MDSL, an award-winning global provider of Telecom Expense Management (TEM) and Market Data Management (MDM) solutions, attended the National Achievers Congress in South Africa. The event, which took place on 24th - 25th April, comprised of top business leaders and inspirational speakers from all over the world and was attended by over 3,000 people, each seeking to be inspired.
There are varying definitions for unified communications (UC) and if you speak to just a handful of leaders from different industries, they will most likely have a different take on the topic. Put simply though, unified communications ties together the ways we communicate, allowing people to send a message on one device and receive the same communication on another.
Emerging in the 1980’s, UC quickly turned from a long-term trend to a key investment and opportunity, which played a role in the growth of enterprise. Over the past decade, CIOs and IT Directors have used UC to help companies improve efficiency and achieve growth. The need to communicate seamlessly across a variety of devices is paramount to surviving in today’s globalised economy. Now, according to a Frost and Sullivan report, more than 52% of employees surveyed used UC applications.
Last week, MDSL attended the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As a market leader in Telecom Expense Management (TEM) and Market Data Management (MDM) solutions, it’s important for our organisation to attend significant exhibitions and conferences. It not only provides us with a chance to present MDSL’s work to industry leaders and heavyweights, but also allows us to discuss new developments in the field. Much of our work crosses the mobile industry and the 2015 Mobile World Congress outlined some thought provoking future plans from some of the world’s biggest technology players.
How will the fifth generation of mobile network change the world? Well the race is on to find out, but by recent estimations 5G will run much, much faster than its 3G and 4G counterparts.
Professor Rahim Tafazolli leads the UK's multimillion-pound government-funded 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey and says: "5G will be a dramatic overhaul and harmonisation of the radio spectrum.” In other words, 5G will be the solution to current problems with connection speeds and reliability.
Investment in cloud technology is expected to grow by more than 300% over the next three years as the amount of money dedicated to cloud spending in IT budgets increases. Cloud adoption is heavily discussed and researched, and that’s because the options are so varied and the consequences of choices have such a great impact on businesses.
Gartner recently identified from a survey that buyers of cloud applications are focussing on cost, innovation and agility as reasons for adoption, with 40% saying that overall cost reduction is the main driver. These stats were definitely reflected in a webinar I recently took part in hosted by AOTMP (click here to watch the webinar).
I recently read a key and fascinating insight into procurement spending from an Accenture report; High Performance in Pharmaceuticals Procurement. In the report, a CPO of a European pharmaceutical company reveals: “We are unable to manage 25% of our indirect spend”. This inability to manage a substantial percentage of spend, which could amount to millions – even billions, emphasises the fact that procurement teams in the pharmaceutical industry must invest and thereby improve the existing solutions and tools they rely on.
You would be hard-pressed in today’s hyper-connected world to find an employee without a smartphone or tablet of some type, whether that be an Apple device, BlackBerry, Samsung, or another of the brands constantly fighting it out for top spot in the market.
New technologies releases can have a profound impact on enterprise, as businesses adopt novel systems in order to improve efficiency. In terms of enterprise mobility management (EMM), the recent release of the iPhone 6 and 6Plus (and associated software to launch them into the enterprise market) may herald the start of a new era for working on the move – especially with the introduction of Apple Pay, which is due to be released in the US later this month.
Apple Pay is a new payment method which can be utilised by customers of the new iPhones or the Apple Watch. Rumoured to be the final step in merging online and off-line shopping, the new facility allows people to pay for goods using their mobile device whether out on the high street, buying from a website or from the app store. When in a participating bricks-and-mortar store, users can carry out transactions using Apple Pay simply by holding their phone to the appropriate reader with their finger on Touch ID. There is no need to open an app or even to unlock the phone to enable this, and the user is ‘informed’ of payment completion by the phone beeping and/or vibrating.
Mobile World Congress 2014 Showcased What’s Next
In February this year, Mobile World Congress was once again hosted in the Mobile World Capital Barcelona. The industry-defining event was held at two world-class venues, Fira Gran Via and Fira Montjuïc, and welcomed more than 85,000 attendees from over 200 countries around the world over the four days.
There is no doubt that enterprise mobility is reshaping the way in which we work. The recent announcement of iOS 8 and its enterprise functionality is a clear sign that the market for business mobile devices and accompanying applications is set to increase. But as mobile devices are increasingly linked to corporate networks, many experts have raised concerns about the security of information shared.
This may be in part due to a reluctance to invest in security software or a lack of understanding about the risks involved. The lack of publicity concerning corporate security breaches could be attributed to attempts to hide any information which could prove damaging to reputation or may just be because many companies have been lucky – so far. One thing on which all analysts seem to agree is that security for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) schemes is now absolutely essential, making expert advice vital to those embarking on an enterprise mobility scheme – and for those who already have one. Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) can help to provide peace of mind to organisations of all sizes, especially those which have numerous employees who are mobility enabled using their own devices.
As Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies are increasingly used by business, it is not surprising that there has been an increase in the use of Apple products for work purposes. Traditionally seen as personal devices, most would not necessarily think of iPads and iPhones as business machines, but this is changing.
Previously, we explored Apple’s collaboration with enterprise giant IBM and how it seems set to transform enterprise mobility. It appears as though the latest Apple products and operating system are geared towards helping the company move into the business market, but how realistic are their goals? Can they really surpass the hardware and software already established within the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) market?
BYOD schemes are now widely used by businesses of all sizes but the increase in the use of mobile devices for enterprise is now the subject of scrutiny, for a variety of reasons. The fact that our technological capability is increasing rapidly is positive, but it also means that legislation concerning its use is rapidly rendered obsolete.
Since smartphones and other mobile devices have become almost ubiquitous, finding ways to gain screen time and space from those connected on the move has become essential.
In the early days of app creation, creative, useful or fun ideas that caught on could be produced by just about anyone with technical knowledge. Although this is still true in some cases (think Nguyễn Hà Đông and his game ‘Flappy Bird’) it is increasingly the case that large companies with higher budgets are behind the apps which become the most popular on app stores, often due to their large investment in advertising. Of the approximately three million developers worldwide, more than half earn less than $500 (US) per month for each app. The fact that copycat apps are so readily made and placed on stores also does nothing to help download numbers, meaning that the good times are receding for small developers. In fact, increased competition means that all app developers are finding themselves in a less than ideal marketplace.
With malware attacks on the rise in all parts of the industry, and the growth of enterprise mobility practices such as BYOD on the increase, it seems a good time to publish a primer on the subject, covering what threats to expect and how to guard against them.
Malware: The Basics
Earlier this month, Deutsche Telekom rejected a $15 billion offer for a controlling 56.6% stake in T-Mobile US. The offer – which has been described as ‘inadequate’ and even ‘preposterous’ – was made by French telecom provider Iliad and was always unlikely to be accepted. T-Mobile is only too aware of its own value as the fourth largest mobile provider in the USA, especially after they revealed that profits had increased by more than a third in the quarter leading up to the bid in response to effective campaign strategy and marketing.
Deutsche Telekom has been trying to exit the US market for some time but is hoping for an offer that adds further value when compared to retaining their stake in T-Mobile US. Talks with Sprint, another highly successful US mobile provider (the third largest in the country) have also been called off after months of negotiation proved fruitless in the face of regulatory opposition. There was great enthusiasm for the deal from Softbank Corp (Sprint’s parent), who felt that acquisition of T-Mobile would enable them to take on the leading US wireless providers Verizon and AT&T.
On 15 July, Apple and IBM announced they had formed an exclusive partnership to transform enterprise mobility. The two giants (who have worked together before on a number of projects) feel their joint expertise will benefit both parties and help them gain a solid footing in the enterprise mobility market.
The cost of international calls has long been the bane of traveller’s lives, particularly from a mobile, whether they are holidaying abroad or away on business. For large organisations with operations in several countries, such charges can make a significant contribution to telecom expenses as employees travel for training or meetings with colleagues overseas. It isn’t surprising that many find the cost of international calls unjustifiable, especially in the days of services such as Skype.
Although many would use Skype, FaceTime (or similar online services) for communication in preference to telephones when abroad, patchy Wi-Fi and expensive roaming connections make this impractical in some cases. For this reason, the arrival of the new free Roamer app for iOS and Android has been met with delight by holiday makers and companies alike.