While Janam sells mainly MIcrosoft OS, and still sells some Palm systems, the XT1 with Android 4.2 OS represents their first effort in what they are calling a ‘device coexistence’ phase in the commercial market.
Woodbury N.Y.-based Janam Technologies, which makes rugged mobile computers for the enterprise and government market, has launched its first Android-powered machine with the XT1 mini-tablet.
“The next phase in our life is taking the best features from the consumer space into the enterprise,” said Harry Lerner, Janam’s CEO.
Lerner and his cofounder were both senior executives at Symbol, and started Janam eight and a half years ago to take advantage of what they saw as a market opportunity created by other companies in the space getting larger and slower.
“We started in the Palm operating system space,” Lerner said. “The enterprise market works very different from the consumer. By this time, Palm was already dead in the consumer space, but not in the enterprise, and we were able to build up a head of steam rather quickly because there were at least a million installed Palm units out there and competitors were chasing the companies which had a less rugged OS. Now, the bulk of our business is the Microsoft OS.”
Lerner said their market niche is to appeal to customers feel trapped between two very large players who have attention for Tier One accounts but not for many others.
“We are known for listening to customers and moving mountains so they got what they needed,” he said. “We offer the right features at the right price, as opposed to removing features companies needed to hit a price point, or charging too much.”
The XT1 with Android 4.2 OS represents Janam’s first effort in what Lerner called a ‘device coexistence’ phase in the commercial market.
“The proliferation of iOS and Android has changed expectations, but the enterprise needs devices that are more than flimsy Samsung or Apple ones that can’t withstand the rigours of the enterprise,” Lerner said. “Our devices scan barcodes gather the data, and it goes back to a server that others can access using their BYOD devices. That’s device co-existence, where we have access to their cutting edge feeds and speeds and technologies.”
Lerner called the XT1 “sleek, thin, elegant even sexy,” while still packing all the features that enterprise needs.
“We still go by the mantra that we are selling tools and not toys,” he said. “Our machines are not for Angry Birds, but they don’t have to weigh a ton either.” They are also built to survive three foot drops to concrete.
The XT1 only runs Android at this time, but Lerner said they will eventually provide broader customer choice there.
“We still sell the Palm OS today, so we aren’t going to force any customers to move,” he said. “There is however, a large set of customers who aren’t happy about what they are seeing coming from Microsoft these days. Eventually we will have a platform that supports both Android and Microsoft, which will allow customers to move at their own timetable.”
Lerner said that while Android is graphics-intense and consumes a massive amount of horsepower, the XT1’s combination of 1.5 GHZ clock speed, 16 GB of ram, sophisticated architecture and 3000mAh rechargeable LiIon battery as the standard battery provide performance.
“Another blow-away feature is the 5.9 inch screen, which is bright and power efficient,” Lerner said. “Before, if customers needed a large display they needed a larger tablet. This, for the first time, answers a sweet spot in the middle, with the enterprise features baked in.
Lerner also pointed out that the Bluetooth is not the 2.1 version found in many devices but the fuller 4.0 version, and that the device with battery weighs only 13 ounces, which he said was light by any measure.”
Street pricing for the XT1’s most common configurations will be between $USD 700 and $900, Lerner said.
Janam sells almost entirely through partners, the exception being if a customer specifically requests a direct sale. BlueStar and Scansource provide their North American distribution.
“We anticipate thousands of partners will be selling these,” Lerner said. “We have customers who have not even seen the device who over the phone are asking to order dozens.”