How your inventory can save money

Most of the time, your inventory costs your company money. It is expensive to maintain a clear overview of all your assets since you spend a lot of time and resources on this. That’s why back in 2017 we had the idea of building an intelligent asset management tool that re-uses information that exists in different locations such as smartphone inventory, repair process, SIM card management, and other information. By bringing that information together in one platform (the Employee Service Portal) we build a simple portal that is accessible for employees, the service desk and product managers.

It has been 2 years since we first launched the ESP, and since then we have worked hard at making the portal even better. Last month, we were very proud to present ESP 2.0 at the Mobility Matters conference in Rotterdam. Perfect timing for an interview with Ulrik Van Schepdael, who designed the initial structure of the ESP portal.

It’s more than mobile devices

“When we look at the new workplace, we see mobile tools including devices, SIM, accessories, … it’s so much more than just a smartphone” says Ulrik, “so an asset management tool should include all those components, but we noticed that most don’t. That’s when we realized we should build it ourselves.”

Building an inventory has never been easier

It’s an intelligent platform because it avoids double work by re-using existing information,” says Ulrik. By connecting to the device management platform, such as MobileIron, Microsoft InTune or Workspace One, it reads all device details linked to users or employees. Moreover, the Employee Service portal also incorporates other device details and metadata. Even mobco’s own delivery and repair information is part of the portal! All that data is reworked and presented to the users of the ESP platform.

When you look up the assets that belong to one employee in our ESP portal, you get a comprehensive and clear overview of all the components the employee uses. Simple and effective! “Building an inventory has never been easier, just one click to synchronize and it’s done” confirms Ulrik.

ESP understands the business

“The life cycle of an asset in a company starts by requesting that asset to your management, it gets delivered and configured, might go to repair and finally gets decommissioned…” says Ulrik, “that flow is understood by the Employee Service Portal and acts in every step of that process”.

Every employee gets access to the portal and can request new assets from a menu that is linked to his or her function. After the employee’s request is approved by his or her manager, the service manager can assign a new device from stock, order or even re-assign from another user.

What’s new in ESP 2.0

“The current IT world is no longer dominated by one vendor, there is a multitude of service providers the ESP needs to connect to, that’s 2.0!” says Ulrik. With the first release, there was only one connection possible to an MDM platform, with the new release the platform can connect to multiple MDM’s at the same time.

With the new release, we also included new workflow mechanisms that translate business logic into automated scenarios. “Imagine your Mobile Threat Protection detects an issue on the iPhone of an employee, now the ESP can automatically lock the Active Directory account of that employee: it uses information from a system as a trigger to act on another system – very powerful!” concludes Ulrik.

Having a good, up-to-date and automated inventory of all your workplace assets is crucial and saves you money:

– order new devices when needed and allowed 
– understand the age of the fleet and renewal budget 
– track repair and statistics 
– go beyond the device and track SIM and accessories 
– link multiple sources together into a single portal 
– simplify management and support 
– enable self-management 

The ESP is part of the mobco Workplace Management Services and is available separately upon request. For more information contact our sales team on!

How to get ready for the upcoming Apple releases

Get ready for iOS 13 / iPadOS

iOS 13 is a big release with updates and new features to enhance the user experience, improve security, and accelerate performance. And, all of these new additions will need to be tested to ensure your enterprise apps work properly on the new operating system.

To effectively prepare your dev and test teams, we encourage you to learn about the new updates and features included in iOS 13.

The exact release date for iOS 13 remains unknown. However, based upon Apple’s release cadence, the iOS 13 release date is expected sometime in mid-September of 2019. And that will be here before you know it.

iOS 13 is a big update and we’ve listed some of the new features:

  • Faster app updates and app launch
  • Smaller app download sizes
  • Quicker Face ID
  • Heightened control over data sharing with apps
  • iOS 13 CarPlay features a new dashboard, calendar app, and Siri support for third-party navigation and audio
  • Photo app updates — featuring personalized curation and smart organization
  • New video editing functions
  • Apps of any size can be downloaded over LTE
  • Sign In with Apple is a new privacy feature, which allows users to sign into apps and websites in a data-safe way
  • Apple now generates randomized emails. This keeps users from having to give away their personal email when using apps
  • Dark Mode — This function turns mobile apps from bright white and light grey to black and light gray. It’s meant to be used at night and is also rumored to function as a battery-saving feature. Dark Mode can be scheduled to automatically turn on each night.

Additionally, Apple is releasing iPadOS, which is identical to iOS 13 except that it is designed for iPads. iPadOS comes with its own set of new features:

  • Enhancements made to multitasking capabilities that are unique to the tablet user experience.
  • Updates to Split View.
  • Users can now have two windows from the same app open at once.
  • New App Exposé feature displays everything a user has open and allows them to navigate between different windows.
  • Improvements made to Apple Pencil with a shortened lag time.

Keep in mind that iPadOS is a new, separate platform with its own unique cadence of releases. iPadOS will require separate testing and tuning of schedules for iPad apps.

Get ready for macOS Catalina

The upcoming macOS 10.15 has been named macOS Catalina.

The new software brings with it standalone apps for Music, TV, and Podcasts as Apple retires iTunes.

As expected, Apple unveiled a feature called Sidecar that allows an iPad to be used as a second Mac display in a few different ways.

“Find My” is a revamped app that combines Find My Phone and Find My Friends and will now be available on the Mac.

A new Accessibility focused feature called Voice Control brings an even more powerful experience with rich navigation to users with verbal controls via on-device processing.

Screen Time is also making its way from iOS to macOS to help users be more aware of the time they spend on their notebook or desktop.

Meanwhile, Apple’s UIKit framework is coming to the Mac now officially named Project Catalyst. This lets developers seamlessly port iPad apps to macOS.

The exact release date for macOS Catalina remains unknown, but the same assumption as for iOS 13 can be made, so we expect the official release date sometime in mid-September of 2019.

Ensure your Mac apps are prepared for Catalina

Starting January 2018, only 64-bit apps have been allowed to the App Store. That’s because in the new macOS, you’ll have to say goodbye to 32-bit applications for good. At the WWDC 2018 event, Apple mentioned Mojave would be the last macOS with support for 32-bit architecture. And they kept the promise.

So if you still keep 32-bit software on your Mac, make sure you get rid of it before upgrading to Catalina.

You can scan your Mac for 32-bit applications; Go to the Apple menu > About This Mac and click on System report. In the report, navigate to Software tab and select Applications. You’ll see a complete list of all apps installed on your Mac, along with their characteristics. What you’re looking for is a separate column indicating the app has 64-bit architecture:

Other than that, check out whether the apps you use are ready for an upgrade. In most cases, app developers announce support for the new macOS on their websites and social media.

How development and test teams can prepare for iOS 13/ iPadOS & macOS Catalina?

From a developer and testing perspective, iOS 13,iPadOS & macOS Catalina are entirely new platforms to cover.

To prepare for these releases, we recommend your teams to start testing new and enhanced features as soon as possible. Here are some key features that teams need to start testing:

  • Prepare separate testing schedules for iOS 13 and iPadOS. They each need their own unique schedule, as each has its own separate release vehicle.
  • Test the newly enhanced sign-in methods within iOS 13. This includes the two-factor authentication and randomly generated emails.
  • Provide UX validation for new UI changes on iOS 13.
  • Teams need to expand test automation coverage to support the new UI changes. In addition, they will need to support the new functional changes, such as the new login, the new Dark Mode as well as the new Photos, Maps, and other built-in apps that might be in use by your native apps.
  • The most important validation for macOS Catalina is the 64-bits compatibility.

Additionally, your testing and development teams need to build time into their testing and validation processes to get through any app instability and patches early on.

Both iOS 13, iPadOS & Catalina will most likely be like previous OS versions and start as GA in mid-September. It will then be followed by several patch releases.

Like with any new release, you can expect to encounter UI and stability issues. We encourage you to include these patch releases in the testing plan.

Want to know more about the upcoming releases? We scheduled a MacOS Catalina masterclass on 10 October 2019 and one on iOS 13 and iPadOS on 15 October 2019. Register today for these free masterclasses and get to know all the ins and outs of these new operating systems!

Apple Seed for IT is now available for everybody

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The AppleSeed for IT program is designed specifically for education and enterprise customers committed to testing each new version of Apple beta software in their organizations. This program allows enterprise customers to validate their in-house and public apps on the upcoming Apple (beta) releases and provide direct feedback to Apple.

Some benefits of the program include:

– Access to prerelease software

– Dedicated review queue for bug reports and enhancement requests

– Detailed testing plans and surveys

The big change in the AppleSeed for IT 2019-2020 programs is the registration process. There is no more need to be invited, everyone with a managed AppleID (Apple School Manager / Apple Business Manager) can join now!

By joining the program, Apple will provide the pre-release versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS and Apple Configurator to install and use.

The program includes a bug reporting system and a dedicated review queue for enterprise and education participants. Become a valuable part of the software development process and help to ensure the new software works in your organization once it becomes publicly available. In order to ensure participation in this program and help Apple release high-quality software, you’ll need to follow the process below.

How to Enroll

An Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager account is required to participate in AppleSeed for IT. To enroll in the program, follow these steps:

1. Go to and click on the “Sign in” button

2. Log in with your Managed Apple ID from Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager. For more information on creating a Managed Apple ID, visit the help pages for Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager.

3. You will now see a message “You have 1 outstanding invitation to other projects.” Select the link and you are prompted for the “AppleSeed for IT Program (2019-2020)” project.

4. Read and accept the Confidentiality Agreement

After completing these steps, you will become an active participant in the AppleSeed for IT program. You can expect to receive additional information via email once the program starts.

Participation Guidelines

1. Customer Seed and Confidentiality Agreement: all potential program participants are asked to click through this agreement and be aware that use of prerelease software is strictly confidential. You may not discuss the software or your feedback outside of the AppleSeed for IT program. Maintaining confidentiality about prerelease software is critical to the future success of the AppleSeed program. Please read and comply with the terms of the agreement to avoid possible legal consequences.

2. Active Participation: Apple asks that you use the provided beta software in your day-to-day activities, an environment that can’t be replicated at Apple.

3. Important Considerations: we recommend installing the beta software on your primary device. The best way to understand possible issues your users may encounter in your environment is to be fully immersed in the software. Backups should be maintained to mitigate data loss in the event of an application or system crash. Apple is not liable for malfunctions resulting from the installation of this prerelease software. Apple also does not guarantee that data created or modified by this software will be compatible with future versions.

The Samsung XCover4S, the first SUV smartphone!

There’s one really excited mobco product manager, and we want to know why! A short interview with Gertjan Timmermans, our product manager for mobile hardware and related services, explaining why he believes the new Samsung Xcover 4S is the best SUV smartphone ever…
How would you position the Xcover smartphone in the overcrowded smartphone market?
“It’s the first SUV smartphone. It’s built for hard and rough work, but it handles like a modern and fast mobile office smartphone. The device is dust and waterproof, you can drop it… it’s really the device you want when the usage gets a little tougher. At the same time, you get all the modern features inside including a fast CPU, an up-to-date operating system, secure connectivity, … it’s all there!”
When you compare the smartphone with the luxury SUV car market, it also means it’s a pricy device?
“The comparison is made because it’s tough on the outside but luxurious on the inside. The comparison stops when it comes down to pricing, this is probably the best value for money smartphone. In the typical environment of field engineers, construction workers, … a standard smartphone will not last very long. But with the Xcover 4S we get a device that lasts longer, thanks to its built-in protection, and it’s priced at the bottom of the pricing scale. It doesn’t get any better than this!”
Is this a new device on the market?
“The new 4S is an evolution on the very popular Xcover 4. The Samsung team simply made a good device even better, including more power and an update to the entire hardware to meet the most demanding app requirements. This device is unique in the market and therefore is one of the most popular smartphones in industrial environments. Aside from some smaller brands, we don’t see any other big suppliers entering this ruggedized market segment with such an interestingly priced and feature rich model. Samsung is doing a great job in the enterprise market and extended this expertise to the field.”
Are there specific Enterprise features?
“For sure, the whole range of professional management and control capabilities are available; support for zero-touch enrolment, full remote and automatic configuration, full security and a completely customizable employee experience. On top of all that, when buying at mobco, you get an extra warranty!”
Can we order the device today?
“The official launch of the Xcover 4S is scheduled for the coming weeks, but you can already order at mobco! I would also encourage procurement officers to challenge us for a leasing proposal; for much less than a Euro a day they could equip a field engineer with the best SUV smartphone out there!”
Thanks Gertjan for this clear insight, we start to understand why he is so excited about the upcoming launch. Over the coming weeks we will send out regular communication on the Samsung Xcover 4S, but if you can’t wait to see or learn more, please send us an e-mail asap via!

mobco peloton ride

On Wednesday June 26 2019 we organized successfully our first mobco peloton event!

The “mobco peloton” is a family of cycling enthusiast including our business relations and mobco employees. The event was a healthy mix of business, networking and active sports!

In the morning briefing, I had the pleasure to give you a short recap of our company history and strategy moving forward. We discussed the converging market of Endpoint Management in combination with a diverging OS feature set, a challenge for every company that gets amplified by the increasing cloud usage. These “workplace” trends do not necessarily make IT’s life easier as every service, every platform provides its own portal for management. Hence our strong focus on workplace management, a service we provide to our customers for a fixed fee per month, including mobile device(s), management, security, provisioning, repair, …

The cornerstone of this service relies on the Employee Service Portal connecting different UEM’s together into a single portal for your convenience. More details on this evolution in our offering in the weeks to come!

Next, we were called by the cycling captains and motorbike guides to hit the road in real peloton style. With 35 cyclists at the start AND finish, I’m happy to call this a great success!

The track was inspired by the first race of this year’s Tour de France, heading west out of Schepdaal where the professional riders will pass on the 6th of July. The track includes a Category 3 and 4 climb in what is otherwise seen as a flat racing day for the UCI Elite, we took the challenge and went over the Muur, Bosberg and even added some more.

For some of our participants, it was the first time they conquered these highlights, a great achievement and congratulation for taking up this challenge!

It took us 3 hours to conclude our ride of 77 kilometres with a total height difference of over 800 meters. A pretty fast pace actually that was facilitated by our motor guides who blocked and secured all crossroads for our safety.

Big thank you to our partners Go4Cycling and WDR insurance for helping us with the organization!

Given the feedback from our mobco peloton riders we already started the planning for 2020. So keep an eye on our communication and maybe you can also join the mobco peloton!


This was Mobility Matters

Click HERE to view more photos from Mobility Matters! 

Late last year, we decided to join forces with our Dutch EMEA partner BLAUD to organize the first ever conference about enterprise mobility management in the Benelux. 8 months later 348 people joined us in the Van Nelle Factory in Rotterdam to learn more about the latest developments in our field.

We started the day with an inspiring keynote session by Richard Marijs, who is the 5G guru at T-Mobile. He talked about how 5G will change the way we work and do business. It was most definitely an interesting start of the day!

In the breakout sessions we had speakers from leading companies talking about hardware, cybersecurity, workplace management, app development and many more interesting topics. This includes companies such as Google, Checkpoint, Samsung, Lookout, MobileIron, Belkin and of course our own CEO Ulrik Van Schepdael. He talked about the launch of our new Employee Service Portal during Mobility Matters. This portal offers a webshop-like experience where employees can request a repair or choose a new device. The portal also includes a clear overview of work devices, including repair or order statuses. Through smart integration and maximum automation with Unified Endpoint Management systems, we are able to eliminate those extra efforts associated with asset management. The platform is constantly updated with information gathered from the company’s Active Directory and mobile management platform, and also by mobco on new hardware deliveries and repairs.

Besides the launch of the new ESP tool, our CEO also announced at Mobility Matters the birth of mobco development, our own app development branch that will develop tailormade apps for our customers. By building custom apps, companies will be able to offer their employees the right tools, tailored to your specific company, which will result in a huge gain in efficiency. Mobco development is also able to build apps in a only a matter of months, and at a very interesting price. Every company is now able to have their own mobile apps!

At the end of the day Manya Koetse gave an interesting presentation about the mobile rise of China, and how the mobile revolution greatly impacts Chinese society and changes how people communicate, work, shop and consume news. China’s digital revolution is a mobile one – China is the world’s largest smartphone market and nowhere else are people more active on mobile in accessing social media and making payments. The main mobile trends in China today offer insights into our own mobile landscape of the future!

As you have read: Mobility Matters was an inspiring day with lots of interesting sessions and presentations. It was the first time we have organized an event like this, but it won’t be the last!

Outsmart your competitors by building your own mobile app

It’s our core business to configure, protect and manage your employee devices. The highest added value for your employees comes from custom business applications, deeply integrated in your enterprise systems. That’s why we have launched mobco development, our own app development branch!

Click HERE to download more details on our offering and approach

Streamline your asset management with ESP2.0

At Mobility Matters we announced the new version 2.0 of our Employee Service Portal! It’s cloud, connects to multiple UEM platforms (at the same time) and has a powerful workflow engine you can customize. The portal lowers your operational and administrative cost to manage the workplace assets and improves the employee experience.

Click HERE to download our onepager with all the facts & figures about the Employee Service Portal