Lucas Mearian

About the Author Lucas Mearian


Microsoft moves fast to offer zero-day EMM support for iOS 11

Wasting no time, Microsoft has announced its online enterprise mobility management (EMM) suite, InTune, supports Apple’s new iOS 11 mobile platform.

Apple announced on tuesday that  iOS 11 will be available be available on Sept. 19. It has been in public beta since mid-summer.

Microsoft began releasing developer and beta builds of its EMM cloud service a few months ago, and said  its Intune development team has been working to ensure that all of its mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) tools will work seamlessly on iOS 11.

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Wireless charging pads for iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X are already available

As expected, Apple’s new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X will be able to be joined with a new wireless charging accessory based on the Qi standard – the most popular among three main industry specifications.

The new phones, unveiled during a special event at Apple’s new headquarters, had been rumored to include wireless charging, a first for the iPhone line-up.

An Apple-designed charging pad, called AirPower, will be available in 2018; it will offer a large charging area that will allow up to three devices, including Apple Watch Series 3 and a new optional wireless charging case for AirPods, to power up simultaneously.

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Apple in the enterprise? It’s already there

For decades, Apple tried to push into the enterprise market through the data center back door. In the 1990s, it rolled out its Apple Network Server, which quickly failed. In the early 2000s, it introduced its Xserve line – a data center server that lasted in various iterations through 2011, but never gained traction.

More recently, it has pinned its hopes on partnerships with leading software and service providers, hoping to capture more of the seemingly elusive, but lucrative, enterprise market.

In truth, Apple has already won.

To be certain, Microsoft still dominates the workplace desktop and laptop space. But Apple – which tomorrow will unveil new iPhones – recognizes who it is and who it isn’t.  As Sun Tzu wrote in the Art of War, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

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MobileIron adds Apple security along with support for iOS 11

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) software vendor MobileIron today announced its Apple release, aimed at the growing need for enterprises to provide IT managers with more robust management and security features for Macs.

While Windows and even Chrome-based laptops are already included in EMM consoles, macOS hardware has traditionally been treated as an outlier in the office, according to Nick McGuire, vice president of Enterprise Research at CCS Insight.

While MobileIron’s software suite already supported macOS for basic functions, including device configuration, millennials entering the workforce favor Apple’s line of laptops – driving the need for a unified endpoint management strategy that includes security and bulk licensing, according to Ojas Rege, MobileIron’s chief strategy officer.

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New SanDisk microSD card enables an app speed boost for Android users

SanDisk this week introduced the 400GB Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card, which is not only the world’s highest capacity microSD card but one from which smartphones, tablets or laptops can run applications.

According to SanDisk, the micro SDcard achieves UHS Speed Class 1 – the best performance available for a microSD card and one that enables the speedy loading and running of apps.

“What this means for users is that, in theory, they will no longer be limited to only having apps on the main memory in the device,” said Jack Gold, principal analyst with J. Gold Associates. “Many users fill up that memory and now they have an option, if the device supports it, to greatly expand the amount of apps they can use on the device. This is pretty much equivalent to putting a USB drive on your computer and running apps from that.”

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Apple and Accenture partner to boost iPhone, iPad use at work

Global consultancy and business services firm Accenture unveiled a partnership with Apple designed to help businesses develop new applications and use cases for iPhones and iPads.

Accenture, which helps companies develop and deploy custom business apps, announced a new dedicated iOS practice within its Digital Studios in select locations around the world. Experts from Apple, including software and hardware developers, data architects and data scientists, will also be co-located in Accenture’s iOS practice offices.

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As Apple preps for the iPhone 8, wireless charging option seems more likely

A simple upgrade that Android smartphone users have enjoyed for years may finally be coming to the iPhone: wireless charging.

The technology would allow iPhone owners to simply lay their devices on a charging pad – something that’s also been embedded in furniture and vehicles – to recharge. Wireless charging hardware possibly related to the next iPhone has been shown in a series of photographs published by Chinese blog site Weibo.

While add-on, external iPhone covers have allowed wireless charging for some time , if the photos and a leaked document are genuine, the “iPhone 8” could contain the technology natively.

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As Apple preps next iPhone, wireless charging option seems more likely

A simple upgrade that Android smartphone users have enjoyed for years may finally be coming to the iPhone: wireless charging.

The technology would allow iPhone owners to simply lay their devices on a charging pad – something that’s also been embedded in furniture and vehicles – to recharge. Wireless charging hardware possibly related to the next iPhone has been shown in a series of photographs published by Chinese blog site Weibo.

While add-on, external iPhone covers have allowed wireless charging for some time , if the photos and a leaked document are genuine, the “iPhone 8” could contain the technology natively.

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VMware partners with Google to manage Chrome devices

VMware’s AirWatch subsidiary has partnered with Google to enable unified end-point management (UEM) of all Chrome OS devices in an enterprise.

Through VMware Workspace ONE’s cloud portal, IT admins will be able to manage Chrome devices in their company alongside all other endpoints from a single console.

Among other things, IT managers will be able to perform a number of tasks including  on-boarding employees; provisioning, auditing and tracking hardware; device wiping; and securing access to personalized enterprise app catalogs.

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Slack moves to integrate with EMM for enterprise security

Slack has enabled integration with more than a dozen enterprise mobility management (EMM) platforms in order to offer security and policy management features to its four-year old, cloud-based messaging application.

The messaging platform provider worked with AppConfig, an open standards group, which allowed Slack to integrate through a set of APIs with 21 EMM vendors.

Slack said it also worked more closely with three EMM providers – VMware Airwatch, MobileIron, and Blackberry Good – “to ensure a smooth experience for our joint customers.

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Is Google Glass really ready for the enterprise?

After working for two years on an enterprise version of its smart glasses — Glass Enterprise Edition — Google says its head-mounted display is now “fully available” for business use.

There’s still no way to buy the device online, and the question remains whether businesses can benefit from using Glass as a collaboration and workflow tool.

Glass Project Lead Jay Kothari wrote in a blog post July 18 that Google Glass Enterprise Edition had evolved from a two-year limited program to being available now to more businesses through a network of development partners, such as EyeSucceed or Proceedix.

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Your next company computer may be a 2-in-1 laptop

While consumer adoption of tablets is decreasing, business adoption is going the other way, powered by corporate fondness for Apple’s iPad Pro and 2-in-1 devices running Windows.

The number of consumer-owned tablets is expected to decline about 3.3% annually even as the number of business-owned tablets grows at a combined annual growth rate of 6.9% by 2022, according to Forrester Research.

Global mobile device usage is expected to reach more than 5.5 billion users by 2022,  almost double the total number of users (2.8 billion) in 2008, according a Forrester  report released last week.

Large-screen smartphones are contributing to the decline in tablet sales among consumers, while the diverse use cases for a 2-in-1s is driving that segment’s growth, Forrester stated.

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What is app wrapping? One way to more secure mobile apps

App wrapping — the process of applying security policies to a mobile application such as email or a custom-built business app — can help protect corporate data without changing an app’s looks or functionality.

Once the technology is in place, app wrappers enable administrators to set policies that allow employees with corporate-owned or personal mobile devices to safely download an app, typically from an internal store.

As more companies deploy an over-arching enterprise mobility management (EMM) strategy, ensuring that sensitive corporate data isn’t compromised by employees’  mobile apps is paramount, because apps are increasingly targeted by cybercriminals as a window into backend systems.

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Linux group pushes out production-ready blockchain collaboration software

The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project announced today the availability of Fabric 1.0, a collaboration tool for building blockchain distributed ledger business networks  such as smart contract technology.

The Hyperledger project, a collaborative cross-industry effort created to advance blockchain technology, said the Hyperledger Fabric framework can be a foundation for developing blockchain applications, products or customized business solutions

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What’s the difference between MDM, MAM, EMM and UEM?

The difference between mobile management policies and technologies may come down to degrees of control, but deploying the wrong strategy can cost companies  monetarily and kill employee morale.

When bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategies first emerged several years ago, many corporations made device wiping a key goal; after all, the ability to delete data from an employee’s smartphone or tablet appeared, on the surface, to be the best way to stop leaks or the misuse of sensitive information.

So, as employees, particularly senior-level workers, began demanding mobile devices for business use, IT often turned to either company-owned hardware or restrictive  mobile device management (MDM) software.

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How the iPhone begat shadow IT and enterprise mobility

Ten years ago today, the first iPhone arrived, sporting an all-new user interface built on a multi-touch screen and a virtual keyboard that soon replaced all that had come before for mobile devices.

Combined with internet access and, later, an online app store that offered enterprise applications, the iPhone allowed workers to treat their cell phone as a more convenient, portable computer. It also meant that companies had to figure out — quickly — how to manage all those new iPhones.

Steve Palmucci remembers suddenly seeing new iPhones show up at work, and he  immediately worried about its lack of security and business capabilities. Nevertheless, employees seemed to love them, and made it clear they wanted to use them for work.

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Purism aims to push privacy-centric laptops, tablets and phones to market

A San Francisco-based start-up is creating a line of Linux-based laptops and mobile devices designed with hardware and software to safeguard user privacy.

Purism this week announced general availability of its 13-in. and 15-in. Librem laptops, which it says can protect users against the types of cyberattacks that led to the recent Intel AMT exploits and WannaCry ransomware attacks.

The laptop and other hardware in development has been “meticulously designed chip by chip to work with free and open source software.”

“It’s really a completely overlooked area,” said Purism CEO Todd Weaver. “We also wanted to start with laptops because that was something we knew we’d be able to do easily and then later get into phones, routers, servers, and desktops as we expand.”

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Q&A: How TiVo’s CIO manages disparate mobile platforms

Like many large companies, TiVo has grown in recent years through mergers and acquisitions, which means CIO Steve Palmucci now faces a disparate set of mobile platforms to secure and manage.

While he’s yet to see tools that allow him to bring all mobile devices under one management umbrella, Palmucci has at least managed to standardize how corporate apps and data access get rolled out to employees.

In the future, however, he has his hopes set on a unified endpoint management approach that will bring his desktop and mobile environments under one umbrella.

steve palmucciCIO

Steve Palmucci

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More enterprises are building their own custom mobile apps

Companies are jumping on the mobile app development train as a way to improve business.

The number of enterprises now building custom mobile apps — many of them simple apps designed to handle business processes — rose significantly in 2016, according to Gartner’s annual study of mobile app development platforms.

In 2015, about 60% of organizations were engaged in mobile app development. Last year, that number jumped to about 73%, according to the study, which also evaluated 35 mobile app development platform (MADP) vendors for this year’s “Magic Quadrant.”

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4 ways blockchain is the new business collaboration tool

While blockchain may have cut its teeth on the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, the distributed electronic ledger technology is quickly making inroads across a variety of industries.

That’s mainly because of its innate security and its potential for improving systems  operations all while reducing costs and creating new revenue streams.

David Schatsky, a managing director at consultancy Deloitte LLP, believes blockchain’s diversity speaks to its versatility in addressing business needs, but “the impact that blockchain will have on businesses in various industries is not yet fully understood.”

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WD aims to tame growing data needs with latest enterprise SAS SSD

With data centers seeing rapid data growth, Western Digital Corp. (WD) has announced its highest performing 2.5-in. small form-factor SSD. The drive is aimed at helping companies deal with increasing needs for virtualized storage systems, online transaction processing, database analytics and private and hybrid clouds.

WD’s Ultrastar SS300, developed in partnership with Intel, uses a 12Gbps SAS interface and sports sequential read/write speeds 2.1GBps and 2.05GBps, respectively; the drive also offers random read/write input/output per second (IOPS) of up to 400,000 and 200,000, respectively.

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