New legislation in Europe and the US could influence BYOD strategy

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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.

 

Summary

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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BYOD vs COPE

iPhone

Featured

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
DARIUSH DIVSALAR
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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The Revolutionary iPhone !

iPhoneThe Revolutionary iPhone

 

The iconic 1st generation iPhone was released on 29 June 2007, and at the time of its launch visionary Steve Jobs declared that “the iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone”. In the seven years that followed, Apple has sold over 500million iPhones with the rapid acceleration in sales growth, showing no sign of slowing down.

The month of June is significant in iPhone history, as in addition to the unveiling of many models and release of the 1st generation iPhone, iPhone 3GS was launched on 19 June 2009 and closely followed by the iPhone 4 on 24 June the following year.  With the latest models iPhone 5c and 5s released in September 2013, we explore the history of the iPhone and the unprecedented global success that it has achieved.

In January 2007 the iPhone made its first public appearance following the unveiling by Steve Jobs at the Macworld Conference in San Francisco.  For the first time, users had access to smartphones that unleashed the power and advanced functionality of a combined mobile phone, iPod and breakthrough internet device in a lightweight handheld pioneering instrument.

As well as quad-band GSM cellular connectivity, the iPhone’s sophisticated touch controls were a major interface development and allowed users to type directly on the 3.5inch screen and control the device with a single touch, offering unrivalled web browser functionality and an innovative rotating screen that switched from portrait to landscape.  The iPhone software included Visual Voicemail and threaded text messages with other features such as three way calling. From music and video delivery to its ability to sync with various applications, iPhone gave users unrivalled technology and flexibility, and Apple sold 270,000 in the first two days of sales.

The iPhone 3G was announced on 9 June 2008 and the second generation iPhone included hardware changes with Assisted GPS enabling increased speeds to pinpoint your location, 3G Data and enhanced 3G tri-band UMTS/HSDPA and greater data transfer speeds.  Push email and navigation tools were also added with 8GB and 16GB models available in black and white. Pre-loaded with iPhone OS 2.0, this allowed access to the newly launched App Store and Apple’s Mobile Me service, and following the launch of the OS 3.0 software update MMS was also made available. With the launch of the iPhone 3GS, Apple reduced the price of the 3G 8GB Black Model, selling it as a budget option at a cost of just $99.  The iPhone 3G’s successor provided improved performance and voice control functionality, as well as a higher resolution, colour rich screen with improved camera and video functionality.  With the ‘S’ standing for speed, the 3GS was twice as fast as the 3G model and became Apple’s flagship smartphone until the release of the iPhone 4.

Following a number of widely publicised leaks, Apple first presented the revamped iPhone 4 on the 7 June 2010, with availability of the thinnest smartphone ever from 24 June in the US and UK. Along with the Retina Display technology maximising the amount of detail that the human retina can perceive, Apple’s front-facing camera design was incorporated for the first time together with a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with tap-to-use technology.  Together with iOS 4’s improved multi-tasking functionality, Apple’s FaceTime Video chat application also became available for the first time.  The design included an antenna as part of the phone’s stainless steel frame and pre-orders of over 600,000 were received for this latest release in a 24 hour period.

The announcement of the iPhone 4GS was made on the 4 October 2011, the day prior to the sad passing of Steve Jobs. With over 1 million pre-orders made in the first 24 hours, four million units were sold globally during the next four days as the product was rolled out in the US, UK, Canada, Japan and parts of Europe.  The 4GS brought us iCloud and iMessage with further improvements made to both the iPhone’s camera and video recording capability.  Social integration of Twitter was also incorporated and the iOS 5 operating system introduced SIRI, the intelligent personal assistant which answered questions, performed actions and made recommendations via the natural language user interface.  Noted as “the most amazing iPhone yet”, the iPhone 4GS initially came with 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage options.

The iPhone 5 was both lighter and thinner, with a taller screen also part of the aluminium body design that now used the Lightning compact dock connector.  Selling at twice the rate of its predecessor in its first 24 hours of pre-order, and twenty times faster thereafter, demand exceeded supply for the iPhone 5 which now included LTE network capability. In addition to further SIRI enhancements, spoken commands allow the user to launch apps and dictate updates for social media, texts are composed using the voice assistant with images and sounds also incorporated into messages.  Apple Maps, including verbal turn-by-turn navigation, is included together with Apple’s Passbook app for the easy storage of tickets and coupons as well as boarding passes and store cards, with mobile payment also facilitated.

The iPhone 5c comes in a range of colours including blue, yellow, green, pink and white, and is offered as a mid-range model with a larger 4inch screen and the A6 chip that gives 10 hours browsing, talk time and video playback.  With the iPhone 5c comes increased speed and wider coverage with a greater number of networks supported.  Together with its new design and the display enhancements of iOS 7, the iPhone 5c also includes the iSight camera app and new FaceTime HD camera.

The striking iPhone 5s is a high-range phone that, together with the iPhone 5c, became available in September 2013. The 5s’ sleek design is offered in three colours – white with gold trim, silver trim and space grey – with a key feature being the fingerprint recognition technology in the form of Touch ID, that offers improved security and faster phone unlocking through the new identity sensor found on the home button. The ability to add the fingerprints of those you trust to access your phone is also available with the sophisticated technology capable of 360 degree readability. The enhanced performance of the iOS 7 update and its A7 dual core processor and M7 coprocessor means increased CPU and GPU speeds double that of the A6 chip, with the iPhone 5s recognised as the world’s first 64-bit smartphone. Apple’s sales records were broken once again as combined sales of the 5s and 5c accelerated to 9 million over a 48 hour period.

With glimpses of the iPhone 6 creating increased anticipation, there is growing speculation as to what Apple will bring us in their next release as revolutionary iPhone phenomena continues.

Thanks to Emma Griffin for the post !

 

 

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Lowering Telecom Spend !

MH900409708Lowering Telecom Spend; Human Cost vs System Efficiency

Did you know that, according to Gartner, worldwide IT spending is likely to reach $3.8 trillion in 2014, with over $1.6 billion being in Telecom Spend? A staggering amount, and one that is frequently not fully understood by a lot of companies as the sheer scale of managing telecom expenses across large enterprises is a daunting task.Imagine a company with multiple bases world-wide, then broken down by region, department, sub-department, and then individual roles, and each member of a team with their own phone line, or bringing their own device to the office. Add in the logistics of language barriers, time zones and country-specific providers, and it becomes clear that managing telecom spend alone is a matter for either a small army of people, or a very sophisticated telecom expense management (TEM) system that can handle multiple offices, currencies, languages and suppliers, as well as keeping data records up to date and producing reports for department heads to then manage and lower their telecom costs.

There’s no reason why a department of staff can’t take this responsibility, as long as they can all speak multiple languages, have an extraordinary eye for detail combined with a photographic memory and are happy to be in the office on shifts to cater for time zone differences. In practice, the sheer cost of employing enough personnel to undertake TEM properly would probably be enough to make your eyes pop (not to mention the costs of offices and the telecom cost of the department itself) – which is probably why more companies don’t do it. It’s this realisation that leads down the path of looking for a service that can not only manage telecom costs and produce accurate reporting (dependent on data input), but also a management service which will help lower telecoms spend across the organisation as a whole, by department and region, as well as managing related areas such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Mobile Device Management (MDM).

Having an efficient system in place to look at telecom cost reduction is the first step on the ladder of bringing spiralling costs under control, and introducing business telecom cost reduction across the company, followed on by streamlining other expenses and running a more efficient model across the whole enterprise.                                                                             Thanks to Stuart Haining for the Post!   We have a new Client ASIGNET US that has a patent for a robotics solution to intelligent routing and cost verification ! so lets keep lowering that Telecom spend!

What say you ??

 

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World Telecommunication and Information Society Day !

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

May 17th marks World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, the focus of which is to raise awareness of the benefits that are offered to economies and societies through information and communications technologies, as well as encouraging stakeholder commitment in crucial development areas in order to bridge any gaps in the digital divide.

The date marks the anniversary of the first International Telegraph Conference held in Paris in 1865, which welcomed 20 different States to meet and discuss the rapidly changing world of telegraph communications, and challenges faced with cross border transmissions. As a result those present set to establish a framework enabling the standardisation of telegraphy equipment and operating procedures, as well as commit to agreed international tariffs and accounting rules, all of which allowed for improvements and increased efficiency in communications services provision. Through the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention the International Telegraph Union (ITU) was formed.

The ITU (now the International Telecommunication Union) is a United Nations specialist agency, with a mission of connecting all of the world’s people. With World Telecommunication Day celebrated from 1969, in 2006 it also incorporated World Information Society Day following a resolution by the UN General Assembly, a move prompted by the Information Society World Summit which took place in November 2005.

Each year a theme is set for this important joint event and these have previously included ICTs and Improving Road Safety, Women in ICT and ITU Gender Initiatives and Better Life in Rural Communities with ICTs. For 2014 the theme is Broadband for Sustainable Development with events held around the world encouraging members to commit to initiatives which include the acceleration of accessible and affordable broadband solutions, which in turn will allow for the sharing of information and education on sustainable development. As such this year’s Call for Action encourages Member States and the parties involved in operational, regulatory and policy aspects to address the issues that will enable implementation of the technology in order for this goal to be achieved.

This year the ITU’s Programme of Ceremony was held on the 16th May at their Headquarters in Geneva. The day’s events included opening speeches by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Toure, which talked of the three pillars of sustainable development being economic growth, social inclusion and environmental balance and the use of broadband technology to achieve these. The presentation of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Awards followed with winners honoured for their commitment and leadership in relation to ICT development.

This year’s Laureates were:

Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, who was honoured for his leadership in education and advancement of ICT as a dynamic industry and the key role he has played in Africa’s socio-economic transformation.

President Park of the Republic of Korea was recognised for the work that has seen the Republic consistently top the ITU’s ICT Index for Measuring the Information Society, as well as the long term commitment to facilitate a vibrant national economy in a digital environment.

Carlos Slim, President of Carlos Slim Foundation and Chairman of Grupo Carso was honoured for his work in the promotion of technologies for social and cultural development including areas such as health, education, employment generation and community development.

2015 will see the 150th Anniversary of the ITU with the theme of “Telecommunications and ICT’s – Drivers of Innovation” set to be the focus of the anniversary celebrations.

Thanks to Stuart Haining for the post!

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BYOD “The Mystery of the Missing Mobile’s Kill Switch “

BYOD – The Mystery of the Missing Mobile’s Kill Switch

A new report written by Dr William Duckworth from Creighton University in the USA claims that consumers could save as much as $2.6 billion a year if a “kill switch” was introduced for all new smartphones sold in the USA. This oft-discussed feature, which has also often been considered by UK and European telcos, has been on the wish lists of lawmakers and consumers for some time. Theoretically, it would allow any device to be remotely disabled if it is lost or stolen.

Although a similar feature is already present on iOS devices and some Android phones, it’s not widespread. The university surveyed 1,200 smartphone owners to obtain their opinion on such a security measure. It seems consumers not only showed overwhelming support for such a feature, but they thought that their devices already had one.

The University also found that consumers in the USA spend $580 million per year replacing lost or stolen smartphones, as well as $4.8 billion per year on device insurance with their mobile providers. If the University’s claim were true that “at least half of smartphone owners would… reduce their insurance coverage if the kill switch reduced the prevalence of cell phone theft”, it makes it more understandable why carriers have, so far, been resistant to the idea. It would not only reduce revenue generated by replacement phone purchases, but also the funds provided by the insurance subscriptions themselves.

In a market worth $72.34Bn in 2013 and projected to grow to $284.7Bn in 2019 – according to the MarketsandMarkets report “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) & Enterprise Mobility Market, Market Forecast and Analysis 2014-2019″ – you’d think all corporates are happy with BYOD, especially as employees seem to be getting a poor deal on the insurance side. But not so.

A recent article in Forbes magazine quoted Yaacov Cohen (CEO of harmon.ie) as saying: “Today’s IT professionals recognise the need to work with users rather than impose procedures and systems on them. BYOD is an expression of our world, which is (on the surface anyway) becoming more democratic and more engaging.” Yaacov, who works for a collaboration and enterprise management mobility (EMM) company, went on to point out the coming developments in BYOD.

“The primary business driver is getting work done. Business users do not want to compromise. They want convenience. They want to be able to do the work without being tethered to their laptops. People deserve and demand a great user experience. There are other drivers too. There are growing worries about the high costs of data leakage and redundant licenses caused when business users ‘go rogue’. Employee use of unsanctioned IT resources that are outside the supervision of corporate IT is rampant. I worry a lot about the potential for US businesses facing billions in clean-up costs caused by unintentional data leakage and, to use a Bob Egan phrase, ‘the digital exhaust’. Let’s not forget the hundreds of millions more in redundant licenses that are likely to become more visible over time. It should be common sense that employees are going to use whatever they need to do to get work done. This will not change until IT and the business leaders sort out how to make enterprise collaboration services easily mobile accessible.”

So, as employees seem to be driving the agenda, his top tips to the enterprise are:

  1. Enterprise mobility is the right way to go and we need to provide mobility to end-users. The trend is about thinking beyond the device and much more about using mobiles to get real work done, to drive revenue for the company and improve customer satisfaction.
  2. IT needs to switch from being a gate-keeper to being a technology opener. It is not about Chief Information Officer. It is about Chief Innovation Officer.
  3. Do not confuse innovation and disruption. Provide innovation which can be easily absorbed by your mainstream business users.

Mr Cohen goes on to say that “business users do not care about IT – and that is something that IT folks tend to forget. The last thing they care about is a name. They do not care if it comes from Microsoft or Box or Java, or from IBM, or Google. They care that they want to get their jobs done so that they can get home to do other things. The Enterprise IT has yet to deliver.”

And the absence of a kill switch seems to suggest that what users assume is already present and guarding them is an idea which the IT geeks have left on the back-burner. And if they lose the device holding all their data and it’s not insured, they’ll just get out their credit card and charge the enterprise for a replacement. The hidden costs in what is now referred to as Shadow IT are piling up as the geeks and the staff line up outside the Apple Store for the next exciting instalment of BYOD 2.

thanks to MDSL for an interesting post !WIFI

What are your thoughts ?

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