exploring mobile and wireless computing with intelligence and confidence. I hope it meets your expectations.

Audience for This Book

T

his book was written for anyone interested in understanding how and where to apply wireless technology within their company or organization. To serve the widest audience, the book minimizes the use of technical jargon and focuses on how to use wireless technology to gain real business benefit. As such, the book's contents should be especially useful to executives and managers who need a quick education on the practical aspects of wireless technology.

The book contains three sections to meet the varying needs of its audience. The first section focuses on the benefits and uses of wireless technology and contains extensive examples describing how companies are currently deploying wireless solutions. The second section offers a framework, complete with a questionnaire and checklists, to guide readers through the process of selecting and assembling a wireless solution. The third section provides technical overviews on various aspects of wireless technology including management issues, solution considerations, devices, networks, applications, and support requirements.

The book should appeal to the following categories of readers.

  • Business Executives and Managers Executives and line managers will find the first section useful for learning about the potential of wireless technology and gaining specific ideas for solutions within their areas. Skimming the second section should offer an understanding of the scope and effort of launching a wireless initiative.
  • IT Professionals IT professionals, such as CIOs, CTOs, project managers, information analysts, and software engineers, will find all three sections of the book useful. The third section should provide a foundation for further technical research and the second section, along with the questionnaire, checklists, and solution provider list in the appendices, will be especially useful for IT professionals charged with project implementation.
  • IT Solution Providers Wireless software, hardware, and service providers will find the examples in the first section of the book useful as proof of the viability of wireless technology. The second section, and particularly the chapter on solution justification, will be valuable for assisting their customers in launching wireless initiatives.
  • Analysts and Media The "just enough" concept employed by this book will help industry analysts, investment analysts, trade press editors, and writers gain quick insight into a variety of wireless topics. The book organizes many complex and seemingly unrelated components into a simple framework.

Summary of Contents

This book is organized into three topical sections to help readers focus on their areas of greatest interest.

The first section includes Chapters 2 and 3 and provides an overview of wireless technology and its benefits as well as extensive examples and case studies showing how companies are currently deploying wireless solutions. Readers new to wireless technology should begin with Chapter 2. More experienced readers may wish to move directly to the example applications in Chapter 3. The example solutions are a valuable source of application ideas, and the in-depth case studies describe how three companies implemented their chosen solutions.

The second section includes Chapters 4 through 7 and offers a framework, complete with a questionnaire and checklists, to guide readers through the process of selecting and assembling a wireless solution. This framework covers capturing business requirements (Chapter 4), solution definition (Chapter 5), solution justification (Chapter 6), and solution implementation (Chapter 7).

The third section provides more detailed information on various aspects of wireless technology. This section serves as a reference on specific topics and as a resource for supporting the wireless decision framework described in the second section. Its chapters cover management issues (Chapter 8), solution considerations (Chapter 9), devices (Chapter 10), networks (Chapter 11), applications (Chapter 12), and support (Chapter 13). Readers can use a chapter as a whole to gain a high-level view of a particular topic, or use the information from their "cheat sheets" to narrow their research to the subset of options that support their desired solution.

The book contains thirteen chapters and three appendices. These chapters cover the gamut of topics needed to research and deploy a wireless solution.

Chapter 1, "Introduction," introduces wireless technology and describes how to use this book. Its goal is to demystify a broad, highly complex and rapidly changing technology by avoiding unnecessary jargon and categorizing concepts in a way that enables readers to focus on areas relevant to their immediate needs. This approach provides novice readers with a starting point for exploring wireless technology while offering a more knowledgeable reader a means of quickly finding the topics and information of greatest interest.

Chapter 2, "How Wireless Can Help," explores how wireless technology can help readers achieve their business goals. It examines opportunities enabled by the technology and the types of benefits that can be obtained. It discusses how wireless technology provides these benefits and describes situations most amenable to wireless solutions. It shows how a process-based approach to applying wireless technology offers the greatest business benefits and simplifies technology selection.

Chapter 3, "How Others Are Using Wireless," uses examples and case studies to explore how companies are already using wireless applications. It has three goals: demonstrate that wireless technology is real and usable, illustrate the range of possible wireless applications, and offer templates for readers contemplating similar applications. Applications are organized by business objectives rather than technical design, thus enabling readers to hone in on the types of applications that most directly apply to their needs.

Chapter 4, "Recognizing an Opportunity," helps readers determine if a wireless solution is appropriate for their business objectives and, if so, translate those business objectives into a set of requirements for a wireless application. It advocates a simple top-down approach for identifying and capturing the business requirements for wireless solutions. It describes how to recognize business opportunities where wireless technology may be useful. It explains the process for moving from a business objective to an implementation strategy and introduces the "Five W's" approach to capture functional requirements in a form amenable to wireless solution design.

Chapter 5, "Defining a Solution," describes the process for turning business requirements into solution requirements. It uses the answers to the Why, Who, What, When, and Where questions from Chapter 4 to provide a framework for winnowing your wireless decisions into a manageable number. It explains how to develop specific requirements for devices, applications, data, and wireless networks. Comparing these requirements against the tables and other component-specific information in the second half of this book will enable readers to identify the wireless options that best apply to their needs.

Chapter 6, "Justifying the Solution," guides the reader through the process of estimating the cost of a wireless solution, and determining and quantifying potential benefits. It offers a four-step process that quantifies benefits, computes the short and long-term expenses, produces a ROI and cash flow analysis, and builds support for the proposed solution by demonstrating that its benefits are achievable.

Chapter 7, "Implementing the Solution," covers how to plan the implementation, manage the project, and redesign the underlying business processes. It offers implementation and deployment tips and techniques and describes how to get assistance from the right wireless service provider. Its goal is to provide readers with "just enough" information to understand relevant implementation issues and avoid major pitfalls.

Chapter 8, "Management Considerations," presents the topmost management issues that the reader must be prepared to deal with when pursuing a wireless project. It discusses business and legal issues affecting wireless solutions, from policies and standards to liability concerns, and approaches to take to deal with those issues. The goal of this chapter is to forewarn and forearm readers as they undertake a wireless implementation, so they can take steps to avoid potential future problems.

Chapter 9, "Solution Considerations," introduces the foremost issues affecting the design and implementation of a wireless solution. From development cycles to extensibility concerns to security issues, this chapter examines the top issues that readers must face as they begin to develop wireless solutions. The goal of the chapter is to review several major challenges in designing and developing a wireless solution, and present the reader with options for dealing with those issues.

Chapter 10, "Wireless Devices," provides an overview of the types of devices used in wireless solutions. It also discusses issues commonly encountered in using these devices, and considerations for determining which particular devices to use in a given solution. The goal of the chapter is to help readers choose the right device for their wireless solution by presenting them with a menu of options, cautioning them about strengths and constraints, and advising them of important factors affecting their ultimate selection of device.

Chapter 11, "Wireless Networks," summarizes the types of networks that may be involved in a wireless solution, presents issues associated with using each network type, and discusses considerations that help to determine the right network choice for a particular wireless solution. The goal of the chapter is to help readers understand their network options, and narrow their choices to those that best fit their needs.

Chapter 12, "Wireless Applications," presents the various kinds of wireless applications that may be involved in a wireless solution. It introduces universal wireless application development principles, provides an overview of the components comprising an end-to-end wireless application, discusses application design considerations, and reviews some common application development approaches. The goal of the chapter is to give readers sufficient information about wireless applications and design issues to help them hone in on their best options.

Chapter 13, "Support," examines the different support issues that surround a wireless solution. It explores the technical, business, and human aspects of operating and maintaining a wireless solution, noting issues, problems, and sources of assistance. The goal of the chapter is to alert readers to potential support issues and offer suggestions for overcoming those issues.

The appendices provide three types of supporting materials: a questionnaire and "cheat sheets" for capturing business and technical requirements, a list of solution providers who offer the types of software, hardware, and services mentioned in the book, and a glossary of terms.

A Final Note

This book is meant to be a primer on wireless technology, its uses and implementation issues. As a primer, its contents are necessarily high-level and omit details that are likely to be required when designing, constructing, and deploying a wireless initiative. Furthermore, the wireless industry is evolving at an ever-increasing pace, and while the author has invested considerable effort to ensure that the contents of this book are accurate and up-to-date, changes in the industry may obsolete portions of its content at any time. For these reasons, the author strongly advises consulting with topical experts and conducting further research before progressing on any wireless initiative.

No warranties can or will be made with respect to any data, explanations, or opinions expressed herein.

Ian S. Hayes
Clarity Consulting, Inc.
South Hamilton, MA

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