BYOD still getting mixed reviews

I keep reading about BYOD and nearly every article contradicts another; it’s cheaper, it’s more expensive, it allows users to choose devices, users must choose a device that works with our MDM platform.

Some articles indicate the users pays the bill, others they expense it, other use corporate provided sim cards. Some mention how they deal with expensive roaming, others neglect that hot topic completely.

Probably the best article I’ve read is this one from, have you seen anything better?

80% of IT Organizations to support tablets by 2013

Gartner has published it’s report – Gartner Reveals Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2011 and Beyond – and in there is that by 2013, 80% of business will support a workforce using tablets.

By 2013, 80 percent of businesses will support a workforce using tablets.
The Apple iPad is the first of what promises to be a huge wave of media tablets focused largely on content consumption, and to some extent communications, rather than content creation, with fewer features and less processing power than traditional PCs and notebooks or pen-centric tablet PCs. Support requirements for media tablets will vary across and within enterprises depending on usage scenario. At minimum, in cases where employees are bringing their own devices for convenience, enterprises will have to offer appliance-level support with a limited level of network connectivity (which will likely include access to enterprise mail and calendaring) and help desk support for connectivity issues.

That’s a pretty big number of business supporting devices such as the iPad in just over 2 years. We knew the iPad and tablets would make it into the business world, but Gartner’s confident numbers back that up.

Also posted at Orange Business Live

apple is in the enterprise

The need for IT support within the Enterprise is an interesting topic as some people believe that as more tech aware employees (Gen Y?) enter the workforce the need for IT support will shrink. We’ve all ready read about how the voice strategy is influenced by the users, but it’s now becoming clear that users are setting the agenda for mobile handset choice too.

If you step back a few years a corporate handset was a pretty basic Nokia handset (remember the 6310i) that was pretty much on a par with what consumers bought as well (I remember having two 6310i’s).

Now there’s a huge choice in the consumer space with devices such as the iPhone 4 and the HTC Desire which are very high spec devices. So when an employer hands over a blackberry curve or a Nokia E72 a lot of employees struggle with why they should use for a large portion of the day a device that is inferior to their own.

These high spec smart phones are capable of performing all the same tasks as the blackberry and they are at a price point were consumer adoption is high so the users flip the simcards around and bingo they are now able to use the handset they want in the Enterprise.

There’s two interesting elements to this, Apple is forging ahead almost by stealth into the enterprise without even trying and secondly it’s continuing the trend that we are now seeing that IT services and now hardware is heavily influenced by it’s users.

As I’m writing this news comes in that Apple may be moving on from the stealth approach, Apple is rumored to be poaching Enterprise Sales staff from RIM, makers of the Blackberry.

Also posted at Orange Business Live

ipad in the enterprise part 2

wrote a little while back about Apple’s expected success with iPad in the consumer space and I asked the question if it’d march into the enterprise as well.

The answer is yes; I for one have one and wrote this post on it using wiriting tool such as plaintext to write the post, which then syncs withdropbox which allows me to access my documents from the cloud.

I know of at least 5 other people with them in a reasonable sized office, which isn’t a huge amount, but we never saw the same traction with netbooks in the enterprise which was the last big change in computing.

The reason people are giving for adopting them is for when they travel, the MS Exchange capabilities allows them to read and reply to email on a decent sized screen with a battery life that’s way beyond any laptop. The upside is the same device allows users to read, listen to music or watch movies too.

Also posted at Orange Business Live

why does the skype generation accept a lower quality of voice?

It’s an interesting paradox; Skype offers a pretty amazing level of call quality, which is the reason why it’s often used in recording Podcasts. An example being the TWiT network, Leo Leporte uses Skype to conference in his guests and the quality is great.

I’ve seen the phrase used a coupe of times now, but most recently to justify lower investment in voice infrastructure. The generation that uses Skype is also the generation that has grown up using mobile phones as their main form of communication. The call quality can be a bit shaky due to a myriad of reasons, but people have accepted the convience in substitution of quality.

Having tried Jajah, Rebtel, Skype, Truphone, services that use the internet as the voice backbone, I can say that about 80% of the time the call quality is really good, but there’s 20% of the time the quality is horrific, delays, calling dropping, strange noises etc. Compare this to traditional voice where you knew when you picked up the phone it was going to work 100% of the time, (even in a power outage).

Today we have lots of different ways of communicating, IM, Facebook, Twitter, SMS, email (through a variety of devices), so if voice doesn’t work a quick SMS, email or Tweet often get’s the message across. So we accept lower quality voice because there are other forms of communication not just voice.

So the Skype generation is in fact very communications savvy, they have lots of communications tools and have lowered the cost to almost free. What we’ve learnt here is that as predicted the IT strategy of anEnterprise is becoming heavily influenced by the users, as they bring with them products and services that work for them.

Also posted at Orange Business Live

The Skills you’ll need to succeed according to Gartner

At the Orange Live 2010 the most covered keynote was Peter Sondergaard, SVP at Gartner’s ‘what’s hot for IT and Consumers’. We’ve covered pretty much most of the content from the event here on this blog. I’m pretty sure a lot of what was said by Sondergaard has already been covered, but I found a small point on the skills that Sondergaard suggested will be the key to success in the workplace, very interesting;

Vendor Management skills; the first skill that Sondergaard stated was the ability to manage you partners and suppliers successfully. With the advent of Cloud computing and virtualization, the ability to perform all the required functions is limited to a few huge organizations, so the need to partner is key to success. To offer blended solutions to consumers requires an ability to manage affectively the partners involved.

Business Intelligence; Sondergaard spoke about how data that is not seen as critical now will be come valuable in the future. Sondergaard didn’t call it ‘meta data’ but I’m guess that’s what he meant, data that is collected or created as a result of another transaction. Sondergaard suggested that traditional business models will therefore become obsolete as the data that has to be managed evolves.

Within the Orange group there are R&D units working on some pretty cool technologies and also working with some of the data that Orange makes available through API’s. The ability to understand the importance of this new data and understand how this data can be built upon can provide new revenue streams.

Relationships skills; these skills can be translated to social skills, the ability to build relationships.  There’s a close relationship to the first skill, Vendor management as it’s all about the relationship between a business and its partners. To develop the business growing a strong relationship is key to the success of that business. Something I’ve mentioned in earlier posts is the importance of trust. Trust plays a huge part in a relationship both with your partners and your customers. You can’t build a relationship without trust. Therefore, in the same way it’s important to build trust as a brand and subsequently with your consumers, it’s important to build trust with your partners as well.

Imagine from Benjamin Ellis’ Flickr

Also post at Orange Business Live

Social Computing; enabling the conversation

The Orange Live event had several really great keynote’s with a particular highlight being Peter Sondargaard. A common theme through the keynotes was Social Computing and engaging with both customers and also generation Y as they enter the workforce. As a result Sondargaard pointed out, if you have any policy to block access to sites that encourage the conversation then you need to remove them pretty quickly.

So this almost constant mention of social computing and the importance of the conversation inspired some people to come along and check out the social media team at the event and find out what was happening and how. Several customers called in and asked to speak to people who could help them engage with their customers and we were more than willing to help. We also had a participant who owned the communication channel between his business and his top 35 customers and asked if we could help him engage and take the communication with his top customers to a new level, exciting stuff.

I’m sure we could learn more about social computing and having the 10 external bloggers who’ve links to initiatives such as Amplified, Organic and Media Aces it certainly helped me to expand my horizons as to what can be achieved and how. Maybe next year one of the breakout sessions will be social computing and we’ll get a chance to take the time to explain directly to the Execs present exactly what we’re doing at Orange Business, if you can’t wait till then get in touch or simply leave a comment.

business, trust and the death of email

The post a matter of trust in business sparked a few conversations which is awesome, one of the longer discussions was worth turning into a post to continue the conversation online and keep a record of it;

As email slides out of favor it’s being replaced by social computing, generation Y are starting to enter the workplace and we’re faced with a change in our communication behavior. We’re seeing email replaced by IM and microblogging, documents being created collaboratively on wiki’s or gen Y’s equivalent Google Wave. Right now internal tools are often poor relations of newer cloud based tools that gen Y are already using. As we just mentioned, the wiki is a prime example compare it to Google’s Wave product; one does collaborative editing by a sinlge user, one at a time and the other multi-user collaborative editing in real time, using a wiki after Google wave is like going back from the MP3 to the CD.

As result, social computing will break down the barriers between corporations and it’s customers, discussions will take place on blogs, Twitter, in Facebook, in the open which will and should involve collaboration from people outside the organisation.

Lot’s of big brands have engaged in social computing for their benefit, but in order to maintain the relationship, it’s important that the customers trusts the organisation. The example in the blog post, the pizza company, although not the greatest example there’s plenty of better ones, deomostrates that taking part in the conversation with customers can provide a clear benefit to both.

Therefore it must be transparent communication, no hidden agendas, as every fact can be checked quicker and in more depth that the corporate world can imagine. This conversation, this dialogue based on trust will turn customers into advocates for your products, look how many videos there are for products such as the iPhone on YouTube, most if not all are created by people who have a passion for the company and it’s products, not by the manufacturer.

How does this fit if you’re a services business like Orange Business and not a product based business you may ask, as a suggestion, I’d start be exposing the product guys to customers and encourage the conversation so that the new products are anticipated and eagerly awaited and are exactly what customers want and to do all this requires …trust.

photo from Benjamin Ellis

also posted here on Orange Business Live

a matter of trust in business

A keynote from Peter Sondergaard SVP Gatner, ended with the phrase “may the computing force be with you” but spent a great deal of time covering the topic of social computing and trust. In terms of social computing and it’s clearly ‘much more than just adding a Facebook logo to your web site’ was a key message from Gartner, a hugely respected thermometer of trends, was “do not put in place a policy or technology to inhibit this”, those that do will be big losers.

The example of a major Norwegian packaged food manufacturer was used and a little know fact that 18% of Norwegians eat pizza on Christmas eve. The IT department had engaged with its consumers and was talking parts in conversations with them. As a result of engaging with it’s customers a signal was picked up that ‘paprika’ was not liked in many of its pizza products. This signal identified through trusting the IT department to engage led to the development of a product that excludes ‘paprika’. This paprika-less pizza has gone on to be the biggest selling product in the range.

The trend of social computing was the number one trend highlighted by Gartner, the ability to engage the consumer and allow them to contribute to the business is not to be ignored. Technology can enable trust to be managed, revisit behaviors as the world is changing

also posted on the Orange Business Live Blog


ignore these technologies at your peril

The keynote of Gartner’s SVP, Peter Sondergaard, highlighted how the priorities of business have changed within a short period of time. Gartner identified that in 2009 the top 3 technologies were Virtualisation, Business Inteligence and cloud computing. Looking at the top three in 2010 brings a change in those technologies which are priorities to; Cloud Computing, Advanced Analytics and Client computing.

The first technology not to avoid is Cloud computing, a major technology trend is seeing huge investment, with Gartner expecting that within just a few short years, up to 20% of businesses will own no IT assets, highlighting a major shift to the cloud and managed services. Virtulisation of the client’s environment is becoming a route to cloud computing, so in affect is stepping stone to cloud computing.

Avoiding this second technology is a bad idea, Advanced Analytics. This is allowing businesses to realise that potentially the Meta data they have may be the most valuable asset. Gartner indicates that the current crops of business analysis models are outmoded and need replacing, as unstructured data becomes key data. The credit card business were highlighted as how the meta data they have is allowing them to make business decisions and subsequently offers to consumers not based on spend amounts, but how credit limits can be adjust by life style changes such as divorce even.

The third technology not to avoid is client computing; Peter Sondergaard challenged perceptions with the statement that by 2014 80% of users in western world and affluent users in emerging markets will have a smart phone. This shift to client computing requires businesses to change how they interact not only with it’s consumers but also its employees as they demand access to application to interact with the business via their Smartphone.

also posted on Orange Business Live Blog