In a notable technology push, Walmart is giving 740,000 US employees a Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro that’s preloaded with a new internal app to help customers. This Android phone will also be available for personal usage.
This large-scale phone distribution is driven by a new Me@Walmart app that was developed internally. The tool allows employees to view and manage their work schedules, clock in once they arrive inside their store’s geofence, and communicate with push-to-talk. There’s also an “Ask Sam” voice assistant to “quickly locate merchandise and get answers for customers.”
The idea of this app started as a way to manage associates’ schedules and has grown into our single in-store app for U.S. associates, saving them time and helping them be more efficient. We believe it’s the first of its kind in the retail industry.
Meanwhile, an upcoming augmented reality stocking capability will highlight boxes ready to be shelved instead of employees having to scan each one individually.
To make sure employees have this app, Walmart will be distributing 740,000 Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro devices with a case and protection plan over the coming months. Previous internal apps had to be installed on personal devices as part of a BYOD program, while standalone walkie-talkies and barcode scanners are used in stores.
Associates will only be able to access the app’s work features while they’re on the clock, but they can also use the smartphone as their own personal device if they want, with all the features and privacy they’re used to. Walmart will not have access to any personal data, just like our longstanding BYOD program.
This Android phone features a 6.3-inch corner hole-punch screen with an octa-core Exynos 9611 chip that’s paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There’s a removable 4,050 mAh battery and dual 25 MP / 8 MP rear cameras. Of course, the defining feature is a MIL-STD-810G rating that means it can survive up to 1.5M drops, while there’s IP68 protection and a Gorilla Glass 5 display that accepts gloved touch input.
This is Samsung’s “largest mobile enterprise deal ever in the U.S.” The enterprise Knox Suite will be used to manage the devices, automated enrollment, firmware management, device and Wi-Fi network analytics, loss prevention, and deep device customization.
This exciting deal is the culmination of a full year of planning and piloting. Walmart approached us in the spring of 2020 at a time when their stores were busier than ever, and associates were working hard to ensure a safe shopping experience during the pandemic.
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