Avis ‘Select and Go’: Empowering a mobile staff with agile technology solutions

Posted By Jeff Wettlaufer
Technical Program Manager

Hello from //Build/! This week, the Windows Embedded team is in San Francisco with several thousand developers to talk about the Windows platform – this includes showcasing the opportunity to build rich, connected, immersive app experiences on industry-specific hardware using the latest Microsoft tools and technologies. We wanted to showcase for you some of the highlights that focus on Windows Embedded solutions, and dive into one of the demonstrations that was highlighted in Steve Guggenheimer’s keynote address: the Avis demonstration.

With its strategic focus on mobility, Avis believes their staff needs to be as mobile and connected as their customers.  Many of you today are already using the Windows Phone 8 app provided from Avis to reserve, upgrade and manage your rental experience. It’s an awesome app, and I use it all the time. But that’s just the beginning…

On the stage Guggenheimer showcased an HP Elitepad 900 tablet, running Windows Embedded 8 Industry and the Avis ‘Select and Go’ app.  This tablet was also using the recently announced HP Retail Jacket, which includes a mag stripe reader and bar code scanner. While not currently a device in use by Avis, its Atom processor, SSD, Gorilla glass, great battery life and support for industry-specific peripherals enable this device to be well-suited for a roaming retail employee. 

Guggenheimer also highlighted Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, running on a prototype mobile device. Built on the Windows Phone 8 platform, Windows Embedded 8 Handheld delivers industry-specific support for devices peripherals such as swipes, readers and connectivity stacks. The same Avis ‘Select and Go’ app featured on the tablet was shown on the handheld device, easily ported to the smaller form factor.

Avis developed both of these apps jointly with Microsoft and their partner Infusion using Visual Studio TFS, Windows Azure and the Windows Embedded platforms mentioned earlier.  A key observation about the Avis apps is the consistent experience across devices; from consumer phone, to employee industry tablet and finally to staff handheld devices, products and services are consistently accessed wherever the customer is. 

It’s just an awesome story. We really feel this highlights the opportunity developers have to build rich connected experiences across a range of devices using familiar tools. With the news this week here at //Build/ about the Windows Embedded Industry 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Release Previews, the alignment will help developers, partners and customers build consistent solutions across a number of device categories. 

We want you to see this, too. For more information about Avis’s solution, download the Avis press release; you can read about building solutions for retail and other industries on the Windows Embedded website.

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