Rugged PC Review.com – Interview with Rick Hwang
RuggedPCReview: The Covid-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to the world and the global economy over the past year and a half. How did Getac hold up and are things slowly getting back to normal?
Rick Hwang, Getac: Undoubtedly, the chip shortage has had an impact. Even under difficult circumstances, Getac has maintained fast shipping times above the industry average. It can also be seen that the innovation and resilience of the Getac products that we have provided to our customers have helped us gain notoriety in the market. Our long-term commitment to them, and a foresighted mindset, made it possible. Customers can count on the tailored solutions they need from Getac, which has brought us new business opportunities and maintained our strong performance.
RuggedPCReview: Besides the human factor, Covid-19 has brought and still brings supply chain issues and component shortages. How have these issues affected Getac?
Rick Hwang, Getac: Put simply, the shortage of chips leads to increased component costs. Getac has put a lot of effort and resources into making our offerings flexible, while delivering quality devices, on time. We work closely with our supply chain partners and monitor stocks of key materials to meet demands. We constantly communicate with our customers, understand the challenges they face and solve them with our solutions. Our strong R&D and product management teams have allowed us to remain flexible enough to handle ever-changing situations when designing our products. In addition, our services quickly adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our activity remains normal thanks to these collaborations.
RuggedPCReview: Despite Covid-19, Getac has launched more new and updated products in the past two years than ever before. How did it happen?
Rick Hwang, Getac: As a leading technology solution provider, we continuously develop more products with new technology for our customers to improve work efficiency. Our strength in R&D enables us to introduce products adopting the latest technologies in a timely manner. These advancements happen to be pioneering compared to others in the rugged industry.
RuggedPCReview: Last year, you told RuggedPCReview that the rugged computing industry is moving from a product focus to a solutions focus. Is that still the case, and if so, has Getac’s focus changed as well?
Rick Hwang, Getac: Vertical industry sector-specific solutions continue to be at the forefront. We always observe the needs of our customers. We translate these needs into a set of global solutions to solve their problems and improve their daily work efficiency. That’s why Getac continues to provide an industry-leading product portfolio with various solutions including hardware, software, accessories and services for a complete solution offering for every industry.
An example is US law enforcement data collection, records management, and reporting software compliance. This includes working with barcode component vendors to enable scanning of driver’s licenses with analysis and thus automatically populating acquired data into predefined fields for established software used by many police departments in multiple states. -United.
RuggedPCReview: We’ve heard a lot about Getac Select. Can you describe the program and its benefits for customers?
Rick Hwang, Getac: Getac Select is a concept inspired by our customers and the challenges they face. It is based on extensive customer feedback, industry experience and the know-how we have acquired over the years to create innovative user solutions right out of the box. The result is a combination of rugged computing devices, software, accessories and professional services custom-designed for every industry. All individual solution offerings have been validated to ensure seamless compatibility providing peace of mind when deployed in the field.
Wildlife conservation commissions are an example. This conservation commission encountered a challenge in managing its devices in the field, requiring a way to monitor and track the cellular usage rate for each device. By offering Getac’s GDMS software solution, they are now able to track cellular usage rate down to the device level and monitor the health status of each device in real time to avoid downtime. unexpected shutdown due to device failure.
RuggedPCReview: Technology-wise, it looks like Intel’s 11th Gen “Tiger Lake” Core processors are being universally adopted by all major rugged manufacturers. What made “Tiger Lake” so appealing?
Rick Hwang, Getac: It is important to note that Getac was one of the first suppliers of rugged computers to use Tiger Lake processors. Tiger Lake processors have better performance, while the I/O supports Thunderbolt 4. In addition, these processors are more efficient and offer improved graphics and, most importantly, better battery life for better battery life. For industries that are particularly in need of efficient work experiences, Tiger Lake-based devices are ideal choices. Getac products launched in 2021 all featured this processor, ranging from 11-inch to 14-inch laptops and tablets. We believe these can cover a wide range of industrial applications for customers.
RuggedPCReview: Thunderbolt 4 is another tech issue that suddenly seems to be taking center stage. All of your new product releases include TB4. In your opinion, what are the advantages of TB4 for your customers?
Rick Hwang, Getac: Based on high-speed/wide-bandwidth input/output, users can have a higher-resolution display output (supports two 4K resolutions or one 8K resolution) simultaneously as well as an external graphics accelerator as input to optimize system performance. This is what end users are looking for. Users can also enjoy the convenience of TB4’s high-speed connectivity and charging capability. Industries such as manufacturing and automotive can benefit from these new capabilities, whether in warehouses or workshops.
RuggedPCReview: Getac was an early adopter of Android in some of its products, but all recent products and releases have been on the Windows side. Given that Android dominates the smartphone market and, to a lesser extent, the consumer tablet market, and also presents a migration opportunity for the Windows CE/Mobile legacy market, where do you stand on Android now?
Rick Hwang, Getac: Getac develops products to solve industry problems and meet customer demands. With unit costs and BYOD trends making Android an increasingly attractive option for some of our customers, Getac recently added the fully rugged Android ZX10 alongside our many Windows models. We also recently launched our OEMConfig app, allowing our customers to configure and update all of their Getac Android devices simultaneously from a single central location. With this expansion of our Android lineup and the diversification of our tablet capabilities as a whole, Getac can continue to provide the robust solutions that best suit our customers, whether through the computing power of Windows or the flexibility custom from Android.
RuggedPCReview: The differentiation between “semi-rugged” and “fully rugged” tablets and laptops seems to be narrowing. The two classes are closer than ever in terms of size, weight, design, performance and features. Some customers seem confused. How do you define these two classes?
Rick Hwang, Getac: There are still significant differences between semi-rugged and fully-rugged. For example, Getac’s fully rugged devices have an IP66 ingress protection rating, while our S410 semi-rugged laptop’s IP rating is IP53 certified. IP53 means it’s protected against limited ingress of dust and splash water within 60 degrees of vertical. IP66 means it is water resistant against powerful jets. Although both products have a MIL-STD rating of 810H, the B360 is drop tested to 6 feet while the S410 is drop tested to 3 feet. The price is the main difference. Semi-rugged devices have relatively lower prices.
Rick Hwang is president of Getac Technology Corporation. He has held management and executive positions at Intel, Gemtek Technologies, and Intrinsic Software Corporations. Mr. Hwang holds an MBA in International Marketing from Baruch College.