The preparation of mobile devices before delivery ('staging') has been a core competence of the Circlon | group for many years, a benefit it offers its customers as part of its Managed Services.

The great art of staging is to agree precisely defined services and documented processes with the customer in order to achieve high efficiency in the preparation of mobile devices. After delivery, the devices are ready for immediate use. This saves customers time and money.

The Circlon | group has already delivered more than 400,000 mobile devices in over 300 rollouts. Before delivery, all devices had to be specifically prepared to be ready for immediate use when they arrive at the customer's. The process step required for this is called staging – on the basis of years of practical experience with often very extensive rollouts, the Circlon | group can stage large numbers of devices individually according to customer requirements and prepare them for shipment in a very short time. 

Define processes together with customers

In consultation with the customer, the Circlon | group experts clarify the individual requirements and precisely define the specific staging content (hardware, software, configuration), which is also governed by the services agreed in each case. Circlon's experts, who are fully conversant with each manufacturer's equipment (Zebra, Honeywell and others), perform staging for each individual rollout package according to well-documented processes. Harald Fahl, Director Managed Services at Circlon | group, is convinced of the advantages of this approach: "Precise final inspections for each individual mobile device confirm that we achieve consistently high quality in our processes. Once thousands of devices have been rolled out to various locations in the field, it is difficult and often very costly and time-consuming to correct a rollout error."

Depending on the project, the Circlon | group supplies individual tools from the manufacturer or/and specific 'proprietary' software solutions. Whether initial mega rollouts, special deliveries for peak times or reorders of new devices – once the staging processes have been defined, customers always benefit from numerous advantages. Even in the case of devices sent in for repair, once the processes have been put in place, they ensure efficient delivery or provisioning of the pool stock and thus high device availability in the field.

Staging is much more than just installing software

The staging of mobile devices only begins when individual sample devices have been extensively tested in the field and the prototypes and the agreed process have been released. This is when things really start to take shape. The Circlon | group creates a binding staging guide as well as a folder structure for the data and trains the employees who are then in full charge of this staging project. Technicians install the new software versions and apps (standard software and/or custom software) on the mobile device, carry out all necessary configurations, register the future user by entering a password for the special service (login) and check the proper installation and function of the device.

The staging team labels all mobile devices and assembles them exactly as discussed with the customer. As a rule, all accessories are supplied ready fitted, including bumpers, hand loops, holders and protective films. Naturally, unless otherwise agreed, all devices are delivered to the customer with charged batteries. Charging the batteries is relatively time-consuming owing to the system. When preparing 1500 devices per week, it is essential to have an efficient, smooth process in place.

It is also important not to underestimate the effort involved in installing SIM and SD cards, recording SIM card numbers and registering devices in the Circlon | Operate portal by entering serial numbers. Harald Fahl already has an idea on how the process can be optimised here: "The data is currently entered via an import function; in future, the data will come directly from the staging software via an API."

Thanks to the registration in the IT Service Management System Circlon | Operate <link to: https://circlon.de/loesungen or for the English version at https://circlon.de/en/solutions>, it is possible to subsequently locate and assign a device easily if it is lost in practical use and then an unknown device turns up somewhere. The team also takes care of the registration in the customer system. This 'inventory' is closely linked to the licence management of software components and the administration of the software, including future updates and patches.

Intelligent packaging and complete delivery

After a final and successful functional test of the devices, preparations for shipment can begin, because staging also involves putting together packaging units. All the constituent parts of a delivery are packed in an environmentally friendly and safe way for transport. This procedure does not only apply to the packaging of often numerous components (device, accessories, replacement batteries, CDs, manuals, documents, etc.). It extends to printing and applying the shipping labels.

Incidentally, the packaging can be reused. Customers use it to return defective devices to the Circlon | group for repair. The Circlon team then takes care of everything else: repairing devices, resetting them (data deletion according to GDPR), checking, cleaning, updating data in the system, etc. After this repair staging, the devices are returned to the device pool. This closes the loop within the mobile device management cycle – both economically and ecologically.


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