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: Continue Reading…

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What the Apple Cisco partnership means to you

partnershipWhat happens when two tech giants come together? A new era of networking and integration.

On Aug. 31, 2015, Tim Cook and John Chambers, the respective CEOs of Apple and Cisco, announced a partnership that creates a fast lane for iOS business users by optimizing Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps.

“iOS is the world’s best mobile platform, and nearly every Fortune 500 and Global 500 company today has put iOS at the center of their mobile strategy,” said Cook. “iPhone and iPad have become essential tools for the modern workforce and are changing the way work gets done. Together with Cisco, we believe we can give businesses the tools to maximize the potential of iOS and help employees become even more productive using the devices they already love.”

Before the digital ink was dry, questions about the partnership’s ramifications were being asked in IT departments around the world. What does the partnership mean to customers? What implications does it have on the broader market? How will other ecosystem partners be affected? Continue Reading…

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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: Continue Reading…

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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. Continue Reading…

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Apple tips its hat to the enterprise with new VPP Credit

Shopping-Cart-With-Apps-InsideApple recently introduced mobile device management (MDM) for iOS as part of a new focus on enterprise markets. This is great news for both the companies that steered clear of iPhones and iPads until now and those that dove into iOS despite the enterprise limitations. One aspect of the move is especially welcome: Apple expanded its Volume Purchase Program (VPP) to create VPP Credit. Under the program, businesses can now purchase large volumes of apps in bulk through purchase orders (POs).

While iPads have been a mainstay of the workplace for years, companies struggled to manage work-related applications housed on each individual device. Initially, app purchases were conducted per user and individually charged back to the enterprise. Not only was this tedious, but the moment employees left an organization, they took all of the pre-installed, company-purchased apps with them. Organizations could lose out on hundreds of dollars per device. Continue Reading…

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Why enterprise iOS adoption surged before Apple’s mobile device management tools

iPad at workApple recently introduced a mobile device management enrollment solution for iOS that would make it easier for enterprise and education customers to roll out mass numbers of fully configured iPads or iPhones to employees without ever touching the device. For many in enterprise IT, this makes iOS a lot more appealing.

But that’s not to say the enterprise has ignored iPads and iPhones until now. In fact, Apple has made significant headway into the enterprise market over the last five years, with sales surging more than 1,000 percent at SHI. Not to mention that iOS activations made up 73 percent of total device activations in the fourth quarter of 2013 among enterprises.

Even before a solution existed for a smooth enterprise deployment, many pioneering organizations sought out iOS anyway, a testament to the strengths of Apple’s products. But still, having every user install the necessary apps and configure settings would have been a major drain on time and resources. Continue Reading…

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2013: The year of enterprise IT

Remember when Wall Street was bullish over the future of IT? When the Nasdaq soared 40 percent over 12 months, outpacing both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average? When the share prices of giants like Microsoft and HP grew by as much as 40 percent (or more), and new players entered the stage, encouraging widespread adoption of technology and providing choice that was not available just a few years prior?

Of course you remember. It was 2013.

Which made me wonder: Why are there so many stories, ranging from the political to the cynical to the usefully comical, about 2013 being a lost year for IT?

It’s possible 2013 was the year IT realized what carmakers, pharmaceutical companies, and utilities providers have known for a long time: The more reliable and dependable your products become, the harder it is to wow the consumer audience.

Thirty years after Steve Jobs received a standing ovation for letting the Macintosh speak for itself, consumers are more interested and engaged than ever. But they seem to be watching IT with folded arms. Until George Jetson folds a flying car into a suitcase, we may never get back to that singular wow moment.

But a not-so-well-kept secret among the corporate, academic, and government IT professionals SHI supports worldwide is that 2013 was a great year for enterprise IT. According to Dow Jones, four of the 10 most talked about public companies in 2013 were in IT–Google, Apple, Microsoft, and IBM.  Continue Reading…

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What iOS 7’s Activation Lock means for the enterprise

One of the bigger stories out of Apple’s introduction of iOS 7 at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) was its Activation Lock feature. Law enforcement officials have been calling on Apple and other phone manufacturers to proactively deter theft of their products as cellphone thefts rise, and Activation Lock seems to be Apple’s answer.

Activation Lock, if you haven’t yet heard, allows a user to lock a lost or stolen iPhone. The phone can’t be reactivated or wiped and resold without the user’s Apple ID and password. Law enforcement and users seem to like the change, but what about enterprises? What does Activation Lock mean to IT? Here are two major takeaways:

  1. Activation Lock creates a small risk. The one problem with Activation Lock in the enterprise is its potential to be misused by a disgruntled or laid off employee, who could conceivably turn in his or her phone, put an Activation Lock on it, and leave the company a brick as a farewell gift. This is unlikely but possible based on what we know about the feature. Apple, however, is probably aware of the potential sensitivities, and the feature will likely have safeguards, like a reclamation feature that would restore a phone that was improperly locked. But, we still don’t know all the details.
  2. Activation Lock is for users, not businesses. While it makes sense that average iPhone users would want a way to lock their phone in the event it’s lost or stolen, enterprises are less concerned about the reselling of a stolen phone. Higher on the list of IT priorities is data loss or leaks. And these companies should already have MDM solutions in place to remote wipe devices that go missing. Continue Reading…
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The Lenovo Helix: The next step in enterprise mobility

How many devices do you need in a typical workday to do your job well? If a Forrester study from last year is any indication, 74 percent of you use two or more devices, and 53 percent use three or more.

While each of those devices plays a particular role, switching among a PC, tablet, and smartphone throughout the day can be inefficient, both for users carting around multiple devices and IT help desks juggling myriad operating systems, licenses, and security concerns.

This is the thinking that led to the Lenovo Helix, a hybrid Ultrabook and tablet. One of a new crossbreed of mobile devices, the Helix is designed to simplify mobility for workers who spend a lot of time away from their desk but still need significant computing power and a full keyboard and mouse. It works just like a regular Ultrabook, but users can detach the screen, which functions as a tablet.

Here are four ways the Helix is simplifying workers’ mobile lives: Continue Reading…

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