Live from Mobile World Congress – Part 2

 

Part II Planning a Mobile Security Strategy_BLOG IMAGE

As Mobile World Congress continues, we are being wowed by the stream of new devices, products, and upgrades. But I can’t help thinking: What about security? From a BYOD standpoint, it’s critical that companies know that enterprise data requires multiple layers of security, and that employees know that personal information is kept private. Here’s the latest in what I’m seeing on security at MWC.

First up, the big news: AirWatch (a partner of Enterprise Mobile) just won Enterprise Software Best in Show, awarded by the GSMA, who is the organizing body of MWC. Considering that AirWatch is one of the leading providers of enterprise mobile management and security solutions, it’s clear that security is a top priority. Blackphone has also been getting a lot of media coverage on its Android-based operating system, which is designed to allow users to communicate securely and protect privacy. It has software support from the creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), which is the most widely used email encryption software in the world.

A brand-new approach comes from Samsung with KNOX, the company’s security solution for Samsung devices in the enterprise. It has been Samsung’s standard practice to “wrap” apps in the KNOX container, ensuring that only secure and tested apps interact with enterprise data. Wrapping also helps preferred business apps get easily approved on smartphones and tablets, and it protects apps from viruses and malware. Now, Samsung has just announced KNOX 2.0 with notable changes. For the first time, KNOX 2.0 will deliver the same security benefits without the need to wrap. That means that the whole app installation and management process will be streamlined and easier to implement. It will be possible to download original, unwrapped apps through Samsung Apps and through Google Play Apps when accessed through a mobile device management console.

I’ve been impressed by the attention paid to mobile device security here at MWC. Stay tuned for more highlights in days to come. And don’t forget to register for our recap webinar, taking place on March 4th.


Live from Mobile World Congress 2014 – Part 1

Technology in the hands

Mobile World Congress kicked off with a bang, and the impact of yesterday’s announcements will no doubt be felt by the enterprise. One of the most exciting parts for me is hearing about all the new devices: smartphones, tablets, wearables.  Whether your organization issues corporate-owned devices, follows a BYOD policy or both, it’s essential you know the capabilities of any device your employee might find themselves holding. This is the future of how we are going to connect, personally and at work. Here are a few that stood out.

Samsung is a big player this year with the number and quality of new devices. It just unveiled its newest smartphone, the Galaxy S5, due to be released in April. The phone features advanced camera software and a 16-megapixel camera. It also has an Ingress Protection rating of 67, meaning it is completely dustproof and fairly waterproof. A fingerprint reader is built into the home button and a heart monitor sensor is below the camera on the back. The Samsung Gear 2 is the current smart watch accessory for your mobile device, with a recently updated operating system and a faster processor.

The Samsung Gear Fit is a fitness tracker wristband device. It has a large interactive display with touchscreen input. Like the Galaxy S5 itself, the Gear Fit incorporates a heart rate sensor in addition to a pedometer and gyroscope. It’s waterproof and its battery should last three to four days on a single charge. Like the Gear 2, you need a Samsung phone to take full advantage of the Gear Fit.

Side note: it’s fun to see the 2014 predictions we made around wearable devices coming true!

Many other companies are showcasing new products as well. Interestingly, even though Nokia was recently acquired by Microsoft, the Nokia X smartphone is running Android. However, the user interface looks similar to the traditional Windows phone. The Xperia 2 is the latest version of Sony’s phone and tablet, which won best in show last year. This version is very light, thin, and waterproof. In terms of storage, SanDisk introduced a 128 GB microSD card for mobile devices. Now, in a very small form factor—the size of finger nail—you can hold 75,000 photos or 24 hours of video.

Those are just a few of the impressive announcements that we’ve heard so far. I’m looking forward to three more days here, and sharing other upcoming highlights from the event. Don’t forget to register for our recap webinar, taking place on March 4th.


Mobile World Congress 2014: The Best is Yet to Come

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In just a few days, I will be flying to Spain to attend the mobile event of the year. From February 24 to 27, Barcelona will host Mobile World Congress (MWC), the largest annual gathering of senior mobile professionals. Attendance will be at an all-time high with more than 72,000 participants already registered, up from 67,000 last year. And it truly will be a “world” congress with 202 countries represented.

Mobile World Congress is not just big—it is the most important event in the mobile industry according to 82 percent of attendees. The four-day event will be packed with presentations, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and cutting-edge product and technology exhibitions. Daily keynote speakers will include high-profile presenters such as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the CEO of IBM, Virginia Rometty.

I will be right there on the front lines, networking and reporting back on the ever-changing trends in the world of enterprise mobility. I am looking forward to meeting mobile device management vendors and talking to car manufacturers—a group that is moving toward more mobile connectivity in its industry. The latest technologies in mobility will also take center stage, such as Tab Pro products from Samsung or the new mobile platform from Ubuntu.

One of the event’s highly anticipated topics is the Internet of Things, and how it will affect the enterprise. Consider this: there are now about twice as many devices connected to the Internet as there are people on the planet. Cisco Systems predicts that there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020—these devices won’t be limited to smartphones and tablets, and increasingly all devices will talk to each other. Related workshops will include How the Connected Lifestyle Will Transform Industry; Smart Cities; and Smart Buildings. From wearable devices to industry consolidation, we know that mobility is changing. What impact will this have on business management, infrastructure, and security?

For many attendees, the most exciting aspects of MWC are the product launches and this year will be no exception. Samsung announced a presentation called Unpacked 5, which has generated speculation that they will unveil a new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Another anticipated device that will be revealed is the Blackphone, which will run an Android-based operating system and will allow users to communicate securely with personalized privacy controls that extend to phone calls, texts, stored files, video chats, and Internet browsing. Though the device is being marketed to individual consumers, these types of products pose questions about the importance of bring-your-own-device policies and the increasing interest in privacy and security in mobility.

I will keep you updated while I’m in Barcelona and share the latest and greatest of what’s unveiled at MWC. Check back here for the most recent updates. I’ll also be live-tweeting from @entmobile using #MWC14.

When I get back, I will share a more in-depth recap of the event. Register here for this informative webinar, taking place March 4. Hasta pronto!

Image via: http://www.mobileworldcongress.com/logos/


Mobility Intelligence, Monitoring and Analytics: Smarten Up Your Mobility Investment

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You’ve dedicated a substantial amount of your budget to your mobile infrastructure, but how do you know if that investment is working its hardest for you? Collecting the right data and conducting proper analysis will help you determine whether you’re spending in the areas that make the most sense for your business. The final solution brief in our series takes a closer look at business intelligence (BI) as it relates to your mobile environment, including:

  • Make the case for BI. With the plethora of personal devices, apps, and content floating around the mobile environment, it can be tough to tell just what you’re paying for, supporting, and allowing to access corporate data. Examine your mobile strategy to see if it dovetails with your ongoing monitoring and analysis. Identify the key indicators that will tell you if your mobile infrastructure is delivering top value.
  • Know your goals. Most organizations are concerned about optimizing their mobile spend, but you may have additional reasons to monitor your mobile environment. Learn how regular monitoring can enhance your security practices to protect your devices, apps, and data. Determine whether your bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program is a success, and discover how to tweak policies and practices based on real-world information. Consider how your organization’s growth or contraction impacts your mobility budget.
  • Find the right stuff. Certain areas of your business are easier than others when it comes to data collection. Mobility help desks, for example, keep records of every trouble ticket in the course of doing business. Collecting data in other areas, though, may be more elusive. Find out what to look for in telecom expense management (TEM) so you’re getting the best deal. Learn more about evaluating apps and their usage to make sure your investments are reasonable and wise. And, finally, find out when and why you may want to turn to the experts for comprehensive analysis.

Read more—find our mobility intelligence, monitoring, and analytics solution brief here.


The Year in Enterprise Mobility: A Review of 2013

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We strive to keep you informed of the challenges, benefits, and ever-changing trends in the rapidly evolving world of enterprise mobility. Let’s take a moment to recap of some of the most important and exciting trends that we noted in 2013.

Enterprise Mobility Is Still a High Priority

The biggest trend we saw in 2013 was that enterprise mobility continued to be a high priority for business. In a 2013 survey of 200 IT executives, 82 percent identified enterprise mobility as very important. On the other hand, only 8 percent of survey respondents have a well-defined mobility strategy. Obstacles include cost, lack of in-house expertise, and especially security (less than 50 percent of respondents have a mobile security solution). The survey suggests that many IT executives recognize the need for outside help, and half of the respondents say that they are considering mobility-as-a-service solutions.

It’s clear that businesses and industry leaders want to take enterprise mobility to the next level, and they understand that in a world of proliferating mobility devices, apps, and support options, planning and strategy matter. We saw more evidence of this approach in some of the milestones that we crossed at Enterprise Mobile in 2013. We now manage more than 500,000 mobile devices across more than 70 countries, and we were recognized in Gartner’s very first Magic Quadrant for Managed Mobility Services for offering comprehensive services across a broad range of software and devices.

 The Mobile Landscape Is Changing

It may be cliché to say “the only constant is change,” but when it comes to the mobile landscape, it’s true. 2013 was no exception, and many businesses scrambled to take the guesswork out of choosing among the latest devices and platforms reaching the market. The next wave of mobile devices is arriving and enterprise mobility is rapidly moving beyond tablets and smartphones.

Wearable technology isn’t science fiction anymore. Most of us have heard about Google Glass, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The UK research company Visiongain found that wearable technology generated US$4.6 billion of business in 2013, and it predicts “explosive growth” in the sector over the next five years. All this rapid innovation might make it daunting to find and choose the best devices for your business, but with the right support and guidance, it’s an exciting challenge.

 BYOD Remains Relevant

Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs remained a big force in enterprise mobility in 2013. Allowing employees to use their own devices for work can be a double-edged sword, but as companies develop coherent BYOD policies, they are avoiding potential chaos and opening the door to increased productivity and greater employee satisfaction. As businesses determined the real costs of BYOD—such as management, support, security, stipend practices, and legal considerations—they have started to gather requirements, set goals, define budgets, and optimize their BYOD strategies and execution.

 Mobile Security Is a Top Concern

BYOD or not, dozens of devices, or just a few, security is always a top concern in enterprise mobility. Securing any network is hard, and savvy IT executives know that safeguarding disparate devices, connections, and applications takes a well-planned mobile security strategy.

In 2013, we saw organizations develop policies that address a range of issues, such as regulation compliance, information privacy, device and application inventory, and data storage. Organizations that manage mobile security in-house often find it limiting—not to mention a time-sink for the IT staff. Others find that a trusted service provider can help them meet current threats, stay on top of industry trends, and optimize their mobile environment. By combining mobile device management, mobile application management, and mobile content management software, businesses can build an effective overall mobile management and security infrastructure that gives employees the agility they need without putting devices, apps, or data at risk. The upshot is that effective organizations use rigorous security planning to determine their mobile security path.

 Get Ready for More

2013 is almost over, but it’s not too late to get in on the hottest enterprise mobility trends of 2014. Check out our 2014 Enterprise Mobility Predictions, and learn what you can expect in the new year.

Image source: Forbes


Direct Source Expands Mobile Offering For Retail Customers

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Mobile Workforce Support: TLC for Devices and Employees

eBook Chapter 6 Mobile Workforce Support

Problems happen—it’s a fact of life in any IT setting. And you can expect even more issues when employees travel far and wide with their mobile devices, rather than working safely at a desktop machine. By making sure that your support setup is top notch, you’ll keep devices humming and employees happy.

Part six in our mobility solution brief series focuses on why mobile workforce support is critical to the success of your mobility initiative and how to:

  • Face the mobile support reality. Dealing with the care and feeding of mobile devices isn’t really comparable to supporting other areas of your IT infrastructure. After all, mobility is a completely different animal. Delve into the unique challenges of mobility support—heterogeneous devices (some of which may be employee-owned), uncontrollable environmental impacts, and more. Consider some of the disconnects in how most help desks approach mobility and handle this growing area of support.
  • Find your support mojo. As you determine how to accommodate daily issues with mobile devices, make sure that you’ve considered the big picture, too. Think about how bring-your-own-device (and bring-your-own-app) programs affect support, and examine self-service opportunities that can help keep employees up and running without overtaxing your help-desk staff. 
  • Remove the element of surprise. Responsiveness is the primary concern when it comes to helping employees address technical difficulties. To maintain an acceptable level of response, you need to anticipate the demand for support. Review the most common problem areas for smartphones, tablets, and ruggedized devices. Determine what other pieces of the mobile workforce support puzzle—depot services, outsourced help desk, locator tools—need to be in place for a comprehensive solution.

Find out more—read our mobile workforce support solution brief here.


Intuitive Technology Group Partners with Enterprise Mobile to Offer Complete Mobility Managed Services Portfolio to Customers

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Address Management Challenges, Reap Big Rewards

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Managing mobile environments is a difficult task, and not for the faint of heart. Part five in our series of mobility solution briefs delves into the challenges associated with mobility management, including areas such as:

  • Finding the right strategy and mindset.

    The mobile landscape changes at a frenetic pace; what was considered revolutionary just a few years ago is now common practice. Take a look at some of the factors—from new device types to app evolution—that can affect management policies and practices. Learn how to think ahead so that your management strategy can accommodate your organization’s changing needs without compromising your devices, your data, or your users’ productivity.

  • Balancing software solutions and services.

    There’s a lot out there to help you keep your mobile environment in check and healthy, but the best strategy is to employ an amalgam of tools so that you have devices, apps, and data covered. Find out how to evaluate available management tools and learn about the next generation of solutions. In addition, determine which elements (dynamic policies, network access control, and cloud services, to name a few) you should focus on for holistic mobility management.

  • Getting results.

    Mobility for mobility’s sake just doesn’t make sense. As you pull together the right pieces of your management strategy, bear in mind why you’re doing this in the first place. Keep your eye on the prize by taking a look at the benefits that comprehensive, efficient mobility management can bring.

Want to learn more? Find our solution brief on mobility management here.


The Road from BlackBerry: Migrating to a New Mobility Plan

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Want to learn more about transitioning off BlackBerry? Watch our webinar, “So, You’re Moving Off BlackBerry…”

The once-mighty BlackBerry is—as we know it—no more. The company previously known as Research in Motion (RIM), which arguably invented the smartphone, has suffered what is likely an irreversible decline in the industry it helped to revolutionize. Its US market share has declined from 50 percent in 2009 to less than 3 percent, according to figures released in August 2013 by the analyst IDC, and its devices are selling at deep discounts. Few analysts expect a turnaround.

The first-to-market giant was a business and government darling because it featured a proprietary ecosystem that gave organizations direct control over their mobile environment, a model that may be hard to replicate on other platforms.

In many cases, mobility solutions are being rushed out because of heightened business requirements, competitive business needs, and other movements in the mobility ecosystem. But migration decisions can’t be taken lightly. A gap in a mobility plan implementation could cost money, risk assets, and prove embarrassing.

Preparing to switch from BlackBerry? Here are a few quick pointers to help ensure business continuity, lower total cost of ownership, and deliver a higher return on investment:

  1. Review your overall business requirements, processes, and security needs to determine the right mix of productivity and security. By investing in the right tools and solutions and using specific mobile platform features and applications, even organizations with the most stringent security requirements can obtain a desirable level of end-user productivity while protecting their data and networks.
  2. Segment the mobile platforms and align them with specific application types that your organization can allow while adhering to its security definitions. For example, you can use containerized applications—which involves separating and managing corporate applications exclusive of a user’s personal apps—on iOS 7 devices. As another example, you can allow only email on Android v2.3 devices by using the TouchDown with Exchange ActiveSync from NitroDesk, which manages security for corporate email.
  3. Consider what support will be needed three months, six months, or a year into the future. You should plan how to update device applications and decide how new applications will be managed. In some instances, you may need to pre-purchase and pre-install applications on devices. You’ll also need a contingency plan for when a device malfunctions, breaks, or goes out of warranty to make sure employees remain productive and there’s no break in a revenue stream.

By considering every detail—from bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs to help-desk support—you can more easily address potential pain points, and avoid pitfalls associated with using bleeding-edge technology.

Image source: The Guardian