This is why video communication is the new normal for businesses

BlueJeans video conferencingWhere do you dial into conference calls and meetings from? The conference room, a hotel room, a car, your living room? In the age of smartphones, cheap conference bridges, and “always on” capabilities, it doesn’t really matter, does it?

What does matter is that while we’re supposed to be listening intently on these calls, many of us are working on other tasks, reading and sending emails, maybe even cooking. But the technology that enables meetings from anywhere is now powering a better way to keep employees engaged during those meetings: video conferencing.

Studies show that participants’ average attention span rises to 35 minutes for a video call from 23 minutes for an audio call. And as the workforce shifts to non-traditional office environments (including working from home), video communications give employees a way to interact with clients and colleagues from anywhere using the mobile devices they already own as conferencing access points; of businesses that utilize video communication, 94 percent say it increases productivity.

The video conferencing technologies of 2016 are more refined than yesteryear’s bulky and expensive hardware systems that were relegated to dusty boardrooms. The enterprise video market, which includes video conferencing solutions, will reach $35.6 billion in 2018, up from $11.2 billion in 2015, according to MarketsandMarkets.

That’s thanks to a happy confluence of events that has rendered this cloud-enabled technology easy, cheap, and of exceptionally high quality. Here’s why you should be looking at video conferencing if you’re not already. (more…)

How to keep your company data safe on public Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi securityCoffee shop Wi-Fi is evil. So is every other public Wi-Fi.

That’s because open Wi-Fi has no security. Full stop, period.

We’ve all heard that we should be careful about what we do on public Wi-Fi because there could be someone reading our emails or eyeing up our bank accounts in our neighborhood coffee shop or on an airplane. Some privacy advocates warn against signing into New York City’s public Wi-Fi, too.

Protecting yourself is easy: Don’t use public Wi-Fi. But in the age of mobility and the “always online” mentality, that can seem unrealistic for some. What can your employees do to protect your organization’s data (and their own private data as well) when they’re traveling or out of the office?

Here are five reminders and best practices for working on public Wi-Fi. (more…)

SHI Customer Summit: Taking Your Enterprise Mobility to the Next Level

SHI 2016 Mobility SummitMobility isn’t just about your employees’ productivity. A strong IT mobility strategy can help your business reach customers at the exact time and place they need your help. With all the “noise” facing today’s decision-makers, when and how you drive customers to your brand is a key part of reaching new audiences.

Helping enterprise businesses optimize their mobility strategy is SHI’s goal – one that our mobility partners, including VMware, have recognized us for. To support the efforts of our clients, SHI will host two mobility summits that will focus on the best practices enterprise organizations can deploy to deliver the most efficient and secure mobile communications to their employees and customers. Leaders from the largest players in the mobility space will present insights and advice in the areas of security and compliance, network infrastructure, and the end-point experience.

The agendas for the two summits (scheduled for April 18-19 and May 5-6) are filled with breakout sessions from the mobility thought leaders of Apple, Microsoft, and SHI.

The April Summit will also feature keynotes from the following speakers: (more…)

ACE up your sleeve: Easy enterprise app development with App Configuration for Enterprise

mobile apps2016 is a holiday season away, and we’re sure IT is in the middle of prepping for the new year. If your organization is planning an enterprise app rollout in the next quarter or two, ask yourself: Are you confident the app is free of scaling bugs, reliability lapses, and security holes?

Sadly, enterprise apps have a bad track record – 65 percent of enterprise apps get deleted or are under-utilized. And poor enterprise app development certainly isn’t a new phenomenon.

If you are planning an enterprise app rollout soon, don’t worry – help is out there. Let us tell you about ACE, and the three reasons why it’s one of the best new ways to successfully deploy a working, productive app. (more…)

Here’s how to capitalize on iOS 9’s best new feature

devicesWhen Apple introduced iOS 9 in September, an unheralded but significant feature was included: the ability to assign apps to unique device identifiers rather than specific Apple IDs. This functionality allows companies to distribute apps to individual devices with little to no intervention on behalf of the end user.

Previously an absolute requirement of nearly any deployment, the Apple ID was doubly important since nearly every Mobile Device Management solution (MDM) requires an “agent.” Once downloaded from the App Store, agents patrol for common security breaches, such as “jailbreaking” devices, and allow devices to be found on a map through geolocation; without an agent, these imperative abilities are nonexistent. (more…)

5 ways mobile devices are changing retail forever

mobile walletUse a mobile POS device and you’ll delight a shopper for a day. Use a mobile-driven omnichannel strategy, and you can create a loyal shopper for life.

A few years ago, mobile devices were only a “line-busting” technology, equipped with a card swipe and barcode reader that allowed sales associates to check out customers from any spot in the store. But in 2015, the role of mobile devices in retail has matured – they’ve become an extension of the brand and a major component of a retailer’s omnichannel strategy.

Today, mobile devices unleashed in bricks-and-mortar stores can enhance data collection, extend the aisle to include every product in the warehouse, show customers targeted and specific advertising, and transform your sales associates into personal assistants. Here’s how. (more…)

A retail revolution: How EMV compliance is just part of the new retail

credit cardGoodbye, strips, and hello, chips. The shift of Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) liability occurs on Oct. 1, 2015, and could leave retailers on the hook for fraudulent credit card transactions.

If you haven’t heard about this liability changeover, you’re certainly not alone; a Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey found that 49 percent of small business owners who accept POS credit card payments weren’t aware of the changing liability on Oct. 1.

What does it mean for your business and what can you do now?

The EMV liability change is just one step in a larger digital shift for retailers. Here’s how to plan for the EMV liability change and what to keep in mind about the broader actions needed to stay not just compliant, but competitive. (more…)

When will mobility become the norm in business?

Multiple-Devices-With-Charts-And-GraphsI love the stat from Xcube Labs that found 67 percent of CIOs believe mobility will impact their businesses more than the Internet did in the 1990s. It drives home the opportunity with mobile, as we all well know the impact the Internet has had on businesses.

However, why has it taken so long for mobility to take off in business like it has in our personal lives? Enterprises are struggling to transform their business processes with mobile like they thought they would, and users just aren’t adopting as easily. A recent survey by VMware found only 17 percent of organizations have shifted at least one core business process to a mobile paradigm.

Here is my view on why adoption of mobile in the workforce has been stagnant: (more…)

VMworld wrap up: The brave new mobile of IT

VMworld 2015This week, more than 23,000 people came together for VMworld in San Francisco. This is one of my favorite events of the year as it provides a venue to interact with customers as we shape the product roadmap, while also providing a forum for IT professionals to come together and learn from one another.

Over the past several years since I’ve taken over marketing for end-user computing at VMware, I’ve seen firsthand how VMworld impacts our customers by giving them expertise they wouldn’t get elsewhere, offering opportunities to bounce ideas off industry peers and partners like SHI, and enabling them to walk away ready to drive innovation in their organization. Attendees also hear from VMware executives and experts, visionary industry leaders and analysts, and IT practitioners pioneering how their organizations leverage virtualization, cloud, and mobile technologies for competitive advantage.

(more…)

How VMware is building a bridge to the mobile-cloud era

mobile cloudBank robbing used to be easy. If you could get past the main vault, you could get instant access to all the cash. Within today’s modern banks, the vault’s exterior provides just one layer of perimeter security.  Now banks incorporate an assortment of other layers of security, such as safety deposit boxes, which make accessing everyone’s cash at once incredibly difficult, if not nearly impossible. (more…)