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Psion Introduces Open Source Mobility Platform for Handhelds

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By moving to open source software, the company expects to extend the useful life of its products. 

Psion today announced “Open Source Mobility” (OSM), a substantial evolution of its business model, with the objective of dramatically reducing customers total cost of ownership, creating the best possible fit with customer requirements, creating new business opportunities for developers, resellers and partners, and enhancing Psion’s ability to grow and develop its business.

John Conoley, chief executive of Psion, said, “OSM is a significant evolution of our business model and has the potential to completely change the industrial mobile computing market. Open Source Mobility is inspired by many facets of leading business thinking, especially Open Innovation and Open Source. Firstly, we take inspiration from the Open Source phenomenon directly, because of its foundation in a non-proprietary, standards-based core which developers and customers leverage and evolve for mutual benefit.”

“Secondly, we also take further inspiration, confirmation and substantiation, from the work on Open Innovation lead by Dr. Henry Chesbrough at University of California, Berkeley. Our open business model is designed specifically to better meet customer expectations by leveraging the collective ingenuity of Psion, its resellers, partners, developers and customers, globally. By adopting this approach, we create valuable opportunities to substantially increase, and accelerate, research and development resources to better meeting customers’ specific requirements.”

Modularity has been a core component of Psion’s products for many years, especially in Psion’s well known Workabout Pro product family. However, the difference that OSM creates is that in future developments of its modular product platform, Psion will fully extend the modular approach to customers and partners. Because it will use open, standards-based interfaces, Psion will be able to extend the useful life of products in the field, by replacing defective or obsolescent modules, rather than by replacing the whole product. The benefits to customers, developers and partners will be second to none in terms of value creation, differentiation, competitive advantage and total cost of ownership (TCO).

When applied to its core industrial mobile computing market, OSM will offer by far the best lifetime TCO, potentially 30 percent to 50 percent better than our competitors over a five to ten year period. It will also demonstrate the lowest obsolescence risk, with unique customer choice and flexibility. By swapping functional modules, instead of replacing the whole device, benefits are achieved in repurposing devices, reduced repair downtime and optimizing device configuration.

The key enabler of OSM is a new, open and online community, called Ingenuity Working which has been created to bring developers, partners and customers closer together in support of three new initiatives to:

  1. By living our values, our highs and our lows in full view to become more trusted than any comparable company or competitor.
  2. Leverage Psion’s significant IP portfolio with a wide range of vendors and component suppliers.
  3. Accelerate a fuller, and uniquely open, dialogue with its global customers and resellers.

The new community is found at www.ingenuityworking.com and is a place where Psion, its partners, developers and customers can meet, discuss, share, develop and co-create. It will enable them to cater to the explosion of micro-niches in the market, which recognizes that customers all have different and individual needs.

Ron Caines, president Worldwide Sales and Service at Psion, said: “This will create opportunities for our partners to grow profitably by increasing the services they can offer to their customers. We will be able to reach market segments that were previously beyond our collective scope, either because they were deemed to be too small, or because we were previously unable to compete effectively with larger market participants.”

Chief Executive Conoley concluded: “For us, this combination of an open business model and a modular product platform means that we are going to be exploring how to use and develop our IP with other, similar companies, globally. Equally, the initiation of our OEM business will start to fulfill similar objectives. I anticipate that, in future, other companies will be able to customize our products, integrate them within their own offerings and build entirely new products and services around our modules. We’re creating processes to open up ourselves and our technology to let our partners develop mutual business opportunities and thereby greatly expand our addressable markets, for mutual profitable growth.”

About Psion

Psion is the pioneer in quality mobile handheld computers and their application in industrial b2b markets around the world. We’ve innovated in mobile computing since 1980, helping our global customers solve their business problems, including Volkswagen, SNCF, RWE nPower, E.ON, BMW, Goodyear, Copenhagen Airports and major international transport hubs.

Our mobile devices are rugged, resilient and built to last. They are tailor-made solutions through Open Source Mobility – our open innovation philosophy in which we co-create mobile hardware, software and services, together with our customers and partners. Psion is a public company on the London Stock Exchange. It is headquartered in London with corporate offices located in Europe, North America, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

For more information, visit www.psionteklogix.com.

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