1st Touch, a UK supplier of mobile technology to the social housing and local government sectors, has launched version 4.5 of its acclaimed mobile workforce software. Whilst, the new version has been developed using Microsoft Windows Embedded Handheld technology it now includes additional support for Android, Apple and BlackBerry smartphones and tablets. This represents a significant investment in R&D and innovation by 1st Touch and is a response to evolving market demand for these platforms, coupled with the growing variety of devices available.
1st Touch applications can bring significant efficiencies and productivity increases to any application where field based workers are equipped with mobile devices to provide services. 1st Touch has already won widespread acclaim in the social housing and local government markets where the software manages, supports and controls all aspects of mobile workers’ activities. The resilient but flexible system enables programming-free, user-customisable mobile device based solutions to be created through its easy to use graphical interface. As such, the system is specifically designed to simplify handheld form design and data capture. Any type of electronic form can be generated without the need for Business Process Mapping. 1st Touch has also developed a range of high quality integrations with most of the leading housing management and back office systems used in these markets.
1st Touch is keen to stress that whichever mobile platform users chose to run version 4.5 with, the system will still operate using the company’s acclaimed offline working model. This negates the problems of unsympathetic geography and terrain that can disrupt signal strength. With 1st Touch, data is automatically sent and received in compact bursts only when a signal is available. Crucially, this means that users are able to log in to the application and start completing forms even where there is no signal.
Commenting on the launch 1st Touch CEO Robert Dent said, “At 1st Touch we believe in providing a consistent environment. So for our existing customers, any forms designed in the 1st Touch Management Studio to date, can be deployed to the wider variety of mobile devices now supported without any need for redesign. In contrast, platform and device choice for new customers is now completely flexible; supporting the original 1st Touch ethos of facilitating maximum customer choice.
“In terms of our overall strategy, 1st Touch firmly believes that Microsoft continues to supply the most comprehensive platform for mobile workers; encompassing extensive support for device management, device data security and integration into corporate line-of-business environments. As such, 1st Touch will continue to actively develop and support the full 1st Touch Mobile Workforce Management suite running on the current Windows Embedded Handheld platform. In the future we will do the same for Windows Embedded Handheld version 8, in line with Microsoft’s overall strategy for the corporate enterprise mobile workforce. However, 1st Touch acknowledges the importance of customer choice and will monitor industry trends and market requirements closely to consistently offer leading edge, best of breed mobile workforce software across a wide variety of platforms and devices.”
Version 4.5 will be available from Q2 2012.