The term "mobile computing" refers to portable computing devices that are wirelessly connected to (or through) the Internet and can be used while users are moving around. Such devices include laptops with wireless LAN technology and mobile phones.
Battery-powered, portable and wireless mobile computing and communication devices are connected to centrally located information and application software, explains Nelson Tse, sales and marketing director, MillionTECH Development Limited.
"We've been in the industry for more than 20 years," Mr Tse remarks, adding that mobile computing encompasses a range of different product categories. "While other companies are concentrating on consumer products, we are focusing on industrial and commercial products, as well as Auto-ID (auto-identification) and RFID (radio-frequency identification) solutions."
What differentiates MillionTECH from its competitors is its use of capability maturity model integration (CMMI). Mr Tse explains, "It's not well-known to lay peopele, but CMMI, a globally recognised assessment framework helping to improve efficiency and productivity, is superior to ISO 9000, for example, when it comes to software development, and it allows us to carry out bigger projects." The company has so far reached maturity level three of CMMI.
MillionTECH is currently working with a number of market segments, states Mr Tse. Clients range from the government to public bodies such as Hongkong Post and private enterprises, including retail businesses and logistics.
Competition often leads to improvement, he believes. "When it comes to ordinary shop management or outdoor data-recording, which are not particularly technologically demanding, we tend to compete more aggressively with other industry players. But for businesses with more sophisticated requirements, such as Cathay Pacific or the Hospital Authority, technological reliability is very important and we have an advantage compared to other players in the field."
MillionTECH recently supplied the Hospital Authority with DENSO handy terminals and SmartScan portable printers for its new tailor-made mortuary information system, which, among other functions, includes a pilot bar-coding system designed to minimise the risk of misidentification of deceased bodies.
Mr Tse has seen rapid growth in the mobile computing business over the past few years. "Our company's mobile computing sector has been growing by 15 to 20 per cent annually. This amounted to 40 per cent of the overall company growth," he says, pointing out that MillionTECH's products are produced in accordance with the "blue ocean strategy" to develop uncontested market space and that its unique designs are used not only for software products but also for hardware.
As an example, he singles out the company's GPRS (general packet radio service wireless data service) models for Casio. The products were so succesful that Casio requested MillionTECH to design additional hardware and accessories for sale in Europe and other Asian countries.
MillionTECH continues to challenge competitors, says Mr Tse. "In terms of research and development, we aim at creating outstanding hardware that meets out customers' needs. Our long history in software has provided us with a solid knowledge base to improve our software packages and libraries for CMMI-enhanced software reuse."
Mr Tse remarks that the company has always worked closely with a number of system integrators to support its software. "Our sales-protection policy allows us to work exclusively with one system integrator at a time for win-win results."
At the same time, numerous companies are working with MillionTECH to create new product lines. "We attend overseas exhibitions to learn about new ideas and products," he notes. "Yet, MillionTECH is not a supermarket. All our products have their own distinctive character and we are able to tailor-make them to respond to different customer needs. We also offer an effective pre-sale customer service, training and after-sale delivery."
MillionTECH does not aim at being the price leader in the market, stresses Mr Tse. "If we competed only on price while profitability gradually decreased, it would create a vicious cycle."
He points out that the company has a long-established reputation for quality products and solid values. "We plan to do more in terms of marketing and seminars for the benefit of our 3,000 customers, and to promote positive branding for MillionTECH."
The company is currently reviewing its recruitment and training policies, notes Mr Tse, who anticipates a positive outlook on the future of the mobile computing industry. "As a result of the prospering market, we have boosted our staff count by 30 per cent since last year."
Comprehensive staff training is crucial in a technology company such as MillionTECH, as it takes a salesperson two to three years to develop all-round technology knowledge, he adds, saying that the company has an internal work group made up of cross-departmental representatives to improve the work culture in the company.