A couple of years ago, while working as the General Manager for a division of a software company, the CEO proudly showed off the toy he got for Christmas, an iPad. His question was, now what?
I don’t think that he was alone with his question. Tablets and Smart Phones have been demand driven by the consumer market. However, the majority of device owners have asked how they could use it for business. If these devices can add value to ones personal life, then how could they also make ones job easier?
I sat down with the CEO and went through some of the applications which I had been using such as Evernote, Dropbox and email to name a few. The only application which would really connect me back with my business was my email, using Lotus Traveler.
Really, the iPad was not going to add tremendous value to the role of the CEO or myself, for that matter. It was really just a glorified note-taker. A hang of a lot more complicated than pen and paper. I am sensing that people can identify with this.
Fortunately, things have changed and there are now applications which allow me to hook into business systems from mobile devices. Take for example, the IBM XWork server which allows for the creation of mobile device friendly web interfaces to almost any legacy database driven desktop application. Within a matter of hours an application data can be customized for presentation on mobile devices with the ease of use that people have come to expect.
Project management has become accessible on Mobile devices through the use of IBM Connections. A tool which allows people to collaborate through the sharing of files, thoughts, ideas and the participation in team activities all from their device of choice.
This desire to use mobile devices at work is not without its risks. If yoru company doesn’t have systems in place to support these solutions then your employees will put your company data into places where you have no control. Take for instance, Dropbox. An employee wants to have a document available on a mobile device, all they need to do is drag and drop it into a folder on their desktop computer and now, it is available on almost any device. You may not know, that the employee is doing this with your data. If it is not Dropbox, it will be some other application.
Another example, Evernote. This is a convenient tool for taking notes which are then available on any device which has access to the employees Evernote account. Notes can be taken during a meeting, using an iPad and then accessed from a PC back at the office. I use to use Evernote, but when I realized the risk, I stopped using it, even for personal use.
At the end of the day, there are options and solutions for mobile devices. I have outlined three which are provided by IBM (Traveler, IBM Connections & XWork Server). The crux of the matter is, if you are not providing employees with the ability to use their mobile devices, then they will use something that you have no control over. Put my credibility to the test, ask your employees what applications they are running.
Insider tip: It’s not social if your the’re not talking about you
Sat, Apr 28th 2012 10:24p Vaughan Rivett Let’s not forget, by nature people are social. Generally speaking, this is part of the human DNA. In turn this means that people are sharing. They like to share what they’ve been doing, their opinions and their thoughts. Not only that but they also like to be heard.
Have you ever stopped to think about what people are saying about your brand? Now, I know a number of you will be thinking about the results of your last customer survey. You know the one I mean, the one wher [read] Keywords: apple
Turning customers into Brand Advocates
Mon, Apr 23rd 2012 3:11a Vaughan Rivett It’s one thing to have customers, and loyal customers, at that. But, what does it take to turn a customer into a “Brand Advocate”. This type of person is someone who will tell others about your brand with passion. In fact, they will most likely tell the world through the use of Social Media. There are three key components that need to be considered to transform customers into Brand Advocates:
Company culture is the for [read] Keywords: facebook
I really don’t think you understand who I am – I am Social
Thu, Apr 19th 2012 2:44p Vaughan Rivett The other day I went to the supermarket to pick up a few food items (how many blog posts have I written lately which involve food?). I found a product which I liked the look of and saw that it had been reduced from $8.00 to about $5.00. As a result I decided to take two while taking advantage of the offer.
I went to the counter to pay for the goods expecting a total of $10.00. However, the cashier said that it came to $16.00. I questioned this and pointed out that there was a “Red-la [read] Keywords: facebook
Forecourt attendant ‘gets’ social business
Wed, Apr 18th 2012 2:36p Vaughan Rivett Today I visited a petrol station to put fuel into my somewhat thirsty car. It was the Sommerville station here in Aucland, New Zealand. I did the normal thing and filled up my tank and went to pay for the fuel before leaving. I was wearing a polo shirt with the slogan “Get Social. Do Business” printed on it.
The service station attendant read the slogan aloud and smiled. He looked at me and said “You can’t do business if you’re not social”. I doubt t [read] Keywords: facebook
Ever made “Social” eggs? – A how to guide to using videos for Social Business
Mon, Apr 16th 2012 3:00a Vaughan Rivett Have you ever heard how to cook a “Social” egg? Now I know that this has got you thinking, sounds a bit crazy maybe? Lately, I have been a home, by myself, with my wife and kids overseas (except for one). During this time I’ve had to cook my own meals. Past history would suggest that I should not be in the kitchen, in-fact, my wife usually sends me out to the BBQ to cook.
I decided that I would be adventurous and learn to cook a poached egg. I got out my iPad and sea [read] Keywords: blogging
Reducing staff attrition rates through connected and engaged employees
Sun, Apr 8th 2012 10:40p Vaughan Rivett I’ve been reading a blog which is written by Flora, who has recently taken on a role as a Human Resources Adviser at a woman’s clothing chain, with stores all around New Zealand, Funky Town. Last Wednesday, she published a blog article entitled “Too much turnover“. She outlined some of the issues she faced with a turnover rate of up to 40%. A lot of this being driven by the use of casual and part time staff.
I’m not sure that this percentage can be looked at b [read] Keywords: facebook