B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro
B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro

Episode · 1 month ago

Developing Verified Solutions and Versatile Devices with Eric Hilton

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

High-value solutions don’t drop out of the sky fully formed. At Zebra Technologies, they understand what it takes to craft impactful devices built for confirmed pain points and challenges.  

From the public sector to healthcare, there’s no shortage of problems to solve and workflows to improve.  

Shelby Skrhak speaks with Eric Hilton, regional portfolio manager - North America at Zebra Technologies, about: 

  • Impacts on the public sector
  • The value of Zebra Technologies in healthcare
  • Developing versatile solutions  

To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk 

Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify,Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. Or tune in on our website.

You're listening to B two B tech talk with Ingram Micro, the place to learn about new technology and technological advances before they become mainstream. This podcast is sponsored by Ingram Micro's imagine next. It's not about the destination, it's about going someplace you never thought possible. Go to imagine next, DOT INGRAM MICRO DOT com to find out more. Let's get into it. Welcome to B two B tech talk with Ingram micro. I'm your host, she'll be skirt hawk, and our guest today is Eric Hilton, North America regional portfolio manager e MC for Zebra. Eric, welcome, thank you for having me. Shall we appreciate the opportunity? Excellent. Well, today we are talking about Zebra tablets and the public and healthcare sectors. But first, Eric, tell us a little bit about Zebra. Yeah, Zebra is a a phenomenal solutions partner to to many, many, many of the fortune five hundred fortune one companies out there in the world. Were roughly five point six, five point eight billion dollar company when it comes to revenue, roughly ten thousand employees. We are a solutionist provider to all of those companies, helping them capture their edge we're helping them drive more efficient workflows or drive additional visibility into their industry, into their workflows that they can then capture and they can make more rapid responses and right time responses, real time responses to their workflows to to inform their workflows and more efficiently capture their their business and more effectively run their business. Yeah. Well, it's interesting to hear the discussion about workflows and I want to dive into that a little bit more. But you know, I think many are familiar with zebra tablets, I guess, and more of the retail space. But tell us about Zebra's position in these verticals like the public sector or healthcare? Yeah, absolutely, great call out. Yes, we,...

...we zebra, have had a long, long standing market shares, very strong number one position and a lot of growth historically in the retail, the manufacturing, the transportation and logistics, the warehouse type businesses, and continued growth and momentum in our healthcare spaces in our public sector. As we recognize those as growth opportunities for us, we are continuing to make investments and those investments include not just additional sales resources and not just additional technical resources that are focused specifically at those solutions, but really also recognizing the benefits and the development efforts specifically to go develop devices for those industries. Now, most of what Zebra does, at least from a mobile computing perspective, which is what I get to focus on, is we get to dive into purpose built solutions for the industries that that devices targeted. And so in ex sector is a great example where we recognize that the use cases are slightly different than what you would experience in a retail environment, that the device requirements are different, the workflows are very different, and so ultimately the same devices are not going to be uh the right price, the right solution for those devices, that the right purpose built type solution for the public sector, and that's where, ultimately we have taken a position and continued development efforts to expand our portfolio, again, not just focused at the next retail device, but really focused in at what those purpose built solutions really need to be for those industries that we're serving, in this case public sector. Yeah, well, you know, I'm sure the needs in the public sector and healthcare sector. They differ obviously very greatly from retail. Yeah, so let's talk about those specific needs like. How does Zebra's portfolio of tablets meet the needs? And let's start with focusing in on...

...the public sector. What are those use cases? Yeah, when you think public sector, you think tablets. Me Think immediately a device mounted in a police cruiser. That's where my mind goes. That's where, whether it's a police cruiser or an ambulance or utility truck, all of those public sector type devices. These are CAD devices. These are dispatched level devices where police officers and utility workers and uh e m t s are receiving critical dispatch information as they're out on a call or as they're outdoing their day to day business. Most of what we talk about when it comes to those tablets, that industry is still very, very heavily rooted in windows, full blown windows, and that's where, you know, where we've seen other industries really take a big transition years ago over to the android world. It's important to note that the public sector is still very heavily rooted in a full loan windows ten from Microsoft operating system, because that's where a lot of those applications are still developed, and so that's why Zebra really, when we started to develop some of those purpose built devices and as we continued to build that out, even through acquisition, expanding our portfolio by purchasing legacy explore technologies, formerly motion computing, we were able to increase our our portfolio, the number of devices in our portfolio, yes, but more importantly, we brought to zebra much stronger windows based portfolio and I think you'll continue to see that over time that while Zebra has a very, very strong android story, we are continuing to develop and we will continue to develop on full blown windows tablets because we recognize that there's still industries that are that are very tied to the Microsoft Windows platforms. Instead of forcing, you know, agencies to move over to an android based stem to...

...basically kind of start, it's like, you know the difference between apple and in windows. You know, you've got and apple products and then you have to switch over if you're, you know, moving to those windows, or or maybe AP probably a more apt example in this case is, you know, android. So you're developing things on the windows platform. Then so is that so public sector? They could use the devices that they already have. So we are ultimately developing solutions and to your point around forcing ultimately zebras development cycles, we typically give our customers the choice to do whatever is going to be right for their use case. There's no two customers that are the same, no workflows are the same, no two UH I t departments are identical and therefore different requirements come from everyone. So we ultimately try to enable our customers and let them decide what the right solution is. I've got customers even in the public sector that have made that transition to android because it's what's right for their business. But ultimately were recognized that not every customer is there and so ultimately that's why we decided to continue our investment and we've not just through that acquisition but even after acquisition, continue to develop around that windows based portfolio on our devices, really offering differentiated not just hardware platforms, but differentiated software platforms, uh software solutions within the devices, within our zebra devices that allow the users to have more control over what the device does or allow the users in the I t departments to create a more secure device by locking things down in the device that they aren't able to do in native windows os or that they aren't able to do with some of our competing devices out there on the market. So not just hardware but software to correct absolutely well. So let's talk about the healthcare then. What are some of those use cases? How were how are the zebra tablets being used and what are those needs? Absolutely...

...there's are really a tale of two stories in the healthcare industry, one being that we talk about clinicians holding devices and clinicians using those devices to access the patient's medical records, to access the patient's care plan and be able to influence that by by recognizing or scheduling labs or administering medication, things like that. A clinician focused device and historically served by strong windows portfolio. But we're starting to see that that transition and again that's another scenario where some customers have started to transition to an android based platform and we work with those, the software providers that develop those electronic health record systems, E H R s and e M R s. We work with them to make sure that our devices are validated and fully ready to go and that they're driving again, differentiated portfolios so that none of us are going to our customers and saying this is the only platform that that our software is gonna work on. Ultimately, our customers are looking for the option to choose UH and the ability to choose the right device for their workflows. And so one is a clinician device that, again, is utilized to access the E M R, the E H R be able to u administer medications and influence the care plan. The other workflow that we've seen come on really in the last two years is a patient focus device and whether that's a patient engagement device that is mounted at the bedside. That patient may utilize the tablet to order food, they may utilize that that tablet to look at their schedule for the day. What doctors and what clinicians are gonna be rounding on me UH and coming in to administer care, or when am I going to receive medication again and what's my schedule look like for the day or, like I mentioned, order medication or even interact with my loved ones who may not be able to come see me, whether that's for infectious disease control or that maybe also because they're just they happen to be on the other side of the country or the other side of the world and they aren't able...

...to come visit. So therefore, now I can do I can interact with them via a bedside mounted device, and now I can. They can be even be a part of my care plan. For example, if we've got a loved one who is uh in a in a hospital and a doctor comes to visit them and it's important that I hear also what the doctor is saying, even if I can't be in the room. We can do things like telehealth. We can utilize tablets to be able to interact with our care providers and even even our loved ones while we're a patient, whether that be impatient or even outpatient once the patient goes home. I think that's a huge benefit there and I think for for anybody that uh, you know that's that's been in the hospital or it's had loved ones in the hospital, especially when you're caretaking, you know it's so important to be a strong advocate for yourself and your loved ones and you know, if you are the one receiving the treatment not, you're not often able to pick up on on all of the things that the doctor is is saying. And so often, you know, four ears are better than two ears. So so you're saying that the these modern zebra tablets, they have ability for almost personal communications. They can teleconference in loved ones, so when the doctor is doing their realms, basically you can, you know, call up your daughter on on the on the tablet and be able to have her listen in on what the doctor's saying right exactly exactly, and that's UH. Whether we're talking about a workflow like telehealth or remote patient monitoring, all of those require strong voice and video capabilities to be able to utilize the tablet that way and a strong wireless connection and all of those things that you would expect when we're providing care or receiving care. We don't want to be worried about is the device connected? Is the divide whereas the is the camera quality good or anything like that. It's all just gotta be mainstay. It's got to be available, it's got to work and then, you know, the other requirements that come into play, especially in a healthcare...

...environment. Is Disinfectant ready is, as we talk about changing a room over and cleaning it between one patient to another and being able to make sure that that that entire room is disinfected, that that that that patient is ready, that the next patient is now there's a room ready for that next patient to come in. You know, disinfectant ready plastics become critical and being able to wipe that that device down more frequently. You know, Standard Devices, most standard electronics, the plastics and the housings that are utilized on those, they'll break down over time with those stronger disinfectants that our healthcare systems utilize, and that's where, ultimately, that's one big part of a healthcare purpose built device, is making sure that we uh that we're ready to meet the needs that are that our health care systems are providing, are requesting, and that's where disinfectant ready solutions are are probably one of the first and highest priorities that our customers are typically asking for. You mentioned the purpose built devices and how those work into workflows. How did or how does the Zebra study these workflows to to be able to create the right tablet for the right purpose? That's a great question and that's what I get to focus on quite a bit. Is I get to focus. When you mentioned my title, I'm North America Focus, and what that means is I get to focus on voice of customer across all of North America, device strategy for our North American customers, and so ultimately, Zebra never develops a new device in a silo. We always develop with lots and lots of feedback from various different partners and customers and software providers to make sure that when we come to our customers with the right solution, that it is in fact that right solution and that it is it's tested, it's validated and we've confirmed and that that the voice of customer that we heard...

...early on in the development cycle that that is adopted and then ultimately delivered in an eventual product. And so, ultimately, our development cycles, like I mentioned, they are always influenced by by external influences of customers and partners, and part of that is we have some phenomenal customers that have said, you know what, here's a challenge that I've got. It may not even be a mobile computing challenge, it may just be a challenge. Zebra, can you come in and help me out? Can you come in and study this with me? Can you help me find the right solution within you know and ultimately find something that I can do within the portfolio to either, for let's use healthcare as the example, to drive a more efficient workflow to help my clinicians continue to work at the top of their license or maybe just providing better care and the ability to to ensure that that they are always providing that strong level of care in a very efficient manner along the way, because climately we see shortages and workflows, especially in nursing uh and so ultimately we really want to help enable the nursing staff that we do have or the clinician staff that we do have. We really want to make sure that they're they're continuing to provide the best quality of care and continue to work at the top of their license. Yeah, on the podcast we love hearing examples and anecdotes from from our expert guests. So could you think of a customer success story that you could share with Zebra's portfolio? Yeah, absolutely, we've got a couple come to mind, so I'm trying to think through which one I want to I want to call out, but we've got a couple of customers that that are really early adopters of our new healthcare purpose built tablet, the et forty healthcare, and I'm not going to make this a commercial about that device, but I am going to highlight the fact that they recognized that they needed a longer term life cycle device. They needed a solution that had an integrated scanner and needed to be rugged, all those things that come into play, and it...

...needed to be health care purpose built. And so they're coming to us saying, you know what, I really need this solution and what's out there on the market really isn't cutting it, it's really not delivering what I need. I either have to decide from a bulky, thick, ultra rugged type solution that's running windows ten, or I need to decide from a consumer grade device and and that doesn't meet my needs. And so I need this better solution. And those customers have come to us and they said, you know what, I need to be able to create this solution and then make sure it's versatile so that it can flex in and out of so many workflows, because just like our nursing staff is is strapped and there uh and our our workforce is strapped in there. We don't have enough clinicians. We also don't have enough I t department and so therefore, one device spread across so many different use cases, whether it be that remote patient monitoring or that patient engagement or that clinical mobility and being able to communicate with each other. I want to be able to do it all on one device because that's easier for my I t department to manage. It's those types of workflows and it's those customers that were the strong proponents of this solution and we've already, even though it just launched, we're already recognizing significant success with a couple of those customers. Well, as we start to wrap up our episode, we always ask our guests the same final question, and that's where do you see technology going in the next year? I know that's broad, but uh yeah, within this space or or something, something more of a personal interest. Where do you see technology going in the next year? That is broad and I'll avoid geeking out for the next hour on what I think technology is going to do in the next year's there's nothing wrong with geeking out. Well, we'd be here all day, but but it is uh, I will say that we're seeing a convergence of new technologies in the industry, whether we're talking about five g and how are our customers and how our enterprise users are going to utilize five g...

...connectivity, or how they're gonna use Wifi six and Wifi six E or private, Lte band, forty eight, all these new technologies that are coming to us and becoming available. It's really creating this this opportunity to create more connected workflows, this idea of real time information gathering, to sense what's going on in an environment, analyze it in milliseconds and then act upon it and provide our customers uh and their end users with the next best task, the next most highly effective task. Go take care of that one and five seconds from now that I may sense something else, or a device may sense something else. With sensors and with all of those types of solutions, that now changes my priority list for what I'm supposed to go do next. We're seeing those more connected workflows, we're seeing more sensors and more more technology that is capturing that data, we're seeing the faster ability to two more quickly analyze it and then, ultimately, we're providing that information to those end users so that they can act upon it most quickly, and it's really I'm watching all these new technologies come in that are allowing us to do all of that in a much, much faster way of processing everything, and I'm really excited to see what what how our customers come up with new, unique opportunities and new unique ways of of really taking advantage of these solutions and these new technologies. Well, for listeners who want to find out more about something you mentioned or something you talked about today, how can they reach out? Absolutely, obviously, uh reach out to your ingram reps. reach out to your Zebra Reps if you if you have them. Zebra DOT COM is a great place to start. You can even say hey, I just want somebody to contact me. It'll get routed to the right person. So there's always plenty of great information out...

...on Zebra Dot Com. Our product marketing teams do a phenomenal job making sure that there's always up to date information. So I'd start there. If you know your Zebra Reps, reach out to them. Obviously reach out through Ingram, but ultimately you're more than welcome to UH start there. And if you're if you don't know who anybody is and who anybody is who I can talk to, then feel free to start at Zebra Dot com and just help hit the contact us for him. We'll get back to you very quickly. We usually try to do those within two days. So ultimately, if you send that in, I promise you that is not just going into a giant repository of requests. We Act on those very quickly, uh, and the right the right associate will reach out to you very quickly because ultimately we want to understand what business challenges you're facing and we want to understand if there's a solution to help you drive a more efficient, more effective workflow. Excellent. Well, Eric, thank you so much for joining me, thank you for having me. Appreciate the opportunity and thank you, listeners, for tuning in and subscribing to be two be tech talk with Ingram micro. If you like this episode or have a question, please join the discussion on twitter with the Hashtag B two B Tech Talk. Until next time, I'm shelby scare talk. You've been listening to B two B tech talk with Ingram micro. This episode was sponsored by Ingram Micro's imagine next. B Two B tech talk is a joint production with sweet fish media and Ingram micro. Ingram micro production handled by Laura Burton and Christine Fan. To not miss an episode, subscribe today on your favorite podcast platform.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (445)