Zebra Technologies Supports Its ISV Partner Arrowhead Every Step Of The Way, From Initial Development To Successful Deployment At Global Food Manufacturer Arrowhead Corp is a Zebra ISV partner.
Arrowhead works in close collaboration with the Zebra Technologies Developer Team. It used the Zebra Link-OS® Multiplatform SDK to help design its Mobi Print application, which is available in both Android and iOS versions; there has been a significant swing toward Android deployments in recent years, with 80% of downloads now being Android. Mobi Print is a print utility that enables communication between mobile devices to Zebra printers. This utility enables printing of PDFs, labels, receipts, and images through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Arrowhead is also an early adopter of Zebra’s breakthrough data intelligence platform, Savanna™, and has built various new solutions specifically around Savanna; it is planning to integrate Savannna into its Mobi Print offering in the future.
The food manufacturer decided to upgrade its mobile hardware and software, for its drivers, to the latest technology, while also migrating from a Windows CE OS to Android. With over 3,000 contracted drivers delivering to over 30,000 retail outlets around the world daily, it was crucial that the new solution worked optimally and could be centrally managed; this included the ability to print receipts and paperwork from handheld devices onto mobile printers. The manufacturer wanted bestin-class hardware and a printing software solution which was stable, reliable, validated, and would be quick to implement and integrate.
Having previously used competitor hardware, the manufacturer decided on Zebra hardware; and once Zebra understood the printing requirements, the Zebra Developer Team quickly recommended Arrowhead’s validated application, Mobi Print. Mobi Print enables drivers to print directly from the Mobileframe platform ERP applications running on their Zebra TC56 Touch Computers to their Zebra ZQ520 Mobile Printers via wireless or Bluetooth. Mobi Print also allows Arrowhead to remotely inject a printer command before each print, for example to manage one of the printer settings, such as enabling or disabling low energy Bluetooth, or battery timeout. The devices were shipped fully preconfigured from Zebra.
As the devices are used at locations throughout the USA and Mexico, Arrowhead remotely manages, updates, and troubleshoots the TC56 via SOTI® MobiControl and, via SOTI, has been able to install Zebra’s Bluetooth printer management solution, comprising Bluetooth Connector and Connection Manager applications, onto the TC56s. These applications create a gateway between the Bluetooth connected ZQ520s and Zebra’s Printer Profile Manager Enterprise, so Arrowhead can access the same real-time visibility over the printers and update, monitor, and troubleshoot the printers too.
Brent Grandil comments: “As a Zebra ISV we are using tools which some people aren’t even aware of, such as PPME. Having access to all this know-how and tools is a major benefit to us as we assist our customers. And being able to remotely manage our printers and test new firmware, for example, has been indispensable for the success of this project and taken the onus off the end user.”
Manuel Manuel Caicedo-Rivera, MSE, Sr. SW Engineer –ISV Validation & Integration Lead at Zebra Technologies reflects on the benefits Arrowhead has brought to the deployment: “I think it’s fair to say that the customer was initially uncertain of the value Arrowhead would bring to the solution, beyond Mobi Print and technical printing knowhow. However, Arrowhead has proved to be so much more and is now a key partner who, is able to resolve issues and coordinate third parties and varying elements.”
Arrowhead and Zebra have mutually benefited from their collaboration; Arrowhead has access to Zebra’s tools, technical support, advice, and know-how to resolve development issues, as well as having its applications validated and promoted. Zebra has a wider portfolio of solutions and is able to work in cooperation with its partners to deliver successful total client solutions.
Working with the Zebra Developer Team has been fundamental to the success of our software development. And as a Zebra PartnerConnect ISV, we had access to prelaunch demo units, rapid technical help, analysis of Bluetooth or print logs, and testing on different firmware, for example. All that helps us to be one step ahead of the game and be able to better assist our customers with their deployments. Having our Mobi Print application validated by Zebra allowed Zebra to recommend our solution to this global food manufacturer, which has resulted in this significant, successful end-user deployment. Being a Zebra partner really does have innumerable benefits and gives you opportunities to grow your business.