"For many years now, IBM has recognized that "Online collaboration platforms are fundamentally changing the way IBMers work and engage with each other, clients and partners. IBM is increasingly exploring how online discourse through social computing can empower IBMers as global professionals, innovators and citizens. These individual interactions represent a new model: not mass communications, but masses of communicators. Through these interactions, IBM's greatest asset--the expertise of its employees--can be shared with clients, shareholders, and the communities in which it operates." Source: IBM Social Computing Guidelines.
It is very much in IBM's interest—and, we believe, in each IBMer's own—to be aware of and participate in this sphere of information, interaction and idea exchange. Within Mobile Enterprise Services, we are seeking to embrace the challenge through this blog and the following social media sites:
Chris Pepin 110000H1GN email@example.com | | Tags:  rugged mobile | 0 Comments | 709 Visits
Open any magazine, watch any TV program, listen to any advertising, observe any office workers, travel on a train, look at the young coming out of school/college : What sort of mobile devices do you see?
• Blackberries YES ;
• Smartphone YES ;
• Tablet devices YES and growing ;
• Ruggedized mobile devices (handheld computers, laptops, tablets): Surely not?
Is there still a need for rugged devices – particularly in your enterprise – given your CFO will tell you the other more exciting devices can be half the price. It’s simple : out with the old and in with the new: yet just before jumping - it may be worth using a different measure.
Does it matter what device my employees are seen with?
Yes – or does it?
If you are working face to face with your customers and want to present a good image why not use a sleek Smartphone or tablet device – why would you want to go with a more clunky and ugly rugged device. And buy these devices with a lower purchase price means that I can even equip my teams with more than one maybe a Smartphone and a Tablet …. Surely this is the key point and the debate is over…….
But what if my mobile workers are service engineers, delivery workers, meter readers, Funfair workers, construction workers, parking wardens ….. now is image as important a consideration as capability and longevity of life?
As we move outdoors perhaps other considerations are a more relevant Must Have device……
Does in matter what environment my employees operate in?
Yes it does
If you are outdoors in a rugged environment : Wet, Dusty, Bright Sunlight, Cold Frosty morning : You need to consider robustness – remember many tablets and Smartphones today are engineered for consumers and don’t offer appropriate levels of security and durability or the functionality needed for business use
Also what if I drop my device will it bounce?
Here rugged devices have a place …. They are shipped with IP Ratings, can be manufactured to operate in safe environments (Zone 0), whilst device manufacturers just love to talk about drop height tests (a whole topic by itself) ….
So perhaps there are environments where a rugged device is a Must Have device…….
What does this mean ……
More and more companies now encourage employees to bring their own device – bring their own rugged device … not so likely. Yet this is where the price differential could assist. Consider rugged devices as corporate liable devices, they look the same, feel the same, operate in the same way and don’t have a picture of the holiday home on them, Now e can share devices across shifts / employees / premises : its not your device it’s the companies. An ugly rugged device supports corporate liability ….
And don’t forget if it’s your and not mine will my behaviour alter – easier to protect a rugged device from dropping off a Fork Lift truck than it is a Smartphone…. and your health and asftey officer will let your Fork Lift driver wear his device …….
TCO & Device Stability Important ?
Yes in your enterprise absolutely
We have already considered a Smartphone is cheaper – but is it. What life can you get from your Smartphone, will the particular manufacturers derivation of Android be supported in 2 years time let alone will the application still run: and that assumes the device isn’t scratched or damaged ….
So whilst up front costs can appear lower, consider the broader TCO measure and again don’t automatically discount that stable rugged device.
Not so easy then??
Its comfortable sitting on my fence, but it does appear to me that whilst there is an undoubted take-up of Smartphone and tablet devices into the enterprise, there am still a need for rugged devices supporting specific user requirements, environments and delivering stable TCO and stability. Probably the future lies in mixed deployments now I have the challenge of managing such an estate from a single platform – but that’s for another day:
Now what do you think…… ?
Google announces intent to acquire Motorola Mobility and what this means for IBM Mobile Enterprise Services
Chris Pepin 110000H1GN firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  google motorola | 0 Comments | 668 Visits
Last week, Google announced its intentions to acquire Motorola Mobility which provides smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes and other home devices. Motorola Solutions delivers a variety of rugged devices and services and is not part of the acqu
Chris Pepin 110000H1GN email@example.com | | Tags:  security | 0 Comments | 559 Visits
Mobile devices, by their very nature, are well suited for work on the go. While their small size and portability make them the perfect travel companion, this also makes them susceptible to being lost of stolen. While laptops face this same risk, smartphones and tablets, by virtue of their small size - are at greater risk of being lost or stolen. This could put corporate data at risk. It is important that the enterprise establish a policy for addressing lost or stolen devices. Common techniques:
The definition of the workplace has changed. Smart CIOs are getting ahead of the curve now. Robert Webb of Hilton Worldwide is one of those CIOs.
Today we published a video on our YouTube channel about how IBM helped Hilton Worldwide create a smarter and more mobile workforce. The video features both Webb and Rich Esposito, IBM VP of Workplace Services and IT Strategy Services.
Among other benefits, IBM Mobile Enterprise Services helped Hilton Worldwide:
Webb also discusses the trends relevant to businesses in the hospitality industry today, and indeed other industries. The trends are:
CIOs and IT managers need to start thinking about how to deal with these issues, and the role mobility plays in them.
We hope you get a chance to check out the video below!
While an increasing number of businesses are benefiting from becoming a mobile enterprise, the healthcare industry is uniquely affected in several ways. The following are three characteristics of the medical industry that make mobility solutions particularly useful to them.
All clients are different
People often have similar tastes in food, clothing, or movies. However, when it comes to health, everyone is different. Medical professionals need to treat people as individuals, and gather data on an individual basis. Professionals can not diagnose purely based on knowledge. They need information pertaining specifically to their client, and they need this information at their fingertips.
Rapidly changing regulations and practices
Perhaps more than most industries, the medical industry is bounded by regulations coming from the government. Healthcare providers that do not leverage technology well have to pay the price when they fail regulatory inspections, or do not have efficient reporting tools to make sure they are in check.
Not only are regulations constantly evolving, but so are practices. Having instant access to industry practices as well as patient info can lead to benefits for both the client and healthcare provider.
Confidentiality is key
While privacy is important to many businesses, in the medical industry disclosing client information is often illegal. Storing and accessing this information through an insecure IT infrastructure can compromise this. That is why healthcare providers should not just assume their data is secure, but verify that it is.
Learn more about mobile enterprise services?
IBM services can help medical professionals get real-time access to time-sensitive data.You can learn more about IBM’s mobility service offerings for the healthcare industry at our Enterprise Mobility for Healthcare Providers page.
“Resistance is futile.” That’s the rallying cry of your mobile workers and professionals, armed with their iPads and Android smartphones, all vying for access to your corporate applications and data. In fact, these consumer devices have already infiltrated the workplace. The introduction of personally owned devices can drive security risks higher, make integration difficult and wreak havoc with end-user support. But with a bit of planning and careful consideration, the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend can bring a host of benefits to your enterprise.
It may be tempting to ban the use of personally owned devices in your workplace, but IT policies that take a hard line are probably not be enforceable. As you might expect, many smartphone and tablet users will circumvent IT policy, putting the enterprise at greater risk. And here is something else to consider: You wouldn’t ask your employees to use mimeograph machines to make copies. Outdated technology tends to inhibit productivity and increase dissatisfaction—not exactly the environment that today’s innovative companies are striving to create, or that talented employees will tolerate for long.
So, how do you make this movement work for your organization? In other words, how do you allow choice while retaining control? You can take a methodical approach:
· First, assess users and your current environment, including current and planned devices and applications. A deep understanding of how mobility works today (or doesn’t) throughout your organization will help you get off on the right foot
· Use the assessment output to plan and design the right program for your organization -- one that balances the needs of your users (who’s in the field half the time, who needs access to CRM applications, etc.) with the constraints on your infrastructure and resources
· Kick off the implementation with pilots so you can leverage what you learn along the way while minimizing risk and business disruption. IBM has been building expertise and expanding internal mobility programs over time, tweaking as we go, and users are benefiting from the learning
· Establish, document and communicate acceptable use and other policies—especially to safeguard corporate data. Your legal department will love you.
· Plan for a more complex support burden. Although it seems allowing personally owned devices might make IT’s job easier, there will be more questions on set up, remote access and use of corporate applications and device problems—at least initially. You should plan to provide some level of end-user support in-house or outsourced to a knowledgeable provider, if only to help your workers remain productive and their devices highly available.
If enterprise mobility is a growing consideration, you’re in good company. Seventy-four percent of participants in the IBM 2011 CIO Study cited mobility solutions as the second “most important visionary plan element” behind business intelligence and analytics. And that reflected a 6 percent increase over last year’s study.
Chances are, mobile workers aren’t new to the mix in your organization. But the environment has changed rapidly, and you may be operating a mobility program that isn’t quite up to today’s challenges. You may have a program with limited users at either the task worker level or for executives with a single, corporate-issued smartphone. But you’re looking to roll out a broader program.
Let’s look at deployment from an end-to-end perspective, with the understanding that you might skip a few steps here and there depending on your situation. Or you might work with a services provider to manage the project.
First of all, be aware that the device itself is the least of your worries. The challenges in enterprise mobility come from the “hidden” costs and issues surrounding devices, such as end-user support, security, mobile applications and more. And more employees are bringing their own devices into the workplace.
As in any IT-driven project, you should have a proper assessment of both users and the environment, to develop a strategic plan and design. Consider these questions to start:
Mobile device procurement
Even with personally owned devices entering the workplace, you can still maintain control over enterprise device procurement—just do it differently. Self-service portals can allow users to choose from a catalog of pre-defined, pre-tested models—while you keep better track of order histories and pricing without daily involvement by procurement or IT. This helps smooth out global processes for greater consistency across your organization. And you might be able to leverage the buying power of a service partner.
Staging and kitting
“Dead-on-arrival” devices are productivity killers, but you don’t want your IT staff to spend valuable time coordinating packages and checking every device. Hand this over to a trusted partner to reconcile orders, test units and Gold images testing, bundle up the devices with accessories and instructions, and ship to users wherever they are.
Mobile device management
The key word: management. From asset tracking to pushing software application and configuration updates over the air, advanced mobile device management from an experienced provider can help enforce consistent security policies, provide more visibility through reporting and deliver end-user support. Your devices and your mobile employees stay more productive with a lessened burden on your IT staff.
When devices do break, you can get them offline and back on again more quickly when you’re working with a provider who can handle fixes quickly, returns to manufacturers, and remote provisioning.
IBM's2011Tech Trends Report is hot off the press! It includes data and insights from a survey of thousands of IT professionals worldwide on the topics of:
We'd like to share some of the key takeaways from the mobility part of the report.
Top platforms for mobile development
Survey takers were asked which mobile platforms they were planning development projects on within the next 24 months. Android was the leading mobile development platform by a sizable margin. However, iOS, Windows 7, and Blackberry also had a significant percentage of affirmative responses. The main takeaway is that a strong majority of IT professionals were planning to develop on some platform, and many on more than one platform.
IT professionals were also asked in what areas they would be focusing on in 2011. Overall, the focal areas were spread out across a wide range, with enterprise apps and industry-specific apps leading the way.
The main concerns IT professionals raised on mobility were on security/privacy (53%), and cost of development (52%).
Mobility is a movement, not a trend
While the title of the report may suggest it is about 'tech trends, mobility is more than a trend. Trends come and go, and can sometimes be ignored. Mobility, on the other hand, is more of a movement. Movements last for the foreseeable future. Companies need to get on top of movements eventually, and those that do so earlier will have a greater chance of succeeding. IBM's tech trends report is more evidence that companies must invest in mobility in order to stay competitive. At the same time, mobility has the potential to improve productivity and reduce costs if implemented well.
The tech trends report also contains interesting insights into the evolving fields of business analytics, cloud computing, and social business. For more detail on all four of these fields, you can download the 2011 IBM Tech Trends Report
Chris Pepin 110000H1GN firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  virtualization | 0 Comments | 515 Visits
Server virtualization and cloud computing are fast becoming the de-facto standard for delivering IT services. The increased flexibility and can benefit multiple types of workloads including enterprise mobility. However, virtualization on mobile devices is increasing to meet the following enterprise needs:
Native, web and hybrid applications remain extremely popular with end-users. With the demise of Adobe Flash, HTML5 is poised for rapid adoption in 2012.
IBM recently released it's annual 'Next 5 in 5' video. This video points to 5 technology innovations that will shape the world over the next 5 years. Not too surprisingly, mobility was on this list of innovations.
The video states that "in 5 years the gap between information haves and have-nots will cease to exist, due to the advent of mobile technology". With this recent video, as well as the New Year, we thought we'd shed some light on the 12 most important mobility trends for 2012.
Picture this scenario. A luxury retailer has several hundred stores across a single geography, typically in affluent malls where the store square footage is small and the rent is high. With only two point-of-sale registers, holiday seasons trigger long queues and sales associates can’t assist customers with questions about displays or products. As a result, customers often become frustrated and walk out the door, abandoning sales during a peak selling season.
The value of mobile POS
Although it seems mobile point-of-sale (POS) has been around for awhile:
1) Many smal
2) Improved wireless network capabilities, consumer mobile devices and shoppers who are smarter, more connected and empowered all create a fresh opportunity
Moving away from a fixed cash register is about much more than simply line-busting. Associates with mobile devices can look up prices, find inventory, apply discounts, email receipts, suspend and retrieve transactions and complete credit card payments on the spot.
customers may mention the “Apple experience.” Apple stores were among the first
to equip associates with the very devices
they were selling customers (iPhones, iPads) to enable faster transactions and
more productive, personalized conversations on the floor.
Adding or enhancing a mobile POS system can help retailers deliver an optimized shopping experience, improve store operations and increase sales and inventory turnover.
How IBM can help
IBM has decades of experience in the end-to-end delivery of mobile enterprise services, from the wireless network to the devices to end-user support.
But our real value comes in working within our clients’ constraints. In the above case, the retailer believed critical problems occurred only three months out of the year, and was reluctant to invest.
Leveraging our alliance partners and cross-IBM colleagues, we could:
· Provide an assessment of the IT and store environment, including the existing POS system for possible integration
· Design an appropriate mobile POS system
· Provide services to stage the deployment
· Help the client purchase mobile devices or, in this case, create a leasing arrangement and store the devices when not in use, or deliver managed services with subscription-based pricing
· Provide asset management to track physical devices
· Deliver advanced mobile device management when the system is up and running
· Tweak the existing wireless network to accommodate new data traffic
· Introduce critical mobile security services, to ensure PCI compliance
To learn more about how IBM can help retailers leverage mobile POS technologies, feel free to contact us.
Picture this scenario. A
Using the rich functionality, the associate can walk customers through different outfit combinations or suggest additional upselling opportunities. And, with access to inventory data, associates can fulfill orders on the spot using ecommerce when an item is out of stock, without having to take the customer to a fixed register – reducing walkouts and missed sales. But by incorporating “clienteling,” typically used by high-end retailers, the retailer has a single, centralized solution to help store associates assist customers on a more personalized level by recording their (opt-in) preferences and buying habits.
The value of guided selling and clienteling
Deployed effectively in stores, iPads, tablets and even mounted kiosks can create true multi-channel selling, guided selling and empower sales associates to engage customers more effectively on the store floor. Combined with clienteling, retailers can see optimized store performance, improved customer insights and a more productive sales force.
The goal is to take the first-time customer and turn him or her into a repeat customer who then becomes a “friend.” Customers keep coming back when they’ve had a positive experience. According to a recent study, 47 percent of customers highlight poor knowledge of store associates as the most disliked experience when in a store.1
Arming associates with real-time store information, mobile tools AND customer insights and preferences is the epitome of customer-centric retailing. Clienteling pays off in up to a four-fold increase in spend, 63 percent increase in transaction size and 33 percent increase in the number of repeat customers.2
How IBM can help
IBM works often with vendors like Global Bay Mobile Technologies, which offers a mobile retailing application it says generates tangible return on investment (ROI) by driving store traffic, increasing units per transaction (UPTs) and improving the overall customer experience.
To help retailers leverage clienteling, IBM can:
· Provide an assessment of the IT and store environment, including the existing POS system for possible integration of iPads or other guided selling devices
· Design the infrastructure for clienteling, including hardware, networking and monitoring
· Mobilize or integrate clienteling software, as well as collaborative, analytic or customer relationship management applications
· Provide services to stage the rollout
· Provide asset management to track mobile devices
· Deliver advanced mobile device management when the system is up and running
· Enable the existing wireless network to accommodate new data traffic
· Introduce critical mobile security services, to ensure PCI compliance
To learn more about how IBM can help retailers leverage guided selling and clienteling technologies, feel free to