Manufacturing 2017: The Year of Android

The Android trend is opening new opportunities for ISVs to differentiate themselves in a market that’s been dominated by legacy software for years.

In an ever-evolving tech space, the consumer-driven expectations have made their way into the manufacturing and warehouse space. With major brands producing new smart devices with better operating systems every year in the consumer market, it’s only natural for this trend to make its way into the commercial space. Steady advancements in Android security have bolstered the trend and calmed previous concerns. 

How the Manufacturing Market is Changing

The market is undergoing a strong shift toward Android, and barring any major derailments, this trend should continue. Many resellers have commented that they cannot get demo Android devices fast enough to present to customers.

This has also caused a change in how manufacturers approach their business model for producing technology products. In years past, depending on the model, a manufacturer needed to refresh a product every 3-5 years to satisfy market demand. Since the operating system business model has changed, the refresh model has now been changed to every 1-2 years. 

What’s Ahead for 2018

Next year will be affected by a large shift in application development. The warehouse and manufacturing space has long been dominated by the Windows operating systems. We will see many ISVs becoming more niche in their software offerings due to the implication of a more robust and open development platform correlated with the heavier shift to Android. Hardware manufacturers will be forced to keep up with demand and support the technology moving forward. They will be quicker on their feet to implement this in 2018. 

The Most Significant Technology Trend in Manufacturing Next Year Will Be…

The biggest trend ISVs should be aware of will be application development. Be ready for your customers to ask for more customization due to the Android platform. Many companies will also request a SaaS model, as opposed to an upfront capital cost. Be prepared to be agile. 

Watch Out for These Threats Next Year

The largest threat in the manufacturing and warehouse space for ISVs is the hardware manufacturers not being able to keep up with the expected growth within the Android space. With most offerings being Windows based in the past, the hardware manufacturers have fallen behind in producing new and capable Android devices for this space. There will be initiatives to catch up, but 2018 will be just that for manufacturers, the year of catch-up.

The Biggest Opportunities for ISVs in 2018

In the manufacturing and warehouse space, the software market is dominated by warehouse management system (WMS) software. While these software offerings are important and needed, there are a large number of them. For ISVs, the shift to Android presents an opportunity to show why they are different. This can be accomplished by customization and simplification. These two concepts may be opposites in a sense, but manufacturing customers want to be able to get what they want while having minimal disruption to their workforce. This means that ISVs have to step up their user interface game.

What ISVs Can Expect to See from BlueStar in 2018

BlueStar has opportunities for ISVs to create bundled solutions with proven, best-in-class hardware vendors and service providers. We also offer membership opportunities into ISV-exclusive partner programs with top channel vendors, plus:

  • Participation in lead generation and targeted marketing activities
  • VAR recruitment programs to grow an ISV’s network of certified dealers
  • A high-value content engine and community built to inform, equip, and support our ISV partners
  • Invitations to exhibit at premiere channel events such as VARTECH
  • The ability to position themselves as thought leaders by contributing to industry blogs such as VARTECH Nation and Appware Solutions.

BlueStar wants to be the “API” that connects ISVs to the channel ecosystem, including leading hardware manufacturers and VAR partners to expand their product reach and support, and nationwide service providers including payment processing, installation, and technical support.