On Monday, South Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung unveiled a new "end-to-end secure solution" aimed at boosting the company's BYOD (Bring Your own Device) credentials among businesses. Called Knox, the product beefs up the Samsung For Enterprise (also known as SAFE) program by adding improved security and increased manageability into the mix.
This time around Samsung forgoes the acronyms. Unlikely to be just a simple coincidence, Knox bears a military connotation as it hints at the iconic Fort Knox US Army post in Kentucky. Luckily, Samsung's Knox only deals with defense. The enterprise solution packs Security Enhanced (SE) Android, which is developed by the NSA (United States National Security Agency) to improve security within green droid land, and integrity management services that are implemented in the Android framework and the hardware alike.
To be frank, acronyms like "SAFE" and "BYOD" are not overly exciting, especially when combined with words like "business" or "enterprise". There's just something missing that makes related adverts unappealing and boring. Samsung, however, begs to differ and has meshed all those terms together with unicorns to create two rather cool video ads.
The two commercials are, at core, related to SAFE, which is short for Samsung for Enterprise, and the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement but with an emphasis on entertainment rather than bombarding the viewers with too many technical details. At the same time the South Korean corporation did not pass on mocking BlackBerry devices, once known as the business world's top choice for at-work smartphones.
Concurrent with third-quarter earning results late this afternoon, Red Hat announced plans to acquire ManageIQ, an enterprise cloud provider. The all-cash deal is for $104 million. Red Hat is uniquely positioned, opportunity and risk, for enterprise server consolidation and transition to private clouds -- for which virtualization is a linchpin technology. The Raleigh, N.C.-based company plans to expand its own capabilities by fitting ManageIQ's monitoring and management tools onto existing solutions.
Red Hat's acquisition rides the cusp of a trend. Last month, IDC forecast big cloud-related mergers for 2013 -- totaling $25 billion over 20 months. The analyst firm sees three converging trends vertically related. "The IT industry as a whole is moving toward the mobile/social/cloud/big data world of the 3rd Platform much more quickly than many realize: from 2013 through 2020, these technologies will drive around 90 percent of all the growth in the IT market," Frank Gens, IDC chief analyst, says. "Companies that are not putting 80 percent or more of their competitive energy into this new market will be trapped in the legacy portion of the market, growing even slower than global GDP.
German enterprise software leader SAP on Tuesday unveiled a major update to its Afaria mobile device managment solution which will be released to customers on December 21.
SAP focused on three key areas for this release: applications management, ease and depth of new device integration, and of course, platform support.
Last week, Microsoft released pricing on Surface tablets running Windows 8 Pro: $899 (64GB), $999 (128GB). Controversy followed, with the Apple Fan Club of analysts, bloggers, reporters and other writers fanning the flames of misinformation (as they so often do). These nitwits say Surface Pro is overpriced, because iPad costs so much less. But iPad is the wrong comparison to make. I say Microsoft prices Surface Pro against MacBook Air and ultrabooks, which makes loads of sense when looking at the chip architecture (x86, not ARM), configuration (similar to MBA for cost) and operating system (developed for desktop PCs not mobile devices).
I rebutted loony iPad comparisons with post "Microsoft Surface Pro is NOT overpriced". Compared to MacBook Air or ultrabooks, Surface is competitively priced, which was my point -- that and getting sensible analysis out there. But properly priced against competing devices isn't the same as being right for your budget or what you're willing to spend. Apple commands a premium brand, for which people pay more, happily. Then there is ultrabook, which didn't lift PC sales during second and third quarters as Intel and its OEM partners hoped. The costlier laptops simply aren't selling well. Ultrabooks' failure to wow foreshadows big, potential sales problems for Microsoft, which brand doesn't carry the same price premium as Apple's.
It's another cloudy day in the technology world. No, I am not referring to the rain-snow event we are experiencing here in my beloved mid-Atlantic region, but instead to the IT version of the "cloud", the buzzword with which you should all be well familiar. Dell, formerly a leading hardware provider, is also a player in this game.
The Wyse PocketCloud service isn't new, but its name may not be as well known as other cloud services. With today's announcement, Dell is trying hard to make PocketCloud more recognizable so it may capitalize on the "BYOD" trend.
Cloud IT management platform Panorama9 on Tuesday introduced Mac patch management to its pay-as-you-go solution, unifying Windows and Mac OS patch deployment in its IT dashboard.
We first looked at Panorama9 in October when the company added Mac and Linux support to its contract-free asset and compliance management platform. The service itself is still very new, and is rapidly growing its functionality in the interest of providing small and medium sized businesses affordable cloud IT services.
Cloud-based asset management platform Panorama9 officially launched support for Linux and Mac OS machines on Wednesday, broadly increasing the amount of hardware covered in the still very young IT management dashboard.
Panorama9, a new player in the enterprise services space, provides IT asset and network management as a non-contract, subscription-based service beginning at $1.50 per user per month. The company claims it can be set up and deployed in as little as five minutes.
Mac OS virtualization software company Parallels on Tuesday revealed a new crowdsourced project called the "Apple-in-the-Workplace Barometer", which lets users fill out a questionnaire about their workplace to create an overall view of how the business world is changing in terms of Mac adoption, acceptance of personal devices ("BYOD"), and of course, use of desktop virtualization.
The project tracks responses from IT professionals, managers, and knowledge workers, and plots their responses on an X-Y axis of Apple Support (current mobile policies) over Apple Adoption (opportunities for expansion). It is broken into four quadrants, "Players" versus "Laggards" and "Leaders" versus "Rookies." Obviously because it's a project from Parallels, it is primarily interested in creating a clearer picture of Apple's place in enterprise today.
Ah! Life in paradise. As the literal incarnation of the mythical "guy who ran away to a tropical island", I've had the joy of returning to my once primary (and now mostly vacation) home in the United States only to discover all of the things that can go wrong with an empty house in the Florida heat (this time, it was a failed A/C compressor -- ugh!).
However, I've also had the opportunity to revisit many of my core IT beliefs from the perspective of a relative outsider living in the slower-paced world of coconuts, litches and 2Mbps ADSL connections. Basically, my geographic isolation has forced me to take the long view on new technology trends. Which is why I'm so excited about the potential of BYOD: I see the emergence of the Post-PC phenomenon as a truly disruptive force that will forever change how people view "computers".
It’s a form of denial. In my recent post on the Office team dissing Windows 8, I noted how the lack of full touch support in Office 2013 undermines Microsoft’s efforts to break into the Post-PC space. And while I expected some push back from the Redmond choir, I was surprised at how many readers seem to be having a hard time accepting the reality of the Post-PC phenomenon.
Simply put, the PC as a technology driver is dead. Yet some people -- most notably, IT professionals who fear the coming BYOD apocalypse -- are determined to prop-up the corpse, slap some lipstick on those rotting lips and pretend that it’s still 2009.
The battle for your network revolves increasingly around Information Superiority. When your network is breached, the attackers leverage Information Superiority -- they know something you don’t about your environment and they’re using that to gain access to your network and digital assets.
Unfortunately the typical organization doesn’t know enough about its environment to effectively defend it. Perhaps nowhere is this lack of Information Superiority more apparent than in the mobile enterprise. A study conducted by IDC finds that 40 percent of IT decision makers say that workers access corporate information from employee-owned devices, but in stark contrast more than 80-percent of employees indicate they access corporate networks this way. To protect our corporate assets we need to close this gap.
It’s the hypothetical scenario many IT pros try to ignore: What if Microsoft’s Windows 8 launch is a dud? What if Surface is a flop, the $40 upgrade promotion fizzles and all of those slick new Windows RT tablets don’t fly off the shelves?
Given today’s consumer-driven BYOD IT culture, it’s a very real possibility. The Windows ecosystem simply doesn’t hold the gravitas it once did, with users finding every possible excuse to cut the enterprise cord and dump their clunky old IT-issued laptops and desktops. It’s like the cold war-era Soviet Union facing off against Western society: Once the populace got a taste of Levis and free speech, there was no holding them back.
IT news comes in fast. Sometimes it takes us a while to process it all. In the blur of competing headlines, critical trends become obscured, and seemingly disconnected events -- when viewed through the prism of a few days rest and a good cup of tea -- can suddenly seem interrelated.
Consider the past two weeks. First, Microsoft drops the Surface bombshell, including news that only one of the devices -- the Windows RT version -- will be ready in time for the holidays. Then, on the heels of much hand wringing over Google’s Nexus 7 and its impact on the BYOD movement, PC stalwart Hewlett Packard reveals that it won’t be shipping any Windows RT tablets, at least not in the short term. Again, seemingly disconnected events -- yet when you pull them all together they lead to one inexorable conclusion: Microsoft hates BYOD.
It’s relentless. Just when my psyche was beginning to recover from the Nexus 7 bombshell, here comes the Nexus 10. A rumored upsized-version of Google’s recently announced reference platform, the Nexus 10 will be to the iPad what the Nexus 7 is to the Kindle: An immediate, existential threat pounding on the gates of Fort Cupertino.
To Apple, the thought of an ultra-cheap (think sub-$300), 10-inch iPad fighter must send chills down CEO Tim Cook’s spine. But to me, the Nexus 10 represents something much worse: Three extra inches of BYOD hell for enterprise IT shops.