5 reasons you REALLY need Mobility

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It’s difficult building an efficient and productive organisation and it gets harder to maintain as it grows. To add to it all, we now live in such as mobile world where everything is transacted instantaneously and on-the-go, that if you aren’t responsive enough, customers and staff move to your competitor. There are a plethora of apps now catering to mobile market; from shopping, to banking, to even volunteer computing (where you use the idle time on your phones and PC to help cure disease or study global warming – acting as a huge networked supercomputer) with Berkley’s BOINC project current processing at ~12.3 PetaFLPOS (A lot).

One of the main problems faced by the modern enterprise is just this; enabling mobility for staff without adding to the already difficult, unreliable and confounding issues already experienced by them on a daily basis – actually improving efficiency rather than adding to the amount of administration.

This is where Mobility comes in but it is more than just a single technology and touches on areas including access, security, location, processes, culture, storage, editing, hardware, apps, screen size, connection speeds, staff ability and much more and therefore needs to be approached as a total solution. If you get it right it can more than pay for the investment, driving efficiency, productivity moral and helping to propel your company, school or organisation far in front of the competition. If you get it wrong, it can set you back years, with staff mistrust, a loss of client faith and potentially security breaches, data loss and financial penalties. So without further ado, let’s look at:

The 5 reasons why you need Mobility:

ONE – SECURE YOUR DEVICES, APPS & CONTENT

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Hardly the most interesting area for the average end user but the bedrock that enables the modern enterprise. Security as part of a proper mobility solution allows the business to secure not only the devices used but also the apps on them and the traffic between them. It means that IT and the business can relax knowing that the corporate documents, apps, videos and communications on your device, whether on a personal (BYOD – Bring your own) or corporate (CYOD – Choose your own) phone, tablet, laptop or even desktop computer, are totally secured or sectioned off from the rest of your device in their own container – like having a safe in your home office instead of leaving your corporate papers around the house with just the front door lock on (Hoping there is one! There are still quite a few people who don’t use a password to lock their devices!).

With the confidence in the security of the data, the business can look toward the real meat of the matter; enabling features to simplify, speedup and improve everyone’s jobs. For instance the business could grant access to all the corporate files available, no matter where, when or what device you’re using;

  • Need the sales figures for the year? Open up your excel sheet right on your phone (such a handy feature!)
  • Need to start on a document on the tube or waiting for a bus? Open your corporate template stored in the cloud or start from scratch with advanced editing
  • Need to give a presentation… in PowerPoint… from your iPhone… without needing a laptop… whilst making feedback notes and circling text and using a virtual laserpointer? Done (That really surprises people when i demo that!)
  • need to use 1 of the 1.6m apps in each of the Apple and Google App stores but in a secure corporate environment? Done.

The right mobility security has a host of options for granular sharing, document and device control such as disabling the front and/or rear facing cameras, preventing copy-and-paste, disabling the app store (but maybe enabling a corporate store!) or preventing screen shots. You probably wouldn’t have all this set with a BYOD scenario but when the devices are corporate owned it may be wise or even desirable; it’s all dependant on your requirements!

TWO – ACCESS & EDIT YOUR CONTENT ANYWHERE

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One of the best components of Mobility is the ability to access to your documents from anywhere in the world with an internet connection and if the documents have been saved offline (Either automatically, pushed or on-demand), then you can also access them offline. The core of these features can also be found in a huge variety of standalone Enterprise File Sync & Share (EFSS) solutions such as Dropbox, Box, Sugarsync, Onedrive, Citrix and many others but which are often used with personal accounts, allowing data to be leaked out of the organisation especially when staff leave, taking contacts, documents, templates and more with them. Mobility allows for this to be retained inside the organisation’s control and accessible and shared in an integrated manner. Staff and clients can use popular applications such as box or onedrive but from within the organisation’s security environment with all the necessary branding. Files can even be shared with end client by just sending them a secure link, no more email shared attachments that can’t go through due to being too big!

For instance, I was recently at a meeting presenting a pitch to a client. The client became interested in Unified Communications and wanted to know more. Instead of having to describe the technology, features, benefits and our particular services from memory, I was able to open our newly completed infographic on the subject, displaying it in a highly visual manner. At PROTEUS, we use mobility extensively, as it allows us to be more effective productive and efficient, going anywhere without the fear of being caught out…

  • Need to give a presentation? Just take your smartphone
  • Just met a potential client? Send them the brochure right there
  • Need to review a document… with a remote colleague… on a client site… on your tablet… make some markups… and save it back (be it cloud, onsite or hybrid)? Done.

THREE – EMPOWER STAFF TO MANAGE THEMSELVES

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With some of the leading solutions you can start empowering the staff to manage their own environments instead of trying to anticipate each user’s needs when, where and on what device. By allowing on-demand installation of apps, file downloads, folder organisation, document sharing, commenting, collaboration and instant messaging, device management or even advanced functionality such as locating your device, sending a message to it or entirely wiping it if it’s stolen, you can reduce time wasted by IT in managing this (managing it all can scale up quickly!) and give users the power to work how they want.

From IT’s perspective, the management of these systems are continually improving with the current generation being particularly intuitive. The management of devices and mobility as a whole can easily be offloaded from IT to your support team or just those with greater customer facing skills and less technical knowledge!

Solutions typically aim to provide the “single pane of glass” dashboard showing graphic analytics and data such as the current status of devices in the organisation, which policies have been enabled, which brand and models are being used, what issues are occurring and a host of other features such as messaging staff directly on their phones with a pop up. Management panes can also include easy management of content, connection of repositories, uploading of files, audit trails, version control and much more.

FOUR – ENABLE SECURE COMMUNICATIONS & COLLABORATION

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Let’s not leave out arguably the most important area for the modern business; Communications & Collaboration. Mobility has the ability to securely enable business communications and collaboration either through built-in offerings or by hosting 3rd party applications within their secure containers. The top vendors can integrate with the likes of Jive, Huddle, Skype, Microsoft Lync, Cisco Jabber and a host of others all of which provide some combination of video conferencing, audio conferencing, Instant messaging (IM), document collaboration, knowledge bases / wikis and other features.

From within the same eco-system you can email, chat, instant message, send videos, video conference and more. Some of the benefits of these open and collaborative components is the ability to break down geographical, organisation and hierarchical boundaries so that ideas and conversations can be heard across the business and everyone can get on board with the vision and strategy whilst asking questions and setting standards. There are also other highly important features such as the ability to search all communications in a project.

As will become evident in section 5, integration is the key here and although all the top providers provide their own environments to email, chat, video and so on, the real power is in allowing staff the flexibility to use the app they feel most comfortable with such as Outlook on your iPhone, or Gmail on your PC. This also means that changing over from existing systems can be down slowly to carefully manage the change process for your organisation.

FIVE – ROLL OUT CORPORATE APPS & INTEGRATE 3RD PARTY APPS

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This is a great feature and one that I really appreciate. Being able to build your own apps rapidly in-house in HTML5 for instance, allows you design, test and rollout solutions to your company and then host them all in your own corporate app store for staff to access, either pushed to them or distributed on-demand. EMM-Apps-FolderOf course, this can all be hosted within the secure and connected environment supplied with the top Mobility solutions and it’s a great way to distribute your own apps without the cost of going to market or the ability to mass purchase apps and then distribute and manage them internally.

So there you have it! Although only a brief run down of Mobility, hopefully it gives you a great overview of what can be achieved and best of all most of them have very favourable subscription rates and easy licensing models that enable you to scale up your environment as needed; great for when a new employee starts for instance, whereupon you just add another license (either per employee or per device) and then give them a corporate device for instance, locking it to your on-boarding videos until they are completed and then the whole device can be used!

If you want to find out more get in touch at Hello at ProteusTC dot co dot uk and we can help you select the right options, how to roll it out, how to manage the change process and what to integrate with.

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