Many of us have an idea in our mind about what it means to be mobile. Back in the day, the advent of pagers and bag phones for your car meant ultimate mobility. Obviously a lot has changed in technology over the years. How do these advancements change your impression of being mobile? Let’s take a look at modern mobility and exactly just how mobile your “mobile office” really is.
Defining the Mobile Office
There is no defined parameters to describe the mobile office. Software vendors will each have different ideas of what it means, mainly to help pitch whatever product they are developing. Some people think if they can just see their work email on their phone, that’s enough to have a mobile office. But the truth of the matter is you define what qualifies as your mobile office. Through the wonders of modern computing and the development of high performance wireless networks, you can take more of your office with you than you may think.
Clearly a misspelling of technology. But for some businesses, spelling out the usage of mobile technology is difficult. What is available? What will my employees be able to access? How will they use it? What risks are there once that information is accessible outside of my network? Is all the work even going to make my business more successful? All very good questions. Let’s take a look at what is available. You can’t use a tool if you don’t know it exists. We’ll break these up into categories.
Mobile Computing – “How can I do business when I’m on the road?” Mobile computing is not limited to just cell phone use. You can deploy Microsoft Office365 or Google Apps for business. These applications and services can be used on mobile devices, tablets, and laptops anywhere you can get on the internet. Mobile sharing of documents is becoming very popular.
Mobile ERP, Order Processing, and Analytics – “Mobile sharing of documents and communication is nice, but I’d like to make decisions on the ERP side.” You’ll be surprised to know that most newer ERP solutions have mobile capabilities. Review orders, check labor scheduling, look at sales forecasting, and resource planning all from your mobile device. With sign in authentication you can take a look inside your network and operations securely. And if your current ERP solution doesn’t have a mobile app, that’s ok, we can build you one.
Mobile Communication – Ok, we aren’t just talking about using a cell phone to call someone. Clearly we all know the options we have there. Some phone systems allow users to not only forward their desk phone to their cell phone but also give you advanced communication options. Through technology like Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager you can receive direct calls to your cell phone, hiding your personal cell phone number from the caller. And that’s not all. Both the Cisco Jabber client and Microsoft Lync can provide presence and chatting through mobile devices.
Mobile Infrastructure Administration – How would you like to see the health of your network from anywhere around the world? Well, it’s more than possible. Remote management and monitoring software is available for mobile devices. From getting alerts of network outages to remote management of switches and servers, you can attend that conference in sunny Florida while keeping an eye on things back here in the frozen tundra.
All of this mobile access is great, but what about security? The most common issues with security are on cell phones or tablets. Products like Maas 360 and Zix One can provide security on company owned or employee owned devices. With Maas 360 you can enforce company policies on devices. If a device becomes lost, you can remotely wipe that device. Zix One handles mobile access by providing a window to access company data. No data physically resides on the device. There are other products out there that enforce security on mobile devices. We can help you find one that fits for you.
What do my employees get out of working from a mobile office? Commonly, your biggest hurdle with productivity is when you leave the office. Traveling eats up hundreds of hours of productivity per year for the average company. Providing your employees with a way to continue to be productive while away from the office will lower that number substantially. Being able to work from home, on the road, at a customer site, or anywhere with an internet connection gives your company the advantage of continuing business from anywhere.For more information on mobility and what it can do for your company, contact NetWork Center, Inc. to meet with one of our Mobility Analysts. And yes, I did write this on my tablet at a local coffee shop.