‘Education’ from manufacturers needed on terminology confusion

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Confusion can be avoided through education and better communication according to survey

New research reveals that buyers of rugged mobile computing devices are confused by the terminology that is used to describe the products they are buying.

The report by Opinion Matters found 85 per cent of business buyers of mobile believe standards for ruggedness are already in place, however there are none at all.

The study was published by Panasonic and conducted by Opinion Matters who sampled 250 UK mobile technology buyers.

In total 88 per cent of business buyers said the ruggedness of their devices was fairly important to them when considering new purchases for their workforce.

As well as this, less than half of the buyers were of aware of Ingress Protection (IP) ratings as two-thirds struggled to identify what the ratings meant.

While 69 per cent of respondents believed the terms ‘MIL-STD compliant’ and ‘tested to MIL-STD’ to be a consistent measurement, which is not the case.

One in five also stated they do not undertake any testing of their own when buying devices and believe what the manufacturers claim.

Panasonic computer products solutions general manager of marketing Jan Kaempfer said: “With an increasing number of manufacturers adding a wide range of rugged sounding names and classifications to their products, it is very easy to buy an inappropriate product for a mobile workforce.”

“This can be a very costly mistake for the business and also be very frustrating and demotivating for the workforce.”

Kaempfer told Mobile News that this confusion can be avoided with some more education and communication from manufacturers.

“To avoid the confusion collectively manufacturers need to communicate what each standards and certifications have been tested and are available.”

“The standards are complex and difficult and it cannot be expected for each business user and consumer to understand all the details. The market needs to be educated and this can be done through white papers, forums and webinars on what the standards are.”

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