The benefits of remote management technology are long recognized, first through solutions that enabled management of the wired computer environment. These powerful solutions automated the provisioning and configuration of servers, operating systems, switches and more, dramatically minimizing the time and costs associated with the daunting task of managing geographically dispersed computer network equipment.
The productivity gains from automating and enhancing business processes through bar code scanning and other applications resulted in significant improvements in customer service and often, general profitability. But management of scanning devices can be a time-consuming task with many hidden costs — users are typically required to physically send devices to IT for troubleshooting, resulting in down time and loss of productivity, with IT spending a great deal of time on management, as well as logistics, tracking, repairing and returning devices to users. Symbol, recognizing these issues, applied best practices from the computing world to develop a remote scanner management solution based on industry standard mechanisms to enable rapid and easy integration into your existing IT infrastructure.
The need for centralized remote management solutions for wired networks became evident early on in the development of computer networks,giving birth to the ability to manage network servers, switches and more, all from a centralized location. Yet until today, the millions of handheldscanning devices in use in retailers of all types and sizes, warehouses, manufacturing plants and more still required manual management.Imagine the cost in time and effort involved in managing thousands of scanners in stores or warehouses all over the world. This paper examines the issues and costs associated with managing handheld scanners, the capabilities of the first centralized remote managementsolution designed specifically for handheld scanners and the benefits this solution provides to the enterprise.THE ENTERPRISE BENEFITS OF THE INDUSTRY S FIRST REMOTE MANAGEMENT SOLUTION FOR HANDHELD SCANNERSBACKGROUNDThe benefits of remote management technology are long recognized, first through solutions that enabled management of the wired computerenvironment. These powerful solutions automated the provisioning andconfiguration of servers, operating systems, switches and more, dramaticallyminimizing the time and costs associated with the daunting task of managing geographically dispersed computer network equipment.The productivity gains from automating and enhancing business processesthrough bar code scanning and other applications resulted in significantimprovements in customer service and often, general profitability. Butmanagement of scanning devices can be a time-consuming task with manyhidden costs users are typically required to physically send devices toIT for troubleshooting, resulting in down time and loss of productivity, withIT spending a great deal of time on management, as well as logistics, tracking,repairing and returning devices to users. Symbol, recognizing these issues,applied best practices from the computing world to develop a remotescanner management solution based on industry standard mechanisms toenable rapid and easy integration into your existing IT infrastructure.As a worldwide leader in handheld bar code scanning solutions, Symboltook a look at the many major retailers around the world using handheldscanning devices. Whether handheld bar code scanners were in use ingrocery stores, building suppliers, department stores or warehouses,enterprises faced the same issues found in general network management:initial provisioning, upgrading, day-to-day troubleshooting and asset management were time intensive and costly manual tasks. To addressthese issues, Symbol developed the first centralized remote managementsolution for handheld scanners, designed to not only eliminate the visibleand hidden costs associated with the day-to-day managementof this key piece of retail technology, but also to integratequickly and seamlessly into your existing network and computing environments.SOLUTION REQUIREMENTSBased on industry standards, this Remote ScannerManagement (RSM) solution is designed for Windows -basedPOS terminals, allowing the transmission of bar code databetween an RSM-ready scanner and an OPOS-compliantPOS application. With the addition of a remote managementagent plug-in from Microsoft (WMI), the RSM-ready scanners are easily managed from a single centralizedlocation. And the remote scanner management solution isextensible, providing support for off-the-shelf third partymanagement solutions. This unique solution requires very little in the way of capitalexpense. Two of the three required components are free,and if your existing management solution is compatible, all three elements are virtually free.The key pieces of Symbol s remote scanner managementsolution are:" An RSM Ready scanner. Symbol s RSM-Ready scannersare designed to enable management over a network. This feature is being built in to Symbol s bar code scannerline and includes hardware modifications that enablefirmware upgrades via a network and software that providessupport for network calls to the scanner.WHITE PAPERJuly 2006Untitled Document2" Software components to be loaded on the POS terminal. A Symbol scannerdriver, Symbol OPOS driver and Symbol WMI plug-in must be resident onthe cash registers. These drivers are available free from Symbol." Enterprise management console. Symbol designed maximum flexibilityinto its remote scanner management solution, providing companies withthe choice of using standard network management tools or the ability to develop a customized management console to meet specific needs.Companies using some of the industry s foremost standard remote management solutions, IBM Tivoli or Symbol s MSP, can easily integratemanagement of handheld scanners into the existing console. For companieswho prefer to create a customized management console, Symbol providesa free Software Developers Toolkit (SDK).HOW IT WORKSVia the management interface of your choice (IBM Tivoli,Symbol MSP or your customized interface), managers inyour Network Operating Center (NOC) quickly and easilyexecute a variety of tasks. From this central single remotelocation, calls are sent to discover, initially provision ascanner, update settings, upgrade firmware and more.Symbol designed maximum flexibility into the communicationoptions between the management interface and the scannerdriver, enabling communications either directly with thescanner through Microsoft s WMI interface or through anapplication resident on the register. The result is an opensolution that can be integrated easily into your POS environment.USB OPOS Handheld= Non-Symbol SoftwarePOS TerminalWindows OS3EnterpriseInfrastructureRSM-Ready ScannerBar code DataMgmt. DataSymbol Scanner Driver1Bar Code DataSymbol OPOSDriver1POS ApplicationIn Store ProcessorManagementSymbol WMIPlug-in1Microsoft s Free WMIManagement Agent2Management ConsoleFigure 1: OPOS Driver Implementation with RSM EnablerWith RSM, enterprises can quickly and easilyupgrade from bar codedata transmission to enterprise management,enabling the discovery,asset tracking, provisioningand firmware upgrading of all handheld scannersfrom a remote centralizedlocation.Notes1. Remote Scanner Management suite of components available from Symbol Technologies2. Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is the Microsoft implementation of Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM), which is an industry initiative to develop a standard technology for accessing management information in an enterprise environment.3. Windows XP SP2Untitled Document3KEY FUNCTIONALITY AND BENEFITSThe ability to remotely manage handheld scanners on an enterprise network from a central location eliminates the manual, time-consuming and costly tasks of asset tracking, device provisioning and upgradingfirmware. In addition, the remote visibility into device metrics can enableinstant resolution of device problems, eliminating the need to return thedevice to the manufacturer for service. Capabilities of Symbol s remote management solution for handheld scanners include:OUT-OF-THE-BOX AUTOMATED PROVISIONINGBefore Traditionally, new scanners must be manually staged (for example, setting the communication mode and scanning parameters) before the scanner is connected to the POS terminal. This is performed either by your vendor prior to shipping of the devices or by one of your storeassociates on-site at your store.After Remote management enables a scanner connected to a POS terminal to be automatically provisioned, right out of the box at the time of storeside installation. Benefit The time and expense associated with manual provisioning is completelyeliminated. In addition, provisioning is performed correctly, the first time,eliminating errors and insuring reliable scanner operation. The need topurchase and stock more expensive custom configured devices is alsoeliminated, since the standard off-the-shelf scanner can now be automatically configured to your custom settings.REMOTE FIRMWARE UPGRADEBefore Until now, firmware upgrades to install software patches or new featureswere performed manually. Either an IT specialist was sent to the store tophysically update or fix each scanner, or personnel were required to pack,ship and track scanners sent to a Symbol repair facility. After upgrading,the scanner then required reconfiguration to restore the scanner to theproper settings for your environment either at the repair facility or byyour store personnel.After Now, the firmware on all scanners can be upgraded from a central remote location and then reconfigured to yoursettings instantly and automatically, without beingunplugged from the register. Benefit Scanners no longer need to be taken off line and sent to a repair facility to install patches or new functionality. Thetime and expense associated with the manual upgrading offirmware from shipping the scanner to tracking its returnto reconfiguring and installing is completely eliminated.The latest firmware upgrades can be installed as soon asthey are available, and new features (such as support for a new symbology) are availability immediately enablingyour scanners to remain productive while delivering thebest possible performance and maximum reliability. REMOTE DEVICE RE-CONFIGURATIONBeforeWhenever your scanner s settings require updating,whether due to a change in POS terminal hardware or software, or the need to restore original settings to a scanner that is malfunctioning due to settings that werechanged by an employee, the process requires someone in your organization to manually perform the update.AfterThe configuration on all your scanners can be updatedsimultaneously or the original settings on one specificscanner restored remotely and instantly.Benefit Restoring original configuration and upgrading settings to accommodate new equipment and applications takes literally seconds a nearly zero cost task. The time andcost associated with your employees physically accessingdevices for configuration updates is eliminated.Untitled Document4ASSET MANAGEMENTBeforeTo date, asset management of your scanners, if performed, has been acompletely manual process, requiring time and effort by store personnelto collect the information, as well as maintain a database of the collectedinformation.AfterRemote management enables the instant and automatic discovery of allscanners attached to your POS devices, including static information suchas model number, serial number and date of manufacture, as well asdynamic information such as the current firmware version installed on the device. BenefitRemote management enables an always-accurate, no-cost inventory ofyour scanners at any time. This real-time view provides:" The information needed to determine if a device is in or out of warranty,ensuring the right level of service is received at the right cost." Access to the scanner s firmware version to support troubleshootingmalfunctioning devices." A complete up-to-the-minute device inventory for tax purposes.SUMMARYBy leveraging its wealth of industry knowledge and expertise, Symbol has created another first, a remote management solution for handheldscanners. Through Symbol s thought leadership in device management,retailers everywhere can: " Eliminate the time and cost associated with a wide variety of tasks, from initial provisioning and updating of configurations to firmwareupgrades and asset management." Improve scanner performance and reliability through instant installation of software updates and new capabilities." Improve the quality of the management process through automation,which eliminates operator error and the resulting malfunction of scanners." Future proof existing investment in handheld scannersthrough the ability to immediately and cost-effectivelyinstall support for new features.With this solution, retailers can put the power to save significant time and money at the literal fingertips of ITstaff. Hundreds of handheld scanners in new stores can be configured and activated at the press of a button. And if an update to the register s application drives achange in the scanner s configuration, handheld scannersanywhere in the world can be instantly updated with the single click of a mouse. For more information on how your enterprise can benefitfrom remote management of your handheld scanners, contact us at +1.800.722.6234 or +1.631.738.2400.Untitled DocumentSymbol developed the first centralized remotemanagement solution for handheld scanners,designed to not only eliminate the visible and hidden costs associated with the day-to-day management of this key piece of retail technology,but also to integrate quickly and seamlessly intoyour existing network and computing environments.Untitled DocumentCorporate HeadquartersSymbol Technologies, Inc.One Symbol PlazaHoltsville, NY 11742-1300TEL: +1.800.722-6234+1.631.738.2400FAX: +1.631.738.5990For Asia Pacific AreaSymbol Technologies Asia, Inc.(Singapore Branch)Asia Pacific Division230 Victoria Street #12-06/10Bugis Junction Office TowerSingapore 188024TEL: +65.6796.9600FAX: +65.6796.7199For Europe, Middle East and AfricaSymbol TechnologiesEMEA DivisionSymbol Place, Winnersh TriangleBerkshire, England RG41 5TPTEL: +44.118.9457000FAX: +44.118.9457500For North America, Latin America andCanadaSymbol TechnologiesThe AmericasOne Symbol PlazaHoltsville, NY 11742-1300TEL: +1.800.722.6234+1.631.738.2400FAX: +1.631.738.5990Symbol Web siteFor a complete list of Symbol subsidiariesand business partners worldwide contactus at: www.symbol.comOr contact our pre-sales team at:www.symbol.com/salesPart No. WP-REMMGT Printed in USA 07/06 Copyright 2006 Symbol Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. Symbol is an ISO 9001 and ISO 9002 UKAS, RVC, and RAB Registered company, asscope definitions apply. Specifications are subject to change without notice. Symbol is a registered trademark of Symbol Technologies, Inc. IBM,eServerand BladeCenter are trademarks orregistered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. All other trademarks and service marks are proprietary to theirrespective owners. For system, product or services availability and specific information within your country, please contact your local Symbol Technologies office or Business Partner.About Symbol TechnologiesSymbol Technologies, Inc., The Enterprise Mobility Company", is a recognized worldwide leader in enterprise mobility,delivering products and solutions that capture, move and manage information in real time to and from the point of businessactivity. Symbol enterprise mobility solutions integrate advanced data capture products, radio frequency identificationtechnology, mobile computing platforms, wireless infrastructure, mobility software and world-class services programs.Symbol enterprise mobility products and solutions are proven to increase workforce productivity, reduce operating costs,drive operational efficiencies and realize competitive advantages for the world's leading companies. More information isavailable at www.symbol.comWP-REMMGT 07/06