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Small Technology, Big Risks: Top 5 Mobility FAQs

Posted by Brett Anderson on Oct 5, 2012 4:53:00 PM

mobile device managementI love my job!  I get to meet with a variety of businesses and work with them to make the complicated less complicated.  Our conversations cover a broad spectrum including strategy, marketing, business drivers, revenue, cost, efficiency and how it all ties to technology.  Over the past 12 months the most consistent topic in these discussions is related to mobile devices and how they fit in this mix. From iPads to smart phones and everything in between, this is the most misunderstood topic I work with.  

Unlike most of the technology drivers over the past 5 years, mobile devices are driven from the bottom-up and not from top-down.  This brings a whole new dynamic to the problem.  We hear more and more of it every day – employees are bringing their cell phones and tablets to work and want to be “hooked up to the network”.  But with this comes a whole new set of concerns and desires from the business. 

Five most common mobility questions we receive:

1. What should I be concerned with when employees ask to connect their mobile devices to our network?

First off, treat the mobile devices like any other laptop.  Secure it, manage it, and control it.  Your policy and rules for mobile devices may be different for corporate purchased items versus employee owned (BYOD-Bring Your Own Device).  This is an important facet to work out.

We recommend you use a robust Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution.  The right MDM solution will help you with mobile security– locking the phone, wiping it, black listing applications, and location services.  In addition, a good MDM solution will also  help with productivity and efficiency – document distribution, app distribution and expense management.      

BYOD Bring Your Own Device resized 6002. How is BYOD different than other technology trends?

Simply put – your employees are driving it.  Instead of a master plan to select and deploy a piece of software, your employees are connecting to your wireless network and Exchange server without you knowing about it.  They may even have a VPN connection configured.  If you don’t get in front of it, and a device is lost or hacked, you may face enormous risk. 

3. How difficult is it to connect a device to an MDM server?  

This is very easy to do!  It’s designed so someone with very little understanding of technology can simply click ‘yes’ on a couple of dialog boxes and they’re up and running.  Once the device is being managed, you’ve mitigated the security risks and positioned yourself to improve productivity with mobility. 

4. Should I worry about how my current website appears on a mobile device?

If you have an active site that customers visit frequently to learn more about your business and how to contact you, YES, you should open it up in a mobile browser and see how it looks. 

  • Is there too much information on the home page?
  • Do the images run off the side?
  • Does your site loop while trying to load content?
  • Is it difficult to navigate to the sub-pages and contact information?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, there’s room for improvement! There are many inexpensive ways to solve this problem. Personally, I can’t remember the last time I looked up a website from my desktop – it’s all being done from a smartphone or tablet!  This will only become more common with your customers too! 

mobile app5. Should I build a mobile app?

A little background first.  An “app” in a native software application built to run on a smartphone or tablet.  Angry Birds and Dropbox are examples.  Apps can be built for 2 reasons:

  1. Internal use – sharing information, driving productivity, managing costs or expenses, or streamlining processes.  The goal of building an app for your employees is realizing the promise that mobile devices will help your workforce be more productive. 
  2. For your customers – typically gives you a presence, shares important customer information (think CRM), decreases workload on your customer service reps, and helps drive revenue.

In most situations I’m able to walk my customer through a quick decision tree that helps them determine if an app would be helpful, or if there are other ways to accomplish their objectives.

There are many facets to the mobility trend and how it applies to your business.  If you would like to learn more about it, drop us a line.  We’d love to help!

Download our Free eBook to learn more about MDM - Mobile Device Management: Guide to the Essentials and Beyond.

Download MDM Ebook to learn more!

Topics: Technology Solutions, NetWork Center Inc., Mobile App Development, Mobile Device Management, Apple Certified Network Consultants

Applying Technology To Solve Business Challenges

Posted by Brett Anderson on Sep 22, 2012 7:00:00 AM

It’s an eye opening and humbling experience to tell the story of your company. Earlier this month The Forum spent time with some of the leaders of NetWork Center, Inc. to talk about technology, our record of employee retention and what we expect in the future. The Forum did a wonderful job telling this story, but we thought we could elaborate on the future of technology with this blog. 

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – Albert Einstein

Ben CarlsrudIt’s often said that business success can be tied to your ability to predict change and adapt quickly. Over the past 10 years we’ve seen an evolution in technology that’s changed the way everyone does business. From e-commerce to more powerful mobile phones and the popularity of tablet computers, the successful companies are those that have embraced change and adapted quickly. Two examples to consider: 

  • Where was Apple 10 years ago? How well did it predict the market and its consumers?  Has it paid off? 
  • In contrast, how has the automotive industry faired in the past 10 years?  Specifically, how would you describe the rollercoaster General Motors has been on?
  • How is your business reacting to the changes in the market place?  Are you leveraging technology and these changes to secure your future?

For many years NetWork Center, Inc. has been a regional leader in core technologies which are at the heart of the changes in the market place. This is a difficult concept to understand, but it’s important if you want to evolve with the future. The core technologies – or what we refer to as “traditional” offerings – include the servers, switches and routers, phones and connectivity. Our success over the past 25+ years is based on our deep understanding of how they all come together to make up the core infrastructure.

So how does this help our customers adapt in the future?

Connectivity and core infrastructure isn’t going away any time soon – this technology backbone is what makes all the “new” technology possible. From social media to tablets and smart phones to the Cloud – they all rely on the “traditional” core infrastructure at some level. We’re building on this proven track record of “traditional” offerings with experience in more forward-facing technologies:

  • Mobile Device Management and advisement.  We’re the only local reseller and provider of MaaS360, the leading solution to help manage and secure mobile devices and tablets.
  • We’re the only Certified Apple Consultants in the region.
  • We’ve developed mobile applications for Android and iOS.
  • We‘ve developed feature-rich and robust solutions based on Google Apps.
  • We’ve designed and deployed hybrid solutions that leverage our customers’ local software, remote locations and Cloud based storage and computing.

“Computers are useless.  They can only give you answers.” – Pablo Picasso

Twenty years ago this was what most people thought.  But doesn’t it still hold true?  Computers and technology and all the “traditional” pieces mentioned earlier are just the means to an end. Without the intelligence that Albert Einstein talks about, the core technology itself isn’t very useful. You need smart people who understand business, understand challenges and can apply the technology appropriately to make your business better.

This is what Network Center, Inc. does. We have passionate, intelligent people who listen to your concerns and partner with you on solutions. From the core infrastructure and “traditional” technology to all of the new challenges technology brings. We can help you adapt to the changing landscape and take advantage of opportunities the future holds. 

Contact us to talk about your business –we’d love the opportunity to share our knowledge with you and help map out your future! 

Contact Us Today!

  

Topics: Technology Solutions, Mobile App Development, Mobile Device Management, Cloud computing, Apple Certified Network Consultants, Managed Services

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