When providing field reps with software for route-planning, one important question needs to be answered: Which devices will we support? There are many options: iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone. Should we also support notebooks and desktop-PCs running Windows, Mac OS or Linux? Each device needs its own app. Each operating system a different software. And what if this needs to be changed in the future?
Make your life easier and stay flexible by choosing a web-based application! This article shows 10 reasons why a modern web-based route-planner outperforms platform-specific apps and Windows software.
- No installation necessary. To use a native app or installed software, first you have to do a lot of work: finding the right version for each device and operating system, making sure there is enough free space, installing it on each and every device. When using a web-based app, all you need is a link and a password and the user is ready to go. There is no installation needed on the device.
- Maps are always up-to-date. A web-based route-planner loads maps as needed, directly from the provider into your browser. Maps are current and reflect the actual street network. You don’t have to drudge through manual map updates and you don’t need to buy map licenses.
- Your data on multiple devices. Do you want to plan routes on your PC using the big screen and then use your smartphone to actually drive the routes and navigate? Easy when using an online-route-optimizer: your data “follows” you from device to device. If you rather use installed apps and programs, you are dependent on import/export features to move to another device.
- Compatible with all systems. Web-based apps work on all mobile operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry) and on desktop operating systems (Windows, MacOS, Linux, …). All you need is a modern web-browser. Stay flexible and don’t get stuck on one platform!
- Supports private devices (BYOD). When employees are using their own devices in a corporate setting, the situation is commonly called “bring your own device” (BYOD). By using web-based applications, realizing this is fairly easy: nearly all devices are supported. Additionally, you do not have to fear data security issues: all data remain on high-security servers in the data center. Access control is managed conveniently in one central place.
- Consistent one-time training. A web-application looks and behaves the same on all devices. Once learned, you can use it everywhere. When choosing a native app for Android and iOS, the app may look quite different on each platform. This increases training costs.
- Lost device – data saved. Did you ever lose data because a device was lost, stolen, broken, or an update wiped the data? Especially in professional use, losing precious company data hurts. In a web-application, all data is securely stored on a server and backed up automatically. This way, you are safe from harmful data loss.
- No updates needed. If you installed an app or desktop software, you have to update it regularly. This is laborious and can go wrong. Web apps are centrally updated by the provider. You don’t have to worry about updates.
- Working offline, too. In the past, it was only possible to save data on the device and work offline with an installed application. Since the HTML5 standard has been introduced, web-browser apps are able to store data offline and work even when you do not have an internet connection.
- Fear no more changing your platform. Are you facing a platform change, for instance moving from Blackberry to Android? Or a big operating system upgrade? Do you fear that your needed apps will not work anymore? These are valid fears, as prior to any system change you have to test all deployed programs and apps thoroughly. Not with web-apps: you are independent from hardware- and operating-system vendors.
These 10 reasons speak for themselves: modern, web-based route-planners like portatour® offer you and your field reps many practical advantages and reduce the administration effort of your IT-department tremendously.