Taking a fresh look at standardization in a BYOD world [Lenovo]

There’s a new reality out there – and by “out there” we mean inside your organization. Just take a look around your boardroom tables, your hallways and cafeteria, your employees’ desks, even in your data center itself – smartphones, tablets and laptops are everywhere and, more often than not, they’re not yours.

The consumerization of IT and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomena have swept the business world – 97% of employers, in fact, are letting employees access corporate data on their own devices (and not just devices, but applications and servers too). While this shift has freed employees from the office and the confines of the cubicle, enabling them to work more productively anywhere and anytime, it’s also come with huge challenges and questions for IT to grapple with, particularly in the areas of security and privacy. For instance: [Read more…]

BES 5: Do you need to upgrade? [RIM]

If you’re trying to decide whether to upgrade to BES 5 — the latest BlackBerry Enterprise Server — here are a few points to consider.

If you’re using BES 4, you can still manage devices with BlackBerry OS 5. So if you have a corporate standard around OS 5, you don’t need to upgrade at this point. But if you want to take advantage of new features in BlackBerry OS 6, you’ll need to upgrade to BES 5.

One of these features is Mobile Voice System (MVS), which unifies desk phone features with BlackBerry smartphones and Wi-Fi networks. Not only does this make users more reachable, it helps save money, since they can use Wi-Fi where available instead of always using their voice plan for phone calls. For this feature, which can be integrated with Avaya, Cisco, Mitel and AudioCodes equipment, you need to purchase a Client Access License (CAL). [Read more…]

Managing and securing iPads in one easy lesson [Apple]

Managing and securing iPads in one easy lesson

Tablets are de rigueur in the offices everywhere with executives and gadget junkies alike sizing up their options for tablets. However, with all the hoopla has also been a lot of debate about the tablet’s place in the enterprise with a particular eye on the iPad. Admittedly many of the hundreds of thousands of apps are designed for personal use, but increasingly business apps  are popping up making this once personal device a good candidate for business as well.

There are two key concerns for IT when sourcing a tablet: management and security. These can mean the difference between a great investment and a disaster (especially if it involves data leakage.)

First, remote management is essential if you want to protect confidential company data (especially if the iPad is in the possession of a member of your leadership team) in the event of loss or theft. Having the ability to remotely wipe a lost device can save a ton of headache for you in the future. Organizations on Microsoft Exchange can leverage ActiveSync to manage their mobile devices. Those looking for a richer solution should look at a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution like Symantec Client Management Suite, McAfee EMM or Sophos Mobile Control. MDMs will let you manage any device brought into your environment, which means no extra training or set-up will be required if new devices are connected to your network.

Second, security is crucial for any device being brought into your environment and it’s a fallacy that iPads aren’t secure as other tablets as mentioned in a recent blog post. The latest offering of iOS brings a solid and secure platform for mobile devices with password protection, disk-level encryption  and a unique technology that “sandboxes” applications to ensure that they can’t access other apps unless they use core APIs provided by iOS. This means that apps downloaded by the user will not be able to run or interract with other apps unless they are “Apple approved.”

Softchoice is not only authorized to sell iPads in both US and Canada, but we have people who can help you secure your devices or just provide advice on which one to select. Reach out to Softchoice at 1-800-268-7638 .