In 2002, approximately 9% of the world’s population was plugged into the internet. Today it is 1 person in 3. In One Step’s beginning, the average user spent about 45 minutes per day on the web.
Today we spend over 4 hours per day and more if we work via the internet.
Ten years ago if you could find a song to download, it took over 12.5 minutes to retrieve; today a song can be yours in a few seconds
In 2002 when users thought of mobile devices they thought of Palm pilots. Sophisticated in their day with an infrared port, backlight display and flash memory powered by triple A batteries, owners were provided a calendar and a contact list. At the time, Microsoft only offered Windows CE, a mobile platform that could host a database; a feature absent in Palm and other competitors.
Most of our clients had asked us if our software was compatible with Palm and when we said we used Windows CE, they often did not understand the technologies to consider using our software.
In 2002 we recognized that mobile computing could provide significant advantages in data computing.
Most field data collection was still relying on a clipboard with the resulting paper file being stored in file cabinets and then forgotten about. We believed that gathering field information digitally would make it much easier to manage and provide users with data having the integrity to allow easy reporting. For the first time, users could quickly and easily analyze results to define workloads, inspection results, and create reports that would provide meaningful data.
Larger fire departments quickly recognized the advantages the One Step’s family of software brought to fire prevention. Inspectors would arrive at work and assigned a list of occupancies that were due to be inspected. Using One Step Mobile on laptops, inspectors accurately and efficiently recorded their observations and then synchronized their field data with a server hosting the information making it available to the rest of the department. Clipboards were eliminated and clerical time became more productive being used for completing more inspections and fire prevention activities.
Today, One Step is being used in both large and small fire departments throughout North America with inspectors working wirelessly to gather field data.
Departments can choose to have One Step data hosted in the cloud and significantly reduce their in house technical overhead or they can keep all the data and software on their internal web servers.
With One Step Web, using a wirelessly connected tablet – be it with WiFi or cellular, the field worker reads and writes data directly to the database. The field data is instantly available to the rest of the department and new requests are instantly seen on the inspector’s screen. It is a totally different mobile world from 2002.
The Challenge Part 2: Wireless Dead Zones
Android and iPad (IOS) devices rely on a wireless connection to the shared One Step database. If the field worker loses the wireless connection, the field worker will need to wait until the wireless connection is restored.
There are two solutions available. The first is to purchase a tablet or laptop and keep the application and data local to the device and when wireless connectivity is restored, synch the field device with the shared One Step database.
The second solution is to purchase Step Web with the added option of keeping the application native on the iPad or Android device. This allows the field worker to use an inexpensive device which does not need a continuous wireless connection.
One Step – a Sample Screen
We are excited about the changes coming and know we will be the innovators to build mobile inspection and data acquisition systems users want to utilize. We are very fortunate as the departments and customers we work with have great ideas that inspire us to do more. Stay tuned – we will continue to deliver solutions that exceed your expectations
SUPPORTING OUR CLIENTS IS OUR FIRST RESPONSIBILITY.