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

The Next Wave: New Mobile Devices

Until just a few years ago, if an upcoming device generated buzz, that device usually came from Apple. And today’s big event from Apple continues to bring lots of speculation. Apple still delivers great devices, but other players are making device innovation more competitive, going beyond the smartphone and tablet to bring information to you in new and different ways.

The World of Inspector Gadget


Clip-on computers and “personal area networks” are no longer the stuff of science fiction. Wearable computers are becoming more and more prevalent—and it’s not just about dressing to impress. Visiongain, a UK research company, estimates that wearable technology is a US$4.6 billion business this year, with “explosive growth and high adoption rates” coming in the next five years.

Leading the way are health and fitness applications—health monitoring is an easy sell when it comes to wearable devices, which will be built into shoes, hats, and even clothing. But eventually, health and fitness applications will be surpassed by more general personal information applications. Imagine Apple’s Siri, but built right into the clothes you wear every day.

Another wave of the not-so-distant future is motion technology, which expands on the sort of capabilities you see in today’s Kinect apps for Xbox 360 and applies it to just about anything. It’s 3D interaction without even touching a device. From what I can see in the industry, it won’t be long before motion technology is part of our everyday lives.

But Back to Today


Consumers already have a variety of mobile devices to choose from, and manufacturers are working quickly to deliver even more feature-rich products to market. But, just as twirling or “flaming” icons in an online ad don’t always result in more clicks, flashy new hardware and software doesn’t necessarily hit the mark for consumers. Consumers are increasingly aware of the need for a complete ecosystem of services, and I predict that providers who offer comprehensive services (such as Google, Amazon, and Apple) will receive more attention and better sales in the next few years as that awareness grows.

Later this month, consumers will have a chance to get their hands on Apple iOS 7, which is a giant leap forward in terms of major iOS releases. Apple is working to make iOS 7 devices more appealing to corporate users and organizations with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs in place through features such as:

  • Activation Lock, which prohibits a stolen device from being activated without the proper Apple ID accreditation
  • Application VPN, in which individual apps can establish a corporate VPN connection
  • Extended Volume Purchasing Program (VPP) features
  • Open In control, which dictates the apps that workers can use to open and share documents and attachments
  • Security updates to safeguard against non-trustworthy chargers and batteries

Of course, a few features, such as AirDrop for iOS (which makes it possible for users to share anything from any app using WiFi and Bluetooth), may be problematic for corporations that need to keep tight controls on their data. The jury is still out on whether AirDrop and other potentially troublesome features can be disabled through mobile device management. Stay tuned.

As I mentioned above, the coolest device isn’t necessarily the “must-have” device anymore. That’s certainly what I’ve seen with the Moto X and Samsung Galaxy S4, so I’m keeping watch on both of these products to see if there’s an uptick in consumer interest. And, as always, manufacturers are planning releases for the holiday shopping season, so keep your eyes open for new low-cost Android tablets, more Samsung devices (even wearables!), and an Apple announcement about two new models. It should also be noted that Android OEMs are coming up to speed with “kill switches,” similar to the Apple Activation Lock feature, as anti-theft mechanisms in their new devices—that’s good news all around for consumers.

Keeping up with the endless device launches can be daunting—savvy organizations turn to Enterprise Mobile to find the best devices to keep their employees happy and productive.

images via: Collider, Techcrates

What’s Next in Enterprise Mobility

What’s Next in Enterprise Mobility_BLOG IMAGEToday’s mobile landscape is shifting more quickly than a late-model sports car. New feature-rich devices, security advancements, and innovative content management options mean that organizations have a lot to consider. Being aware of some of the coming trends will help you make smart choices as you look down the road.

Emphasis on Apps and Content

Until recently, most organizations have focused on which devices to deploy, but more and more are starting to put thought into enterprise apps (whether purchased off the shelf or custom developed) and content management. New online storage options provide flexibility in the way that organizations think about where content lives and the kinds of connectivity that are required to use and share that content. For example, a retailer could use a solution like Box to remotely push targeted content to the devices used by employees on the retail floor each day. That content might include details about daily sale items, videos about seasonal items, or tips for product usage, all of which employees could share with customers—without needing WiFi connectivity to download the content. Having new, industry-specific solutions to choose from can help you get ahead and derive the most value from your mobile environment.

Expanded Mobility

Adoption There have been several highly regulated industries that have not yet been able to take full advantage of mobility in general and Mobility-as-a-Service in particular. But as more organizations push to equip employees with mobile devices, some of those walls are coming down. Already, governments, healthcare organizations, and even financial services companies are starting to do more with mobile devices in limited use cases. That trend is likely to continue as vendors place greater emphasis on the enterprise mobile environment, rather than the current focus on consumers. Vendors will, by necessity, improve their security and encryption layers to give those in highly regulated industries greater flexibility when it comes to mobile device use and Mobility-as-a-Service options.

Replacement of Traditional Tools

So far, mobile devices have been considered an “and,” rather than an “or” in the business setting. Organizations deploy laptops and smartphones, tablets and traditional devices. But increased device power, processing speed, portability, and robust functionality is changing that. Soon we’ll start to see a true replacement; organizations may stop deploying laptops and only adopt tablets, or they might remove credit card processing machines and have employees use smartphones instead.

Specialty Solutions – Native Capabilities

Today, there are several niche solutions—such as those associated with mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM), and mobile content management (MCM)—that organizations need to consider and deploy to properly manage their mobile environments. As more organizations invest in mobile management software, there will be greater incentive for new players to enter the marketplace, which may cause a quantum shift in the way that MDM, MAM, and MCM are handled. Operating system developers may start to natively incorporate those capabilities. As a result, it will be critical for specialty solution providers to innovate to bring new capabilities to the industry. Even with this forward-thinking approach, it is likely that mobile management vendors will need to deal with market consolidation in the months and years ahead.

Next Steps

But you can’t wait for tomorrow’s advancements. Your organization’s productivity and overall effectiveness depends on putting the right mobile strategy in place today. However, keeping the industry’s fluidity in mind can be helpful as you invest in mobility. Here are a few suggestions for making the most of your mobile environment now, without locking you out of future capabilities:

  • Consider using subscription services rather than purchasing full licenses so that you can get the tools you need without long-term commitments.
  • Lease devices to give your employees the latest and greatest features but retain the ability to refresh as new devices enter the market.
  • Carefully determine the reasons for upgrading your mobile environment; don’t do it just for the sake of staying current. Make sure you’re investing in the right devices, apps, and storage options, and know what’s coming down the pike.
  • Think about storage. Larger file sizes make finding appropriate storage solutions an imperative. Make sure you know where you’ll store your content and how you can access and easily share it.

For help determining the next steps in mobility for your organization, learn more about Enterprise Mobile and watch the recent webcast about putting the right mobile strategy in place.


Enterprise App Stores For Managing and Deploying Mobile Apps

If you haven’t already started to think about how to support it in your own environment, there is a great deal of market activity centered around applications on mobile devices in the enterprise. There are various tools and solutions to assist. Ranging from application development, Mobile Application Management (MAM), and Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions.

Here is a quick link to an article that sums it up pretty well, and I shared what we are seeing some of current customers doing as well:

With the much anticipated Windows 8 lunch coming up this month another unknown at this time is how the new Microsoft Windows 8 platform will provide the ability to support an Enterprise App Store for private in-house coded applications, not provided on the public Windows App Store.


iOS 6 Release – Technical Services Bulletin – September 13, 2012

How iOS 6 Could Affect Your Devices

On September 12, 2012, Apple announced plans to release the iOS 6 update to the public on September 19, 2012.

As with previous OS updates Enterprise Mobile expects that new devices procured shortly after the release will soon be installed with iOS 6 instead of the previously released iOS 5.1.1.

For legal, not technical reasons, Enterprise Mobile will not be able to downgrade newly procured devices from iOS 6 back to iOS 5.x. This may also impact old devices that are sent to Apple repair, which may return upgraded.
The following device types will be supported for iOS 6 and possible to upgrade:

- iPhone 4S
- iPhone 4 (CDMA & GSM)
- iPhone 3GS
- iPod Touch 4th Gen
- iPad 2 (WiFi, WiFi + 3G – CDMA & GSM)
- iPad 3rd Gen (WiFi + CDMA & GSM)

The legacy iPad 1st Gen will not be upgradable.

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

It is not known if there are any new MDM features at this time included in iOS 6. We expect that the MDM vendors will make announcements with updated versions of MDM solutions in the next weeks/months.
Because the UDID feature has been deprecated in iOS 5, Apple has now removed the API used to retrieve the UDID in iOS 6. Please check with your MDM vendor if any updated clients or updated solutions are required to support iOS 6. This may include additional prompts the end-user may need to perform to enroll devices.
Note that there may not be time to update your MDM solution before the iOS 6 release. Enterprise Mobile strongly recommends that you have any iOS access version controls verified and possibly disabled if necessary to permit new iOS 6 upgraded devices to connect and access business critical functions. Enterprise Mobile can assist to answer any question you have with many of the MDM solutions.


If the iOS devices are already running iOS 5 or above and the devices have access to the Internet over WiFi towards Apple servers, an upgrade prompt may appear. End users have the option to download and upgrade their devices over-the-air (OTA) or tethered with iTunes. Some of your end-users will probably perform this upgrade on their own, on the first day the software is available.

Note that the upgrade may be fairly large in size (approx 700MB+) and could impact the telecom data plan of the iPhone or iPad and your monthly data plan costs. Please contact your telecom provider for more information.

Enterprise Mobile can assist if a large scale upgrade of devices is required, and can work with your internal support personnel to speed the process.

Testing iOS 6

If your company or you are developing custom iOS applications, you are likely a registered member of the Apple Developer program. Enterprise Mobile urges all developers to quickly and thoroughly test and validate that all their business applications run on iOS 6, with functionality retained. Initial testing can be performed with a beta release, but it’s important to test with the final release version of the operating system as in previous updates, Apple has continued to add features and bug fixes up-to the final public release.

The “golden master” or GM release of iOS 6 was made available to all iOS developers on September 12, 2012, one week in advance of the publicly available version.

iOS 6 Changes
This upcoming iOS release provides a slew of new features. While mostly geared to the consumer market, it may be beneficial to have knowledge of or promote the following list of business related features :

Hands free operation:
- Siri can read items from Notification Center
- "Eyes Free" allows car companies to build-in Siri integration

- A new application that manages a user’s boarding passes, travel loyalty cards and others
- Passes are updated in real-time if changes are made such as spending money on a store card, flight time updates, and gate changes
- Passes are location and time-based, appearing on the lock screen when relevant

- "Bluetooth" is moved to the top of the Settings list
- Addition of "Do Not Disturb" mode, allowing users to avoid calls and notifications unless calling parties are on the user’s Favorites group
- New Privacy Controls in which apps must now ask for permission to access the user’s photos, calendars, contacts and reminders
- "Wi-Fi plus cellular" option added under "Cellular", to allow apps to use data over cellular if experiencing issues establishing connection through Wi-Fi

- Addition of phone icon on lock screen for additional ignoring options, similar to the camera sliding icon on the lock screen in iOS 5.1
- When ignoring a call, the user can message the caller or set a Reminder to call them back later or send one of three customizable quick SMS response

- VIP inbox stars important emails from user defined VIP group members
- Flagged emails inbox
- Open password-protected Microsoft Office documents
- Added Pull-to-Refresh gesture to update Mail accounts
- Per account Signatures

- Ability to Search All Fields
- Custom Vibrations for Text Message Notifications

- Full screen landscape mode (for iPhone 3GS and newer; iPod Touch 4th Gen and newer)
- iCloud tab syncing across iOS devices and Macs
- Offline reading list caches the user’s reading list for later use, even when not connected to the Internet (not available for iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 4th Gen
- Faster JavaScript engine
- Support up to 25 open tabs on iPad

- Removed as an integrated app due to an ended licensing deal with Google. Google created a stand-alone YouTube app for the App Store that is available for download as of September 11, 2012

Lost Mode:
- If the iPhone is lost, Lost Mode triggers an attention grabbing sound, prompting the person who finds the iPhone to call a specific number set by the owner remotely

- Global Network proxy for HTTP
- IPv6 support for Wi-Fi and LTE

- Addition of Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR)

- Updating an app no longer requires the iTunes password to be entered
- Installation of free apps without an Apple ID (This feature appears to be removed since beta)

Accessibility Guided Access:
- Allows user to lock exiting of the app in Single App Mode
- Allows users to disable certain controls within a specific app
- Locks the home button from being used to act like a kiosk


iOS 5.1 Release – Technical Services Bulletin – March 7, 2012

As previously published back in October of 2011 when the last major iOS release was announced and released, here is some fresh information on this latest update to iOS 5.1 that may be useful.

How iOS 5.1 Could Affect Your Devices

On March 7th, 2012 Apple announced plans to release the iOS 5.1 update immediately to the public.

As with previous Apple iOS updates (please see, Enterprise Mobile expects that new devices procured shortly after the release will soon be pre-installed with iOS 5.1 instead of the previously released iOS 5.0.1.

For legal reasons, Enterprise Mobile will not be able to downgrade newly procured devices from iOS 5.1 back to iOS 5.0.1. This may also impact old devices that are sent to Apple repair, which may return upgraded.

iOS Changes

The full listing of the iOS 5.1 security updates can be found here:

The Safari privacy vulnerability and a long list of WebKit (Safari browser engine) have been patches. Also the Password unlock and Siri vulnerability have been patched.

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

It is not known if there are any new MDM features at this time included in iOS 5.1.
Because you may not be able to update your MDM solution before the iOS 5.1 release, Enterprise Mobile strongly recommends that you have any iOS access version controls verified and possibly disabled if necessary to permit new iOS 5 upgraded devices to connect and access business critical functions.


If the iOS devices are already running iOS 5 or iOS 5.0.1 and the devices have access to the Internet over WiFi, an upgrade prompt may appear. End users have the option to download and upgrade their devices over-the-air (OTA) or tethered with iTunes.

This is an example of the prompt that may appear:

Please note that the upgrade may be fairly large in size (approx 200Mb) and could impact the telecom data plan the iPhone or iPad using and your monthly data plan costs. Please contact your telecom provider for more information.

Please note that some of your end-users that will perform this on upgrade on their own, on the first day the software is available.

Enterprise Mobile can assist if a large scale upgrade of devices is required, and can work with your internal support personnel to speed the process.

Testing iOS 5.1

If you, or your company, is developing custom iOS applications, you are probably already a registered member of the Apple Developer program. Enterprise Mobile urges all developers to quickly and thoroughly test and validate that all their business applications run on iOS 5.1, with functionality retained. This can be done with a beta release, but also importantly with the final release version of the operating system as Apple is previously known to continue to add features and bug fixes up-to the final public release.

Mobile Device Management Gains Momentum

As Mobile Device Management (MDM) has now really hit the mainstream, here is a good article that gives an overview of the current MDM landscape and complexity. I gave the columnist some recommendations of steps that should be taken and what to look out for:
(free registration)

BTW, if you haven’t already, feel free to also check out my other article on MDM trends and my 2012 mobile predictions here:


Mobile Device Management in 2012: More Challenges, More Opportunities

I recently wrote about 4 simple, yet strong predictions, that for many are already underway, but for others perhaps only starting and needs to be highlighted.

“Several trends – and the way companies react to them – will create challenges for IT, as organizations attempt to exercise some control over devices that are not necessarily designed to be secure and manageable. With careful planning and an understanding of best practices and mobile device management (MDM) options, IT can go a long way toward meeting those challenges.”

2012 Mobile Prediction #1: The era of BYOD begins
2012 Mobile Prediction #2: The media tablet gains prominence
2012 Mobile Prediction #3: The array of mobile device applications grows more diverse
2012 Mobile Prediction #4: Mobile devices and MDM evolve

Read the whole article here and my thoughts for each one of these:

What are your opinions about what is occurring in enterprise mobility today and what should companies do to meet the challenges of the coming year?


Expertly Deploying the iPad to Business Users

The iPad certainly has been a game changer for the enterprise. At Enterprise Mobile, we’ve seen significant interest among our customers, who are finding compelling reasons to adopt the tablet for their business. They come to us for help deploying the iPad to their employees and for user support and device management services.

Now, we expect business users to explore even more ways to use the tablet, as the much-anticipated iPad 2 arrives on the market. It’s thinner, lighter and faster than the original, and sports front- and rear-facing cameras, which will appeal to users across industries.

Enterprise Mobile has been busy helping companies bring the Apple tablet into their environments in a way that enriches the user experience without jeopardizing corporate computing policies.  We’re working with companies that don’t have the internal expertise to achieve that balance alone – and lack the time needed to understand the full range of requirements for an iPad project.

As a result, companies are turning to our mobility architects, who have spent considerable time gaining experience with the iOS platform and the different mobile device management (MDM) solutions that allow enterprises to manage iOS devices (the iPad,  iPhone and iPod touch) with confidence.

For organizations in diverse industries, including airlines, media, pharmaceuticals, and the food and beverage market, we deploy iPads to employees. We also handle end user support, as well as ongoing device management for the iPad (installing and administering the MDM solution that’s right for a company’s particular business and technical needs). Since most companies have little experience with the tablet, they rely on our expertise to address everything that’s needed for a speedy iPad deployment and successful ongoing initiative.  

Read our iPad case study to learn more about how we’re helping companies take advantage of the elegance and versatility of the iPad.  It describes how Enterprise Mobile deployed more than 1300 iPads to an airline’s pilots and how we provide end user support and replacement services to ensure that the pilots can productively use the iPad in place of the huge technical manuals they would otherwise lug into the cockpit.

Mobile Platform Enhancements Mean More Capabilities for Users, But Greater Challenges for Enterprise IT

This week Google announced Android 3.0, code-named Honeycomb, the much-anticipated version of the OS that delivers a range of capabilities designed to support tablets. With this new release, Google aims to help Android-based tablets successfully compete with the iPad, the tablet that has captured the imagination of users worldwide.

The pace of change in the mobility space is truly remarkable, like nothing we’ve seen before. By my calculations, we can expect to see 7 to 10 new versions of the major platforms each year. That’s likely 2 or 3 each from Google and Apple and a couple for Windows Phone. And as for mobile devices – nearly every month new ones appear on the market.

Enhancements to mobile device platforms give consumers a constantly growing range of choices when they compare smartphones and tablets. Whether they are looking for a device for personal or business use – or both – they definitely have a broad selection from which to choose.

But, as the pace of change provides an increasingly rich and more satisfying experience for users, it creates serious challenges for IT.  Keeping up with constantly changing platforms, devices and device management solutions (not to mention fickle mobile users and their unpredictable preferences) can be overwhelming. The diversity among mobile platforms and devices means IT must struggle to track mobile management and security capabilities and keep up with the solutions and best practices for implementing them.

Enterprise Mobile, providing corporate mobility services across industries, provides a way for organizations to tap mobility expertise and avoid the effort and expense of acquiring that expertise internally. We’ve taken on the challenge of tracking updates to the major mobile platforms, devices, and device management solutions. Armed with that knowledge, we’re helping our customers deploy devices like the iPad to employees and providing support and management services to help the mobile workforce perform more effectively.