Android in the warehouse – Zebra makes migration simple

Every ending brings a brand-new beginning. And this is especially true for the cessation of support for Windows mobile operating systems. In 2020, this will impact roughly  2.55 million Zebra devices, which are currently hard at work in countless businesses.

Despite the ticking clock, we’ve seen that warehouse customers have been slow to shift to modern mobile computers. Perhaps it’s the dread of transitioning all those old green-screen apps. Or maybe they simply don’t realise the huge gains that can be made by switching to Android devices. Either way, there is good news. And this puts resellers in a prime position to capture a market that has little choice but to move on.

Let it go

By now, it’s a sure bet that logistics providers and warehouse managers have read all the scare stories about how their operations could be doom-struck the moment support ends. And yet they remain unmoved. So, let’s look at some far more positive reasons for letting go of the old – the biggest one being that yesterday’s systems can’t meet today’s demands.

Legacy mobile operating systems and green-screen applications were developed before e-commerce existed. Right now, the warehouse sector is grappling with three key forces – an e-commerce boom, shrinking delivery times and workforce challenges. Global online sales are expected to hit $4.5 trillion by 2021.

But with those higher volumes comes the challenge of smaller pack levels, with a trend of shipping more pieces, rather than full cases, and more cases rather than full pallets. Warehouse operations are also dealing with more returns, so reverse logistics has become a much more important process. And the market (more specifically, the customer) is unforgiving of errors. To succeed in this environment, up-to-date technology is crucial. Yes, the old devices might still be doing a job, but the same old systems mean the same old problems. It’s the old adage… “if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got”. This limits innovation and acts as a serious drag factor on the business.

Switch it up with Zebra

Businesses that recognise how old tech is holding them back, and then switch to Android for their warehouses, gain an immediate advantage over the stick-in-the-muds. Efficiency, productivity, accuracy and security all get a significant boost. And it’s never been easier to make the move.

Zebra Technologies’ latest devices are built on Android and set the standard for enterprise mobile computing. The range covers all use cases in the warehouse – wearable, handheld and vehicle mount with a single platform that’s easy to deploy and manage. And, as you’d expect from Zebra, it’s a trusted, end-to-end solution that leads the market.

The MC9300 – the evolution of the world’s best

The flagship device is the MC9300 ultra-rugged held-held mobile computer – the next evolution of the best-selling MC9000 Series. It empowers warehouse teams to work more effectively than ever before with ultimate processing power and memory, a larger touch display, the ability to capture the most challenging direct part marks and barcodes and twice the battery run time of the MC9200. Better ergonomics mean less effort and movement are required when using it – a boost for workers on a long shift. It’s loaded with productivity-boosting features, such as push-to-talk.

It all adds up to a great solution for the booming rugged warehouse and back-of-store market.

Good bye green-screen – hello touchscreen

The end of support for Microsoft’s mobile operating systems means the days of the green-screen are numbered. But companies no longer need to fear the time, cost and disruption of transitioning Terminal Emulation apps to Android. Zebra’s technology makes it effortless and immediate. All-Touch Terminal Emulation (TE), powered by Wavelink, is pre-loaded and pre-licensed in Zebra devices, enabling customers to migrate all of their current green-screens to Android in minutes. Workers are up and running, right out of the box.

What’s more, customers can enhance green-screens with features that simplify tasks and boost productivity, such as automatically turning text-based instructions into on-screen buttons. Or they can take complete advantage of Android by transforming green-screens into fully interactive graphic screens that maximise task simplicity, workforce productivity and overall operational efficiency. It’s all part of Zebra’s Mobility DNA, and it’s transformational.

Future-proof and enterprise-ready

Mobility DNA, Zebra’s unique software ecosystem, transforms Android into an enterprise-ready force, simplifying app development and deployment whilst maintaining OS security through its lifecycle. Zebra guarantees longevity too, extending the protection of devices for up to 10 years with LifeGuard™ for Android. LifeGuard provides predictable, periodic security updates and legacy OS security support when transitioning to a newer OS. Frequent updates enhance security, and these can be installed easily, either locally or remotely. This lasting support means businesses can invest with confidence.

A familiar face for workers

In the battle to attract and retain staff, Android offers an instant advantage. Workers are already familiar with its touchscreen interface from mobile phones. It means they’re up to speed in hours, not days. Compare that to training new starters how to navigate buttons, menus and data entry on old green screen devices.

A winning line up

More new Android touchscreen devices are joining Zebra’s rugged line up, bringing with them fantastic features that increase the speed and accuracy of data collection across the warehouse floor. Camera technology puts AR within reach too, and SimulScan captures multiple barcodes or entire forms in a single trigger pull, populating business apps instantly and accurately. Additionally, advance communication comes in the form of Wi-Fi-enabled WorkForce Connect and push-to-talk capabilities, which allow colleagues to connect anywhere in a facility.

The new MC3300 touch screen computer delivers increased picking rates and easier aim. It can be configured four ways – pistol-style, turret with rotating head, straight shooter 0 o scan and 45º scan – offering options for every use case.

The TC83 touchscreen blends revolutionary design with an expanded feature set, giving workers comprehensive data capture capabilities and lightning-fast application performance, in a light, ergonomic device.

Moving from hand-held to vehicle-mounted devices, the VC8300 is ready for the toughest warehouse roles. Its keyboard and touchscreen are integrated into a single housing, making it compact enough for smaller warehouse vehicles. At the same time, it stands up to extreme temperatures, shock and vibration to keep products moving.

All of these devices meet today’s warehouse challenges head on. And they soon pay for themselves with the efficiency and productivity gains they deliver. So, for all those businesses trundling on with Window’s devices, the message is clear – moving to Android isn’t just simple and painless, it’s a launchpad for innovation and business growth.

Best-in-class channel program

The MC9300 offers an unmatched feature set and rugged design — giving you the right device to offer to the massive installed base of MC9000/XT15 customers. To support you in reaching these prospects, we have Ingram-designed Android marketing campaigns, worth up to €10,000, ready for you to use. Plus, the first 10 resellers who purchase the MC9300 will get a goodie bag. And for every 10 MC9300 devices sold, resellers (excluding Premier Partners) will be entered into a prize draw to attend an exclusive dinner hosted by Ingram Micro & Zebra. To enjoy all of these benefits, sign up to our Partner Accelerator for Zebra’s PartnerConnect programme.

For more information on Zebra opportunities, please contact our DC POS team on 0371 973 3699 or email


Zebra Warehousing 2020 Global Study, Zebra 2016; The Future of Fulfillment Vision Study, Zebra 2018; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

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