Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘smartphones

IBM Helps ING DIRECT Canada Connect with Mobile, Social Customers

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ING DIRECT Canada's mobile application, developed with IBM, delivers customers with a dashboard view based on their most frequent banking activities.

ING DIRECT Canada’s mobile application, developed with IBM, delivers customers with a dashboard view based on their most frequent banking activities.

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.

Waiting For The New iPhone 5?

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So tomorrow’s the day.

We find out what the Apple iPhone 5 is all about.

Before we discover what the details behind the new Apple smartphone are, I thought it might be interesting to provide a quick glimpse at the state of the mobile marketplace here in the U.S.

I unearthed a blog post from TechCrunch from September 4th, citing the “latest data” from comScore that suggests Apple’s smartphone market share has grown to just over 33 percent, up 2 percent since April of this year.

That study surveyed over 30,000 U.S. mobile phone subscribers, which revealed that Google’s Android continues to keep the pace, holding 52 percent share, a 1.4 percent increase since April.

RIM, the maker of the BlackBerry, decline some 2.1 percent, down from 11.6 percent to 9.5 percent.

Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform also saw a 0.4 percent decline in the same data, dropping from 4.0 percent to 3.6 percent.

And Symbian brings up the rear, down 0.5 percent, from 1.3 percent to 0.8 percent.

Despite the recent patent verdict, device maker Samsung is holding steady for smartphone device share at 25.6 percent in the latest period while Apple stood at 16.3 percent.

So what does Apple’s introduction of the iPhone 5 portend for the device market?

AppleInsider’s Neil Hughes wrote earlier today that the new iPhone will have “major implications throughout the personal electronics markets,” suggesting that existing LTE smartphones will come to be seen as “bulky and subpar” while stealing share not only from other smartphone makers, but also from PC makers like Dell and HP.

Hughes also cites J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskovitz in suggesting that the iPhone 5 “will offer better battery performance in a smaller form factor.”

In finding its way to new customers, Apple is also moving away from existing GPS service providers, and will instead transition to the new Maps application for iOS 6.

But will extended battery life and an Apple-owned GPS service be enough to lure loyal iPhone users to the new device, never mind Android loyalists happy with their current devices?

The answer to that question probably lies more in the emergence of new cloud and application offerings than the device characteristics themselves.

More interesting to me this past week, for example, was the report from The Wall Street Journal that Apple was looking to build its own streaming radio service, a move that seems to have helped drive Pandora’s share price down from a recent $12 high to just under $10.

Or consider the expectation Apple will introduce further synchronization between its iCloud offerings into the iOS mobile sphere, apps like Reminders, Notes, Mail, Calendar, and a new “Lost Mode,” which helps itinerant iPhone users find their lost phones.

I know I’ve found that Web-based services like Evernote and Remember the Milk, which synch across multiple devices and/or computers, provide much more utility than those dependent upon a single platform or device.

Whatever the details of the iPhone 5, the world will be watching closely, but my recommendation as one who’s used smartphones across the range of top competitors, including Apple, Android, and RIM, is to look beyond the device and underneath that larger intersection of IP-based services which transcend platform and help unearth the riches of true and unbound universal computing.

Scanning For Deals

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A sample IBM self-checkout system. In partnership with Honeywell, a new smartphone application will let shoppers scan items as they move through the store, then check out themselves using a similar IBM self-checkout system.

One of my first jobs in school was bagging groceries at a local grocery store.  The irony was, it was one of those grocery stories where you were supposed to sack your own groceries, and, presumably, save some money doing so.

But the store was so popular when it first opened that it had its store assistants sack groceries to help move the lines along.

Those were the days when they didn’t have the fancy scanners — everything was still checked by hand.

So when I saw this announcement this morning IBM made that allows consumers to scan items as they move through the store, all I could think about was the Jetsons.

This new retail technology not only allows consumers to scan items with their mobile phones as they move about the store, it then lets them check themselves out at an IBM self-checkout station (yes, those exist today, but not with technology that allows consumers to scan the items as they’re shopping!)

Designed to help retailers provide a more customized in-store shopping experience for smart phone shoppers, the IBM Mobile Shopper application incorporates Honeywell mobile scanning technology capable of scanning virtually any bar code, no matter what background it is printed on, the direction it faces, or the packaging covering it.

The solution currently runs on the Google Android and Apple iOS operating systems.

According to a recent IBM Institute of Business Value study, self checkout is the preferred way to shop for most consumers today, and they are very specific about the way they want to use mobile technology while shopping.

More than 50 percent say they want to use a mobile device to scan while shopping, and to do final checkout at a self-checkout station.  More than 40 percent want to scan samples and retrieve shopping items for pickup, or have the items delivered directly to their homes.

“Retailers can now deliver a more personalized shopping experience that is less of a chore and more of a convenience for consumers,” says John Gaydac, vice president, IBM Retail Store Solutions.  “By enabling consumers to scan and check-out a wide variety of products at their own pace, retailers can not only create a more customized shopping environment, but also increase in-store traffic.”

The new mobile phone application is powered by IBM ACE Store Integrator software and the newest release of IBM Self-Checkout software, which provides shoppers the same access to digital coupons, loyalty programs and special promotions at self-checkout stations that is traditionally available at fully-staffed point-of-sale checkout lanes.

The IBM Mobile Shopper, or “digital shopping assistant,” incorporates Honeywell’s high-performance SwiftDecoder Mobile bar code decoding software, one of many patented technologies that have helped secure the company’s  leadership in camera-based bar code decoding.  Among them is the practice of decoding bar code-related information from a real-time video image, such as the display of a smart phone or other mobile device (U.S. patent 6,015,088).

The IBM Mobile Shopper solution with Honeywell mobile scanning is available immediately.

Live @ Pulse 2012: IBM VP Bob Sutor On The Mobile Lifecycle

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Earlier today at IBM Pulse 2012, Scott and I had a far-ranging interview on the mobile ecosystem with IBM Mobile Platform vice president, Bob Sutor.

Our discussion ranged from the mobile “lifecycle,” which Bob recently presented to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, to privacy and security in the mobile realm, to Android v. iOS v. some stalking horse mobile OS being written in some kid’s garage nobody yet knows about.

It was one of our favorites of the event, and we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed doing the interview. We could have spoken with Bob for another half hour and not covered everything we would have liked.

Check it out here.

Written by turbotodd

March 6, 2012 at 5:23 am

The Turbo Android

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A few weeks ago I blogged about breaking up with AT&T, which meant my iPhone would become an expensive and glorified iPod.

Turbo debriefs on his recent transition from iPhone to Android...and buys the most expensive product he's ever acquired from a vending machine.

That’s okay, you can never have too many iPods lying around.

But, I also promised to come back and tell, as Paul Harvey would say, “the rest of the story.”

So after AT&T couldn’t or wouldn’t offer me any relief for my cracked iPhone (which also froze for a full 24 hours), I broke up and decided to try something new.

Not because I didn’t like my iPhone…there were lots of things to like about it…except for the bill I got every month, one at an average of $90/month that yet had a cap for both phone and data usage.

I ended up heading out to Best Buy after first doing a little online research, and I decided that a no-contract phone was my best option, but there were several providers. At the Best Buy, a sales associate explained that he thought Virgin Mobile had the best deal, because for only $35 a month, I could get unlimited data (and 300 voice minutes), and if I so desired, could upgrade to $45/month with 1200 minutes and unlimited data, and $55/month for unlimited of both.

Where do I sign?

My fatal mistake, however, was to accept his first recommendation on the device, a Samsung Intercept that looked great, but was not less filling.  It was an early Android release, it seemed to have the RAM of a 1986 386 box, and I couldn’t even take phone calls on it reliably.

After two weeks of trial usage, I went back to the same Best Buy and explained what a piece of junk phone they had sold me, and that I wanted something better.  A new clerk helped me settle on a Motorola Triumph, which I’ve been very happy with (save for the anemic battery life — I have to charge it twice a day if I talk on it with any frequency).

No doubt, I was an irresponsible consumer when I decided so quickly and without much research on the new phone.  However, the shift to Android has been a blessing in disguise.

Let me explain: As much as I liked the tightness of the iPhone/iTunes platform, and the quality of the apps, I could feel myself becoming more and more confined. This isn’t about the device anymore: It’s about access to information and services in the cloud.

For as long as I can remember, mobile phones, smart or otherwise, have become a real pain when it comes to contact management.  With both Androids, that problem was solved on setup: I simply synched with my Gmail contacts, and I was done.  Now, I can add a contact to my phone and have it synched up with the Google cloud and not worry about where I’m going to enter the information.

Similarly, my Google calendar is now pervasive across all my computers, tablets, and, now, my phone.  Why? Simple, because of that cloud connection.  Yes, iCloud may NOW be providing some of these capabilities, but at the price, and with the promise of being in a more open operating ecosystem, I would argue I’ve become much more productive because these simple but often confounding necessities like contact management have become so much easier via Android.

Of course, that includes the synergy I have between my MacBook Air and the Google cloud as well.

As for Virgin Mobile, so far, I don’t have enough good things to say.  I’m able to “top off” my service using a credit card on a monthly basis, and, depending on my schedule, decide whether or not I want to spend $35, $45, or $55 for a month’s worth of service, as opposed to the $90+ my AT&T service was costing.

Furthermore, the Virgin Mobile web site makes it easy for self-service provisioning and account management.  I always liked the way Richard Branson did business — now I have proof why. From his airlines to his mobile phone service, he focuses on the consumers’ needs.

I was so pleased with Android, I stopped and purchased the single most expensive item I’ve ever acquired from a vending machine (this one from Best Buy), an HTC Flyer tablet.  Though it, too, has some battery issues, I’m finding it to be an also very useful and productivity-enhancing tablet experience. Not necessarily as “clean” as the iPad experience, but easy enough to master and use for everything from my corporate email to blogging to reading books to watching Netflix…And it’s only 7″, as opposed to my original iPad.

Geek that I am, I will likely continue using devices across both platforms — you’ll pry my MacBook Air out of my cold, dead hands.  But the Android smartphone experience is proving quite useful, and in the process I’m becoming more familiar with an increasingly relevant platform that, until a month ago, I was only vaguely familiar with.

And did I mention Madden NFL 2011 plays beautifully on the HTC Flyer???

The App Economy: Creating Nearly 500,000 New Jobs

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This just in from TechNet, a bipartisan policy and political network of technology CEOs that promotes the growth of the innovation economy.

TechNet's new report, "Where The Jobs Are: The App Economy," reveals how smartphones, tablets, and other devices are creating a wealth of new jobs in the U.S.

They released a study yesterday showing there are now roughly 466,000 jobs in the “App Economy,” as they refer to it, in the United States.

That’s up from “zero” in 2007.

Remembering, of course, that the iPhone wasn’t introduced until June 2007 (and I guess the BlackBerry before that didn’t count!).

Here’s what Rey Ramsey, the President and CEO of TechNet, had to say about the report: “America’s App Economy — which had zero jobs just 5 years ago before the iPhone was introduced, demonstrates that we can quickly create economic value and jobs through cutting-edge innovation. Today, the App Economy is creating jobs in every part of America, employing hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers today and even more in the years to come.”

In terms of U.S. urban centers, the top metropolitan area for App Economy jobs turns out to be New York City (9.2 percent) and its surrounding area, although San Francisco and Silicon Valley combined make up for 14.8 percent.

In terms of states, of course, California runs away with it at 23.8 percent, followed by New York at 6.9%.

The research also revealed that when it comes to employment impacts, each app represents jobs across a wide spectrum of roles: programmers, user interface designers, marketers, managers, and support staff.

They include jobs at “pure” app firms like Zynga (which makes games for Facebook) as well as app-related jobs at large companies like EA, Amazon, AT&T, as well as app “infrastructure” jobs at firms like Google, Apple, IBM, Facebook, and others.

Written by turbotodd

February 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Live @ Lotusphere 2012: Day 1 Press Announcement — Social Analytics For Business

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Today at Lotusphere 2012 here in Orlando, Florida, IBM unveiled new software and services that delivers comprehensive networking capabilities to the increasingly social savvy workforce.

Alistair Rennie, General Manager, Collaboration and Social Software, IBM

Now, organizations can apply analytics to their social business initiatives, allowing them to gain actionable insight on social networking sentiment anytime, anywhere and put it to work in real-time.

Social Business Requires Social Analytics

As part of today’s news, IBM is announcing new cloud services and the next-generation of its social networking platform, IBM Connections. The new software incorporates sophisticated analytics capabilities, real-time data monitoring, and faster collaborative networks both inside and outside the organization through IBM’s SmartCloud services.

Now, organizations can integrate and analyze massive amounts of data generated from people, devices and sensors and more easily align these insights to business processes to make faster, more accurate business decisions.

By gaining deeper insights in customer and market trends and employees’ sentiment, businesses can uncover critical patterns to not only react swiftly to market shifts, but predict the effect of future actions.

Analytics In Action

For example, marketing professionals can now gain real-time access to data that highlights patterns and consumer sentiment related to marketing trends and services allowing them to adjust campaigns on the fly.

With one simple click, professionals can react to this insight by automatically creating a social network bringing together experts across geographical and market intelligence and swiftly respond to these insights.

Social Is Growing…Are You? 

The growing popularity of social networking is impacting the enterprise as the next-generation workforce expects more socially enabled applications at their fingertips. According to Forrester Research, the market opportunity for social enterprise apps is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016, reaching $6.4 billion, compared with $600 million.

At the same time, organizations are embracing social capabilities to transform virtually every part of their business operations, but lack the tools to gain insight into the enormous stream of information and use it in a meaningful way.

To address these challenges, IBM is delivering new software and cloud services that brings the power of analytics to the social business:

  • New social analytics software that integrates wikis, blogs, activity streams, email, calendaring and more, and flags relevant data for action. It allows for instant collaboration with one simple click and the ability to build social communities both inside and outside the organization to increase customer loyalty and speed business results.
  • New software that integrates social networking capabilities with enterprise content management to better connect people with information so they can make informed decisions and act quickly.
  • The new IBM SmartCloud for Social Business simplifies access to business-grade file sharing, social networking, communities, online meetings, instant messaging, email and calendar. In addition, IBM SmartCloud for Social Business will deliver a cloud-based productivity suite allowing users to co-edit documents in real-time.
  • New messaging and collaboration software that brings the power of embedded experiences to the Web and mobile devices providing a single point of entry for all business processes.

In support of today’s news, IBM also announced new clients using its social software and cloud collaboration services making it one of the world’s leading providers of software-as-a-service (SaaS).

New clients, including employees of Kraft, Electrolux, MIT Lincoln Labs, Colgate-Palmolive, 3M, BlueCross Blue Shield of Florida, Dutch Tax Office, Premier Healthcare and Brunswick and are among the millions of users of IBM’s social software and collaboration services on premise, in the cloud and via mobile device.

To hear how the leadership and IT teams at IBM client TD Bank Group are working across the company to become a social business, participate in a Livestream broadcast on January 17, 2012, at 8:30 AM ET at livestream.com/ibmsoftware.

Getting Social In the Workplace

With today’s news, IBM is announcing the beta of the next release of its industry-leading enterprise social networking platform, IBM Connections. Powered by analytics, IBM Connections delivers the widest range of capabilities, including wikis, blogs, activities, to help organizations collaborate on the fly.

IBM Connections includes the ability to access enterprise email, calendar and business tasks from inside the Connections platform, further unifying the collaboration experience.

The IBM Connections Activity Stream brings together the best of enterprise software and public social networks to help employees become more productive by bringing the information they need to their fingertips.

The Connections landing page features a single location that allows users to view and interact with content from any third party solution through a social interface, right alongside their company’s content, including email and calendar.

The embedded experience of the news feed, also known as an activity stream, is expected to allow employees from any department inside an organization to explore structured and unstructured data such as Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, weather data, videos, log files, SAP applications, electronically sign documents, and quickly act on the data as part of their everyday work experience.

For example, an employee could share a document with colleagues, approve a transaction from an SAP system, act on a notification required in a business process like an insurance claim, and share content such as status updates and files, all from IBM Connections.

The embedded experience and single point of access allows users to have insight at their finger tips and share data from any place, whether on the road or in the office.

One of the key findings from the 2011 IBM Social Business Jam — an online, real time discussion with 4,000 participants — was that social business activities need to be integrated and aligned with business processes to be truly effective.

To help clients address this challenge, IBM is announcing IBM Connections Enterprise Content Edition, an integrated social content management solution that combines the scalability of social networking with enterprise content management and enhanced compliance and control features sought by users in regulated industries.

Designed to manage the entire life cycle of office documents, Web and social content, IBM Connections Enterprise Content Edition increases the ability to share knowledge, gain expertise and create high-value content quickly through advanced content, document management and workflow use cases.

A New, Secure Collaborations Cloud

According to Forrester Research Inc., cloud computing will grow from a $41 billion business in 2010 to $241 billion in 2020.

To address this growing opportunity, IBM is announcing IBM SmartCloud for Social Business.  IBM is aligning its LotusLive services under the SmartCloud brand where it joins the ever-growing portfolio of business solutions that IBM delivers in the market that includes offerings in Commerce, Analytics, and industry-specific solutions like Smarter Cities.

The new service gives users one-click access to social networking, file sharing, online meetings, enterprise-class email, calendaring and instant messaging allowing clients to collaborate inside and outside the organization while pairing business transformation with the economic benefits of flexible cloud delivery models.

Additionally, a new capability of the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business is a cloud-based office productivity suite, IBM Docs. Now in beta and planned for availability in 2012, IBM Docs allows organizations, both inside and outside the firewall, to simultaneously collaborate on word processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents in the cloud to improve productivity.

IBM Docs authors will be able to store and share documents in IBM SmartCloud, co-edit documents in real time or assign users sections of the document so they can work privately easing the management of  multiple revisions from multiple authors in team-based documents.

GAD, one of the largest specialists for banking IT in Germany, is evaluating the use of IBM Docs in a private cloud in 2012 to facilitate browser based document creation and change management. Approximately 450 banks will be able to reduce costs and become more responsive to their customers through GAD’s bank21 solution.

Delivered in 22 languages, a 60-day trial of IBM SmartCloud for Social Business is available at no charge here.

Social Requires Mobility

In response to the burgeoning mobile workforce, expected to reach more than 1.19 billion people by 2013, IBM’s new social software supports the most popular mobile devices, including tablets.

IBM is announcing the beta release of IBM Lotus Notes and Domino, Social Edition, a social-enabled messaging and collaboration platform built on open standards that provides users with the ability to act on any work flow process directly within the email inbox.

Whether accessing email from a browser or desktop, or sharing videos and files, users no longer have to travel to a third-party site. In addition, with the embedded experience of social mail, users are more efficient when engaging in activity and more responsive to day to day tasks.

IBM intends to support mail, calendaring and contacts in a beta release of IBM Lotus Notes Traveler for Microsoft Windows Phone on Nokia and HTC devices; the beta is expected in the first half of 2012.

IBM is introducing a new, lower-cost program for BlackBerry users to access email in the cloud.

IBM is also introducing a new, lower-cost program for BlackBerry users to access email in the cloud. Built on the world-class expertise of IBM Mobile Enterprise Services and the sophisticated security of the Blackberry Enterprise Server, IBM helps bring the type of security and reliability expectations of on-premise email to cloud email environments, including built-in end-user and administrative controls for mobile device management.

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