Earlier this summer I tested out a couple Samsung XCover Pro handsets with Verizon's Push To Talk Plus solution. The XCover Pro is a solid rugged phone optimized for field workers in a form factor that is not bulky or unwieldy.
Today, the Galaxy XCover Pro is available unlocked from Samsung or Microsoft, as well as direct from AT&T and Verizon. You can purchase the phone in bulk from Samsung and even save 15% when you purchase them now, making each phone $424.99 instead of $499.99. The XCover Pro is a perfect phone for retail, public secotr, transportation, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors with mPOS support, a removable battery, and the durability to withstand daily field work.
Microsoft Teams Walkie Talkie
Last month I was sent updated devices to test out the Microsoft Teams Walkie Talkie service enabled for some hands-on experiences. I'm not a Verizon customer and very few people at my engineering firm are so that push-to-talk solution wasn't something I found particularly useful. However, Microsoft Teams is the backbone of our communication between associates and has proven to be essential during this time of remote work.
Combining standard Teams functionality with a seamless push-to-talk solution was a brilliant move by Samsung and Microsoft and the performance of the Walkie Talkie has reliable and very simple to use during my testing period. Teams can be used in typical fashion with chat, sharing of documents and photos, and other workforce communications.
With the Walkie Talkie capability, you simply select a channel, tap the large connect button on the screen to tune into that channel, and then use the left side XCover key on the phone to communicate with members of that channel. Communications are clear and instant, muh like a two-way radio. Even better though, there is no crosstalk or eavesdropping concerns as only people within that specific channel are a part of these voice conversations.
Unlike a two-way radio, the Microsoft Teams Walkie Talkie feature works worldwide via a WiFi or cellular connection so you can easily communicate with your remote team. You can also text chat within the Walkie Talkie open channel since there may be situations where voice is not the best option, such as when you are dealing with a customer and need assistance.
I have a team of inspectors in a shipyard and using the Microsoft Teams Walkie Talkie during surveys and testing is a perfect use case where engineers in the office can provide real-time troubleshooting. Inspectors can share photos and videos while engineers check specifications and equipment cut sheets.
Walkie Talkie is a part of all paid Teams commercial licenses - there is no need to add or subscribe to this feature. For the solution to function, users must attach their Microsoft 365 license to their XCover Pro device through admin management. Once the hardware is connected to the software, an IT admin can program the XCover's hardware keys, using the Samsung Knox Service Plugin section of their an EMM solution, to use Walkie Talkie app within Teams. With these two steps complete, the solution is ready for use.
Samsung Knox Capture
Last week Samsung introduced Knox Capture for the Galaxy XCover Pro. This solution, powered by Scandit, turns the XCover Pro camera into a barcode scanner without the need for an additional accessory or add-on for the phone.
Samuel Mueller, CEO of Scandit, stated:
We're extremely pleased with our latest collaboration with Samsung. It has brought to market an easy-to-deploy integrated solution for businesses looking to put scanning tools instantly in the pockets of frontline workers. For off the shelf scanning needs, it is a sure-fire way to boost employee performance and productivity. For enterprises, it is also a foundation for more advanced computer vision capabilities that Scandit delivers by working directly with customers alongside Samsung to support their digital transformation journey.
During this period of a global pandemic, we have seen package delivery and hospital processing increase considerably. With a portable and rugged solution like the XCover Pro, frontline workers can quickly activate the scanner capability of the camera and get work done quickly and accurately.