Archive for the ‘mobile applications’ Category
I just returned from a nice long weekend with my buddies out in West Texas, where we held our annual “South Austin Gun Camp.”
Don’t worry, nobody was hurt…well, save for that Easter Bunny pinata which made too compelling a target for our collective target practice to resist.
Speaking of targets, they were mostly old beer cans and paper zombies, but a good time was had by all and the weather mostly cooperated for our three day camp out.
I include in this post a pic of one of the shooting activities I semi excel at, which is skeet shooting (called “Olympic Skeet” in the Olympic games, the U.S. team for which I will not be selected for anytime soon).
Today, however, it’s been email catchup and back to work.
Out in West Texas, I had limited access to any technology. My LG Cosmos II scantly picked up a Verizon signal, so every once in a while I would get a data dump so I could scan my personal email.
The lack of data connectivity made it a little difficult to keep up with the Sweet 16 results and the PGA event in Houston, but I was able to play catch up on those once back at Turboville late Sunday afternoon.
In the “While You Were Out” category, I noticed this story about Nuance Communications’ efforts to release “Voice Ads,” a “new mobile advertising format that lets people have a two-way conversation with brands.”
For the record, I’m a big Nuance (and voice dictation/speech recognition, more generally) fan, but the idea of my talking to a brand made me laugh out loud.
What happens when the brand can talk back to me?
“Hello, Budweiser. I’ll have one of you.”
“Could I see your ID, please?”
“You asked for one of me. I’m Budweiser, an adult alcoholic beverage, and you must be 21 or older to speak with me, much less consume me. Could I see your ID, please?”
“Sorry, I left it at home.”
“I’m sorry, too. You must be 21 or older to talk to this Budweiser.”
Upstart Business Journal has all the details, ‘splainin’ that Nuance has already signed up marketing partners like Digitas, OMD, and Leo Burnett to reach the approximate 100,000 app publishers out there in the world today.
And no question, mobile marketing is a huge market — I’m just not sure how many people are ready to talk to their brands.
If they are, it’s surely to help them get something useful done. I can easily envision this mobile app from JetBlue sometime soon:
“Why am I so late, JetBlue Voice?”
“Your plane was delayed.”
“Why was my plane delayed, JetBlue Voice? I need to get to New York. I have a meeting!”
“Could you please enter your confirmation number?”
“It’s in another part of my smartphone, and I can’t find it because I’m talking to you. Don’t you have voice recognition or something?”
“Perhaps you could call back another time when you have your confirmation number. Thank you for calling JetBlue’s advertising.”
No no, NOTHING could go wrong with mobile voice advertising!
IBM is making a fast start with its new “Mobile First” initiative, which is intended to help companies around the world bring all their resources together to strengthen customer engagement, whenever and wherever the customer wants, and on the customer’s favorite device, which is increasingly a mobile one.
IBM client ING DIRECT Canada is applying a “smarter commerce” approach to consumer banking with IBM’s help in meeting the growing expectations of its 1.8 million customers.
IBM announced today that it is working with the online bank to deliver innovative financial services that improve ING DIRECT’s customer experience including simplified account access across mobile devices and social media channels, voice recognition, and advanced security.
ING DIRECT Canada’s mobile application, developed with IBM, delivers customers with a dashboard view based on their most frequent banking activities.
Based on IBM software and services, these innovations support ING DIRECT’s Orange Snapshot initiative, designed to provide its clients greater control to manage their accounts within their increasingly mobile and social lifestyle.
Orange Snapshot gives mobile consumers a complete and simplified view of all their accounts, as well as bill payment and email money transfers, in two easy clicks.
This allows consumers to sign on once from their mobile device, saving time and aggravation from multiple log-ins.
Working with IBM, the bank’s latest mobile innovation allows clients to easily and securely access their ING DIRECT account information from within Facebook’s social networking site.
Clients who opt-in to this app are able to view their account balances, history and pending transactions as well as receive account notifications — real time messages automatically pushed to them within Facebook.
With security and privacy always top of mind, ING DIRECT plans to expand this application further to include transactions such as transfers, bill payments and email money transfers.
Furthermore, ING DIRECT allows clients to share their experiences through Facebook and Twitter to make saving money more intriguing.
In a recent survey, ING DIRECT learned that 52 percent of consumers were able to forego non-essential purchases when they could better visualize the impact of their spending habits.
IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative is designed to help businesses better connect with the rising tide of digital consumers who prefer to buy through online, mobile and social channels.
It is estimated that there are more smartphones on the planet than humans. According to IDC, by 2016, more than 10 billion smartphones will be in use around the globe. In Canada, more than half of smartphone users bank from their devices — and that number grows higher when looking at users between the ages 18-34.
ING DIRECT continues to work with IBM in seeking new ways to connect to mobile applications in order to advance sales, manage secure transactions, and provide new insights about clients.
The bank has begun experimenting with new voice recognition capabilities on their mobile apps that will allow clients to conduct simple banking transactions by speaking rather than typing or the application can read account information to the customer.
ING DIRECT is also exploring the use of biometrics within their mobile apps for purposes such as client login to improve the client experience while maintaining the highest standards of security. Internal pilots are already yielding positive outcomes.
Recently, Forrester Research, Inc. recognized IBM as a leader in enterprise mobility services, according to the February 2013 report The Forrester Wave TM: Enterprise Mobility Services, Q1 2013.
Based on an analysis of 13 global leaders’ enterprise mobility capabilities and how they stack up, the report indicates that IBM “brings clients a world-class design agency combined with breadth and depth of enterprise mobility consulting both in terms of technology capabilities and global presence.”
You can go here to learn more about IBM’s “Mobile First” initiative.
It’s day two of SXSW Interactive 2013, and I’m a little more optimistic after a good night’s sleep and several actual informative sessions.
I also survived the Spredfast party last evening — I don’t know where the Austin fire marshals were, but as I navigated my way around the lovely but jam packed rooftop, all I could think about were fire exits — and jumping from a three story roof didn’t seem like a great option.
There are definitely some key themes emerging at SXSW Interactive 2013, other than that logistics matter (see yesterday’s snarky post for more on that topic) — the dolphins have receded back into Town Lake for the moment.
One theme has to do with the re-emergence of the physical world. Yesterday, Bre Pettis’ keynote on 3D printing was, for me, an eye-opener. His “Makerbot” company, which emerged at SXSW 2009, has emerged as a real and viable player in 3D printing, and for my money, the 3D printing notion is just the marker of a much larger paradigm shift: The opportunity to meld the digital and the physical and reshape design iteration, for all kinds of objects and products.
His 3D printing capability demonstrated that for not a lot of money, even the average Joe can jump into the design and manufacturing game, and organizations small and large can benefit from this downsizing of design iteration.
The other theme that has emerged is “Mobile” with a capital “M.” I’ve already attended several sessions tending to the opportunities and issues of the mobile realm, and I have a feeling we’ve only just begun.
The Google Android session this morning was an excellent example, where I learned some of the founding principles behind Android’s design from some of the people worked on it.
The rules of the road seemed logical enough: “Give me tricks that work everywhere” and “It’s not my fault” and “Make important things fast.”
But once the Googlers walked the audience through some specific examples, it made much more sense (and hard to describe here, since it required some show n tell).
Suffice it to say, the principles were very human and user experience-oriented, considering the fact that they were talking about an Android, and it’s the kind of thinking I’d like to see more mobile apps have taken into account.
And as I debate the pros and cons of eventually going back to a smartphone, the Android column certainly just garnered a few more points.
Logistics-wise, sessions I wished to attend continue to be oversubscribed, so get there early and/or be flexible continue to be core design principles for SXSW 2013.
I’m not in Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress which kicked off there today, but it seems like just about everyone else is.
Please, give my regards to Gaudi, have a few tapas and sangria, and I’ll aspire to visit the fair city another day.
Of course, when I say everybody else, I’m including some of my IBM colleagues, all of whom will be front-benching IBM’s recently-introduced “MobileFirst” strategy at MWC.
As I indicated in a prior post, IBM is putting some big bucks in mobile, and rightly so. And one announcement from earlier today in Barcelona demonstrates the ramping up of that commitment.
In partnership with Nokia Siemens Networks, IBM announced a collaboration to deliver the world’s first mobile edge computing platform that can run applications directly within a mobile base station.
This new platform allows mobile operators to create a truly unique mobile experience, relieve the ever increasing strain on network infrastructure and bring completely new solutions to market.
The new platform can accelerate the delivery of media-rich services by delivering content directly from the base station, ensuring enhanced quality of experience for consumers in the face of ever increasing data traffic growth.
The platform also enables a new generation of low-latency services with device presence to be delivered to consumers, creating new possibilities for mobile gaming, augmented reality, smarter traffic and public safety offerings, and more.
Improved latency can enable high-value vertical solutions that rely on big data-driven analytics to work on very large amounts of information in real time.
For example, IBM’s City in Motion solution can analyze radio information to estimate how people are moving through a city, identify their mode of transport, and configure a cities transport network in real time to ensure optimum performance.
If you’re in Barcelona for MWC, to see a demonstration at Mobile World Congress, visit IBM (Hall 3, booth 3B86) or Nokia Siemens Networks (Hall 3, booth 3B14) at the show.
For more information on Nokia Siemens Networks’ mobile broadband capabilities, including a video overview, follow this link.
And go here to learn more about IBM‘s communications industry solutions.
To share your thoughts on the topic, join the discussion on Twitter using #MWC13 and #ibmmobile.
IBM is going big on mobile.
Today, the company unveiled “IBM MobileFirst,” a comprehensive mobile strategy that combines security, analytics, and application development software, with cloud-based services and deep mobile expertise.
Using IBM MobileFirst solutions, businesses can now streamline everything from the management of employee mobile devices, to the creation of a new mobile commerce app that will transform their entire business model.
Today’s move by IBM builds off of its experience helping nearly 1,000 customers become mobile enterprises, and takes advantage of its thousands of mobile experts and 270 patents in wireless innovations.
IBM has made 10 mobile-related acquisitions in the past four years alone.
IBM also announced an expanded relationship with AT&T to provide developers with tools to create faster, richer mobile apps and services for customers. For instance, organizations can now quickly incorporate payment and messages into their apps.
With this expanded partnership, the AT&T API Platform, featuring IBM Worklight Adapters, will enable the more than 31,000 members of the AT&T Developer Program to quickly create and securely deploy enterprise apps that improve subscriber engagement and customer loyalty.
With these adapters that support AT&T’s ecosystem of APIs including those for speech, SMS, device capabilities, notary management and payment, developers can quickly and securely create rich, business-ready apps across a variety of platforms including iOS, Android and Windows.
Through IBM MobileFirst, IBM is providing companies with the essential tools to take advantage of new business opportunities being enabled by mobile.
A Broad Portfolio of Mobile Solutions
To be successful in embracing mobile for driving revenue growth, clients must have an integrated strategy for mobile, cloud, big data, social business and security. Today’s announcements from IBM help clients harness these complex technologies to drive innovation and growth.
IBM’s mobile solutions portfolio provides the key elements of an application and data platform with the management, security and analytics capabilities needed for the enterprise.
In addition to meeting mobile-specific requirements, the portfolio provides for rapid integration between social and cloud services as well as back-end technologies that help secure and manage strategic business processes. Key aspects include:
- IBM MobileFirst Platform – New updates include expanded capabilities of IBM Worklight to simplify deployment. It also features single sign-on capabilities for multiple applications. A new beta of the Rational Test Workbench for mobile helps to improve the quality and reliability of mobile apps.
- IBM MobileFirst Security – IBM extends its context-based mobile access control solutions and expands mobile application vulnerability testing with support for Apple iOS apps with the latest release of AppScan.
- IBM MobileFirst Management – New updates to IBM Endpoint Manager include enhanced support for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs and increased security standards that are critical to governments and regulated environments.
- IBM MobileFirst Analytics – IBM is expanding its Tealeaf CX Mobile solution to give enterprises more visual insight into mobile behaviors so they can better understand where improvements are needed and create exceptional and consistent consumer experiences across mobile devices.
To provide organizations with maximum flexibility and accelerate their adoption of mobile computing, these solutions can also be delivered through cloud and managed services.
A Deep Set of Mobile Services for Clients
Enterprises are embracing the mobile revolution at a rapid pace. IBM has thousands of mobile experts to help clients understand how industries will be transformed in a mobile world, based on client engagements across more than a dozen industries.
The IBM MobileFirst portfolio features several services to help clients establish mobile strategies, design and implement mobile projects. These include:
- IBM MobileFirst Strategy and Design Services – Clients can tap into IBM expertise to map out a mobile strategy for employees and customers, and key experience design skills from IBM Interactive to build compelling mobile experiences. IBM’s new Mobile Maturity Model can assess how a business is progressing towards becoming a mobile enterprise, while new Mobile Workshops help clients develop applications, architect infrastructure and accelerate their mobile progress.
- IBM MobileFirst Development and Integration Services – IBM offers services that help organizations roll out a mobile infrastructure and manage mobile application portfolios and BYOD environments. Enhanced Network Infrastructure Services for Mobile provide IT network strategy, optimization, integration and management. Mobile Enterprise Services for Managed Mobility help manage and secure smartphones, tablets and devices across a business. Mobile Application Platform Management helps speed deployment of mobile infrastructure to develop mobile applications more easily and quickly.
An Expansive Set of Mobile Resources and Programs for Business Partners, Developers and Academics
According to IBM’s recent Tech Trends Report, only one in 10 organizations has the skills needed to effectively apply advanced technologies such as mobile computing.
To help overcome this skills gap, IBM is rolling out a series of resources to help its ecosystem of developers, partners and academics tap into the mobile opportunity and augment existing skills or develop new ones.
- Developers – IBM today is announcing a relationship with AT&T that will enable developers to enhance mobile apps by using IBM Worklight to access AT&T’s APIs in the cloud. Now, developers have another tool with AT&T to quickly and easily create apps with rich features such as speech recognition and rapid payment. IBM is also rolling out new technical assets on developerWorks and CodeRally, a developer game community.
- Business Partners – With Ready for IBM MobileFirst, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) can also embed mobile technologies into their solutions and Software Value Plus now provides mobile certifications, workshops and incentives for resellers and systems integrators.
- Academics – To help train the next generation of mobile developers, IBM is offering new faculty grants for curricula development. IBM is also making IBM Worklight available, free of charge, for the classroom and via online training to teach both students and faculty to develop for mobile environments.
IBM Global Financing, the lending and leasing arm of IBM, can also help companies affordably transform into mobile enterprises.
Credit-qualified clients can take advantage of simple, flexible lease and loan packages for the IBM MobileFirst portfolio — some starting at as low as 0% for 12 months with no up-front costs — allowing businesses to acquire essential technology and services while managing cash flow more effectively.
To learn more, visit the IBM MobileFirst site. You can also follow @ibmmobile, #ibmmobile on Twitter, and see IBM MobileFirst on YouTube, Tumblr and Instagram.
Also, watch the video below (3:46), for it paints a broad, comprehensive, and gorgeous “picture” of the enterprise mobile opportunity and challenges.
IBM MobileFirst Announcement Coverage:
One of the memes that seems to be jutting out from the first hours of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas centers around this notion of the “Smarter Home,” and IBM has jumped in head first.
Earlier today, IBM, STMicroelectronics, and Shaspa announced a collaboration to tap cloud and mobile computing for manufacturers and service providers to provide innovative ways for consumers to manage and interact with their homes’ functions and entertainment systems using multiple user interfaces such as voice recognition and physical gestures for a smarter home.
Yes, it looks as though we’ll finally be able to do something more productive with our appliances and air conditioning systems than simply yell at them!
A “smart home” brings networking functions together, creating a gateway that connects a television, computer or mobile device with smart meters, lights, appliances, plugs and sensors within the home as well as services from outside. Parks Associates forecasts that more than 8 billion devices will be connected on the home network by year-end 2015.
In Las Vegas this week during CES, the three companies mentioned will demonstrate a TV linked to ST’s Home Gateway, running software from business partner Shaspa, and connected to the IBM cloud.
Through sensors, the system can monitor home parameters such as temperature, carbon dioxide level through a wireless or batteryless IPv6 network, or human motion within the home. The data can be communicated to a smartphone or tablet via a wireless router. I
n this way, the homeowner can offload much of the home management to the cloud and interact with the system using event and time-based preset scenarios.
The companies anticipate that this initiative could allow consumers to use any device capable of running apps to manage a variety of personal activities such as viewing their home’s energy consumption; controlling security, heating and lighting systems; activating home appliances such as washing machines; monitoring health and assisted living conditions; or engaging in e-commerce.
Sony Bravia, Let The Pizza Guy In!
For example, a person with limited mobility could gesture to the TV to unlock the front door, turn up the heat or check vital signs. This project represents the future of electronics technology as sensing devices and equipment seamlessly respond to user needs and requests, emulating the way humans sense their environment.
In this project, ST’s Home Gateway and Shaspa’s embedded software acts as a bridge between the home and cloud services provided by the IBM SmartCloud Service Delivery Platform, which gives electronics manufacturers a cloud platform to manage smart devices and rapidly introduce new consumer services.
The gateway, based on a STiH416, provides the physical connectivity, provisioning and management middleware, application protocols, and interfaces for connecting and controlling the “Internet of Things.” The connected-home System-on-Chip runs software including Linux and a service management system compliant with the OSGi industry standard.
The infrastructure for the gateway-cloud service operation is provided by Shaspa’s GUI and application software.
Going Mobile In Your Living Room
IBM Worklight, in combination with the Mobile Interface of the Shaspa embedded software, is the mobile application platform that enables end users to control and manage their homes from their personal devices. The mobile platform is used to build the application, connect the app to all the sensors within the home, and manage all events that take place.
IBM software such as MQ Series and Worklight helps transmit the data to mobile devices. Data captured in the cloud supports the discovery of new insights through advanced analytics.
“Smarter buildings are an essential part of the journey towards a sustainable world, and this building-to-cloud system shows that connected living is becoming possible today,” said Oliver Goh, Founder & CEO of Shaspa. “This secure, scalable offering with be the enabler for ecosystems, enabling the fast creation and deployment of value-add services.”
The idea of an intelligent home that uses technology to enhance the lives of its occupants is far from new; in fact, it was a major theme in the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. We are now in a position to realize the intelligent-home dream with systems that feature scalability, interoperability and security built-in from the start. This requires collaborations among leading players across the ecosystem.
The demo will be shown at two venues near the Las Vegas Convention Center: A private, invitation-only suite at The Encore Hotel (ST) and The Venetian, exhibit meeting room 2405 (IBM).
About IBM Cloud and Mobile Computing
Mobility is fundamentally transforming the way people live, work, play and make decisions. As the first new technology platform for business to emerge since the advent of the World Wide Web, mobile computing represents one of the greatest opportunities facing organizations.
With an array of solutions that connect, secure, manage and develop the networks, infrastructure and applications that run the growing number of devices. IBM is enabling governments and industries to reinvent their business and reach customers, employees, partners and other constituents in completely new ways.
You can learn more about IBM’s Mobile Enterprise solutions here.
IBM has also helped thousands of clients adopt cloud models and manages millions of cloud based transactions every day. IBM assists clients in areas as diverse as banking, communications, healthcare and government to build their own clouds or securely tap into IBM cloud-based business and infrastructure services.
IBM is unique in bringing together key cloud technologies, deep process knowledge, a broad portfolio of cloud solutions, and a network of global delivery centers. For more information about IBM cloud solutions, visit www.ibm.com/smartcloud. Follow on Twitter @cloudchat and on our blog at www.thoughtsoncloud.com.
It’s that time of year. Google has released its 2012 Zeitgeist, telling us what’s on the minds of the world’s searchers.
Facebook, not to be out done, has released the Facebook Year In Review, “a look back at the people, moments and things that created the most buzz in 2012 among the billion people around the world on Facebook.”
Now, go and ask folks what they think about Facebook’s everchanging privacy controls, and we’ll see if the Facebook Year In Review gets soon revised.
But I’m actually more interested in a big report from a small, but growing networking software and social business upstart located right here in Austin, Texas.
Spiceworks connects 2.2 million IT professionals with more than 1,300 technology brands, and offers its IT management software through a novel ad-supported model. In turn, it claims to “help businesses to discover, buy and manage $405 billion worth of technology products and services each year.”
Spiceworks just released its semi-annual “State of SMB IT Report,” a collection of statistics, trends and opinions from small and medium business technology professionals from amongst their community.
This December’s study is the seventh edition, and claims to “keep the pulse on the happenings of small and medium business IT professionals and IT departments.”
First, I’m just happy to discover they still have a pulse.
The National Federation of Independent Business’ “Small Business Optimism Index,” which is reported monthly, indicated in its November report one of the steepest declines in its history. In fact, it has reported a lower index value only seven times since it first conducted its monthly surveys in 1986.
The Index dropped a full 5.6 points in November, bottoming out at 87.5 (In 2000, by juxtaposition, it was well above 100), indicating something was rotten in November. The Index’s own Web statement suggested “it is very clear that a stunning number of [small business] owners…expect worse business conditions in six months,” and that nearly half are certain things will be worse next year than they are now, with a head nod to the looming fiscal cliff talks, the promise of higher healthcare costs, and the “endless onslaught of new regulations.”
Chicken Little, the SMB sky is falling!
Clouds, Virtualization, And Tablets Are Driving The SMB IT Spending Bus
But fear not, the SMB adoption of new technology is riding to the small business rescue, or so suggests the Spiceworks SMB IT study.
The headlines? Though IT budgets are on the rise in the SMB, hiring new staff is at a standstill. But for those still standing, in the last six months, SMBs adopted tablets and cloud services in fast-growing numbers.
Here are the four key findings:
- Tablet adoption keeps its momentum and nears smartphone levels. Hardware maintains the lion’s share of IT spend in the SMB.
- Adoption of cloud services spikes; desktop virtualization shows strong potential. (Can you say “Go long on VMWare??”)
- IT budgets reached their highest point in the last three years, while hiring freezes are up.
- BYOD is still a hot topic, though IT pros are split on the issue.
Diving down a bit, on the subject of tablets, 53 percent of SMBs now support tablets on their network, making them almost as popular as smartphones at 59 percent.
Cloud services are now used by 62 percent of SMBs, up from 48 percent in the first half of 2012.
With respect to IT budgets, they’re on the rise, averaging $162K, up from $152K in 1H 2012. But only 26 percent plan on hiring IT staff in the second half.
And on BYOD, whlie 14 percent fully embrace the trend, 32 percent say it works well for some devices, but not for others. Digging deeper, I discovered that smartphones led with 81 percent BYOD support, while tablets only garnered 62 percent.
And somewhat ironically, there’s more support for BYOD in much smaller organizations (defined here as less than 20 employees) than larger ones (50 percent in those above 250 employees).
I would encourage you to go here and register to download the full report, but the top line is this: If you’re an IT vendor looking for budget flush at the end of 2012, desktops, laptops, and servers are certainly low-hanging fruit, with tablets bringing on the most growth.
And on the software front, be on the lookout for disaster recovery and storage solutions (an IT mainstay through downturns), cloud-based solutions, and virtualization software.
Whatever you do make, just make sure you make those new purchases with “Gangnam Style” — and if you have no idea of what I’m referring to, see above with regards to the 2012 Google Zeitgeist!