Despite the fact that many of us, especially those of us in the technology industry, proclaim to be living in the era of mobile computing, most of the software solutions being developed and marketed today are not designed with a mobile-first perspective. Why is it that we as an industry are having such a hard time evolving our software designs to work with the new mobile form factor?
My opinion is that many companies just aren’t willing, or aren’t able to invest the time to re-create their solutions for the mobile world we now find ourselves living in. To create a beautiful, simple mobile-first experience, takes much more than just bolting a PC-based solution and workflow onto a mobile device. The two form factors are fundamentally different from a user experience perspective. Not only do they not operate the same way, there are also inherent differences in how someone performs various functions on each one. Creating a software solution for the desktop/laptop first, and then scaling it down for mobile devices is just not the right approach.
Read the rest of my thoughts here on my Computerworld blog.
The technology industry is built on a culture of innovation, and an inherent drive to make things more efficient, more useful, and more engaging. Today there is a mobile revolution occurring, transforming the way we work and the tools we use for that work.
We believe that all organizations need a way for employees to share information from wherever, on any device, with people inside and outside the organization without exposing confidential information.
At Accellion we’ve built our reputation, and the core of our solutions, around the concept that security is an imperative for all businesses and government organizations. We’ve taken our history in security, and fused it with a mobile perspective to create a next generation mobile collaboration and file-sharing platform; kiteworks by Accellion.
With the introduction of kiteworks we’re not just keeping up with the mobile revolution trend; we’re taking the lead.
With kiteworks we’ve completely revamped our user experience to make it mobile first, and layered it upon a new triple-layer architecture that dramatically increased our already robust security features. We believe that security functionality will only be used if it doesn’t get in the way of people getting their work done, and kiteworks is the embodiment of that thinking. kiteworks is designed to delight users as well as IT and security teams.
We capitalized on this opportunity to create an entirely new type of user experience, one that was truly designed to be mobile-first and device agnostic, rather than taking a PC-based product and pasting it onto a mobile platform. The kiteworks UI is intuitive and easy to use. We’ve improved the way users view the activity occurring around their files, as well as added tools like the Move Tray, which streamlines the way users share files via mobile. We’ve also improved mobile productivity by adding features for creating and editing files, for file centric collaboration, task-based activities, and mobile workflows.
A lot of people talk about being mobile first, but we mean it. We have taken mobile to heart. We invite you to explore kiteworks and work wherever the wind takes you.
When news of the NSA PRISM scandal exploded into the media this year, individuals and organizations alike were floored by the sheer size of the data collection operation, and by the number of organizations participating. The ensuing revelations about the kinds of data that were collected, and for how long, has made organizations more cautious about how their employees share and store information, and has put security at the forefront of conversations on cloud data storage.
We recently asked IT and Security leaders who are members of the Accellion Customer Council to share their perspectives on potential privacy and security issues and how to keep control of sensitive information in the wake of NSA Prism scandal – view here>>
As you’re wrapping up 2013, the chances are good that new phones and tablets are being wrapped up as well – ready to enter your enterprise at the start of next year whether you’re ready or not. When employees return to work bearing shiny new devices, will you be singing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” or “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” as the cold reality of BYOD sets in?
With new devices introduced from Apple and Samsung, tablets are some of the most popular holiday gift items. IDC estimates that tablet shipments will reach 221 million this year and the abundance of iPads flying off the shelf this month will play a huge role in that figure.
Whether you are just getting started with your BYOD initiatives or striving to improve your existing program, here is a six-step plan to help you embrace your employees’ precious mobile gifts and keep your security and productivity goals on track this holiday season:
1) Get wise: There is a wealth of knowledge available about mobile trends and BYOD best practices. Get tuned in and do your research. Check out success stories, analyst opinions (check out our “Strong Positive” rating from Gartner), and recent media coverage to stay current about approaches to BYOD that work. Looking for a white paper to help you navigate the BYOD waters? Look no further: “5 Best Practices for Secure Enterprise Content Mobility.”
2) Put your organization first. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all BYOD program. The size of your organization, the regulations governing your industry, your risk tolerance, and your budget, all factor into how you should manage and enable mobile devices. Don’t lose sight of what your organization needs –don’t bend your priorities to mold a solution that’s not the right fit.
3) Employees matter. Your users are at the center of your BYOD program – both the people and the devices they carry. Catalogue what types of devices are entering the workplace; what operating systems need to be supported; how devices are being used; what content needs to be accessed and where it resides. For a full list of items to boost mobile productivity without compromising security, download: “10 Mobile Security Requirements for the BYOD Enterprise”.
4) Prepare policies. Based on the needs of your organization, create policies to guide approved BYOD usage. This topic warrants its own blog entry, so look for part two of this BYOD discussion for a deep dive on policy development.
5) Aggregate content. While it’s probably not realistic to consolidate all of your enterprise data in one place, you can make it appear to users as if you have. Pick a tool to easily access, edit and share content across multiple data repositories to make mobile access seamless and straightforward.
6) Spread the word: Rolling out a BYOD program is not a one-time process. It’s critical to engage and support employees throughout the year with training and self-service resources such as FAQs and an easy-to-use sign-up portal. Yes, employees can use their own devices, but in accordance with BYOD policies and processes established by you and regularly enforced. Keep users in the know about any changes in procedures and/or new security threats.
Here’s to a productive 2014! Whatever your plans may be for your mobile-enabled workforce, we’re here to make your BYOD wishes come true.
I live in Palo Alto, considered by some to be the tech hub of the world that also happens to have amazing weather, but its cell coverage is ridiculously spotty. Sweden on the other hand, where I grew up, has outstanding cell coverage but the weather is nothing to write home about. In December, Stockholm has about 6 hours of daylight and 18 hours of darkness. I’m still trying to find a place to live that has the weather I crave, alongside the connectivity I need to get work done.
Everyone in the media and technology industries is talking about the era of total connectivity that we’re currently living in. However, when I talk to real people they are constantly irritated by tools that rely on the need for connectivity, thus rendering them useless on an airplane, or in an area of bad coverage. Even with the FCC moving towards allowing the use of mobile data while in flight, actual implementation of the new guidelines will take time, and it’s still up to the discretion of the airline whether or not you can use your device.
There can be a downside to constant connectivity. In flight cell phone calls are one example – with the access of data, comes the access so that Chatty Cathy in the seat next to you can talk to her best friend for three hours while in flight. There are limits to how much my noise canceling headphones can actually block!
Read the rest of my thoughts here on my Computerworld blog.
Last night I was wracking my brain to come up with one occupation where collaboration isn’t critical. Health care professionals, product engineers, IT, architects, educators, government employees – I was hard-pressed to come up with even one example.
For law firms in particular, mobile collaboration done well can translate to improved court preparation, litigation, and communications across the board –resulting in more frequent and intimate exchanges with clients. As law firm owner, Chad E. Norton told ABA Journal: “I can run my entire practice off my iPad.”
Yet, while effectively sharing information is so important at so many organizations, it’s something that isn’t always done well in today’s mobile BYOD business environments. The challenges vary across organizations but here are eight common mobile collaboration missteps that we see time and time again:
If any of the above collaboration missteps ring true for you, it’s time to take control of how, where and when your users share information and get back on course to boost mobile productivity.
We’re wired to do things faster, smarter, better – always looking for the next big thing to make our lives easier, our companies more successful, our countries more competitive. Sometimes this works well, like when the iPhone launched. Sometimes it fails spectacularly, such as the Apple Newton.
As a Silicon Valley veteran, I’ve seen that forward-thinking approach lead to incredible technology innovations – paving the way again and again to solve real market issues. Our inherent drive to be better fuels our economy and no doubt needs to continue. But, it often leads to an intense spotlight being put on a single device or technology, with media, industry analysts and early adopters often quick to assign a label of “the next big thing.”
The next big devices
When this happens, the hope is that the device will single-handedly change how consumers and/or employees go about their daily business. Take new high-tech glasses - they carry high expectations from the health care industry, with surgeons rattling off endless use cases spurred by the ability to view and retrieve data hands-free. Understandably so, as the possibilities could truly be life changing – advancing telemedicine, medical training and surgical procedures.
Read the rest of my thoughts here on my Computerworld blog.
Your customers are complaining that your product isn’t as cool as the competition. You feel the heat of your sales force breathing down your neck because they don’t like making excuses to customers about how it works, and your customer support team spends twice as much time apologizing than they do solving actual problems. Essentially, in your rush to engineer a great product and solve some very important problems, you’ve let your appearance get sloppy.
It’s Not Your Product, It’s the Experience
You can’t go to engineering and have them build a new feature to fix this, because it’s not an engineering problem. It’s a customer experience problem. The reason you are having this problem is because you’re not paying attention to the details in your user experience. How can you tell? An experience problem can be identified by how much confusion and frustration a customer has when asked to perform a specific task. Even though you’ve engineered a solution, if there is any confusion or frustration to complete the task, it’s an experience problem.
If Your Pants Have Loops, Wear a Belt
When I was in my twenties I liked to wear baggy pants… really baggy pants. One day I gave a speech in front of a group of realtors who were at least twenty years older than me. My talk made a number of great points, but it fell on deaf ears. Afterward a gentleman pulled me aside and said, “son, if your pants have loops, wear a belt. You’ll make a much better impression next time.” He was right. Whenever I am asked to speak, I dress up nicely and wear a belt, because it’s about respecting and perfecting the entire experience, not just the content or the message.
Read the rest of my thoughts here on my WIRED Innovation Insights blog.
Reviewing and marking up multi-page PDFs can be a chore in and of itself. But if you’re an attorney finalizing a brief, a product manager drafting a software installation guide or a physician publishing medical research, it’s all part of the job. And often, the clock is ticking.
So being able to annotate such documents on mobile devices, whether in the office, at home or on the go, can be a huge time saver – at least in an ideal world. The problem is that the process is typically less than efficient and more critically, less than secure.
Sure there are third-party apps out there that support PDF annotation. But, they are just that: stand-alone applications. That means that users are forced to switch to the app in order to edit the PDF and then have to save the document back to their device, providing an open avenue for a data breach. Plus, the apps are clunky. Most lack built-in editing and navigation tools creating more headaches than efficiencies and causing mobile productivity to go down the drain.
If your employees don’t have the right mobile tools at their fingertips to get their jobs done from anywhere then haven’t you defeated the purpose of creating a mobile workforce? You want to enable them to work with any type of document – Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDFs – on any type of device and any operating system without extra steps and without sacrificing security.
That’s why our secure collaboration suite continues to evolve. Now, PDF annotation capabilities are embedded in all of our mobile apps, giving users full access to a comprehensive toolset for easy navigation, search, bookmarking and annotation. Plus, we support easy, personal, electronic PDF signatures, eliminating the need to print and scan documents. And, throughout it all, users never leave the secure Accellion container, meaning that documents are protected during the entire editing and collaboration lifecycle.
We can’t make the 80-page product guide or legal document any shorter but we’ll keep the content safe during the editing process and make the annotation experience a whole lot easier for your employees.