Panasonic, Europe’s leading rugged computing device provider, today announced the next generation of Panasonic COMPASS, its market-leading suite of enterprise management tools for Panasonic TOUGHBOOK rugged tablets and handheld devices running the Android operating system. The latest additions to the Complete Android Services and Security package include a new proprietary rapid configuration tool, enhanced security updates for up to 10 years after device deployment, as well as a Mobile Enterprise Application Platform and an application submission portal to certify new applications for Panasonic Android devices.
“Our latest research shows Android tablet and handheld adoption for business use continues to grow although direct feedback from some of our customers suggests there is a still a concern specifically around security. However with 60% of device buyers saying Android is still being integrated into their organisations, the number of devices is expected to continue to rise over the next three years,” said Rob Blowers, General Manager of Engineering and Project Management at Panasonic Computer Product Solutions Europe. “Panasonic COMPASS 2.0 offers businesses everything they need to configure, deploy and manage their Panasonic rugged Android tablets and handhelds securely. It is designed to give businesses the confidence to take advantage of the flexibility offered by an Android operating system with the reassurance that Panasonic’s devices are business-ready for applications, management and security.”
Panasonic COMPASS consists of five essential elements for enterprises operating Panasonic Android rugged devices:
- COMPASS Custom
To enhance the user’s experience straight out of the box and to provide devices with a company identity, COMPASS Custom offers multiple levels of Android Operating System (OS) customisation. These options range from changes to the basic look and feel of the OS, to a custom kernal with specific drivers, through to full access to the build environment.
- COMPASS Air
Firmware-Over-The-Air (FOTA) technology can be used for firmware updates, security patches, system application upgrades, and driver fixes using data connectivity. Updates are sent to Panasonic TOUGHBOOK devices twice per year, as a standard, free-of-charge service for all devices.
Advanced FOTA is a chargeable service for organisations that require more control over updates. IT Managers decide when and which policies to deploy, and to which devices. Advanced FOTA also includes access to the Panasonic Software Component Management Object (SCOMO) feature which enables similar control over software components.
- COMPASS Manager
COMPASS Manager offers a number of different staging and remote device management tools, including Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) or Mobile Device Management (MDM) software licensing and certification.
Initial Device Configuration
Panasonic offers an extensive range of configuration and staging options. These include Panasonic staging at the TOUGHBOOK Configuration Centre; Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) or Mobile Device Management (MDM) staging via Quick Response (QR) code or Near Field Communication (NFC) bump; and staging via USB stick to a special partition. For customers without access to these applications or a data network there is the new Panasonic Rapid Configuration (PARC) tool. Customers can configure over 40 settings to create secure profiles in a PC-based configuration console, which then generates a QR code to be scanned by the device or devices to be configured. NFC set-up is also possible with PARC.
Panasonic Android models are certified by a variety of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) vendors. EMM-certification benefits include applications optimised for Panasonic devices and opportunities for Panasonic-exclusive editions of EMM applications via the Google Play store. Panasonic models can also be pre-installed with EMM clients to make roll-out simple.
APK Submission Portal
Upload an application to the APK portal for Panasonic to certify for use on TOUGHBOOK devices. This ensures the correct version of the app is running on devices, and helps protect against data breaches.
Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP)
The MCL Mobility Platform is a unique Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) for building, deploying, running and managing apps across multiple operating systems and hardware. The MCL Mobility Platform enables central and virtual management of the entire mobile device infrastructure. It also eliminates the need for complicated and time-consuming development and testing, reducing costs, time to market and future-proofing applications for OS migration and hardware transition.
- COMPASS Security
COMPASS Security is the complete lifecycle assurance and management solution for TOUGHBOOK Android devices, ensuring the mobile estate is fully protected and device performance optimised. COMPASS Security gives IT administrators the choice of how to deploy updates – locally or remotely via MDM, FOTA or Advanced FOTA – and continues well after product End of Life. The standard service provides on average 2 updates per year, continuing for 1 year after product End of Life. The premium service provides support for up to 3 years after product end of life and can be extended for up to 5 years, with more frequent patches, including support through OS transition, where applicable.
Third Party Security and encryption solutions can also be certified and pre-installed on request, by taking advantage of COMPASS Manager staging and deployment capabilities.
- COMPASS for Enterprise
A range of tools for simplifying and ensuring enterprise devices are optimised for business use.
Ensure Corporate Owned, Single Use (COSU) and Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) devices are only used for work using this kiosk mode interface. It allows the device to be restricted for example, only running one or a selection of applications and features for specific end-users.
MCL Developer is a low-code application development tool to create and deploy custom business applications onto devices that use the MCL Platform. Applications designed for the MCL Platform can be deployed across multiple Operating Systems, form factors and device models. Panasonic also offer an application development service. This can include consultation throughout the development as well as ideas on how to improve daily operations.
Panasonic Android devices
Panasonic TOUGHBOOK introduced its first Android devices in Europe in 2011 and currently offers a range of market-leading, Android rugged tablet and handheld devices to meet your mobile workforce requirements with a range of screen sizes to suit all needs. All new TOUGHBOOK Android devices will be certified by Google as Android Enterprise Recommended rugged devices.