About Peter Lloyd
Peter was appointed Business Development Manager for Trimble MCS in July 2013 and is responsible for Trimble’s Mobile Computing Solutions business in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Varlink has been in partnership with Trimble for 5 years. Here Peter gives us an insight into Trimble….
For those who may not be familiar with Trimble could you give us a brief company history?
Trimble Navigation, Ltd, is a global company founded in 1978 to create technologies around positioning and navigation products. As Global Positioning System (GPS) technology grew so did Trimble. Today Trimble provides both hardware and software for almost every kind of use of location-oriented technology. The Mobile Computing Solutions Division (Trimble MCS), which creates the rugged handheld devices such as the Yuma 2 tablet and the Juno T41 and Nomad handheld computers, builds these computers specifically to serve the people who are out in the field doing important work, from asset management and maintenance to public safety and law enforcement. The company’s stability and global reach gives it a terrific ability to respond to customer needs.
Trimble MCS handhelds sold through Varlink are designed for all the businesses who require a rugged and reliable hardware solution to fulfil their data capture need.
Peter how long have you been working for Trimble?
I was appointed Business Development Manager for Trimble MCS in earlier this year and I am responsible for Trimble’s Mobile Computing Solutions business in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
However, for the previous 4 years I was the Business Development Manager for Trimble’s Mapping and GIS Division responsible for selling custom Mobile Software Solutions with Trimble hardware.
And prior to that I worked for the UK based Trimble Dealer for 19 years in a variety of roles giving me a wealth of experience of Trimble products and also understand the needs of a Reseller.
Tell me about the product range – What’s so special about the products and how do they stand out from competitors?
Well, Trimble MCS is known for three things primarily: the ruggedness and reliability of our handhelds, the attention to detail we take designing our products to ensure they meet the needs of the user and our innovative technology to advance mobile computing to the next level.
So we have the Yuma 2, a rugged tablet computer with a fantastic outdoor visible display and now with an enhanced GPS option that delivers 1-2m position accuracy.
The Juno T41, a new powerful handheld which has all the functionality of a smartphone with the either Android or Windows operating systems and a wide choice of configurations to meet customer requirements including an enhanced GPS option that delivers 1-2m accuracy.
And the Nomad, which has been an extremely popular ultra rugged handheld for several years due to its versatility and the many software solutions that have been developed to work on its Windows platform.
Trimble MCS mobile computers are developed to provide an open platform for system integrators and software developers who want to build applications on our products. We also provide free SDK (Software Development Kits) and technical support to help aid the process. We have many customers who have developed applications for a wide variety markets, one example is in marine industries, we have a VAR who has developed a sophisticated fisheries software package runs on our rugged handhelds. They required a fully-rugged IP68 handhelds which can withstand the salt-water environment. In the mining industry we have a VAR who has developed a hardware and software solution for monitoring tyres pressures of extremely large mining vehicles were the handheld is treated just like any other tool.
What exactly does “rugged” mean? There are a lot of manufacturers using that term.
There are a variety of grades of rugged; from the products that are basically consumer level with a shell around them, are at best IP54 or less products, to the ultra-rugged IP 68 handhelds that Trimble makes.
Besides the IP rating, which covers water and dust resistance, rugged products are often subjected to tests designed originally by the United States military, called MIL-STD-810 tests, for things like withstanding vibration, drops and other impacts, humidity and temperature and altitude extremes, even corrosive chemical environments. Most Trimble products meet MIL-STD-810 standards at “G” level, which is tougher than “F” or below, and which is the most rugged standard possible at this time.
As an example, many field computers are subjected to temperature extremes. Consider the tablet that is left on a truck seat with the windows up in very hot, humid conditions. Temperatures can reach 55° C or higher, and the worker will want to come back and use that tablet. In colder climes in the winter, the same handheld could be out in conditions of below 40° C. Our Yuma 2 tablet has been tested and certified to work just fine while being subjected to conditions like this. All of our products are designed for this; for details of what they each can take you can check the individual datasheets.
Trimble handheld computers are built rugged from the inside out, with the rugged internal components along with the exterior. These devices are really built to last for years, not just the few months that a consumer-grade device will last.
What advantages are there to having a rugged device instead of consumer or semi-rugged ones?
The plain fact is that businesses are trying to save money, and rugged saves money. Consumer and semi-rugged products will fail, and they will be dropped, and they won’t be usable in sunlight, and most of them will need to be replaced in a few months.
A built-rugged device is going to last for years, handled by a variety of employees, in all kinds of conditions, and the overall Total Cost of Ownership will be less than what might seem, at first glance, to be the inexpensive option of purchasing a consumer product. Businesses find themselves replacing consumer grade devices three or four – or more – times over what would be a single lifetime of a fully rugged device.
Plus, if you get the functionality you need built in to your rugged device, you have it all-in-one without having your workers trying to juggle multiple pieces of equipment. Our Juno T41, for example, is a single unit that can include 1D/2D barcode imaging designed to capture barcodes in a natural way as part of the software workflow and you can add enhanced GPS acquisition in there too if you need that extra bit of accuracy, all enclosed in a single rugged device.
Trimble rugged products also have longer life batteries than consumer devices in general, because they’re designed for the worker who is out in the field, a long way from the convenience of an office. As well, we provide rugged external battery packs or “hot-swappable” batteries so workers can keep going much longer than a consumer grade smartphone, could possibly provide.
What do you see for the future of rugged devices?
Trimble has some amazing propriety technologies that make our products particularly of value to businesses today and in the future. For instance, while many manufacturers claim to have sunlight readability, the fact is Trimble’s Yuma 2 tablet has a display that is truly easy to see even in the brightest, direct sunlight, and no other rugged tablet can do that yet, regardless of claims. It really has to be seen to believed, because the difference is so clear if you put a Yuma 2 display next to the display of another tablet.
There are a lot of technologies being created right now by Trimble engineers and product developers, so stay tuned. Right now, we can say that continuing to make rugged devices as convenient and easy-to-use as consumer devices, with the built-in longevity and toughness that creates so much value, is what we plan to do.
Do you have any new products in the pipeline?
We are always working investing in and working on the next generation of products to enable the best use of technology to bring innovation to our customers.
What sectors do you currently work in?
Trimble is well known in most industries where workers are outside the four walls of an office: engineering and construction, energy and utilities, agricultural, mining, forestry, government such as public works, emergency services and transportation. Any work, really, that requires computing capability in all weather or tough environmental conditions. Also, Trimble is well known globally for its GPS technology to offer the user the best accuracy, and our computer handhelds reflect that; so any enterprise business that requires location information from its field workers should be looking at Trimble handheld products.
What sector do you think is most popular for a rugged device?
When you have a device that is guaranteed to be tough, to handle rough wear and tear and that you know will last for years in the field, and will work with the software solutions that provide the efficient workflow you need – then you could be in any business in any industry.
Does Trimble offer resellers any further services?
While all Trimble handhelds come with 1 year’s standard warranty, we provide a variety of options to extend the warranty of the devices to ensure our customers obtain the best value from their investment.
Marketing support through Varlink
Varlink can re-brand any of our Trimble marketing collateral for you. Our Trimble catalogues, PDF’s and other marketing collateral can be edited, and there are a number of ways we can change the branding to allow you to use any of our Trimble collateral to marketing your product range to your customers.
I would like to thank Peter and his colleague Lee Ann for giving us an insight into Trimble. If you would like further information on the Trimble devices Varlink sell, such as specification sheets and accessories available, visit http://www.varlink.co.uk/trimblerange