Is Cloud migration really best for your business ?

Photostogo-509807Is Cloud migration really best for your business?

Investment in cloud technology is expected to grow by more than 300% over the next three years as the amount of money dedicated to cloud spending in IT budgets increases. Cloud adoption is heavily discussed and researched, and that’s because the options are so varied and the consequences of choices have such a great impact on businesses.

Gartner recently identified from a survey that buyers of cloud applications are focusing on cost, innovation and agility as reasons for adoption, with 40% saying that overall cost reduction is the main driver. These stats were definitely reflected in a recent event hosted by AOTMP (click here to watch the webinar).

They discussed the enterprise drivers for implementing cloud services and the security and privacy concerns it presents.  “Should security be a concern for new installations?” and of course the answer is yes ! If you’re recording conversations in the cloud, the security of that data is sensitive. In our experience when deploying unified communications (UC), integrating real-time communication services in organizations, availability is often seen as an equally important concern. Security in the context of mobility is business critical for the organizations we work with and the loss of any data would be damaging.

Gartner’s research revealed a notable disparity between the thinking of senior IT leaders and non-IT business leaders. Those in IT roles were looking for a ‘modern, innovative IT environment with operational agility with business objectives as key outcomes’ from the cloud. Non-IT personnel on the other hand see cloud migration as a cost saving exercise.

VoIP and UC applications are becoming tied to the cloud and the telecom environment is becoming heavily IP based. This shift infers a responsibility to IT and telecom managers, who are still identified as the group responsible for owning cloud management in organizations. They need to focus on management and skills development to design a strategy capable of deploying a cloud solution effectively. It’s where the non-IT leaders need to gain a better understanding of UC and cloud technology, beyond the obvious cost savings.

Cost savings are usually significant when the correct solution is implemented globally. Most teams often leverage a hybrid solution, a mix of integration and migration, utilizing a private and cloud based approach. This avoids a rushed migration to a full cloud support and the potential complications it entails.

Deployment times are a serious influencer when it comes to deciding on the best solution. For smaller companies they can often jump straight into a UC hosted environment in the cloud as they have an enormous amount of flexibility and they benefit from the wide range of services and devices which such a migration offers. Our work with large multinationals has given us a first hand insight into how best to support organizations during this transition period from private networks to cloud services, understanding the business critical nature of the solutions we deliver.

Benefits beyond cost savings that  clients have experienced include tech advances they hadn’t anticipated such as; improved collaboration, better customer services, audio/ video conferencing made easier and a reduction in the amount of support and maintenance effort required from internal staff.

Another interesting discussion during the AOTMP webinar was around the next evolution of UC.  The Internet of Things and wearable devices are already expanding the world of UC.

Organizations are also looking for further benefits from the cloud, such as increased capability for employees working from locations away from the office or at home. They’re looking to expand existing capabilities and it’s all about enabling flexibility whilst maintaining security.

What are you doing with the Cloud ?

Thanks to Ben Mendossa and AOTMP for the post !


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Mobile Productivity !

Mobile Productivity: The Double-Edged Sword

You would be hard-pressed in today’s hyper-connected world to find an employee without a smartphone or tablet of some type, whether that be an Apple device, BlackBerry, Samsung, or another of the brands constantly fighting it out for top spot in the market.


Most users of smartphones carry them wherever they go and use them as a “third hand”, “Googling” information whenever needed and using apps almost as second nature throughout the day. This constant stream of data usage has led to the rise of new technologies such as BYOD and EMM, and companies having to tailor their working environments and processes to cater for the related security risks and legalities which have followed, but how does mobile and smartphone usage actually impact on employee productivity?


In a recent report conducted by BlackBerry in Canada, nearly 50% of BlackBerry users stated that, by using mobile technology, their availability to others was improved. 56% also identified that one of their biggest productivity priorities was managing daily communications via their device, especially with co-workers. However, security was also referenced as a big concern: 67% classed this as a priority, especially when using their device for work. The conclusion is that mobile users are more aware than ever of the benefit of using mobile devices for work, which leads to enhanced productivity, but it can be a double-edged sword at times!


Freedom & Connectivity


Since the early 1990s and the spread of the World Wide Web, users have been able to connect via electronic means: email, messenger services, social networks and VoIP calling are all commonplace these days and adding mobile usage just enhances the mix – especially with the rise of apps for popular services such as Skype, Facebook Messenger, Microsoft Office Mobile, Mail, Cloud and many more.


Enhanced means of connecting with others gives rise to more freedom for staff across different areas. As an example, those whose jobs are on the road now have a wider range of services to connect with staff back at the office, especially via services such as Cloud sharing, where they can fill in paperwork electronically and upload it for others to see on a shared folder without having to email or call in while travelling. Those who would traditionally be “desk-bound” and unable to work from other locations can now expand their hours and work from areas such as home, giving more freedom for flexible working hours and working parents during times when childcare is unavailable, in turn enhancing productivity to employers who otherwise may have had to reschedule deadlines.


Recruitment agencies can now use a wider spread of avenues to search for and research potential employees, from a wider range of locations. These are just 3 examples of how the spread of connectivity has impacted how people work, but there are many more.


Focus & Creativity


Working on a project in the day and thinking about it after the working day is over is common for many people, and with the use of shared folders and Cloud access, many can now continue to add their ideas and thoughts after hours. Clock-off time in many cases now merely means the drive from work to home, but not a total stop in the work process, and many continue to use their mobile devices for work purposes into the evening, adding and enhancing to documents and projects created earlier in the day.


This streamlined focus allows users to work from home and feel less frustrated when deadlines become tight, as they know that, if needed, they have more time in which to get the work done, from different locations.


Security & Balance – The Double-Edged Sword


With the rise in productivity, work performed out of hours and flexible working hours, there are bound to be downfalls – employers and employees both benefit from continued improvements in technology but there is always a cost. Security is a big concern and it is important that employers take appropriate precautions to ensure that those connecting to company drives and documents on smart devices are not able to introduce viruses to the system, or accidentally put data at risk through device loss or theft. Sharing will also always be a concern for IT departments, leading to enhanced password and encryption systems, especially with the rise of public WiFi usage in areas such as hotels and restaurants. Business data and emails are often accessed by users on holiday or on business trips and security issues must be addressed by companies to ensure that sensitive data is not hacked or leaked. Employers may find they have to pay more for security, including increased IT work forces, enhanced safety precautions and larger data storage facilities, to ensure nothing is written over or deleted to make space.


From a personal perspective, it is also important that those using smart devices for work purposes retain an appropriate work-life balance – many struggle to “turn off” once they have left work, and this can lead to increased stresses and strains outside of the office. Recent BYOD legislation in the US and Europe has been formed to counter this, with large organisations including BMW and Volkswagen taking steps to limit the amount of out of hours communications unless necessary.


Finally, it is important not to overlook the cost element. Rising use of mobile devices to access corporate data on the move inevitably leads to an increase in the amount of data travelling over mobile networks, particularly with the growing use of video in the corporate workspace. It is essential companies monitor their telecom usage through effective use of tools such Telecom Expense Management (TEM), to ensure they and their employees are on the correct rate plans – particularly if roaming overseas – and the benefits of improved productivity are not promptly outweighed by an equivalent (if not greater) increase in telecom spend.


To conclude, the rise of BYOD for the workplace has many advantages for both employers and employees, but precautions must be taken to keep in line with not only current legislation but also security risks and staff needs.

Thanks to Anne Britton for the post !

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Fixed Mobile Convergence and Network 2020 !

Fixed Mobile Convergence and Network 2020 – The Next Steps in Telecommunications?

As technologies adapt, so must their providers and users.

For a number of years communications options have been somewhat fragmented, with options for web-based video calls, mobile calls and traditional wired landline calls co-existing. While this provides choice and is important to avoid the complete absence of the ability to communicate if one system fails, there is a move amongst mobile providers to unite forms of communication on mobile phones and tablets to increase efficiency and reliability.

Encouraged by the GSMA, the concept of all IP mobile communications is addressed in their Network 2020 initiative. Started in 2010 with the ambition of encouraging and assisting mobile providers to adapt to a world increasingly reliant upon improving internet provision, Network 2020 marks a major change in telecommunications.

Underpinning Network 2020 is the fact that mobile providers need to change in order to remain competitive – consumers require reliability, and many of the legacy systems used by providers are outdated and require improvement. As time progresses, internet-based systems will allow what is referred to as a ‘mesh’ based system. This will provide the best in reliability as connections can be re-routed quickly and efficiently around any problematic network areas, increasing communication speed and quality. As bandwidth provision increases to meet demand, the quality of video conferencing will also improve, making such options more popular with organisations of all sizes.

Traditionally, internet communication has centred on Voice over IP (VoIP) and Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) methods but, as connectivity improves with the introduction of faster broadband in the form of 4G (and because mobile communications such as SMS and voice calls need to remain a source of revenue for providers) attention is now focused on options including Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE).

This will allow calls to occur via any of the given options – and provide the capability to switch between these options depending on availability and cost, enabling seamless, cost-effective services. Called Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC), the technology is to some extent in use already, although its definition appears to vary between providers and the infrastructure and handset technology modifications required to allow it to function most effectively will take time and investment. The ability to provide users with the service they need, when they need it, is the holy grail of telecommunications and it appears that – if providers work together (and that’s a large “if”) – this will become a distinct possibility.

As with any method of mobile communication, the move to FMC with IP, LTE and WiFi services will have implications for Telecom Expense Management (TEM) – in particular, for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) plans. It can be a challenge to track business voice and video calls in order to ensure employee obligations are being met and the amounts paid for phone services are accurate, especially for organisations operating on an international level. As with any area of business, it’s important the best value for money service is sought in telecommunications expenses – another reason why TEM can prove invaluable.

As it stands, integrating the new communications infrastructure as outlined in Network 2020 could fully enable FMC and prove to be a great boon to business, with reliable, high quality communications available on the move. Although it may seem as though telecoms are increasingly costly, it is likely that improvements to services will see a significant increase in value for money, as users get more from their spend.

Thanks to Anne Britton for the post !

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BYOD and Security !

BYOD and Security

There is no doubt that enterprise mobility is reshaping the way in which we work. The recent announcement of iOS 8 and its enterprise functionality is a clear sign that the market for business mobile devices and accompanying applications is set to increase. But as mobile devices are increasingly linked to corporate networks, many experts have raised concerns about the security of information shared.

This may be in part due to a reluctance to invest in security software or a lack of understanding about the risks involved. The lack of publicity concerning corporate security breaches could be attributed to attempts to hide any information which could prove damaging to reputation or may just be because many companies have been lucky – so far. One thing on which all analysts seem to agree is that security for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) schemes is now absolutely essential, making expert advice vital to those embarking on an enterprise mobility scheme – and for those who already have one. Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) can help to provide peace of mind to organisations of all sizes, especially those which have numerous employees who are mobility enabled using their own devices.

Despite the importance of mobile working, many companies do not offer official guidance for BYOD and many have no mobility strategy at all. Recent research by Ovum and Dimension Data suggests that only 55% of businesses are at some stage of their mobility roadmap, in part due to confusion concerning security issues, although 79% of IT departments view mobility as a top priority. Despite the lack of policies, many companies already rely on employees to access work communications and information safely of their own accord, not taking into account that sensitive information is at greater risk when accessed on devices with little or no security software.

One of the major flaws with BYOD at the moment is the use of Wi-Fi in public areas. Many hotels, restaurants and other locations offer customers Wi-Fi, but not all users check how secure they actually are. Employees on holidays or business trips often use Wi-Fi to access business data and emails, potentially making sensitive information accessible to hackers. The use of cloud technology has also come under scrutiny recently. Considered the future of BYOD by many, providers need to address security issues in order to gain the trust of organizations who wish to use the facility – and in order to reassure those who already do. Industry experts are already suggesting businesses utilize mobile virtualization or secure containers in order to give employers greater control over security (by separating business from personal use on devices).

As BYOD becomes more fundamental, strategies concerning how best to manage security will develop. For the foreseeable future, companies considering any kind of mobile enterprise programmer’s  should make sure that they explore the guidance issued by the UK government and consult with experts in the management of EMM provision.

What’s your companies’ strategy ?

Thanks to Stuart Haining for the post!

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New legislation in Europe and the US could influence BYOD strategy


BYOD schemes are now widely used by businesses of all sizes but the increase in the use of mobile devices for enterprise is now the subject of scrutiny, for a variety of reasons. The fact that our technological capability is increasing rapidly is positive, but it also means that legislation concerning its use is rapidly rendered obsolete.

One area in which there has been a legal lag has been the business use of mobile devices; however, in recent months it appears this is starting to be addressed. As growing numbers of employees are now expected to use their own mobiles for work as part of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, a number of concerns have come to the fore. One of the matters currently being explored in Europe – particularly in Germany – is that employees are not able to relax outside work hours, due to the fact they are still available to receive work-related emails and calls. With speculation that this could lead to stress, burn-out and an increase in mental illness among the population, it’s little wonder that large organisations including Volkswagen, BMW and Deutsche Telekom have already taken steps to reduce the burden by banning out-of-hours communications unless strictly essential.

Last year, the German employment ministry banned managers from contacting staff outside hours unless absolutely necessary and has stated that managers must keep the number of staff contacted in such a way to an absolute minimum. The German labour minister at the time, Ursula von der Leyen, called upon employers of all sizes to ensure that policies concerning out-of-hours contact are completely clear. Meanwhile, France introduced rules earlier this year allowing employees to ignore work emails and calls after hours in both the digital and consultancy industries. None of which bodes well for the future of BYOD.

With other countries likely to follow suit, the trend in reducing out-of-hours contact is a concern for some small to medium sized businesses, which frequently rely upon the extra-curricular communication for their continued success.

Across the pond, there is yet more news with direct implications for BYOD: the State of California has ruled that, from September 11, employers must pay staff stipends towards their mobile costs if they require devices to be used for business. This will apply regardless of whether an employee has a personal mobile package with free calls and/or reduced data charges. Understandably, this news has upset employers, who had not previously budgeted for such costs and who are now left trying to work out just how much constitutes “reasonable reimbursement” for employees. They also need to take into account that their policies must be transparent, so that they can be understood by all members of staff.

Detailed evaluation of the California ruling, and its potential impact upon BYOD in organisations of various sizes, has been undertaken by industry experts such as Ralph Rodriguez at Blue Hill Research and Hyoun Park at Datahive Consulting. A report published by Blue Hill expressed concerns not only for businesses facing new charges, but also for providers of Mobile Device Management (MDM).

Despite the concerns raised about the ruling, the Telecom Expense Management Industry Association (TEMIA) and other analysts have been keen to point out that the ruling does not mean the end is nigh for BYOD – just that businesses will henceforth have to implement appropriate policies to ensure correct use of the strategy. For this reason, the services of TEM and MDM vendors may become more vital than ever before in providing details of employee device use and in offering advice concerning appropriate compensation. One probability is fairly certain: rules governing BYOD will spread to different US states, and may are more than likely to be introduced in other countries.

BYOD can allow both employees and employers increased freedom and can improve efficiency and speed of urgent communication. However, it’s important for any organisation seeking to benefit from such plans to keep up to date with changing legislation in their country, to ensure that mobile technology is used for mutual benefit and under agreed terms.

Thanks to Stuart Haining for the post !

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Times Are Changing – And So Are Trends in App Development

Since smartphones and other mobile devices have become almost ubiquitous, finding ways to gain screen time and space from those connected on the move has become essential.

In the early days of app creation, creative, useful or fun ideas that caught on could be produced by just about anyone with technical knowledge. Although this is still true in some cases (think Nguyễn Hà Đông and his game ‘Flappy Bird’) it is increasingly the case that large companies with higher budgets are behind the apps which become the most popular on app stores, often due to their large investment in advertising. Of the approximately three million developers worldwide, more than half earn less than $500 (US) per month for each app. The fact that copycat apps are so readily made and placed on stores also does nothing to help download numbers, meaning that the good times are receding for small developers. In fact, increased competition means that all app developers are finding themselves in a less than ideal marketplace.

So, things are looking a tad bleak in the industry – but there may yet be light at the end of the tunnel. While some larger developers have resorted to increasing purchases and downloads by splitting apps into separate components (ostensibly for the enviable goal of achieving greater  customer convenience) and even by paying to download their way to higher chart positions, areas of growth within the app industry still exist. One of these is creating apps for enterprise.

The increase in companies’ use of mobile enterprise and accompanying Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and corporate-owned, personally-enabled (COPE) schemes is fuelling a growing demand for corporate apps. Such apps, designed to enable ease of access to company systems, can only become more widespread, at least for the foreseeable future. Currently, businesses are willing to pay handsomely for bespoke apps and for the best in productivity and time management tools.

The move by IBM and Apple to enter the enterprise mobility market is also likely to spark growth within the corporate app market, with developers vying to create company apps for the IBM MobileFirst Platform. The bad news is that smaller developers, with reduced budgets and limited access to large scale promotional programmes, are likely to struggle to compete in the creation of corporate apps, just as they are starting to in the personal apps market.

In terms of cost, bespoke corporate apps require significant up-front financial investment, especially if they use cloud access for distribution and, for example, to enable data synchronisation. The creation of such apps is a time-consuming task, and changing mobile technology (from operating systems to interface capabilities) means that businesses require apps which are adaptable and which can be rapidly altered to meet new standards. There is also an increasing expectation for business apps to be ‘pretty’, or at least user-friendly – a need once consigned to the bottom of the pile but now rapidly filtering its way back to the top, in these times of consumer-driven choice.

Industry expert Gartner have noted a corresponding shift to agile app development: customers, particularly those paying a premium for bespoke apps, do not want to invest in products with severely limited lifespans – but also do not want to wait length periods for an app launch. The increased use of HTML5 for development is likely to make rapidly adaptable apps a reality across numerous platforms, providing yet another step in the provision of effective tools for mobile enterprise.

The other area in which we can expect to see rapid change is security. With the growth of enterprise-grade applications and user acceptance testing (UAT), perhaps it is not unreasonable to hope for reduced threats from virus and other malware attacks, together with greater capacity for compliance with corporate usage and implementation policies.

The face of app creation appears to be changing: no longer is it possible for a lone developer with one eureka moment to make a mint overnight. App development is now big business and, appropriately, has been commandeered as such by Big Business. This may sound like the end of a golden era but, just as day follows night, a new era is dawning – that of increased business use for mobile devices. It seems app development will still be going strong for some time.

Thanks to Stuart Haining for the Post !


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BYOD vs Cope ? (Part 2)

Calling All Managers! Which model is best for your company – BYOD vs COPE? Part 2

Benefits of COPE

Unlike Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) which is, essentially, a personal device with space created on it for corporate use, the Corporate-Owned, Personally-Enabled (COPE) model provides the complete opposite by creating space for personal use on a fully managed corporate device.

The COPE model works mainly in the interest of the IT department and corporate security. The aim of this solution is to make it easier for IT to monitor and protect the multitude of devices while still providing the benefits of BYOD, such as freedom for employees to use them for personal purposes.

By allowing employees to choose from a list of preapproved devices, IT can set up effective device enrolment and application deployment processes, instead of the chaos of trying to support each and every device and operating system employees bring to work. It also gives them assertive control over which devices and  data plans to provide and which carriers to support, given that it’s the company who will be paying the monthly usage costs.

Employees retain the ability to choose which devices they want to use, which services they want and which apps they want installed, but because the devices will be corporate-owned, IT can restrict these choices and how they are implemented, and manage the allowance employees have to spend on extra features.

IT departments are also in control of installing reliable, up-to-date management software and can apply patches and upgrades when needed. They have the power to enrol devices in Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) services more easily, so have greater control both technically and legally when it comes to protecting the company’s data since, as the legal owners, they retain the right to wipe the device remotely if it becomes compromised.

With the COPE model, there are also a number of cost-saving benefits, such as buying devices in bulk at a wholesale or reduced price, and paying for usage through a carrier’s shared voice and data plans.


Drawbacks of COPE

Every manager knows there can be a thin line between personal and business use and, as with BYOD, trying to get an entire organisation to agree on reasonable limits is nearly impossible. If employees feel they are being controlled within their personal space, you will no longer have happy workers and the solution will collapse.

However, the largest drawback centres on the financial details. All transactions must be meticulously monitored to ensure employees stay within their data and service plan allowances, and agreeing on who pays if they go over the cost threshold etc, can become a major issue. This can become a significant overhead for staff with other work to complete, especially for those companies who are global and have thousands of employees and/or insufficient IT resources.

COPE’s upfront capital costs present a substantial problem for the companies where corporate ownership isn’t on the cards – where they don’t offer BYOD stipends or pay for any enterprise mobility initiatives.



In the end, both models have their strengths and weaknesses. Both have security risks and management issues, and both can bring increased flexibility and improved productivity incentives.

While BYOD can have limited controls in place, IT will still have a difficult time trying to prevent employees downloading services and applications which could compromise security on their device. COPE goes further, by restricting the applications available for download and their implementation.

With both models, the positives are that employees will look after their own devices better as it contains their personal data too, will be more likely to keep their devices up-to-date, and they will also have a better understanding of how to operate and maintain them – all of which reduces the need for IT support. Productivity will increase as a result, leading to happier employees and, hopefully, happier managers.

However, the negatives include the increased need for EMM tools and policies governing compliance, security and usage, together with the increased dependency and pressure on IT support. The work/life balance can also become fragile with some users feeling obliged to work in their personal time at home, or alternatively, allowing their social lives to interfere while they are meant to be working.

EMM solutions can help keep personal and professional data separate and monitor device usage in order to protect the security of the company’s data and reduce the risks to the business. Ultimately, this speaks more to the COPE model, where control remains in the hands of the IT department.

COPE is slowly winning out over BYOD as companies see the value of keeping control yet still offering employees a range of options.

It’s clear that, whichever model you opt for, one of the most important things you’ll need to implement is a strong, clear policy defining acceptable conduct, work/life balance, restrictions on usage and costs, security and data management and the penalties which will be enforced if the policy is violated. A list of approved devices and services will be needed for COPE, with the proviso that the list is updated as needed.

Security protection is the key factor, so when choosing a model make sure you have an effective EMM solution in place to add protection to whichever policy you apply. Just make sure your employees are aware of this and the implications.

Thanks to Emma Griffin for the post !


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Google Glass and BYOW ??

Google Glass and Bring Your Own Wearables (BYOW) Set to Revolutionise the Enterprise?

Google Glass is an Android device resembling a pair of glasses, which can be controlled by your voice or via a capacitive touch pad. The optical head mounted display shows information directly into the wearer’s field of vision such as photos, web searches, messages, apps, texts and more.

Based on a version of Android, the operating system can run apps that are optimised specifically for the device, called Glassware. The wearable technology can be connected to a smart device by Bluetooth or through Wi-Fi when at home or in a hotspot.

There have been a number of debates so far about Google Glass regarding its openness to hacking and the implications for privacy. At the moment, there is not a safe enough authentication or PIN system enabled but, arguably more important, hackers have found a ‘root’ feature which can be accessed through certain commands when attached to a PC or laptop.

Once the hacker has gained access, they can in effect see through the eyes of the user, and monitor their personally identifiable information, updates, PINS, passwords and banking information at all times without their knowledge. Spyware apps can also take photos or videos without consent of either the wearer or those around them, which puts everyone’s security and privacy at risk. With both these things in mind, corporate security is significantly under threat as hackers could share sensitive or classified information in a matter of seconds.

Google Glass is constantly recording user activity. The device tracks the eye movements of the user and performs intuitive data requests based on this behaviour. Even without the hacker behind the scene, this could mean that information is still being gathered without the permission of the wearer and this potential to receive and transmit this data equates to a complete loss of control over the wearer’s virtual life.

There have been suggestions about how to overcome the risk of hackers taking control by creating an auto-protect system, to be enabled by the user when the device is not in use and including a PIN, retinal or voice scans or some other form of authentication. Google recently forbade Glass app developers from creating facial recognition apps amid these user security and privacy concerns, but once again hackers seem to be one step ahead.

Bring Your Own Wearable (BYOW), meaning an employee-owned device used within a business environment, will eventually make its way into the corporate world. Wearable devices such as Smart watches from Sony and Samsung are already set to impact the medical and fitness world, and it won’t be too long before smart devices such as Google Glass starts inching their way into the financial world.

Wearable devices haven’t become a set category yet. They already include a wide range of device types – from watches to clothing – and until IT can provide serious, reliable management covering all of these, maybe the most sensible thing to do is to concentrate on the security of the apps and connectivity rather than the devices themselves.

This way, enterprise can put policies and procedures in place immediately, much like with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and smartphones, and then afterwards find a solution to manage wearables in a more systematic way. From a network point of view, wearable devices are not that much different from a smartphone or any of the other Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) device currently transforming the business world. So IT departments need to expand their policies to incorporate objectives which are more company-specific, and find a way to collect, store, analyse and access all business-related data from those devices.

To protect personal security and privacy, Google needs to step up and address the issues raised by so many people. On the users’ side, in order to maintain company security, IT needs to understand how to protect the devices from external corruption, and collect and access the data in a secure manner through BYOW and EMM policies and solutions.

What do you think ?

Thanks to Emma Griffin for the post !


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Calling All Managers – which model is best for your company? BYOD vs COPE

Productivity. It’s a key focus for managers and an area which is becoming increasingly easy to improve, with smartphone and tablet devices allowing employees to work outside work. Wouldn’t you work faster on a device with which you’re completely comfortable, without having to switch from one to another just to answer a few emails on the go?

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has been a cause for hot debate since the enterprise mobility strategy was first introduced into the corporate environment. Professionals argue over whether the significant social and monetary benefits outweigh the substantial risks involved regarding privacy, security and increased support.

Corporate-owned, Personally-Enabled (COPE) is an alternative for those companies who want to escape from the BYOD chaos and rely on a more user-friendly, IT-manageable approach. This particular business model allows the organisations themselves to provide their employees with devices, such as notebooks, tablets and smartphones, and consents for them to be used for personal use as well as work, but there are restrictions.

So which model is better for your company?


Benefits of BYOD

BYOD has been around for a few years now, first appearing as personal smartphones, tablets and notebooks became more popular tools for work. Personal devices were easier to use as employees already knew how their phones worked and could just log in to their accounts when they wanted – which for the majority was simpler than switching devices whenever they had to deal with emails or check accounts.

IT departments quickly caught on to the fact that fighting this rising trend was a losing battle and instead used their resources to assimilate these devices in the corporate environment and  implement relevant support and security measures.

From a social point of view, this flexible model worked. Users could choose the device which best suited their needs both personally and professionally, and allowed them the freedom to decide on the apps and services they preferred. There was no need to try understanding another device for the sole purpose of completing tasks their own phone or tablet could perform.

Productivity was increasing as work could be done wherever and whenever (even in the Cloud), instead of in a static place from 9 –5 and it’s this flexibility that led to happier employees, with improved morale and a healthier work/life balance.

Some companies saw apparent cost savings on hardware, with the advantage of having the employee pay for their own device and data plan up to a certain cost threshold.


Drawbacks of BYOD

However, there is another side to this coin! Savings may have been made on hardware, but they were rapidly negated as companies found themselves spending more on support as IT personnel either needed training on how to deal with the different types of devices out there, or had to employ those who already knew.

Costs of Voice and Data plans also need to be negotiated. With the user spending more time writing emails, downloading data, making calls and roaming on the internet, they may need help with the larger bill at the end of the month. There are options for cost-sharing, but these need to be agreed with the users beforehand and stuck to.

There is also the argument about who pays for repairs if the device is damaged, plus major security concerns if usage is violated or the device is lost. Features that allow companies to track the activity (such as location) and web searches of employees and delete personal data remotely if the device is lost or stolen, can result in users denying IT full Mobile Device Management (MDM) control which limits the beneficial effects of the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) platform.

Mobile Application Management (MAM) has a lighter-handed approach, giving IT control over corporate assets only. This may have more appeal for employees, but if MDM features such as those mentioned above are needed for more security regulated companies, BYOD may not be the answer. MAM also has the issue of privacy and legal problems as arguments arise regarding what is considered ‘personal’ and ‘business’.

Security however is the biggest concern. With certain measures, BYOD expects IT to manage and control an unlimited number of devices, applications, services and data plans. This creates pressure on those trying to ensure compliance and security measures,

What do you think ? stay tuned for more of the debate !

Thanks to Emma griffin for the post!

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Alexander Graham Bell’s Medal !

Alexander Graham Bell’s Centennial Telephone Transmitter

In 1876, the first official World’s Fair was held with the Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia to mark the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. The exhibition ran from 10 May to 10 November and welcomed nearly 10 million visitors during that time. Over 200 buildings were constructed to house an amazing array of exhibits, with the main exhibition hall being the largest in the world at the time, covering an area of 21.5acres.

With focus on education and science, manufacturing, mining and metallurgy, the impressive event was the perfect platform to showcase pioneering designs and the latest innovations to a huge international audience. As a result, many well-known products were launched at the exhibition including Remington’s Typographic Machine, which would become the first commercially successful typewriter complete with a QWERTY key layout. As the Wallace-Farmer Electric Dynamo, Hires Root Beer and even Heinz Ketchup made their first public appearances, telecommunications history was also made in Philadelphia. It was here, on 25 June 1876, that Alexander Graham Bell unveiled his Centennial Telephone Transmitter and demonstrated its capabilities to an intrigued audience which included reporters and show judges.

It was the arrival of Brazilian Emperor, Dom Pedro II, to Bell’s unique demonstration that really caused a stir however. The pair had previously met whilst in Boston and as Bell presented his latest invention, Dom Pedro declared “My God! It Talks!” The ever increasing interest of the audience led to countless demonstrations of this new and exciting technology with many participating in communications with Bell. Described as “the greatest by far of all the marvels of the electric telegraph” by exhibition judge and renowned physicist Sir William Thomson, no one could have anticipated the global effect that Bell’s invention would have. Following recommendations by both Dom Pedro and Thomson to the Committee of Electrical Awards, Bell took the Gold Award for Electrical Equipment as well as a Second Gold for his Visible Speech exhibit used as a learning tool for the deaf. Following Bell’s success at the event he achieved international recognition and the Bell Telephone Company was founded within a year as demand for the new technology spread, with a request for a personal demonstration even received from Queen Victoria.

In 1976, to mark the centenary of Bell’s pioneering telephone invention, The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers introduced the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, their highest honour which is awarded annually for “exceptional contribution to the advancement of communications services and engineering”.

The award is not given every year , but this years winner is Dariush Divsalar ! Congrat’s

2014 Winner
Senior Research Scientist, Jet
Propulsion Laboratory,
Pasadena, Ca
“For fundamental contributions to the
theory and practice of channel codes that
transformed deep space and other forms of
wireless communications.
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