Browsing Posts tagged Tablets

In his quest to bring IT awareness to every corner of the globe, Simplex-IT CEO Bob Coppedge recently shared his expertise with the Ohio Society of CPAs at their recent 2013 Akron CPE Day held at the Akron-Fairlawn Hilton.

Bob presented two sessions: “IT Trends for Small-Medium Businesses in 2013″ and “iPads, Droids and Windows…Tablets for Everybody!”  Both topics were updates of sessions Simplex-IT presented earlier in the year at our regular monthly Lunchinars and, as such, were recorded and appear for your viewing pleasure on our YouTube channel – http://www.youtube.com/user/SimplexITBob?feature=watch

If you would be interested in having Bob make a presentation to your group and help him realize his noble mission, let us hear from you! You can contact us at 234.380.1277 or by emailing Bob@Simplex-IT.com. Enjoy!

Bob addresses the Ohio Society of CPAs

It’s no secret sales of Tablet computers are setting new records every month. With that increase in sales more and more employees are bringing their tablets to work and asking to gain access to the corporate network in an effort to increase their productivity. As a result there is a corresponding increase in risk as the security of the enterprise is exposed to devices that weren’t necessarily designed to handle that challenge.

Add to that the fact that some of these devices do better than others in successfully performing work-related tasks. Which leads to the question we as IT consultants hear all the time, “Which Tablet is Best for MY Business?”

To answer that question, Simplex-IT’s staff put together this informal comparison of the four major tablet platforms – iPad, Android, Windows RT and Windows 8 – and offers this presentation for your consideration during our May 2013 Lunchinar. So kick back, put your feet up and listen as Sarah, Brandon, Kevin and Steve give their views on which tablets are best positioned to hope you win at business. Enjoy!

 

Battle of the Tablets!

We’ve heard of all of them:  iPads, Droids, and now Windows tablets.  But which one is best for your business?  Which has the best features?  Which one is the easiest to support?

How to decide?  Let Simplex-IT be your guide!  We’ll be taking each major tablet line (iPad, Droid, Windows and Windows RT) through the paces.  We’ll show how each tablet can (or can’t) accomplish what today’s business user needs to be able to do.

We’ll also talk about some of the unseen features…security, backups and support options.

Tablets give you lots of choices.  Let Simplex-IT help you make the right one!

As always, there will be plenty of time for questions.

Simplex-IT’s popular monthly Lunchinars are always free, open to all and focused on sharing information. And, as a bonus, we will be awarding a door prize of Microsoft Office 2013 and Windows 8 to two lucky attendees. Free food AND free software – how awesome is that?

Where:                Hattie’s Café, 164 N. Main Street, Hudson
When:                  May 15, 2013, from 11:30am-1:00pm

Seating is limited! To reserve yours, call 234.380.1277 or email John@Simplex-IT.com. Come join the fun!

Extra! Extra! Extra!

We will once again be webcasting this LIVE event using Microsoft Lync. It’s free and it’s easy. If you can’t make the lunchinar in person but would like to listen in from the comfort and convenience of your office, contact us at the above numbers and we’ll send the details on how you can connect.­­­

The Ohio Society of CPAs has announced they will be hosting our own Bob Coppedge at their upcoming Akron CPE Day: Spring Conference on June 6, 2013. The conference is designed for CPAs, Managers and Controllers employed by private companies and explores diverse topics important to CPAs and other professional in the corporate arena, such as A&A, Tax, Management and Business trends.

Bob will be presenting two separate presentations which should be of general interest to everyone attending the event. They are TECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Tablets, Windows 8 and More!  and IT Trends in 2013. As is Bob’s typical style, both presentations will be geared to a general, non-technical audience and are designed to inform in a non-intimidating, entertaining and interactive manner.

If you would like more information on the Akron CPE Day: Spring Conference you can go to the Ohio Society of CPAs website www.ohioscpa.com. For more information on Simplex-IT, of course, go to www.Simplex-IT.com.

According to this November 6, 2012 press release by Gartner (Gartner, Inc. – NYSE: IT - the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company)  ”In 2016, two-thirds of the mobile workforce will own a smartphone, and 40 percent of the workforce will be mobile…Tablets will be the key accelerator to mobility. Gartner estimates that in 2012 purchases of tablets by businesses will reach 13 million units and will more than triple by 2016, to reach 53 million units.”

It’s pretty clear that the trend to be able to access one’s important documents from almost anywhere and on almost any device is driving businesses to increasingly incorporate smart phones and tablet computers into their IT strategy. In doing so, knowing the risks and rewards without compromising security will be a vital consideration.

So, are the traditional desktop and laptop computer on their way to extinction? Probably not, at least not anytime within the foreseeable future. But the trend is quite clear. Businesses will need to keep up with this rapidly changing technology or face compromising their competitiveness.

For as Bob Dylan sang back in the ’60s (I kinda remember the 60s!)
“you better start swimmin,’ Or you’ll sink like a stone,
For  the times they are a-changin”

There’s no question that tablets are the rage these days – and, so far, Apple appears to be hanging on to its lead, despite the flood of competing new devices by multiple vendors. But Microsoft’s new tablet(s) appear poised to shake things up, perhaps more than a little.

As you can read in this blog article by Curt Hall, Microsoft is not only going to be competing in the same price arena as the iPad, in early 2013 it will be introducing a Surfact tablet that is fully ready for the Enterprise. And this is where Microsoft has, of course, held a commanding position in the marketplace.

The author makes the point that, despite its popularity, the iPad is, in essence, a consumer oriented device.

“… the current dominant tablet vendors — Apple and a slew of providers selling Google-Android-based products — can hardly be considered enterprise players. Rather, they offer consumer products that have infiltrated the corporate world.”

“Don’t get me wrong: the consumerization of IT is definitely real. But in practice, putting consumer technologies to use in the enterprise requires addressing a number of important issues. This is certainly true when it comes to utilizing tablets in corporate environments once you start moving beyond their use for anything besides simple, straightforward applications like email and calendar programs. Such issues include multiplatform support, strict security considerations for accessing corporate applications, the ability to protect sensitive data, and the requirement to be able to work with existing applications and legacy software systems.”

Even the currently available Surface RT, primarily aimed at the consumer market, will include Office(!), a staple of business users across the globe. It’s notable that Microsoft has not made a version of Office available (to date) for the iPad or Android-based tablets. And the more powerful Surface coming in January will greatly expand its appeal by being able to run the same software you currently have on your enterprise desktop!

It’s going to be an interesting race. Let the games begin!

I’m at the xChange event in Dallas this week, and Sunday watched the keynote presented by Microsoft.  Now keep in mind that I’ve got a long history of Microsoft presentations. I’ve probably owned over 100 t-shirts from Redmond, and have sat through thousands of PowerPoint slides.  I’ve drank the Kool Aid enough times so that I look like a cross between Microsoft Bob and the Kool Aid guy (nope, not pretty).  So Sunday was just another one.  In too many ways, it seems.

Spoiler alert:  Their products are actually pretty darn good.  That ain’t the problem.

The Microsoft presentation was two-fold.  Actually it was classic Microsoft.  First we’ll get a mid-level exec to get up and talk about what a big year it was (or will be), and how Microsoft’s commitment is to increase/decrease the good/bad thing about the desktop/server environment.  Then we’ll get a technical wonk to get up and demonstrate some aspects about the new stuff that used to get us going “ooh” and “aah.”  Then there’ll be a call to action, wrap up and life is good.  A fine presentation, demonstrating fine features.

Here’s the challenge.  There are two areas that Microsoft desperately wants to compete in.  Cloud services and tablets.  Software/services and hardware/platform.  And although Microsoft has made great strides in the first, there’s still a long way to go.  And let’s not talk about Windows tablets to date, shall we?  They would make the Zune look like…well, an iPad.

So, what’s Microsoft’s answer to these challenges?  A combination of technologies:

  • Windows 8, especially the versions for a full and limited featured table platform
  • Office 2013 (for, um…Office stuff)
  • SkyDrive (cloud storage)

Back to the presentation.  When the wonk demoed the products, he demonstrated primarily the core functionality of the products.  “Look at this new feature in PowerPoint.”  “See how the Outlook keeps the number of open windows to a minimum.”

Seriously?  Yes.  There are some nice new features in Office 2013.  There are nice new features in Windows 8.

But a lot of people, a large, large lot of people don’t care.  These are the people for whom XP and Office 2003 are “good enough.”  The people who got an iPad because “they’re really easy to use.”

People who just want to get their work done.

We’ve all heard end users say “I just use Word for letters and memos.”  So the spinning widget thingie feature that every new version of this stuff includes is really not all that critical.  But:

  • “I want to use Word (for the following examples, Word can be replaced by Excel, PowerPoint, etc) on my tablet.”
  • “I want to use Word on my laptop/desktop.”
  • “I want to access my Word documents that I changed on my tablet from my laptop.”
  • “I want to access my Word documents that I changed on my tablet from a desktop at the library.”
  • “I only want to learn one version of Windows.”
  • “I only want to learn one version of Word.”

You know what the answer is for all these questions and needs?  It’s “Okey-dokey.”  Or as Microsoft would say “The capability exists within the differing layers of application cross-functionality within the diverse and yet tangentially cohesive…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”

And we’re not even touching the savings of singular platform from a support standpoint.

This is the cool stuff.  This is the discussion that Microsoft should be having, should be screaming at the public.  “Our tablets can be powerful enough that you won’t need a laptop or desktop.  Or they’ll be more limited, but priced to compete with iPads (and still have a derivative of Word).  And with some licensing (say Office 365), one software license will suffice for several devices.”

And you’ll only have to learn it once.

This is big time stuff.  Standardizing an effective (critical point) tool across several platforms without sacrificing cost, training or productivity.  Incredibly cool.

This point was brought up at the end of the discussion almost as an afterthought.  And it seems that’s the placement of this particular message from Microsoft.

And I just don’t get it.  For years Microsoft has been looking around for the killer app to get back to the top of their game.  And it’s staring them right in the face.

Also, while we’re at it, why did you get everybody used to the concept of “Windows Metro” and decide 2 months before release that it should be called “Windows UI?”  I assume someone high up at Redmond said “Whoa, Metro sounds too much like a branding normal people would understand…let’s throw in a geeky acronym…hey, it worked for Windows NT, right?”

Oy.

Monica here. Learn about Microsoft Office 2013 at Hattie’s Cafe or connect with us online through Microsoft Lync .  As Bob would  say “the new Office 2013 will officially debut in, well, 2013.  But wouldn’t you like to see what’s new? ”

We’ll demonstrate the new features, how well it works on tablets, the tighter integration with Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage, how it fits with Office 365, and licensing options.

Where:                Hattie’s Café, 164 N. Main Street, Hudson 44236

When:                  Wednesday, September 19, 2012 from 11:30am-1:00pm

Can’t make it to Hattie’s?  No problem, as we’ll be broadcasting this Lunchinar live through Microsoft Lync.  All you’ll need is an Internet connection and speakers attached to your PC.  But make sure you RSVP (at EventBrite link below) so we can send you connection information!

Use Eventbrite to RSVP:http://simplex_it_previewoffice2013.eventbrite.com

As a bonus, we will be awarding door prizes of Windows 7 and Office 2010 to two lucky attendees.

Free food AND free software – how awesome is that!