The mobile application provider, TAAP, has released a Windows 8.1 data capture application which enables organisations to switch from other platforms to take advantage of the lower cost of ownership offered by new Microsoft Windows 8.1 devices combined with TAAP software licences – the latter typically working out at an effective £5 per user per month.
With platforms such as Apple charging up to £700 at the upper range for an iPad with large storage capacity and 3G connections, and some software applications being charged for multiple times when Apple operating systems are upgraded, it can be very expensive for customers to maintain a cost-effective data capture system. However, with new tablet devices from manufacturers offering Windows 8.1 devices coming in at £250-300 with 3G connectivity, USB ports, and SD card slots, this is about to change.
The consensus from TAAP’s Automotive clients, a sector which TAAP has worked within for over a decade, is that iPad data capture apps are no longer as cost effective as other alternatives, and are looking for alternative platforms which offer stability and credibly but which don’t exceed budgets. They are also looking to take advantage of features that are not traditionally available on iPads such as running car configurators which often use Flash; using existing Office applications such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc.; checking emails; and using USB ports and SD cards.
Data capture on smartphones is now beginning to be usurped by new touch-screen tablet user interfaces, which are available on a variety of Windows 8.1 devices. A non-obvious benefit to this is that workers can now use the same app across a variety of Windows 8.1 devices – tablets, kiosks, PCs, hybrid laptops, or in the back-office of an organisation.
The advantages of using Windows 8.1 combined with TAAP software are three-fold: the customer gets to choose from a range of devices from a variety of manufacturers – in the case of tablets, the costs for many Windows 8.1 devices with 3G are very affordable – between £250-300 for the Acer W4 model; having the Windows 8.1 operating system allows user access to other Microsoft applications such as Office; and TAAP applications can be linked to static offline websites displaying brochures or handbooks for example.
At a dealer event for instance, customer details can be entered using the straightforward interface created by TAAP, which allows rich data such as text, photo, and signatures to be captured, and specific options (supplied by the client) to be chosen from pre-defined drop down menus. The data capture applications also work offline, so can still operate in areas of poor connectivity.
Data is easily transferred to either the client’s existing databases, or into a secure web portal provided by TAAP, where it can be used for marketing purposes. TAAP also provides other services such as email or sms confirmation linked to the data capture process, thus continuing the experiential journey for the customer. These tailored messages can be used to welcome a new customer or prospect, or fulfil mailing obligations. It also enables third party services such as postcode look-up and bank checker, which can be integrated into applications.
Steve Higgon, CEO of TAAP, commented: “TAAP is committed to providing flexible, cost effective data capture solutions working on the latest technology. We continue to offer clients customised applications based on pre-built components so that implementation is fast and straightforward. Our software licence costs remain low, working out at an effective £5 per mobile user per week, so that clients can benefit from innovative but stable solutions at affordable prices. Customers with existing systems from TAAP can add new users from £50 per user per month.”
TAAP is a leading provider of software solutions which allow organisations to mobilise their operations using hand held devices such as PDAs, smartphones, and tablets.