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I'm interested in knowing what "Mobile Workforce Management" is and what do companies like cognitomobile do. Their website is vague, at best.

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closed as off-topic by Iain, kasperd, bangal, mdpc, MadHatter Jan 21 at 8:54

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Imagine you are a corporation that has built a bunch of in-house applications for stuff (vacation request system, accounting management system, etc) and you have a ton of useful data stored in various databases as a result of these apps. That works great for people sitting at a computer all day - they can easily get at those apps and that data. Now, imagine that a percentage of your workforce is mobile and are now carrying shiny new smartphones that have a fair amount of processing power. Your mobile workers have laptops and they can access stuff when they are home or at a hotel in the early morning and evening but you want them to have access to corporate data when they are out in the field during the day and interacting with your customers. Maybe they can find wifi hotspots sometimes but you want their access to be more constant and you want to leverage their smartphones.

So, cognitomobile specializes in making those apps and the data in them available to smartphones. They've written a bunch of code that allows smartphone users to access the same info they would otherwise get at from a PC. Basically, you end up with an extra server that serves as a proxy between your in-house apps and the smartphones. The smartphone users might access stuff via a secure http connection on the smartphone browser or you may actually deploy a little app to the smartphones that connects securely back to your datacenter. It depends on what exactly you're doing.

This kind of stuff is used mostly by companies with a lot of mobile employees. cognitomobile's website specifically mentions taxi services, delivery drivers, field service workers, utilities field technicians, etc.

There's a related category of services for smartphones that manages the lifecycle of the devices themselves. If your company has 1,000 mobile devices, you probably want a centralized system for pushing security updates to those devices, tracking them, and you probably want the ability to disable or wipe a device in case a worker loses it or it is stolen so no one else can get at the data on it. These kinds of services are generally referred to as 'mobile device management and there's a useful overview here.

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