How modern Windows device management solves IT’s imaging problems

mdmIT might long for the days when employees worked on one desktop computer. Too bad the ‘90s are over. Today, employees use multiple devices that should seamlessly integrate with each other and the rest of the environment.

That’s easier said than done, especially for IT managers who are still imaging and deploying devices like they were five years ago. The process can be lengthy and complex, and presents challenges for organizations of all sizes.

But new tools simplify the process, and one that’s getting more and more attention is Windows 10’s modern device management. Here’s how it works and how it can make your life easier. (more…)

How one retailer rolled out thousands of tablets to 600 stores across the nation

tablets-in-retailA small project for a large organization is often nothing of the sort. One recent example is a large national retailer’s plan to deploy 8,500 tablets to 600 stores.

As part of a mobility push, the retailer sought to equip thousands of store managers and other personnel with tablets. After working through a proof of concept with a number of options, the retailer chose a family of Microsoft Surface tablets (primarily Surface 3 devices) for their size, light weight, touch-screen capabilities, and ease of use in the store environment. The tablets allow managers to track inventory and monitor sales from anywhere – in the office, on the floor, or behind the register. (more…)

7 lessons organizations can learn from “Pokemon Go”

pokemon go“Pokemon Go” is a cultural phenomenon, a way to get people outside to explore, and a textbook teaching moment for businesses. Though that last one seems far-fetched, it’s true that the game provides some valuable lessons for IT and the C-suite.

If you’ve somehow avoided it until now, “Pokemon Go” is the location-based augmented reality mobile game that blew up in popularity when it was released in July. The app and its rollout show how organizations big and small can better connect with their employees and customers, and capitalize on all the advantages mobile has to offer. So take heed of these seven lessons from “Pokemon Go.” (more…)

Next-gen mobile computing: Thinking beyond BYOD

HP on thinking beyond BYODThink about how new technologies have changed the way we consume music over the past 50 years. From vinyl to cassette tapes, from CDs to MP3s, and now to digital services like Spotify and Pandora, technological advancements can disrupt entire industries and significantly improve user experiences.

Similarly, the way we do business evolves in less than a generation. Not too long ago, IT managers were faced with the concept of BYOD and the increased complexity it carried due to the proliferation of mobile devices entering the business environment.

Today, commercial mobility involves much more. Employees expect a different style of computing to get work done and make their jobs easier. Every organization needs a mobile strategy that’s versatile enough to address the massive shift in where and how we work. To be truly productive, an organization’s strategy must rely on quality and durable devices, broad security controls, and policies that allow IT to easily manage devices.

There are four components of a smart mobile strategy that moves past BYOD. As you evaluate next-gen mobility solutions, keep these four insights in mind: (more…)

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…)