CTIA 2013’s Emerging Technology Awards for Enterprise Solutions

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • CTIA 2013, held last week in Las Vegas, was explicitly not about the enterprise, since that is still the domain of the fall CTIA show, MobileCon, until 2014.
  • However, in addition to a few enterprise announcements (see CTIA 2013: M2M With a Splash of Enterprise Mobility, May 24, 2013), there were also two sets of emerging technology awards given to enterprise solutions; one set was for Enterprise Cloud/Mobility and the other for Enterprise Security, Fraud and Privacy. Is this yet another way to derive a few meaningful enterprise insights from CTIA?

The following vendors and products won awards at CTIA under the Emerging Technology program:

Emerging Tech Award Winners – Enterprise/Cloud Mobility

  • LogMeIn, Cubby
  • Canvas, MyCanvas
  • Averail, Averail Access

Cubby is a secure, cloud-based document management/collaboration system for sharing/editing documents within workgroups, and features both client side and data side encryption, remote mobile lockout if desired or necessary, and multiple synchronization options. It’s positioned as similar to Box or DropBox, but with more security and unlimited synchronization. My Canvas allows any smartphone to be used in place of paper-based forms used for data entry, and allows businesses to create custom mobile apps that generate reports on this data. The data can then be shared with their customers via an Internet portal. Averail Access is a mobile content solution for the enterprise that provides employees an intuitive mobile app to access, manage and share business information without sacrificing enterprise security and control. It links directly to Sharepoint and Office 365 with support for Office docs, pdfs, images, video and audio files. Read more of this post

Mobilizing Companies in Asia-Pacific: A Look into the Enterprise Mind

Tim Dillon

Tim Dillon

Summary Bullets:

  • BYOD is a distraction that prevents companies from thinking clearly about mobility.  Companies seeking to drive benefits from mobility within the organization are those that have moved beyond the ‘which device are you using?’ discussion.  Instead, the ones creating efficiencies, competitive advantage and positive change are those that have concentrated on mobilizing business processes – sales, marketing, suppliers, internal communications and executives.
  • Organisations still struggle with business cases for mobility; for many, the starting point has been a CEO lasciviously fondling an iPad and wanting to use it at work.  For an effective mobility deployment, companies need to create employee profiles, risk assessments and use-case scenarios that are holistic in nature and span devices, policy, infrastructure, applications and security.

As Advisory Analyst in Asia-Pacific to the Enterprise Mobility Exchange, I had the pleasure of chairing the two-day inaugural Asia-Pacific event held in Singapore during April 2013.  This post attempts to capture the key areas of discussion and highlight important takeaways for all IT managers struggling with the challenges of mobility. Read more of this post

Finding the Missing Lync in Campus SDN

Mike Fratto

Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • The focus of software defined networking (SDN) may be on the data center and carrier networks, but that doesn’t mean campus LANs can’t benefit as well.
  • New technologies need a compelling reason for IT to adopt them and SDN is no different. Sure, data centers have issues that SDN can address, but users see choppy video and voice as much more urgent problems to solve.

For many, SDN is a data center and service provider play because those two areas have unique scalability and versatility demands that SDN is well suited to address. There is as much value in the campus LAN as well, and I suspect that we’ll start seeing many more reasons why SDN in the campus makes sense. Two recent examples from Aruba and Extreme both involving integration of Microsoft’s Lync unified communications software are illustrative of why. Read more of this post

The Cloud – Simply a CapEx/OpEx Choice?

Ken Landoline

Ken Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • The cloud approach to telecom solutions is catching on like wildfire as a growing number of vendors offer a cloud version of their products and some report that cloud solutions already account for the major portion of all sales.
  • In addition to a shift of expenditures from a large capital outlay to a monthly operational expense the reasons companies are moving to the cloud fall into a few more categories including; flexibility in changing capacity levels, speed in adding applications to premise-based solutions while protecting current investments, and disaster recovery back-up.

While much is made of the CapEx versus OpEx comparison of premise- versus cloud-based solutions, it seems those decisions are limited, for the most part, to end users that are in the start-up or “greenfield” mode of their lifecycle. Conversations I have had with many enterprise end users regarding the premise versus cloud decision process, as well as vendors selling telecom solutions, suggest many purchasing situations fits into one of three scenarios. In scenario 1 the business has a premise-based solution but appreciates the ability of the cloud to add capacity when needed and shrink capacity when activity slows down. Such a situation could be a retail contact center with a premise-based solution that must expand and shrink based on the seasonality of their business. Adding remote, home-based agents via a cloud offering is the perfect solution. Scenario 2 are end users with a substantial investment in a premise-based solution but a requirement to add applications and broader functionality quickly and efficiently without scrapping the not yet depreciated investment. The application of a “hybrid” solution allows the business to add applications to existing solutions without scrapping the premise based solution prematurely, before it is fully depreciated. In scenario 3, a few end users see cloud solutions as a method of providing a disaster recovery, back-up system to their premise-based system that will take over operations when disaster strikes. In this situation the cloud solution can be run in parallel to the premise solution and the cloud could take over if and when the premise-based solution fails for any reason, maintaining operations. Although the disaster solution may add significantly to operating costs, in many situations company revenue streams can be preserved, which make it a feasible investment. Read more of this post

The Intersection of Cloud and M2M Will Help Create the “Internet of Things”

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • “Cloud” means all things to all people, but for M2M, and especially for its larger cousin, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud services are taking on an increasingly important role.
  • Clouds will be necessary to store and analyze machine data, to allow connected devices to talk to each other and share data, and to be easily updated and managed. This larger view of the IoT, rather than the stodgier and more limited M2M market, is key to the vision leading to the 20- 50 billion (some say trillions) of connected devices in many IoT forecasts.

A lot of M2M vendors and enterprises are starting to forego the use of the word M2M and are replacing it with IoT, implying a much bigger set of “things” that will all be connected to the Internet (and to each other) using every available fixed and wireless access technology. To get to this larger market, cloud services are critical, because a secure, reliable infrastructure is necessary to manage the connection and interconnection of all of these things, as well as their ability to be updated and managed and their ability to communicate with each other and with humans who need to interact with them or want to use their data. Read more of this post

Overcoming the Obstacles to Cloud Collaboration

itcblog-bhattacharyya

Rena Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • Cloud collaboration brings together two of the hottest trends in the IT industry.  It marries the productivity enhancements of collaborative solutions with the benefits of a cloud-based consumption model.
  • A recent Current Analysis survey shows that 64% of organizations use cloud services; of those, 26% already use cloud collaboration and another 15% plan to within two years.

Cloud collaboration is taking off – these services foster effective communication by bringing together real time communication such as voice, chat, video, and presence with persistent collaboration such as groups, messaging, activity streams, file editing/sharing, blogs, wikis, etc.  To be most effective, solutions must be easy to use, provide business analytics/intelligence capabilities, and integrate with line of business applications.  They should support the creation of a vendor ecosystem and deliver an integrated experience across applications and workflows. Read more of this post

Some Thoughts on Who Should Pay the True Cost for Insecure Software

Paula Musich

Paula Musich

Summary Bullets:

  • A clear majority of cybercriminals share the same motivation as legal commercial enterprises: the drive for profits.
  • It is way too easy for cybercriminals to buy automated exploit kits and execute attacks for financial gain.

The recently released Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report shows that legitimate business has something in common with cybercrime: both are chiefly motivated by profits.  The report found that of the 92% of breaches it unearthed that were caused by external bad actors, 55% of those were linked to strictly profit-motivated cybercrime groups.  For legitimate business, the profit motive drives companies to focus on developing applications that either reduce the cost of doing business or add to top-line growth.  In either case, what is rewarded in application development is speed, functionality and increasingly a good user experience.  Secure coding and thorough testing that avoids common vulnerabilities is further down the priority list.  Read more of this post

‘BT for Life Sciences’ Maps Progress in Biomedical/Pharmaceutical IT Industry

Brian Washburn

Brian Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • The ‘BT for Life Sciences’ program has built up personnel expertise and ramped up partners and customers, and it is adding adjacent services.
  • While the pharmaceutical sector enters integrators’ territory, major telecom service providers target opportunities across the wide spectrum of healthcare services.

Service providers know well by now that enterprise cloud services are about more than selling low-cost compute power.  The value of a cloud service is in the sum of applications, expertise and agility the provider brings to the table.  BT has been heavily focused on solution building – in the past, to the point of overextending itself with large, specialized consulting and professional services engagements.  Since then, the provider has taken a more pragmatic approach, which includes delivering industry-specific, repeatable cloud solutions.  BT’s vertical solutions targets include pharmaceutical industry contracts, and its BT for Life Sciences business unit puts it in good stead to compete for these compute-intensive projects. Read more of this post

Where Does HTML5 Fit into the Mobile User Experience?

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Emerging Web browser standards such as HTML5 promise mobile Web apps the features they and we so richly deserve.
  • But have high powered browsers leveled the playing field between desktop and device as well as between native and mobile code? Not according to Facebook.

Software development is expensive, but it is especially costly in the realm of mobility. Developers must contend with the big three (iOS, Android and Windows 8/Mobile/RT) and maybe even BlackBerry, WebOS and others. For each target platform, they must often employ vastly different languages and authoring systems.  Read more of this post

Social Media: Who Owns This Important Channel In Your Enterprise?

Ken Landoline

Ken Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • Responsibility for the social media channel within an enterprise is normally awarded to the organization that brings it to the enterprise based on a specific original need.  However, this may not be the best place for it to reside long term.
  • While marketing, public relations, IT and customer service can all make a strong case for social media ownership, the best solution may be the formation of a cross-functional team to optimize the total value of social media information.

Due to its broad scope of useful information, the social media channel is difficult to place into a specific department within the enterprise.  Marketing and/or public relations departments often initiate and manage social media tracking programs within the enterprise, because the gathered information summarizes customer sentiment (good and bad) and often requires a rapid response to avoid public relations and marketing issues.  I may have a natural bias on the issue, since I am deeply involved as an analyst tracking contact centers and customer care, but customer care groups have a right to be intimately involved in managing social media efforts based on the fact that they are the primary interface to the customer base in most corporations.  Others have argued that IT shops have a right to manage social media streams because of the technical nature of the source information: Twitter, Facebook, etc.  Smaller, less sophisticated organizations may simply assign social media tracking to a lower level or even a summer intern with a good understanding of the media streams and practical knowledge of how the information is created and by whom. Read more of this post