App of the week: GoodReader for iPad

App of the week: GoodReader for iPad

Dubbed the “Swiss army knife of awesome!” by Mashable, GoodReader for iPad has become the de facto PDF reader on the iPad, but it’s also so much more. While its roots are in opening and annotating PDFs on the device, it’s able to deal with everything from Microsoft Office files to high resolution images.

What is GoodReader for iPad?

Put simply, GoodReader for iPad is a file viewer. As well as covering the basics like PDF and TXT files (which you can annotate and mark up), it allows you to open .doc, .ppt, .xls, iWork, HTML and Safari web archives, high res imagery, audio and video files. All your files can even be managed using GoodReader’s built-in folder structure.

So how does it work?

There are a number of key functions to GoodReader that pretty much sum up how it works. The first is the ability to annotate. Open up PDFs within the app, and you’ll be able to add text boxes, stick sticky notes, highlight text, do freehand drawing, include arrows, rectangles, clouds and pretty much every other kind of shape imaginable (just in case you feel the need to get that creative). It’s great for anyone collaborating with a team, and makes it incredibly easy to work with PDFs without having to boot up a laptop.

As well as being able to annotate PDFs, you can also manage files directly within the app. GoodReader has an incredibly intuitive folder structure (it’s intuitive because it mimics the structure you’re likely to find on regular operating systems) where you can move, copy and rename files or delete files. You can email ZIP and unzip multiple files and then send them off via email.

The wealth of options to transfer files that you have saved within the app is one of the stand out features. On a basic level, you can use a USB or WiFi connection or, as mentioned, pop it into an email as an attachment (although obviously we wouldn’t recommend this option for sensitive files that need extra security). But you can also integrate GoodReader for iPad with Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, SugarSync, box.net and other WebDAV, AFP, SMB and SFTP servers. Essentially, the internet’s your oyster!

Who’s it for?

Everyone. At the end of the day, whether you’re downloading a document that you’ve been sent via email, or you frequently have to access business files on the move, you’re going to need some way to view them.

Our favourite feature

Annotating PDFs! This is what GoodReader was originally designed for and it’s by far our favourite feature. The ability to hand draw annotations and mark up PDFs by using GoodReader is as good as it gets on the iPad, and it’s easily comparable to the kinds of tools available on a laptop or desktop. You can even share annotated files by emailing them to yourself, from within the app, making it a great tool for working on projects on the move.

Special mention has to go to the tabs functionality though. You can have multiple files open for annotation and review, and by using the tabs you can easily flick between each document without closing another first.

How much is it and where do I get it?

GoodReader for iPad is available from the App Store for £2.99.  To find out more about some of our favourite apps, head over to our roundup iOS apps article here. Or for more information about iPad, get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com.

Video: Using iPad with Apple TV

Video: Using iPad with Apple TV

In this video iPad tutorial, Rob looks at integration with Apple TV. Take a look at the video to see everything from unboxing the Apple TV to setting up and using the AirPlay mirroring functionality.

For more information about iPad or about Apple TV, get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com.

The 7 myths of Mac

The 7 myths of Mac

Getting to the bottom of common misconceptions about the Apple family

We’ve all heard the stories about Macs, and I’ll admit that, before I started to work on the Apple platform, I had a lot of preconceptions about them myself. The problem is that these stories are, more often than not, complete myths.

In the spirit of fairness and honesty, I’ve decided it’s time to get to the bottom of the rumours. Here are seven of the most common Mac preconceptions customers come to us with (and the truth about what you really get for your money).

1) You can’t run Microsoft Office on a Mac

Completely false. It’s a little-known fact that there’s actually a dedicated version of Microsoft Office for Mac (in fact, it’s been around longer than the Windows version). The Mac version does everything that the Windows version does, it includes Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook, and all of them are completely compatible with their PC counterparts – .doc/.docx/.xls/.xlsx are all supported. You can even access Microsoft Web Apps for working online from anywhere, and there’s the ability to broadcast slideshows from PowerPoint, making them viewable by anyone on any device with an internet connection. Get in touch with us to find out more about the different options available.

2) Macs cost more than PCs

I’m going to be upfront about something because there’s no denying it: while the cheapest MacBook Pro is £825, you can pick up a Dell for around £400. Half the price?! So why on earth would anyone ever consider going for a Mac?

Well, it depends whether you want your IT to last or not… Get a PC laptop and it’s going to last you three to four years, tops. That might sound presumptuous, but in my experience, PCs aren’t made to last – first, you’ll find yourself having to replace the battery after one year for an extra 70-plus quid (even Dell admit there’ll be a performance drop-off within 18 months), and after two to three years, the machine will be so unbearably sluggish that you’ll want to throw it out the window. At that point, you’ll likely find yourself replacing it with a newer model for another £400. And so begins a neverending cycle. In the meantime, that outlandish Mac you bought for your design team five or six years ago keeps chugging along.

This isn’t fool-proof, of course, because there are reliable PC laptops out there, but more often than not, when comparing those to a Mac, it’ll be the Mac that comes out cheaper in the first place. And that’s without touching on the price of software updates and operating system upgrades, which are both vastly cheaper on a Mac.

3) You can’t run Windows on a Mac

We’ve all seen the adverts from a few years ago pitting the Mac against the stuffy PC. They’re completely separate things, right? It would be unthinkable for Windows to run on a Mac? Wrong.

Mac OS X has a built-in tool that goes by the name of Boot Camp. This sits somewhere in your system and, should you wish to, lets you load up Windows rather than OS X when you first turn on the machine. Granted you have to buy a Windows licence to be able to use Windows applications (and remain out of jail…), but when you get the benefit of two platforms on one machine, it’s not something to be scoffed at. Alternatively, if you want to literally run Windows and OS X apps side-byside within the Mac environment, or are a fan of Linux, tools such as VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop can be used instead of Boot Camp.

4) Macs can’t be integrated into Windows networks

You hear all sorts of horror stories here – from the need to run completely separate Mac and Windows networks, to duplicated, greyed-out ghost files that randomly appear on your servers. On the simplest level, OS X has built-in support for the latest version of Microsoft Exchange Server and virtually all email services and providers. But from an IT management point of view, tools such as Centrify DirectControl and GroupLogic ExtremeZ-IP now let you treat Macs as if they were PCs on your Windows infrastructure, and give Macs access to Windows file servers. Basically, Macs and PCs can run alongside each other in complete harmony.

5) Macs are only more secure because there are less of them

This one is partly true, but is increasingly less valid in a world where the Apple market share increases all the time. But on the whole there are fewer Apple computers than the hundreds of models of PC out there, and while hackers remain lazy, Mac will still have the edge.

From a technology point of view, though, Apple have historically trounced Windows; they are built on a UNIX foundation, which is known for its security and reliability, and integrate a Mach 3.0 microkernal and FreeBSD 5variant, helping to make them far harder to hijack. And while Windows is catching up by upping its security tech, it often requires the user to be more vigilant and responsive when it comes to installing updates and maintaining the system.

6) Macs have a steep learning curve

Right back to the days of the first GUI when they introduced the mouse, Apple have been finding new ways to make computing a simpler experience, so it’s no surprise that they’ve worked hard to make OS X accessible for all. From an end-user point of view, Apple’s OS gives you everything you need in a simple and straightforward layout, hiding away much of what you don’t use – what would ordinarily take three or four clicks on Windows takes one or two on a Mac. But Apple have also worked hard to make the entire experience of using their devices easier. Through the likes of iCloud and centralised Apple accounts, all of a user’s devices can be connected and synced for non-stop access to music, Reminders, video and more.

7) Macs are for graphic designers and 3D artists

If you’re not already convinced, let’s summarise:

– Macs have access to all-important business tools, and are easier to get to grips with

– Macs have a better residual value than cheaper PCs

– You can run both Windows, OS X and Linux side-by-side on a Mac

– You can manage Macs as if they were PCs on your existing network

– Macs are less likely to get clogged up with viruses

Now, that doesn’t sound like something just for creatives to me…

Want to find out more about how your business will benefit from Macs? Give us a call on 03332 409 219, email B2B@Jigsaw24.com or visit our Apple for business site.

The iOS apps you (and we) can’t live without

The iOS apps you (and we) can’t live without

From accountants to architects, here are some of the top apps that we have been recommending to customers.

One of the biggest benefits of Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is versatility. Apps allow you to transform an iOS device into just about anything you can imagine on a touch screen, and the Apple App Store already has a library of more than 520,000 approved apps – many of which are free. You can develop your own bespoke content that’s tailored specifically to your business’s needs but, apart from spirit levels and Angry Birds, what does the App Store have to offer?

For word processing: Pages

Pages (£6.99) from Apple is just one of a number of apps out there available for the iPad and iPhone that deal with word processing. Where this has the edge, though, is in its compatibility with Microsoft Word – it can import and export both iWork and Office for Mac files, as well as PDFs. It’s also far more flexible than its competitors, allowing you to import photos into text with minimal lag.

Download Pages from the App Store here.

For spreadsheets: Numbers

Download Numbers from the App Store here.Numbers (£6.99) from Apple is a spreadsheet tool that includes over 250 different functions. It’s completely compatible with Excel files (you can import and export the .xls file type), but bear in mind it doesn’t include pivot tables, sparklines and Macros – you’ll need to run Microsoft Office via VPN and remote desktop protocol for those.

For presentations: Keynote

Keynote (£6.99) from Apple is hands-down the best for creating and editing presentations, and you can work with both Mac Keynote and PowerPoint files. Bear in mind though, that if you just want an app for presenting that retains PowerPoint formatting, you’re better off going for GoodReader.Download Keynote from the App Store here.
For accessing and sharing files: mobilEcho, Dropbox and activEcho

mobilEcho (Get in touch for pricing) from GroupLogic has been a game changer in that IT can now give iPad users secure and managed access (via AD authentication) to files that are stored on corporate file servers. Basically, it lets iPad users access files in the same way as they would on their laptop.

Download free trial of mobilEcho here.

Dropbox (Free) by Dropbox is free but includes a storage limit, and lets you store any file type in cloud storage so you can access it on another device – you can save a document on an iPad and then carry on working on it on your desktop when you’re back in the office, without having to transfer over the latest version.

Download Dropbox from the App Store.

activEcho (Get in touch for pricing) from GroupLogic is the corporate equivalent of Dropbox, and works in the same way by giving you anytime, anywhere access to files stored in the cloud (either public or private). The one big difference: this improves security and helps you meet compliance requirements. Again, the client app is free but the infrastructure behind that isn’t.

Download activEcho free trial here.

For sketching and editing CAD files: AutoCAD WS

AutoCAD WS (Free) is purely aimed at anyone who works with 2D and 3D DWG, DWF and DXF files. It lets you view, edit and share drawings, and you can even work on designs offline or use the built-in design collaboration tools to review and approve colleagues’ work.

Download AutoCAD WS from the App Store here.

For retail and sales reports: Roambi Analytics Visualizer and Roambi Flow Viewer

Roambi Analytics Visualizer and Roambi Flow Viewer are both business intelligence apps that bring together complex data and engaging design. Roambi Analytics transforms existing business reports into stunning visual displays, while the Flow Viewer lets you turn business information (including Salesforce data) and multimedia content into a report for presenting to clients and colleagues. While both apps are free to download, for more comprehensive reporting in Analytics Visualizer, a subscription is required.

Download Roambi Flow Viewer from the App Store here.

Download Roambi Analytics Visualizer from the App Store here.

For monitoring and communicating leads: ForcePad and Salesforce Chatter

ForcePad (Free) by Salesforce Labs was formerly known as Salesforce for iPad, and gives you access to every Salesforce feature on the move. You can create, edit, clone and delete records in an Salesforce environment, view all your apps and visualforce/web/custom tabs, and post links to Chatter. This is great if you want to check leads or opportunities you’ve been assigned to.

Download ForcePad from the App Store here.

Salesforce Chatter (Free) by salesforce.com is a great way to turn your business into a social enterprise, giving employees the chance to communicate what they are working on and post photos.

Download Chatter from the App Store here.

For document management: GoodReader for iPad

GoodReader for iPad (£2.99) by Good.i.Ware is perfect for viewing lots of file formats, including PDFs and Microsoft Office files. Where this excels is in its flexibility and speed; you can load up PDFs of 100MB or more incredibly fast or even choose to load them without images, then use the annotation tools to look at other people’s comments GoodReader also uses a familiar file storage interface, and can sync with the likes of Dropbox and other remote servers.

Download GoodReader for iPad from the App Store here.

For notetaking: Evernote

Evernote (Free) by Evernote is more than just notetaking, if I’m being honest; you can take notes, capture photos, important PDFs, make voice recordings and more. Then save them all in the cloud in project folders. It’s the search function that really stands out, though, because Evernote will scan your saved images and PDFs as well as text documents for instances of your word or phrase.

Download Evernote from the App Store here.

For more of our must-have apps, keep en eye on our blog for our app of the week! Or to find out about creating and distributing apps within your business, call us on 03332 409 219 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com.

Guide to iPad video: An introduction to gestures

Guide to iPad video: An introduction to gestures

Whether you’re new to Apple’s iPad or after a refresh course on iOS’s latest features, our introduction to gestures will help you out. From the basic tap to the four finger swipe, we cover off the full range of basic and multitasking gestures available on iPad.

To find out more about iPad, take a look at our full range of iPad video tutorials or get in touch on 03332 409 306. You can also email us on sales@Jigsaw24.com or leave us a comment in the box below.

Media Asset Management with axle and Avid

Media Asset Management with axle and Avid

Let’s say you have this storage thing sorted. You’re got an amazing SAN, you’ve got nearline drives rumbling contentedly close by and the robot in your tape library couldn’t be happier. How are you actually going to keep track of all this stuff? Making sure you can find, manage and monetise assets wherever they are in your storage hierarchy is the job of your Media Asset Management system – and a good one will also help you get through ongoing jobs more efficiently. All the systems we can provide will help your creative and technical teams carry out day to day work more efficiently, so you can save money by automating workflows and ensure that you always deliver jobs on time.

axle

Released in 2012, axle allows you to take one of your facility’s Macs and turn it into a ‘media management and collaboration server’. What this means in practical terms is that it looks through any drives connected to the server, whether that’s the hard drive of each Mac or the contents of your server room, and indexes all the files on them. It then creates an online portal where you can browse every file, regardless of where it’s stored, and your users can preview low-res versions of documents, play back proxy videos, edit metadata and more. Even better, you can create different views of this portal, so people only see the files for work that’s relevant to them, and any clients you give a login to can only see files from their project. You can also save searches for quicker access to common groups of files (say, all the images tagged to a specific location, or everything shot with a certain type of lens).

While this may not sound like it’s that far above and beyond anything else out there, the great thing about axle is that it’s accessible from any device, from your iMac to your iPad to a client’s PC, so you can always access resources. And because everything is web-based, your users don’t have to spend time installing apps on their computers. You can export collections of clips straight to your editor, then view H.264 proxies of the result and flag anything you want to alter in those proxies, without having to have access to the editor yourself (this could work wonders on complex approval processes where you have a lot of non-creative parties to get sign off from).

Once you’re finished with a project, you can even arrange for axle to automatically move it to centralised archive storage – or the cloud, if you prefer to store things online – so everyone can access it if you ever need to reuse it, but it’s not taking up valuable space on your SAN. The project stays in the central index of files, so if you’re ever working on something similar the team will be able to see that some assets already exist, and hopefully save themselves some time and money by repurposing that work, rather than duplicating it.

Avid Interplay 

Interplay has been at the heart of large broadcast AVID environments for some time now, and has a reassuringly strong heritage. A enterprise scale system, it comprises all the components you need for news ingest and delivery straight to air, integrated archive and proxy management, and remote logging and editing. It may seem a daunting amount to take on at first, but you can actually start to harness the Interplay environment on a single server, and only scale up as and when your team are ready.

As Interplay has been designed to work seamlessly with your Media Composer workflow, it’s the perfect tool for managing your assets, projects, users and multi-platform delivery options from a single, central point. You can give your editors more time to cut (and spend less time ingesting and creating deliverables) by introducing lightweight Interplay Central clients to your facility – these act as a browser-based rough cut and project creation assist tool. You can then use the same interface to enable remote viewing and approvals by your clients, as well as allowing everyone to see existing assets while on set to ensure they have all the shots they need before wrapping for the day.

The remote capabilities of Interplay have been moved to the fore recently with the addition of Sphere. Using Interplay Sphere, a second server will dish up media to your remote Media Composer editors anywhere in the world as if they were at your main office, so you can provide a truly global, collaborative service that’ll cover long shoots abroad, journalists in the field or anyone who’s catching up on an edit while delayed on the train – all the while safe in the knowledge that your assets are being managed on your secure ISIS back at the facility.

If you want to see the rest of the Interplay iceberg, you can always call us on 03332 409 306, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or drop by stand F33 during BVE.

 

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or visit us at stand F33 at BVE. To keep up with all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

App of the week: mobilEcho

App of the week: mobilEcho

The mobilEcho app is the first enterprise-level mobile file management solution, and gives business users secure and managed access to Windows file servers on their iPhone or iPad.

What is mobilEcho?

Unlike the other apps we have featured, GroupLogic’s mobilEcho is an enterprise solution. As well as being an app that sits on an iPad or iPhone to give access to Windows File Servers, SharePoint and NAS devices, it’s also software that gets installed in an IT backend to give iOS devices access to those servers.

Essentially, by having it installed on business iOS devices, end users can access all their files stored back in the office from anywhere. Similarly, businesses can also push important files out to all of their iOS devices. Very useful!

So how does it work?

Well, for the end user, it’s ridiculously simple; they install the app on their device just like they would any other. Alternatively, for ease, IT admin can send an invite with instructions of how to install a pre-configured app. Once connected to the company’s file servers, they just select the app and they’ll have access to everything they need – complete with the same folder structure as if they were accessing it on a laptop or desktop.

For IT admin, once the software is installed in the backend, they’re able to authenticate users, give users access to their file shares on the servers, whitelist apps that IT are happy for users to move files into for editing, or prevent high security documents from leaving the mobilEcho environment. They can also remotely wipe the mobilEcho app and data within it, if the device is compromised.

Who’s it for?

As far as end users are concerned, there are two main groups that we reckon will benefit most from this.

When it comes to mobile sales teams, iPad is now quite literally the must-have device. It’s giving businesses the chance to use a device that not only looks great, but is incredibly practical and portable. mobilEcho lets those consultants constantly have access to the most up to date files (these could be price lists, data sheets etc.) whilst on the road.

Until mobilEcho came along, business users found workarounds such as emailing files to themselves or using unsecured third-party solutions. With this app, they can download a contract from the file server, open it as a Word document in an app such as Quickoffice Pro HD or within the mobilEcho environment (for added security) and save it back to the server.

The other group mobilEcho is particularly useful for is marketing teams. This is a great way to communicate with other business users. Gone are those days of having requests sent through by email from consultants at the other end of the country who need a particular piece of collateral. The entire back catalogue of the marketing department can be saved in the file server for anyone using the mobilEcho app to access.

Our favourite feature

Hands down the 2-way sync. Basically, whenever the iPad is connected to the internet (and mobilEcho is opened) any files that get placed into the 2-way sync folder on the file server side are automatically pushed to the iPad so that they can be accessed offline – they become stored locally. This is incredibly useful for pushing company documents out to all iPad users!

How much is it and where do I get it?

While the end user app is completely free and available from the app store here the pricing of the software side of things varies from business to business. To find out how much it would cost your business, get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com.

Alternatively, if you fancy giving mobilEcho a go and finding out how it works, we’ve set up a FREE trial with GroupLogic, which you can download by visiting the link here – http://info.grouplogic.com/Jigsaw24_MELandingPage.html.

Infographic: Is your business ready for consumerisation?

Infographic: Is your business ready for consumerisation?

Seven questions businesses must answer as they prepare for the policy, security and system concerns associated to the mobile enterprise

Consumer IT is already changing the way people communicate and collaborate. That transformation is only likely to quicken in pace during the next few years and organisations must embrace mobile technology. CIOs will need to create a digital strategy that allows for a safe and secure switch to consumer devices. Here we take a look at the questions being asked of CIOs about service support, mobility, security concerns, cloud computing, application development and flexible working…

Click here  to download the infographic as an image. Or take a look at the interactive infographic below (be sure to hit the full screen button though)!

For more information about consumerisation, get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. Or drop us a comment below and we’ll get back to you.

The 3-step guide to developing your mobile strategy

The 3-step guide to developing your mobile strategy

Everyone knows that bring your own technology (BYOT) is here – you only have to walk around your office to see the number of people already using their own smartphone or tablet for work purposes. And as long as they go on accessing your corporate systems unsecured and unmanaged, you’re leaving your network open to any number of problems. If you want to grab the bull by its horns and take control of the situation by setting up an official BYOT scheme, it’s important to have a firm plan in place from the get-go. To help you understand what’s involved, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to developing a mobile strategy.

Step 1: Sort out your IT requirements

What smartphones and OSes will you support? It’s important to decide at the beginning, what operating systems you’re going to support and therefore what devices people will be able to use; you’re probably not going to want to manage every type of smartphone out there – it would be far too time consuming and costly. If you’re planning on rolling out a shared purchase scheme, you’re already taking steps to restrict the types of device accessing your network, but if your scheme is true BYOT, here are some questions you’ll want to consider when weighing up the pros and cons of each OS:

Security Does the operating system include built-in encryption? Will you be able to tell if the device has been jailbroken or rooted? Can you enforce passwords and locate, lock and wipe lost devices? Are you able to partially wipe devices (important if they are personally owned)?

Manageability Is the operating system open to mobile device management (MDM) and mobile app management (MAM)? Does it support Exchange ActiveSync and comply to company standards?

Apps What corporate-level apps are available for the OS? Does the platform support the development and deployment of custom apps?

How will you deal with new devices accessing your network? If devices are going to need to access your WiFi as part of the enrolment process, now is the best time to ensure your network is ready. We’d recommend setting up a guest SSID/wireless network that is separate from your internal network, where employees can visit an enrolment page and download the necessary profiles. Once enrolled, you can then use MDM to assign privileges and restrictions that make the device safe to join the main network, including email, WiFi and your VPN.

How will you ensure the device has access to corporate documents? Employees need to access corporate documents on their mobile device, and if you don’t provide them with a way to do so securely (mobilEcho is one solution that lets iOS users access corporate file structures) or if restrictions are too strong, they’ll find a way themselves – probably at the risk of corporate data.

Step 2: Put together the paperwork

The mobile device policy This is a company-wide document that lays down how mobile devices will integrate into your business, and is one of the most important parts of the deployment. It should include the requirements of the organisation, and have input from stakeholders, legal, HR, IT and employees.

The policy checklist:

The basics
– who is responsible for the device
– consequences for policy violation
– which devices are supported

Device usage and funding
– how devices should be used
– how security requirements will be communicated
– the funding requirements (who’s going to pay for what?)
– how the policy will deal with contractors

Risks
– what corporate data is too risky to allow access to out of office
– who is allowed access to sensitive data on their device
– what steps will be taken in the event of lost data

The legal stuff
– regional and country data privacy laws
– details of the company’s intent to monitor activity on personally-owned devices
– liability for malpractice
– the process of removing company content from the device employee obligations if the device goes missing

HR considerations
– control over corporate info
– policies that deal with personally-owned devices during work hours
– employee awareness and training

The mobile device agreement This is a simpler document than the device policy that you can use to acknowledge whether or not employees have agreed to the guidelines laid down in the scheme. By accepting the terms in this document, each employee is effectively saying that your IT team has the right to secure their device and the data on it, if required. Basically, it’s your way of checking the employee was aware of the policy when they started using their device for work purposes.

Step 3: Find the right way to manage devices

There are now more ways to manage mobile devices than we can begin to go into here, and choosing between them is far from cut and dry. Apple’s own MDM solution, for example, will cover off the basics for iOS devices, but if you need more specific management tools or a cross-platform solution, there are solutions by JAMF, Absolute Software, MobileIron and many more. So, if you are considering BYOT and are looking for an MDM solution, it’s a good idea to get in touch with our team who can help you. As a first port of call, though, you should identify what your requirements are. Here are some things to think about:

What platforms are supported? You’ll need to look at whether the device management solution will fit into your existing environment, how it fits in with your current security, and which OSes it covers – JAMF’s Casper, for example, is purely iOS and OS X, Absolute Manage adds Android and Windows into the mix, and MobileIron covers all mobile devices.

Will it meet your admin needs? You may need a solution that allows you to administrate all devices using the same policies, or one that lets you define specific user groups within your business and set role-based rules.

Do you need app management as well? Will you need to control the apps on each device? This is a feature that’s not available in all MDM solutions but, if you’re looking to distribute in-house or commercial apps, is important to have.

Does it meet your security requirements? Consider what features you’ll need to properly secure devices. Common features of MDM include: multiple security policies per device (you may need a blanket policy for all devices, and more specific ones depending on type of user), automated removal of non-compliant devices, secure document distribution, remote locks and wipes, and the ability to set password complexity.

It’s important to remember that every BYOT setup is going to be different, and we’d always recommend getting in touch with us to help you find out your exact needs – one size does not fit all. We work with some of the world’s leading MDM solutions providers, and can help you enrol just about any device into your business.

To find out more about developing your own mobile strategy, and for more information about how we can help, get in touch with us on 03332 409 219, email B2B@Jigsaw24.com or visit our dedicated Apple for business site.

Case study: iPad at Guardian News & Media

Case study: iPad at Guardian News & Media

As part of their Digital First initiative, Guardian News & Media (GNM) decided to make iPad available to their staff at a discounted rate on a shared purchase basis. Jigsaw24 partnered with GNM to deliver this transformational project for 1200 users, without increasing support costs for the IT team.

The Digital First initiative

“All media companies are facing huge disruption through the internet, and we’re no different,” said Andy Beale, GNM’s Technology Director. “Our audience is consuming our products and interacting with us now onba number of platforms, and our feeling is that we should be on all platforms, whether that’s a hardware one or a software one.” As part of preparing themselves for the shift away from print publishing to digital, GNM decided they wanted to help their staff get access to the latest digital device, iPad.

“Putting these devices in the hands of all our staff is an important part of communicating that message and saying, ‘this is our direction’, but it also helps them on that journey. Not everyone here is a digital native. We have a really broad, diverse mix of people working here and we need to take them with us,” Andy explained.

Using shared purchase to engage employees and lower costs

While GNM’s leaders were all for helping employees become comfortable with the latest technologies, simply giving 1200 iPad devices away wasn’t an option. “The commercial constraints are incredibly important for all media companies,” said Andy, “so we came up with the idea of shared purchase, which would allow us to avoid taking a lot of assets and devices on to our own overheads, yet provide large numbers [of devices] if people were interested, while keeping costs down and giving employees some responsibility in the process.”

Under GNM’s scheme, employees had a three-week purchasing window during which they could buy an iPad with accessories at a subsidised price, and pay off the cost over a year. Because they wanted staff to be as comfortable with the devices as possible, GNM chose not to dictate what
they would be used for – staff could use them in the workplace or at home, and the GNM technology team would configure and provide training for each user regardless.

GNM’s tech team didn’t have the time or resources to manage an iPad purchasing scheme internally, so our team built them a branded online purchasing portal that would let staff buy approved devices over a secure, centralised system with 128-bit SSL encryption. Once the portal was live, we helped stage a launch event at GNM’s London offices, where we were on hand throughout the first day of the scheme to offer employees advice on which model would suit them best, and whether they’d need any accessories or adaptors.

“The launch event worked really well, because as well as ‘come and get your iPad’ we had a show and tell – ‘this is how you use your iPad, this is how it works, here are some of the interesting apps you can download’ – just to answer some of the technology questions people always have,” said Executive Director Adam Freeman. “The feedback from staff was fantastic. They were saying thanks for the offer, but actually it was really great how you helped us to understand how to use the iPad.”

90% take up and fantastic feedback from staff

“Now on a day to day basis I’m in a room and everyone’s on an iPad, and they’re all taking notes on them, presenting ideas on them, showing each other documents,” said Adam. “We’re also definitely seeing more confidence in the digital platform. When we talk about iPads and how people are using them, [staff] are much more au fait with what an app is, how it works and the user experience. It’s making it easier for us to have a shared language that’s digital, because people are experiencing it for themselves.”

“We ask staff for feedback on a lot of different things and it’s quite hard to get people to feed back – particularly journalists, who are by their very nature questioning and challenging,” said Adam, “but we had about a 90% take up on our iPad offer. I’ve never been in a room with hundreds of people, presenting opportunities, and had that many hands go up that often.

“In terms of innovation, what’s really important to us is that tablets and smartphones are going to be the place where the majority of our content is consumed in the very near future. When I look back on this, having had six months of people having these products, it’s going to be even more beneficial in two years time than it is today, because everyone will be writing for tablets. [The iPad] is the next 20 years of the organisation, not the last six months.”

“People find themselves doing extra bits of work because it is just so easy and mobile.”

But it’s not just a change in attitude that GNM have seen. “There’s no doubt that it allows more flexibility in working, so the fact that people can log in wherever they are, work whenever they want to – that’s definitely making us more flexible in terms of supporting people working in different spaces, working from home, working on the move. We’ve just invested in America, for example, so we’ve put a new team into the US this year and had a lot of people go from our UK office to there, and outside of the time difference you wouldn’t know where they were, because they’re using the same systems, the same technologies.”

Staff have also found themselves picking up jobs out of hours. “You’ll be sitting on the sofa and whilst you’re on YouTube you find yourself checking your work email and thinking, ‘I’ll just answer this one…’” explains Ben McLeavy, Remote Communication Specialist. “People find themselves doing extra bits of work because it is just so easy and mobile. The main thing for me about iPad is that it is very portable, and it’s very instant. There’s no booting time, so it’s very much pick up and play – or work.”

Delivering better experiences but no extra support costs

“The initiative has been fantastic for morale,” said Adam. “It’s allowing us to make more informed choices because the people – particularly the journalists who are not at the forefront of digital product development – have got iPads themselves now, so when we talk about the new publishing opportunities iPad and tablets give us, they can easily see what the consumer experience would be like, whereas before it would have been, ‘What’s this new thing that you want me to be involved in? I don’t understand how it works.’”

And the scheme’s impact on GNM’s IT team? “We’ve not seen any increased overheads from an IT point of view,” said Andy. “We’ve taken on an extra 1200 devices, many of which are used in the work context, and we’ve not had to do anything in terms of supporting those.”

Want to find out how your business can get the benefits of iPad without increasing support costs? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 219, email us at B2B@Jigsaw24.com or take a look at our dedicated Apple for business site.