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Mobile Devices

Are Smartphones a Smart Idea for Small Businesses?

As a student, I don’t forget looking at reruns of “Star Trek” in my university dormitory with the other University of California matriculates. Sure, I was a bit of a geek for certain! My preferred word uttered episode after episode was, “Kirk to Enterprise. Come in, Enterprise.” With an easy flick of the wrist, properly-ready Federation employees could “beam” Captain Kirk returned to Enterprise from wherever he was. Maybe Gene Roddenberry and the other geniuses in the back of the 1960s hit were genuinely technology specialists and visionaries.

Think approximately it; Captain Kirk speaking without delay to someone on any other area vessel, or even in some other galaxy, thru a live connection on a wide display show. Does this remind you of Cisco TelePresence possibly? What about the electronic “pads” the yeoman became always handing to Captain Kirk to sign-off on. Did Steve Jobs have that imagination and prescient in mind as he fleshed out the first iPad layout?

Maybe the most prescient tool at the show was the communicator. Could it have been a precursor to today’s cellphone? I do not assume Roddenberry, even in his wildest goals, imagined the course of modern-day smartphones, a device powerful sufficient to permit users to play word games with friends whilst to speak to their mother and searching an internet site for a splendid area for sushi. Interestingly enough, it changed into Canada, where each of those wonders has been born.


The clever phone revolution has become of direction pioneered by Canadian large Research In Motion (RIM). I’m not positive now that not even the organization’s corporate strategists should have foreseen how deep the insertion could be whilst Blackberry first hit the marketplace. The time period “CrackBerry” snidely noted those individuals who, despite a crowbar, couldn’t be separated from their BlackBerry devices.

RIM loved an amazing benefit in being first to market, and their legions of converts who eagerly ate up a whole lot of BlackBerry have been harbingers of a brand new technology of business mobility. The days of “out of workplace” greetings had been numbered as any clever, aggressive company knew that if they were more accessible to their clients and potentialities, the chance of final commercial enterprise and developing agile customer support become astronomically higher than those not embracing the mobility fashion.

In the case of an enterprise and the wild, the hunter often becomes the hunted. Even even though RIM had a pretty robust foothold on the fledgling marketplace, others quickly got here to dislodge the leader from the mountaintop. Even PDA makers, including Palm, Inc., with their Treo devices, jumped into the fray after seeing their product became obsolete. Soon, others with new operating structures like the Apple iPhone and the Google-subsidized Android device were introduced to the marketplace. Of route, it wouldn’t, without a doubt, be a celebration without Microsoft, which has been looking to crack the cell phone and mobility market for numerous years with their Windows Phone.

Though lagging in the back of in function set, the Windows Phone became thought to have a moderate benefit in ease of incorporation into full Windows-based totally environments. However, the comparative ease of the competition to do the equal and weaker Windows Phone characteristic units stored Microsoft on the outdoor looking in for the most component; till now. Industry watchers are cautiously retaining a watch on the Windows Phone running system’s subsequent new release, Windows Phone 8. Microsoft has located some heavy bets in this product, touting the seamless user interface between the telephone and the computing device or pc. Time will inform whether or not this method will be a winner or a disaster.

Today’s phone marketplace offers a plethora of alternatives, making it hard to factor to 1 that is considered the BEST. In fact, there may not be one ordinary choice due to the fact the want and desires of small and mid-sized businesses are all over the board, and there’s no “traditional” network configuration. However, I think we can agree there are numerous alternatives that most SMB groups should use inside the realm of the phone function set. Being capable of conducting commercial enterprise on the fly is the maximum compelling and commonplace reason small agencies are considering the telephone and how it suits their universal plan.

Sure, company corporations are within the same boat. Still, the SMB area may also have more agility and flexibility in their commercial enterprise model to house a shift like this. More and greater, there are small begin-united states and sole proprietors who could take gain of the energy smartphones blended with cloud answers that put off the want for an onsite server and suite of applications. Solutions like Microsoft’s Office 365 let customers have all in their organizational facts, e-mail, databases, intranet, voice, and IM communications dealt with in the cloud and available everywhere on their telephone device of desire.


This configuration and smartphone integration work nicely for agencies with a small office or a home office. However, it may also paintings properly for businesses seeking to cut fees and now not reinvest in costly hardware, software, and personnel to help it. However, there are numerous pitfalls around security and tool access.

Addressing the previous, with the convenience of connection for a developing range of cellphone alternatives, the drawback can be protection breach capacity. What if the tool is misplaced or stolen? What if an employee goes to a competitor but siphons off essential patron data earlier than they go away? What if the Internet connection the device is getting access to is hacked, leading a malevolent outsider to get right of entry to your internal community? These are all critical factors to recollect.

Most smartphones are most effectively able to enter the community via a relaxed connection via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnel, as an example. These tunnels are a clientless variety referred to as SSL, a browser-based total connection that leverages the at ease sockets layer in Internet Explorer. In different words, it’s now not just like the antique VPN connection that required a customer to be downloaded, needed to be maintained, and had to be accessed handiest from the system it becomes loaded onto. The clientless SSL version can be used from any compliant browser, even an airport or in the kiosk.


It’s imperative to recognize how smartphones can get admission to the network safely and securely as maximum personnel wants to get entry to BYOD surroundings; convey your own device. These scenarios are gambling out at every rung on the enterprise size ladder, but the equal safety troubles stay as noted above. How to correctly deal with the plethora of gadgets gaining access to the network? I hate introducing any other acronym, but Mobile Device Management (MDM) can be the price tag to solving that riddle. MDM providers permit groups to manage each employee-owned and employee-owned gadgets soundly between cloud-based solutions and on-premise options.

With compliance to federal guidelines and ever converting problems, those MDM solutions can assist offer evidence that the entity’s facts are safe and guarded. They can even tune the tool’s area, and if it’s miles misplaced or stolen, provide an administrator the capability to fasten it down or even wipe it easy of all company statistics remotely. That gets a bit intricate while managing gadgets owned through personnel. Still, some of the MDM suites will permit the removal of best company data, leaving the pix of your adorable dog or adorable niece intact.

About author

Social media trailblazer. Analyst. Web evangelist. Thinker. Twitter advocate. Internetaholic.Once had a dream of deploying jungle gyms in Gainesville, FL. Spent several years getting to know psoriasis in Prescott, AZ. Was quite successful at analyzing human growth hormone in Ohio. Spent 2001-2008 donating cod worldwide. Developed several new methods for supervising the production of country music in Edison, NJ. Practiced in the art of developing strategies for UFOs in Naples, FL.
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