Mastering the BYOD Balancing Act: The Softchoice Journey

Balancing Act

It’s funny how things evolve so quickly. Just a few years ago, the thought of employees using their own phones or laptops for work at work was unthinkable.

But as the consumerization of IT trend grows from a trickle to a flood, many organizations have no choice but consider how to implement a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. And the experience at Softchoice was no different.

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Feeling The Pressure Of Big Data?

Feeling the pressure?

Over the years, data centers became fragmented, with numerous types of proprietary software living in silos inside specialized hardware components – making them complex and frustrating to manage. Today, virtualization helps absorb and minimize this challenge, but creates another: Server and application sprawl from explosive data growth.

Server and application sprawl will cost you

A sprawl of uncontrolled and poorly managed application deployments leads to ‘application unavailability’ that endangers an organization’s profitability. Numerous examples of this continue to sprout up all around us. For example, do you remember the Amazon datacenter failure? I always like to remember an article I read that states:

“As business becomes increasingly dependent on technology and information, availability is a universal concern for every business, in every industry…And  globalization means there are no more periods of  ‘acceptable’ downtime. At any time of the day or night, somewhere in the world, customers and vendors need access to your corporate information. If they can’t get it, they’ll go elsewhere – creating an opportunity for your  competition.”

David M. Fishman, Sun MicroSystems, Application Availability: An Approach to Measurement

I was young, and I have to admit that it touched me and created a sense of urgency. Maybe this is why I am so passionate about what I do today. Considering the problem of server and application sprawl, automation and ease of management are no longer a ‘nice to have’ they are a MUST. With this in mind, where do you start?

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City of Moncton Rocks Technology For Success

The City of Moncton is located in New Brunswick, in Canada’s beautiful Maritime Provinces. Formerly a transportation hub for the Canadian National Railroad, the city experienced an economic downturn in the 1980’s when the railroad closed its operations, resulting in unemployment and economic upheval.

The City quickly realized its new reality required a different approach to stimulate economic development and growth. Technology became a centerpin for many strategies to attract new business and recruit fresh talent from across the world into the city’s workforce.

The strategies were very successful through the 1990’s as the city became known as one of the largest call center locations in North America, with many major businesses relocating to take advantage of lower costs and a bilingual workforce.

With a history of encouraging technology and innovation, Moncton added another spur to growth in 2006 with the introduction of Canada’s first free outdoor wireless mesh network. Spanning the downtown core, the wireless mesh network enables businesses and residents to take advantage of internet access whenever and wherever they want it.

Building on the success of the wireless network, Moncton also incorporated WIFI into its bus transportation system, helping reduce traffic congestion as more people started to opt for the convenience of easy connectivity using transit.

Technology That Rocks

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Pure-Play vs.Platform MDM: Which Is The Best Fit For Your Company?

With the unabated growth of consumerization, Gartner Research recently stated that “mobile device management (MDM) is essential for IT success”. However, with so many options – which is best? There are several new companies in this space offering great solutions. Security vendors are expanding their offerings and you have major platform or systems management vendors adding ways to manage a variety of mobile devices.

Our own Director of Security Solutions Stephen Perciballi and Manager of Microsoft Solutions Architecture Tim McKellips recently sat down with the Softchoice Advisor to discuss the challenges and implications involved with managing this environment.

Softchoice Advisor: What is your overall opinion on pure-play versus platform mobile device management?

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Securing Passwords in Business: What You Really Need To Know

Another week, another breach! It seems like every week we’re hearing about another major website’s secure passwords being compromised. Personal information is either being leaked for malicious purposes, or hackers are showing off their prowess for accessing “secure” information.

Last week 3 major websites reported their customer passwords were compromised:

If you have an account on any of these sites, it is highly recommended that you change your password immediately. Also no funny business: make sure that you use a different password on each of them.

Imagine someone contacting your business relationships. Or using your identity to manipulate business relationships you have spent time building. Or just as bad, manipulating personal relationships you are developing. When you use the same password for most of your services (including work systems) you make it very easy for someone to get into many – or all – of them.

Here are my recommendations for password management best practices to reduce your risk of exposure.

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Surviving (and Thriving) in the BYOD Client Computing Revolution [Infographic]

Whether we like it or not, the revolution is here. The consumerization of IT – or BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) – is transforming client computing as we know it.

More and more companies are finding that employees want the freedom to choose the devices they work with. This is putting additional pressure on IT to find ways to safely and securely integrate a variety of  new devices into their infrastructures. And while BYOD does present challenges, the one thing everyone does agree on is that ultimately, it benefits users and organizations by creating better work-life balance, improved productivity and greater flexibility.

As our infographic points out, this revolution is happening quickly. By 2014 mobile will outpace desktop internet usage. So it’s best to start addressing the challenges now – to ensure that you have a plan and policies in place to survive and thrive as the workplace environment changes.

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