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eDC and eDC Gold Android Handheld Devices

Important Security Updates For Your eDC Android Devices

Starting from 27 July 2023, NHS Supply Chain will be releasing two significant security updates for the eDC Android devices. We will be releasing these important updates separately in a staggered approach over a four week period. However, we will not be able to inform individual trusts when their devices will be updated in advance.

Release details:

  • Release 1 – The Android device itself will be updated with the latest firmware available for the Android 10 operating system. This includes Android security updates released by Google.
  • Release 2 – The eDC app will be patched to include an upgrade of a communication protocol to enhance the security of the app.

The firmware update is programmed to only install when the battery is either on charge (in a cradle) or above 50% battery. Please make sure the device is docked when not in use.

During the firmware update the device will automatically reboot to install the update. It is essential that the battery is not removed during the update process as this will render the device unusable. The device will be ready for use when it reboots into the Kiosk screen.

It is important that the Android devices are connected to the SOTI MobiControl server. If the devices are not connected, they will not receive these important updates and the security of the system will be at risk. We are undertaking an exercise to contact trusts where we know SOTI MobiControl is being blocked to support them in getting the devices connected for future updates and support purposes.

If you have any questions about these updates, please contact our Customer IT Helpdesk:

Client Services Helpdesk

cshelpdesk@supplychain.nhs.uk

0800 086 8670

Decommission of the eDC and eDC Gold Windows Mobile Devices

We are pleased to announce that NHS Supply Chain is coming to the end of a 12-month program of replacing over 1,000 eDC and eDC Gold Windows Mobile Devices with new Android devices. The Windows Mobile Devices have reached the end of their development and are no longer supported by Microsoft. The new Android technology offers increased speed and ease of use alongside the opportunity for future development and support capabilities.

During the rollout of the new Android PDAs, not all the Windows devices were removed from our customers, and we know there are instances of these devices still being used.

The next phase of the program will be to decommission the server that enables the Windows Mobile devices to send all transactions, and this will be happening on 31 March 2023.

What does this mean for you?

You will not be able to connect to NHS Supply Chain via the Windows Mobile devices post 31 March 2023. It is important to advise that NHS Supply Chain will not be able to reverse this.

What do you need to do?

Although we are in the process of contacting customers still using the Windows Mobile devices, we are urging you to contact our colleague James Owen as a matter of urgency to discuss your challenges of using the Android devices.

James Owen

eCommerce Deployment Lead

james.owen@supplychain.nhs.uk

SOTI Mobile Controller – Remote Updates

During the rollout program we identified that customers have not fully opened their networks which means that important Android updates, security patches and eDC and eDC Gold software updates are not being received.

This poses a security risk and means customers are not taking advantage of new features or bug fixes.

The latest version of the software is v2.6.4 of which you can find on your device on the login screen.  

Where we can identify that a device is running an older version, we will be contacting those customers directly.

However, we strongly recommend that if your device version is not as above, you should contact your local IT Department to request the following addresses to be added to the network on which your Android devices connect:

  • URL: s107126.mobicontrolcloud.com
  • IP Address: 52.51.137.234
  • Ports: 5494, 443

The national Android rollout program commenced in July 2021 and to date there are over 650 new devices in use. We are working with our NHS Supply Chain: Supporting Technologies Provider (DxC) to replace the current eDC handheld devices with Android devices over a 12 month period.

The new technology offers increased speed and ease of use alongside the opportunity for future development and support capabilities.

Our currect focus is on the compatibility of the new Android technology with the Zebra technologies TC52 model. A TC52 specification sheet is available in our Downloads ▼ section.

All eDC and eDC Gold customers will receive an Android device and the current PDAs will be decommissioned.

Are you moving to Windows 10?

If your trust is moving to Windows 10 the current eDC mobile devices do not connect to the system.

We have an interim solution in place to use until you recieve your Android device. The new devices will connect with Windows 10.

See our Downloads ▼ section to read the current solution.

Rollout Challenges

During the development stages of the Android device, we requested that customers contact local IT departments to make sure the URLs detailed below were added to Wi-Fi and LAN networks.

Customer testing has highlighted that although this was done, the majority have been added to local ‘guest’ Wi-Fi networks and these are often not as robust or secure. We recommend that the devices are set-up within the corporate network or on a new unique eDC network.

It is also appears that local IT departments are showing reluctance to add the devices to the mobicontrolcloud.com (see section two below) and although the devices will work, without this they cannot be updated remotely and as such will not be able to pick up the benefit of software updates and will ultimately pose more risk without the relevant security updates.

If you have any questions, please contact our eDC Android project lead

Sally McLeod

eCommerce Customer Engagement Manager

sally.mcleod@supplychain.nhs.uk

07775 865 459

What can you do now?

Check that your network can connect to the Android devices:

  1. Contact your local IT departments to make sure that the following URLs are active on both your local and Wi-Fi networks:
  2. NHS Supply Chain will be managing all software updates to the new Android devices remotely and we have identified a connection issue that may prevent this. To resolve the issue, please ask your local IT departments to open the following on both the local and Wi-Fi networks:
    • URL: s107126.mobicontrolcloud.com
    • IP Address: 52.51.137.234
    • Ports: 5494, 443
  3. The eDC Android device will require direct access to the NHS Supply Chain system via your Wi-Fi network. They cannot be tethered as per the current PDA.
    In circumstances where Wi-Fi is not an option, the charging cradle will have an Ethernet port that could be connected directly into a spare wall-port. This is not the recommended approach and would require a spare port where the cradles will be stationed.
Why are NHS Supply Chain replacing the current eDC and Gold Windows Mobile PDAs?

Microsoft no longer supports Windows Mobile devices. The new Android technology offers increased speed, ease of use and much more dynamic development and support capabilities.

When will NHS Supply Chain be replacing the current Windows Mobile devices?

There will be a 12 month replacement programme expected to start in the new year. Customers will be contacted individually to agree specific dates and times.

What is the make and model of the replacement device, and what version of Android will this come with?

We will be supplying Zebra TC52s which will come with Android version 8 (Oreo). See our Downloads ▼ section to read the product specification.

Will we be given the same number of Android devices as we have Windows Mobile devices?

Yes, this will be like for like replacement. The Windows devices will be taken out of service once the Android devices are installed.

Will we be able to purchase the new TC52 Android devices ourselves?

This is currently under review and further information will be communicated as soon as possible.

Android devices are connected wirelessly what information do we need to supply to our local IT department for cyber security risks?

We strongly recommend WIFI as best practice. There will be ethernet port connectivity provided on the docking stations for direct IP connectivity. It is important to note that the Android devices will not have tethering to PC capability (like the current Windows devices do).

We have previously communicated the new URLs to be added to your Local and WIFI networks and without these being active the Android device will not work.

See our Downloads ▼ section for useful information and specifications of interest to your local IT Departments. We advise approaching your local IT Departments to share this information as they will be an integral part of setting up the new devices on customer networks.

What is the operating lifespan of Android devices?

Zebra’s software security solution is ‘Lifeguard for Android’ which extends the operating system lifecycle beyond 3 years.

How will NHS Supply Chain update the Android versions?

The devices will arrive preconfigured with mobile device management software (MDM). This will facilitate the updates as they become available and in accordance with your local IT policies.

How will NHS Supply Chain update the eDC and eDC Gold software?

The Android devices will arrive preconfigured with the latest eDC and eDC Gold software. Application updates will be delivered through the MDM client.

Will there be changes to how NHS Supply Chain supports the new devices?

No, customers will report any issues as normal to the existing NHS Supply Chain Client Services Helpdesk. The Client Services Helpdesk will have increased functionality to support customers more effectively.

Our publications are listed in reverse chronological order.

Downloads ▼

  • eDC Web Application Release Notes - 6 February 2024

    Latest eDC web application updates including bug fixes and performance improvements.
  • eDC Android Release Notes - 7 September 2023

    Latest eDC Android updates including bug fixes and performance improvements.
  • eDC Web Application Release Notes - 5 September 2023

    Latest eDC web application updates being released for bug fixes and performance improvements.
  • eDC Android Release Notes - 27 July 2023

    Latest eDC Android security updates.
  • eDC Android Release Notes - 29 June 2023

    Latest eDC Android updates including bug fixes and performance improvements.
  • eDC Web Application Release Notes - 27 June 2023

    Latest eDC web application updates being released for bug fixes and performance improvements.
  • eDC Android Release Notes - 20 April 2023

    Latest eDC Android updates including bug fixes and performance improvements.
  • eDC Web Application Release Notes - 18 April 2023

    Latest eDC web application updates being released for bug fixes and performance improvements.
  • eDC Android Release Notes - 8 March 2023

    Latest eDC Android updates including bug fixes and performance improvements.
  • Interim Windows 10 Solution

    A step by step guide to enable Windows 10 to work with your current eDC handheld device.
  • Android Hints and Tips