October 12, 2022

The Customer Centric Seismic Shift to Android™ in Enterprise Solutions

The Customer Centric Seismic Shift to Android™ in Enterprise Solutions

How we interact is changing, and one platform connects customers and businesses like never before.

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When it comes to enterprise technology, there has been a seismic shift in the conversation about end-point operating systems. Industry experts will always debate the relative merits of the different platforms. However, industries from retail to hospitality are increasingly turning to Android for a wide range of business uses.

It starts with the customer's desire for a convenient and frictionless buying experience. Businesses need to accelerate their technology investments to meet the growing consumer demands for self-service, curbside pick-up, delivery, and frictionless returns, among other ways they connect online activities with in-store experiences.

Many organizations are moving to cloud-based edge computing software strategies which enable a near real-time unified customer journey. Edge computing brings enterprise applications closer to data sources at the point of which the data is designed, thereby significantly reducing latency; the business benefits of this proximity to data include improved response times, faster insights, better bandwidth usage, and improved customer interactions. The shift to cloud and edge computing accelerated the use of mobile applications and web apps, modernizing in-store technology to support both mobile and fixed experiences.

Why are businesses moving to Android?

Over the years, there have been critical changes to the operations of in-store technology stacks, which have changed how businesses run their development strategies. Starting in 2006, when PCI DSS regulations developed, traditional POS providers reconsidered how they handled card payments. Today, they use dedicated payment terminals instead of processing card payments through the POS terminal. This change in methodology enabled businesses to remove some core dependencies from the responsibilities of the core POS software. Elo's applications became more about integration and efficiency than one all-encompassing processor-intensive application. This methodology shift has led to lighter cloud-based applications, which can integrate into a much more efficient matter. Therefore, development strategies have adapted to more mobile and cloud-friendly implementations and aided in launching the Android Enterprise infrastructure.

Mike Cunningham, Director of Product Strategy at the software company Infuse, said that the companies that his team partners with are looking for an operating system that can handle this new technology. More and more often, they choose Android.

“When you’re talking about consumer devices, of course you want to accommodate both Android and iOS,” said Cunningham. “But from a business perspective, it doesn’t make sense to build to two separate systems. That’s where we have definitely seen Android become the go-to-platform.”

Cunningham mentioned one project that involved moving a customer’s POS system from iOS to Android. Because Apple products are primarily consumer devices, they aren’t designed to handle the peripherals often needed for POS, such receipt printers, barcode scanners, and magstripe readers. And the absence of USB ports was, as Cunningham put it, “a recipe for disaster.” Relying solely on Bluetooth connections put their system at risk.

“With iOS, our customer was getting very inconsistent results,” he said. “Because Android devices have USB ports, their network was much more stable. And they could still use Bluetooth connections, and even switch back and forth when necessary.”

Cunningham said that companies switching to Android don’t necessarily have to start from scratch. Most of the peripherals they are currently using can be configured to function in an Android environment.

Android Facts & Figures

It's evident that business is changing, and companies are looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve. They are increasingly deciding that an Android strategy is the best choice to support the complex demands of convenience. A survey by IDC supports these findings, with 78% of the business devices shipped worldwide now running Android.

  • Largest selection of devices. There are seemingly innumerable devices available today. The consumer cell phone market share reports indicate the transition to Android has already been underway; Android 71.85%, iOS 27.5%. The market makeup has employee facing mobile devices, mobile to fixed devices, tablets and fixed computers, self-service kiosks, and digital signage. Android is not proprietary, like iOS, for example, offering a wide range of support across multiple device manufacturers. Choosing Android ensures you are not limited to a few select options when making your device selection.
  • Best on the block management capabilities. With the number of devices growing exponentially as the frictionless customer experience is gaining in demand, and as software migrates to APP and Webapp, devices focus on consuming content versus processing content, thereby increasing portability across systems, including fixed and mobile devices, further accelerating Android adoption. With these increasing variations and demand it is imperative to have an easy device management system. This means both mobile and fixed devices need a simple management tool to deploy new apps and interfaces at the touch of a finger. Android Enterprise is the solution for this.
  • Best Security on the Market. One of the biggest reasons there has been a stifling move to Android is its security features. You can lock down your Android devices so employees and customers cannot navigate out of your approved applications, reducing your risk of enabling hackers to get in. They have strategic end-to-end security features that block malware, prevent hackers from accessing your system, and prevent data leaks.
  • Total Cost of Ownership. Android reduces total cost of ownership (TCO) and complexity, simplifying in-store support and associated costs. How often are you "fixing" your phone? It just works. Now with Elo's hardened devices, the same concept applies. Updating technology in-store reduces Tech Debt/support costs and the burden of keeping legacy systems up and running. According to Forbes, 72% of IT resources are responsible for maintaining legacy systems.

Why Android Solution Providers Choose Elo

When Integrated Software Vendors (ISV) and other solutions providers decide to offer a suite of Android solutions, they look to Elo for the expertise and the most comprehensive array of hardware offerings capable of growing with the Android infrastructure. Elo has the solution to meet your needs, whether an I-Series all-in-one compute and display or a variety of touchscreen displays, running from 5.5" to 65", with an Elo Android Backpack compute solution.

Beyond the largest selection of hardware options, Elo brings the Elo Essential Edge to the Android for Enterprise architecture. Essential Edge has the following modular components:

Elo Flex – Hardware Essentials

The flexible platform allows you to select screen size, stand, and Elo Edge Connect™ accessories to create a customized solution for your enterprise application needs.

  • 5.5" - 65" Mobile to Digital Signage options
  • Edge Connect Peripherals
  • Stands, mounts, and brackets

Elo Code – Developer Essentials

Elo offers a wealth of developer tools to help you solve complex solutions, including management, reporting, facial recognition, and third-party integrations.

  • OEMConfig
  • APKs
  • SDKs
  • Android Enterprise Provisioning Methods (DPC Identifier, QR Code, Zero Touch)
  • OS Management

Elo Cloud – Cloud Essentials

Connect and control with a broad spectrum of cloud-based management capabilities from operating system updates to device settings and content delivery.

  • Device Provisioning
  • Device Management
  • OS Management
  • App and Content Delivery
  • Account Management

Elo Essential Edge simplifies Android for the Enterprise. In today's landscape, businesses are adopting solutions that aid in convenience and facilitate their in-store and above-store support models as much as possible. With the Elo unified architecture, they can consolidate a wide variety of software and cloud-based solutions into one hardware architecture driven by Android.

With the Elo Essential Edge for Android platform, developers, IT managers, and business leaders can leverage a uniform and constantly growing set of tools over a broad set of applications. Everything from managing connected peripherals like scanners and payment devices to security settings and OS are supported from an Enterprise perspective. Users gain the advantage of years of development and customizations Elo has made for many global enterprise customers on its unified hardware platform.

The consumer experience in retail and hospitality continues to evolve rapidly. As customers continue to pursue convenience opting for in-store pick-up, curbside, delivery along with simplified returns, and in-store, among other solutions, innovation must continue to accelerate. Android Enterprise has proven through adoption rates, scalability, and maintenance that they are a solid solution for today and the future.

Android is a trademark of Google LLC.


By Rick Smith