The CES Tackles the Future of Digital Business Print E-mail

The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, is a trade show held in Las Vegas every January, organized by the lobbying group CEA and aimed at bringing the latest and greatest in electronic gadgets and technology to the consumer electronics industry. Past years have seen the debut of the Microsoft Xbox, the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi Plus from Verizon Wireless, and the Parrot AR Drone, to name only a few.

This year’s show was once again a mix of technology designed for both individual consumers and businesses, focusing on innovation and portability in devices offered for both. One of the biggest digital trends of the year centers on the Internet of Things (IOT), a concept that encompasses the idea of devices connected by way of one central hub, whether it’s a smartphone app or one of the wearable devices touted at the CES.


What’s unique about the concept of the IOT is that it brings together tech companies that are not usually part of the CES with those producing compatible products, such as home automation devices that can be controlled with Apple’s iPhones, iPads, and Siri. This year, further home security advances included advanced utilization of the IoT, the ability to connect to at home devices through mobile tech, voice recognition for security management, and a use of the IFTTT, which was announced from ADT. Other tech advances include wearables such as the smartwatch, which are being developed to provide much of the same functionality as smartphones and tablets without the encumbrance of carrying the phone and tablet. In addition, they offer even more personal functionality by incorporating sensors that can measure biometrics and act as a personal GPS as needed. As more and more businesses operate remotely or on the move, such technology will continue to help keep employees plugged in and connected.

Mobile worker/warriors, today’s business people are finding themselves constantly in motion, away from the office more frequently than ever before, and the devices and apps found at the CES this year reflect this trend. One such device is the Dell XPS 13, touted as “the smallest 13-inch laptop on the planet.” With cutting edge technology that includes a 5.7-million-pixel display and a super-powered battery that can deliver up to 15 hours per charge, it weighs in at just less than three pounds.

Along the same lines as the laptop are the various devices designed to provide mobile power sources for mobile devices while going more green and cordless, such as the WakaWaka Power+ solar-powered charger for smartphones and other small devices and the Zolf Laptop Charger Plus, a micro-sized charger that has extra ports for charging other mobile devices at the same time as the laptop.

Applicable to tech companies, healthcare and medical device manufactures, and beyond, another development announced this year took 3D printing to a new level. While 3D printing technology is not new, the ability to print complete electronic gadgets is nearer than ever with the Voxel8 gadget printer. The printer showed that it could print both a plastic housing case and metal circuitry within the plastic, opening the door to a world of possibilities for the business world.

With the CES having completed its show for another year, tech companies and individuals alike can predict that the future of the technology industry will become both more personalized and more centralized at the same time in the years to come. Technology that allows us to automate more and more of our homes, our vehicles, and our lives can be expected, evolving as the internet and technology evolves.

Enterprise Mobility in 2015 - Top expert analysts chime in Print E-mail

It’s been a great year at InnoviMobile. With many exciting projects behind us and more ahead we reflect on the changes in the mobile industry this year. We talk with our customers and peers about the technology and trends that will be important in 2015. Our own Dan DiMassa took time to interview several notable analyst about the what’s in store for 2015. It’s always great to hear the thoughts of industry experts:

Chris Hazelton - Chris Hazelton is a research director at 451 Research, and all around mobility expert. When he isnt public speaking on mobile he is studying the shift of enterprise workers computing from desktop to mobile. Get his updates on Twitter.

Maribel Lopez – Maribel Lopez contributes to Forbes and is the CEO for Lopez Research a consulting firm that specializes in communications technologies with a heavy emphasis on the disruptive nature of mobile technologies. I’d recommend following her on Twitter.

Ed Featherston - Ed Featherston is an Enterprise Architect expert at Collaborative Consulting,  a business and information technology services firm that provides full lifecycle support to architect, plan, and implement technology-driven solutions. Catch his latest updates on Twitter.

1) What are your top 3 hints for CIOs dealing with enterprise mobility in 2015?

Chris Hazelton (451 Research):

For all IT projects in 2015, if not mobile first – at the very least mobile compatible. It is a lot to ask for IT to go mobile first, particularly when users are not quite ready to ditch their laptops. That said, there will be significant growth in enterprise mobile apps in 2015 (but see question #3 below).
Embrace business unit development of mobile apps – while at the same time providing a path to consistency for app development and provisioning across the company.

BYOD is not all its cracked up to be. There are very rarely cost savings from BYOD. For companies and divisions of companies that are serious about mobile – the cost saving from not buying the device will not offset some of the challenges that come with heterogeneous device environments. We may see companies standardizing on a popular consumer device to alleviate security and management concerns.

Maribel Lopez (Lopez Research):

Job one: Securing content that gets mobile enabled.
Job two: Prioritizing what needs to be mobile enabled and defining the best part of apps work flows to mobile enable.
Job three: Finding a way to scale mobile app development.

Ed Featherston (Collaborative Consulting):

Focus on user experience not the device. People are mobile and the devices are simply the conduit. Whether it’s employees or customers, we are a mobile society and devices are the tools that help the ‘mobile individual’ be more productive. Work with the users to understand how they work and provide value.

Don’t just play defense. Many enterprise mobile strategies are nothing more than protection from mobile devices. System and data security are an important part of any enterprise mobility strategy, but should not be the only part. Defense only strategies also perpetuate the perception of IT as the ‘group that says no’. Your strategy should encompass the ecosystem, balancing value and risk, and explaining the tradeoffs to the business. Mobility strategy is not optional; it’s the price of admission.

The mobile genie is out of the bottle. If you don’t have a mobility strategy in place, shadow IT groups will form and develop one independently of IT. You must work with users, provide value, and explain the benefits and risks. A successful strategy is developed with the business and finds the right balance for your company.

2) 2014 was a big year for wearables, but what’s your forecast on wearable in the enterprise for 2015?

Ed Featherston (Collaborative Consulting): 

Wearables is a very broad term that can mean different things to different folk. The business use cases for enterprise wearables tend to be very industry specific, such as healthcare, fitness, public safety and potentially even field service and repair. In 2015 we will start seeing early adoption and pilots of various  types of wearable technologies, especially in those industries

  • Healthcare & Fitness –The ability to monitor an individual’s health (heart rate, blood pressure,  glucose, etc.) and provide feedback to that individual or healthcare provider is one of the fastest growing areas of the wearable technology. Expect this trend to continue strongly in 2015.
  • Public safety – One area that can make a strong business case for heads up displays (e.g. Google Glass) is public safety. Prototype applications are being developed for firefighters to show blueprints of buildings as then enter them and also provide visuals and health monitoring. In law enforcement, body cams and heads up displays can provide up to date information and record events, field service repair.
  • Heads up displays are being explored in field service and repair, especially in the petroleum industry, where hands on repair while referencing critical data could have a huge impact.

Maribel Lopez (Lopez Research):

Google glass as a concept will live on but another company will make it a reality. I’ve attached a wearables report:

  • While other research reports focused on consumer wearable adoption, the September 2014 Lopez Research survey asked 300 enterprise IT leaders for their options on wearable use within their companies. In our survey, we defined wearables as smart watches, wristbands, and glasses. We omitted heads up displays and badge devices.
  • Nine months ago, only three percent of the organizations that we interviewed were interested in wearable technology in the enterprise
  • Today, over a third (34%) of the companies we interviewed are interested in using wearables while only five percent were evaluating wearables. None of the companies in our survey had deployed wearables.

Chris Hazelton (451 Research):

In 2015 we will see the initial role out of Google Glass deployments in the healthcare space that will eventually exceed 200k devices. An unrelated example use case in hospitals is with new mothers that have complications can’t often visit their baby in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for several days. Today, hospitals are using iPads with Skype. Wearables will improve this interaction significantly as mothers can get a first person view of holding their child remotely from the safety of they hospital bed.

3) What do you think the top mobile priorities are in 2015, vs 2014?

Chris Hazelton (451 Research):

Taking control of enterprise apps in 2015 more so than 2014. We will see greater enterprise app usage in 2015 driven by screen size – but why in 2015 and not earlier? The iPhone is the most popular enterprise device (in the US). With Apple’ iPhone 6 pairing large screen smartphones with the most popular app platform for enterprise development, we will see greater demand for smartphone apps in 2015. To put this in perspective the iPhone 6 Plus screen area is equal to more than two iPhone 4S screens (they’re still out there in large numbers), as its screen real-estate is 128% larger than the iPhone 4S, and 95% larger than the iPhone 5S (iPhone 6 is two-thirds larger than the 4S, and 42% larger than 5S). This significant additional screen real estate will allow employees to get work done on their enterprise smartphones with enterprise apps.

Ed Featherston (Collaborative Consulting):

  • Embrace mobile – It is critical for business success. Your business users already have and will bypass IT if you don’t help them obtain business value from the mobile workforce and customer base.
  • Understand the data impact – Mobile tech and wearables result in more inbound and outbound data. Who owns the data? Where is the data stored? What will you do with the data? Lots of data with no analytics just consumes bandwidth and storage.
  • Be ready to change – Accept the fact that the plans and priorities you define could be turned on their head overnight. Technology changes are moving at breakneck speeds, and you need to be nimble enough to adjust course quickly.

Maribel Lopez (Lopez Research):

Mobilizing apps, getting content on to apps (MCM), securing apps not just devices.  Over 70% of the companies we interviewed said they’d be mobile enabling 10 or more apps in2015 So a big shift from email to enabling apps and processes that matter. 75% said security was a top concern .

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Survey: CIOs Well Respected by CEOs Print E-mail

Survey: CIOs Well Respected by CEOs

According to a recent survey most CEOs believe their IT department is either delivering good ROI.

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HP's Revolutionary New Computer, "The Machine" Planned for 2016 Print E-mail

By James Finnan

HP is working on a new computer system and architecture that could potentially shrink a data center to the size of a refrigerator by 2016. The new computer operates faster and more power efficient than today's current systems. HP has called their new ambitious product "The Machine."

The driving force behind the development of the new system is recognition that as data volumes and BI applications become increasingly more computer resource intensive, soon or later existing architectures will hit the wall and fall short of cost effectively delivering the acceptable results.

The goal of the project is to design better memory systems, CPUs, and faster CPU to memory channels to increase overall throughput by a factor of 10.

HP announced the project in June 2014 and a new report from MIT Technology Review reports the first working prototype is likely to appear in 2016.

Again, "The Machine" is a new type of computer architecture designed to replace the giant data centers that currently power giant companies. MIT notes that it could be especially appealing to a large company such as Google since they rely on thousands of computer servers to power their operations.

HP is busy developing a new type of software platform that will work with its powerful new computer, according to a Businessweek report.

The first version of the operating system, which will reportedly be called Linux++, will be released in 2015 enabling developers and systems integrators to begin working with the OS and the interfaces. The final version of the operating system will be called Carbon, and HP is said to be constructing it from an entirely new original codebase.

HP CTO Martin Fink said in June that computer operating systems have been "dormant or stagnant for decades."

There are two main differences that make HP's new super computer more powerful than today's systems.

First, HP is working on a new type of computer memory that can store both temporary and long-term data. Current computers, as MIT explains, use two different types of memory. They store operating systems, files, and programs on either a hard disk drive or a flash drive. But when the computer is up and running, it must fetch data needed to power apps and open files from that disk or flash drive and load it into a different kind of memory, called RAM. But RAM can't store data densely or when a computer is turned off.

Secondly, HP's new computer will transfer information through optical fiber instead of copper wiring.

Combining these two enhancements — to the computer's memory and transfer speed — could make The Machine about six times more powerful than current systems while using about 1.25% of the energy currently used by most computers, according to MIT.

Is the construction of the new system possible in the timeframe suggested by HP? One would think not given all of the engineering work required to make the system a reality. IBM has been experimenting in the laboratory for a decade with fiber optic and Laser based computers but failed to yet produce a commercial application so what makes HP believe they can be successful?

Time will tell but in the meantime Google, IBM, Facebook, Amazon, and others continue to make significant investments in power efficient data centers located near large supplies of cheap energy.


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Intel Acquires PasswordBox Print E-mail
Intel has announced the acquisition of PasswordBox, a Montreal-based provider of a cross-platform identity management service. Primary product functionality enables users a convenient way to log into all of their websites and applications from any device without having to type or remember passwords. According to Intel, PasswordBox will become a part of the Safe Identity organization within Intel Security Group.
The Safe Identity organization provides solutions that reduce the pain of passwords, simplify and strengthen security and providing consumers with easy access to their digital lives. According to most cybersecurity experts and CISOs, secure passwords are essential to protecting sensitive personal and corporate data.
According to a recent report by Deloitte, more than 90 percent of user-generated passwords are vulnerable to hacking because 10,000 of the most common passwords could access close to 98 percent of all accounts.
Additionally, last year an Experian survey reported the average user possesed 26 password-protected online accounts but used only five different passwords. In fact, nearly 37 percent of users have asked for assistance on their username or password for at least one website per month. Intel Security and PasswordBox will work together to target and try to eliminate these problems.
“Everyone can relate to password fatigue. The PasswordBox service has already brought relief to millions of consumers who now enjoy simple, instant login,” said Chris Young, SVP and GM of Intel Security Group. “Intel Security and PasswordBox share the same goal of improving digital identity protection across all devices and platforms. We believe we have the technology, expertise and reach to bring simple, secure access to consumers worldwide.”

The Intel Security Group combines the security expertise of the previous acquisition of McAfee, with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel. Intel Security is focused on solving some of the largest challenges in digital security today. These solutions will help provide users with peace of mind by knowing they can access their content more simply. Intel Security will incorporate PasswordBox’s current and future technologies to deliver three benefits to consumers:
1. Reduced Password Fatigue – PasswordBox’s solution utilizes one of the most accurate form fillers on the market, with patent-pending one-tap (on mobile devices) and one-click (in browsers) login to simply and seamlessly provide secure access from any consumer device. Intel Security will continue to extend and expand these capabilities to provide consumers a convenient way to access their favorite sites and apps.
2. Security Simplified – In an era of catastrophic data breaches, consumers are expected to create increasingly complex passwords that include capital letters, numbers and symbols to protect their digital identities. Intel Security will incorporate the simplicity of the PasswordBox solution with new, user-friendly authentication technologies that enable users to get the benefit of improved security in a manner that is simple to set up and use.

3. Experience Next Generation Solutions – Intel Security has assembled world-class innovators in hardware engineering, software and services, to build solutions that address the most pressing security challenges. Combining the power of Intel Security with PasswordBox’s expert team, Intel is committed and well positioned to innovate and deliver new, ground-breaking, next-generation solutions on a regular cadence to meet the needs of consumers.
PasswordBox was a privately held company founded in 2012, with 44 employees and headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. All current employees have joined Intel Security. Since its debut one year ago, PasswordBox secured VC funding, led by OMERS Ventures, won best mobile app at CES 2014, and has been downloaded 14 million times worldwide. Intel’s acquisition of PasswordBox is effective immediately. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed and are not material to Intel’s operations.
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