Did You Hear? Zebra “Operational Visibility Services” is Now “VisibilityIQ™ Foresight”

But we did more than give this solution a new name. We added new predictive analytics capabilities, integrated more device performance data and improved the user experience to give you a greater return on your mobility investment.

A look at the dashboard of Zebra’s new VisibilityIQ Foresight service, powered by Savanna
by Raj Chatterjee
May 15, 2019

If you issue mobile computing devices to your workers, you need to understand where they are in your environment and if they are working to their optimal potential. But, manually tracking and maintaining those devices can be a full-time job – and a difficult one at that considering how error-prone manual tracking methods tend to be. Without the right visibility tools in place, it can be difficult to keep a pulse on the health, location or performance of devices once they’re deployed into the field. You may assume that your Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution is sufficient. But most MDM platforms – despite their robust capabilities – cannot fully analyze each device’s performance and proactively alert you to potential issues that could lead to device and worker downtime. The data in MDM dashboards is limited and hard to manipulate. And, ironically, many MDM platforms require a lot of management themselves. They also require you to employ data scientists, IT professionals or systems specialists with the right expertise to derive specific reporting. That is why Zebra first launched its “Operational Visibility Services,” or OVS, portfolio in 2015.

However, we recently realized that the OVS name was a little misleading to customers and partners. While this data-driven analytics platform gives you visibility into the status of your operational mobile devices, the truth is that it is capable of delivering much more than just that kind of visibility. It arms you with clear, actionable intelligence about dozens of device performance metrics, not just one or two. This empowers you to take a more proactive approach to mobile device management versus having to wait until a device fails completely – and a worker goes offline – to realize something is wrong.

So, after making some significant enhancements to the solution – such as redesigning the user interface and adding even more proactive mobility management capabilities – we decided to rename and reintroduce our solution as “Zebra VisibilityIQ™ Foresight”.

The logo for Zebra’s new VisibilityIQ Foresight service, powered by Savanna

To give you a better idea of why we chose the name we did, I thought I would answer some of the questions we’ve received from customers and partners in recent months when speaking about Zebra’s visibility services for installed mobile computers. Hopefully, this insight will also help you understand how the new and improved VisibilityIQ Foresight solution can help you reduce your resource liability and improve the return on investment (ROI) for your mobile workforce technology solutions.

What Is VisibilityIQ Foresight and Why Did Zebra Feel the Need to Offer This Solution?

Predictive analytics.  Fleet management. Operational visibility. Asset performance monitoring. These are all key enterprise workflows that rely on mobile computing devices in some capacity. In order to keep these mobile technologies operating at peak performance levels – which is required to sustain data collection, distribution and analysis processes – you need to employ a device “fleet management” tool that monitors the performance of these widely-dispersed assets, delivers visibility into their operational status and uses predictive analytics to encourage a more preventative maintenance strategy. That, in short, is what the Zebra VisibilityIQ Foresight data intelligence solution is designed to do.

Powered by our Savanna® data intelligence platform, Zebra VisibilityIQ Foresight processes hundreds of thousands of data points related to the performance of your workers’ mobile computers and uses machine learning techniques to analyze and deliver key performance findings in easy-to-understand reports.

Anyone on your team can login to this Zebra-hosted, secured cloud platform to confirm the utilization, battery usage, location, wireless connectivity and more of a single deployed mobile device or your entire device fleet. Automated emails will notify you when certain thresholds are crossed and direct you to the VisibilityIQ Foresight dashboard for more information. There, color-coded status reports provide details about devices that are at a high-risk of failure (red), those that require further diagnostic action (yellow) and those that are operating at peak performance (green). This enables you to quickly identify devices that may require maintenance or replacement so that you can take proactive action before a device goes offline.

I Have an MDM Solution Already. Why Do I Need VisibilityIQ Foresight?

As I mentioned before, MDM solutions are a necessary component to the management of your enterprise mobility solutions. That’s actually why we include a SOTI™ MobiControl license as part of Zebra VisibilityIQ Foresight for customers who don’t already have an MDM solution in place. The Zebra VisibilityIQ Foresight solution simply empowers your enterprise with mobility management capabilities beyond what traditional tools such as MDM platforms deliver today. To be more specific, Zebra VisibilityIQ Foresight…

  1. Gives you more business intelligence (BI) than a traditional MDM solution, and gives you clear guidance on how to apply that BI in a proactive manner. Zebra has deployed millions of mobile devices over the last 50 years, and we have a wealth of intelligence about the historical performance of each – which can help inform the actions you should take throughout the device lifecycle to increase longevity and decrease device (and worker) downtime. By combining data from multiple sources such as contracts, repair and case management systems, Zebra’s IoT agent and MDM information,  Zebra VisibilityIQ Foresight transforms big data into actionable insights in a single, cloud-based, color-coded view.
  2. Enables you to proactively optimize device availability and improve asset distribution, which is the key to maintaining smooth operations when you’re reliant on a mobile workforce. Zebra VisibilityIQ Foresight intelligence reports include a combination of historical behavioral data, historical seasonal data and current health stats for each device. These combined insights help you catch and address potential device performance problems before they affect your bottom line, improve the longevity of devices and more accurately plan for future device sourcing needs. For instance, if a worker is not properly charging a battery; experiencing system speed issues or experience wireless signal loss issues on a consistent basis, you can proactively submit a ticket for diagnosis and then repair or replace as appropriate. Zebra VisibilityIQ Foresight also generates a daily, automatic out-of-contact asset report, which allows for timely intervention when a device is lost or stolen. This, in turn, protects your investment by minimizing the number of replacement devices you need to purchase and helps to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the recovered device.
  3. Eliminates the IT and financial resource burden that used to come with managing multiple mobile technology form factors and/or a mixed operating system (OS) device fleet. You only have to login to one place – VisibilityIQ – to confirm the battery life, system health, or location of a device. No more manual data inputs or manipulation required to view and analyze an aggregated data set. This actually enables you maximize the data being generated by your MDM, which is now linked to Zebra VisibilityIQ Foresight.

Even better, you don’t have to be an MDM guru to view and/or take action on the VisibilityIQ dashboard metrics. The new user interface is easy to understand and navigate. Plus, it can be accessed from any internet browser, anywhere to monitor device performance. Operations managers and IT teams maintain 24/7 visibility into each device’s status in the palm of their hand via the threshold-specific email alerts and color-coded cloud-based dashboard.

A screenshot of the new VisibilityIQ dashboard

Plus, Zebra VisibilityIQ Foresight gives you insight into Zebra mobile computing devices as well as non-Zebra rugged and consumer Android and iOS devices. This gives you better visibility and control over your mobile device fleet holistically.

In other words, Zebra VisibilityIQ Foresight works in conjunction with the MDM to simplify your enterprise mobility management activities. As you will see in this video, it is the easiest and most cost-effective way to maintain full visibility and control over your enterprise mobile device fleet, no matter how many devices – or how many different types of devices – you deploy. 

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Editor’s Note: Did you know that VisibilityIQ Foresight is just one of the new tools available to you under our VisibilityIQ portfolio?

  • VisibilityIQTM DNA leverages the Savanna IoT platform to increase the volume of business intelligence you can access via your on-premise and on-device Mobility DNA tools. As a result, VisibilityIQTM DNA enables you to fully utilize key Zebra DNA tools—an exclusive and powerful set of software, applications and utilities that transforms your Zebra mobile computers, scanners and printers into true enterprise solutions. For example, VisibilityIQ enables you to see critical device DNA data to bolster efficiency and uptime; configure fleets in no time; and avoid battery disruptions with PowerPrecision battery analytics. (And so much more.)
  • VisibilityIQTM OneCare® is a benefit of Zebra OneCare’s expert support services, designed to eliminate unplanned device downtime and unbudgeted repair expenses. In addition to repair, technical and software support, you can track the status of your device repairs, technical cases and LifeGuardTM security status using cloud-based VisibilityIQ OneCare

Want to learn more about the benefits of VisibilityIQ Foresight or how it works? Visit www.zebra.com/visibilityiq-foresight.

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Raj Chatterjee
As the Global Director of Visibility Services and Digital Experience for Zebra, Raj Chatterjee focuses on creating solutions that enhance the availability of Zebra hardware solutions in business-critical mobility and increase mobile device utilization within workflows. Mr. Chatterjee and his team of product managers, data scientists and architects are always thinking about how greater visibility empowers workers and ultimately enterprises to do more – faster and better.
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