MSG (Mobile Solution Group) is a group of companies that focuses on delivering products and services for people on the move. One of its companies is PCA Mobile Solutions that specialises in making work order-based processes mobile for service-oriented maintenance companies and housing corporations. To this end, PCA develops and delivers solutions such as the Marlin digital planning board, the NeMO digital work order and the all-in-one solution Casper. It also offers the required supporting services.
Mobility in its genes
Mobility has been in the organisation's genes since the outset. Maurice Tijs, employed with the company since 1996, knows this better than anyone: "In 1994, our founder was already investigating the possibility of creating mobile applications for a magazine subscription organisation. Back then, of course, everything was still offline, but one thing led to another." According to Maurice, building apps like PCA does for the PDAs used by field staff is a specialism in itself: "All too often, apps are simply reproductions of office software; they are not dedicated and therefore not always successful. Our apps are built with the user in mind. For example, we provide a 'fat finger interface' where possible that can easily be operated by technicians out in the field."
Development much less labour intensive
Nowadays, building applications is far less time-consuming than it used to be: "We have built a communication framework which significantly reduces the need for specific programming. In the past, communication used to be fully tailored to each application, but we have now developed a communication layer that is completely data-unaware. Our digital planning board, for example, no longer knows anything about the mobile system and vice versa. This means that we can develop a client irrespective of the system used. And that is the only thing we have to do, whereas in the past we had to build a communication component for the client, a communication channel and a communication component for the ERP system. It used to take four times as much effort. In addition, the communication sessions can be made much more robust now that nothing else is attached to them. The user no longer notices that communication is taking place. This is how information is provided in the year 2012!"
- Managed Hosting
Migration of applications to the Cloud
Up until 2011, PCA's communication platform ran on one of the company's own servers with a relatively modest internet connection. They contacted Previder to migrate the entire network to a cloud environment in an external data centre. Maurice Tijs explains: "At the time, we were actually only looking for a partner to host applications for our customers. But after visiting the data centre in Hengelo, I was so impressed that we eventually moved our entire network to Previder."
Professional collaboration and easy to contact
Maurice is extremely pleased with the outcome: "I am really pleased with the results; the Previder Cloud gives us greater flexibility than ever. Previder is also a team of professionals we can collaborate with to find solutions to our problems. They have a lot of in-depth knowledge, they use state-of-the-art technology and the staff are also easy to get hold of. You can always call someone directly to discuss matters with them. What I like about Previder is that they are also critical about themselves and their own system. This makes a refreshing change as suppliers in our industry often try to apportion the blame elsewhere as soon as they can. We can move forward with Previder for the time being as the foundation that has been laid can support us for at least the next decade."