Infographic: Upwardly mobile

Infographic: Upwardly mobile

Stages, timeframes and facts for executives who are considering their organisation’s first steps into mobile app development

Creating a strategy for mobile app development is no longer an option. Businesses that have decided to wait on implementation have seen their worker bring their own devices into the workplace and their competitors offer innovative ways for their customers to engage on the go. CIOs must help the rest of the organisation harness the benefits of mobility and place mobile app development at the heart of their organisation’s business strategy.

Infographic: Stages, timeframes and facts for executives who are considering their organisation's first steps into mobile app development

Infographic: Upwardly mobile

Want to find out about our mobile app development services? Get in touch with us on 03332 409 234 or email CIO@Jigsaw24.com. We can work with you to create a bespoke app that fits in with your business’s existing systems and is designed to meet specific business requirements.

Taking preservation into the digital age: An interview with National Trust CIO Sarah Flannigan

Taking preservation into the digital age: An interview with National Trust CIO Sarah Flannigan

National Trust CIO Sarah Flannigan says creative mobile solutions can help organisations overcome the challenges associated with customer engagement.

Sarah Flannigan, CIO at the National Trust, recognises creativity and innovation are crucial elements when using technology to successfully meet business objectives.

The former sales and marketing director for manufacturing specialist David Salisbury became IT leader at the conservation charity in 2010. She says her business background makes her fully aware of the need to engage with customers in innovative ways.

“We need to make the most of consumer and mobile technology,” says Flannigan. “Cost is important because we’re a charity but the business benefits associated with new forms of technology can help produce a quick return on investment.”

The Trust already employs digital media specialists who deal with social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs. The creation of real-time content is devolved to Trust properties and employees engage with the wider community. Rangers, for example, are encouraged to write blogs about anything ranging from plant health to coastal footpath maintenance.

“Communicating about nature has to be real time,” says Flannigan. “We want to let our members know that the bluebells are out or a cow is in calf. We’ve realised our website is our biggest property. Joined-up communications presents a huge opportunity.”

Flannigan’s proactive approach includes allowing users to bring their own technology (BYOT) to work. While other CIOs have chosen to shy away from consumerisation, the Trust was an early adopter of employee-led choice.

“We tell workers that we’ll support their technology if they want to use it,” she says, recognising that some individuals chose to use their own iPhones and iPad. “We’re happy because iOS is carefully locked down. We only support Apple devices for BYOT because of the in-built security options.”

Flannigan’s BYOT strategy includes clear guidelines for employees, such as instructions on how to receive work email, signed forms for personal liability and systems for remote data wiping. By allowing employees to use their own technology, Flannigan can repurpose previously allocated mobile technology, saving costs and increasing flexibility for other individuals in the Trust.

Some iPad devices have already been deployed in Trust properties. Volunteer room guides armed with the mobile device can give additional information to visitors, or can allow individuals to interact with the technology themselves. An example includes the Long Gallery at Montacute House in Somerset. The collaboration with the National Gallery allows visitors to use iPad and see more information about paintings.

“The technology brings properties to life,” says Flannigan. The Trust has embraced mobile development and created its first iPhone app for visitors more than two years ago. The GPS-based app allows customers to view nearby properties and see opening times, historical information and events. “It helps us to show that we’re not the stuffy organisation people used to think we were and it can breathe new life into a return property visit, ” she says.

The Trust has also launched a gardens app that allows visitors to obtain rich information about gardens at Trust properties. The app includes an augmented reality experience of the garden, which identifies and tags shrubs and trees. “Mobile development is helping us to reach a non-traditional audience,” says Flannigan.

Further mobile developments are being considered. The Trust is keen to investigate how tablets can help rangers conduct tree surveys at sites. Flannigan says challenges abound, such as battery life, device fragility and screen glare. One possible avenue is via the implementation of iPad mini.

Tablet devices will also be used to help recruit members at sites. Visitors are currently signed up through a manual process. Flannigan says automation through iPad would be more intuitive and help speed up the enrolment process. She hopes to have tablets on site from summer 2013 but must first overcome challenges surrounding access to power and network connectivity in remote locations.

“Whatever device we use will have to meet our criteria and we’re currently wrestling with the challenges,” she says. “But the digital age is definitely allowing us to think about engagement in terms that would have been impossible ten years ago.”

National Trust CIO Sarah Flannigan on digital media

Sarah Flannigan, CIO at National Trust

Working with a trusted IT partner

The National Trust runs an in-house publishing division that produces magazines and marketing collateral. On joining the charity in 2010, CIO Sarah Flannigan discovered workers in the department were using various versions of the Apple Mac computer, which tends to be the default choice for workers involved in publishing.

The rest of the organisation was running Microsoft Windows-based PC technology. There was a misguided belief among in-house IT support workers that the publishing team should simply fend for themselves because the strategy then was not to support Apple technology. Flannigan, with the help of Jigsaw24, established a support mechanism for the publishing department.

“I want IT to be under our control and I want to be responsible for end user support. We need our publishing team to be producing great content, not worrying about problematic IT issues. We had to find a way to deal with this specialist need. Jigsaw24 genuinely slotted in and supported our way of working,” she says.

Interested in finding out how Jigsaw24 can help your organisation? Call us on 03332 409 234 or email CIO@Jigsaw24.com. You can also find out how Chris Taylor of News International has used mobility and Apple to revolutionise operations.

Infographic: Your definitive guide to Adobe Creative Cloud!

Infographic: Your definitive guide to Adobe Creative Cloud!

In May 2013, Adobe’s Creative Cloud was launched. For some, it heralded a new creative workflow with improved collaboration and access to the design community; for others, it marked confusion. What exactly has changed? How is it different from Creative Suite? Is Adobe Behance a new type of anti-ageing creme? To make things simple and in answer to your questions, we decided to put together a definitive guide to Adobe Creative Cloud for Teams. Take a look…

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Still got questions? Take a look at our Adobe Creative Cloud for Teams FAQ section here or get in touch with the team on 03332 409 251 or email Adobe@Jigsaw24.com

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What is Adobe Creative Cloud for teams single app?

Adobe offers two Creative Cloud for teams plans – complete and single app. A single app plan includes access to the latest version of one CC desktop app of your choice such as Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC, updates and upgrades the moment they are released, and select services and business features.

When should I choose Adobe Creative Cloud for teams single app over complete?

It is up to you. The complete membership offers access to the entire selection of creative tools, thereby providing your team members with greater flexibility and the ability to expand their skillset. Single app is ideal for users that use one app in their creative workflow, and want to participate in Creative Cloud.

What’s the difference between a complete and single app Creative Cloud for teams membership?

A complete plan includes all Creative Cloud apps and services. A single app includes access to one app (Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, etc.) and select services, including 20 GB cloud-based storage and a customised online portfolio with Behance Prosite, enabling you to publish your work to the world’s leading creative community. With each plan, you’ll receive access to the same easy-to-use admin console – a web portal that lets you centrally purchase, deploy, and manage all seats across your organization under one membership agreement.

What’s new in Adobe Creative Cloud?

What’s new in Adobe Creative Cloud?

From Smart Sharpen in Photoshop for improving image quality, to the much-talked about Touch Type tool (try saying that 20 times fast) in Illustrator, we’ve got a rundown of exactly what’s changed, what’s new and what’s got us a bit hot under the collar.

Photoshop CC – There’s an all-new sharpen tool that builds on the previous sharpening engines to gives you richer textures, crisper edges and maximum clarity, Intelligent Upsampling for enlarging low-res images to billboard size, a new Camera Shake Reduction function for saving shots ruined by camera motion, improved 3D painting with previews that are up to 100x faster, and much more.

Illustrator CC – The Touch Type tool lets you manipulate characters like they are individual objects (with support for multitouch devices), the ability to paint with a brush made from a photo, a font search for easily finding and filtering your font library, the chance to import multiple files into your layout at the same time, and much more.

InDesign CC – There’s faster performance thanks to the 64-bit support, a new user interface to make it consistent with Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC, support for your MacBook Pro’s Retina display for working on complex artwork, access to Creative Cloud’s sharing features and an all-new QR Code Creator so you can get people from your print work to your website in a jiffy.

Dreamweaver CC – A CSS Designer let you use intuitive visual editing tools to generate web-standard code and apply gradients and box shadows, the Fluid Grid Layout allows you to construct web designs and responsive layouts for different platforms, and put the expansive Adobe Edge Fonts Library to the test and use beautifully-style typography.

After Effects CC – The latest version of After Effects allows you to use CINEMA 4D scenes without having to render first, there’s a new Refine Edge tool that eliminates harsh matte lines when separating elements such as frizzy hair, and the already-incredible Warp Stabilizer has been upgraded to allow you to only choose specific objects for stabilization.

Premiere Pro CC – There’s a redesigned timeline and new shortcuts to make the editing process a faster one, a Link & Locate function that allows you to track down lost clips, the Lumetri Deep Color Engine for applying rich, preset colour graces directly within Premiere Pro as easily as you would a fade, and much more.

Muse CC – Muse is now part of Creative Cloud, giving you access to the 20GB of cloud storage and backup. That means sharing and collaborating on designs is easier than ever.

Behance access included – A Creative Cloud subscription now gives you access to “online creative collective” Behance, which allows designers of all stripes to showcase their work and scout for the best talent.

Sharing documents on the go – Creative files can now be stored on and accessed from Macs, PCs, iOS devices and Android devices, with any changes being rolled out across all devices that access the file almost instantly.

Want to know more about subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email Adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.  

For a limited time, you can get access to discounted pricing on Creative Cloud for your first and second year of subscription. For £362 per user per year (a massive saving of over 40%) you can put all of the new features mentioned above to good use!


App of the week: junaio Augmented Reality Browser

App of the week: junaio Augmented Reality Browser

By now we’ve all seen augmented reality in action, and while a good chunk of the iPhone-wielding public have download an AR app only to dismiss it as a gimmick, for businesses it provides a wealth of opportunities for visualising and working in a more dynamic way.

What is junaio?

junaio by metaio is one example of augmented reality being put to good use – primarily a developers’ platform, it allows you to create and then publish your own location-based experiences to several million users (or a select few if you’d prefer…) via the junaio app in the App Store.

How does augmented reality and junaio work?

Augmented reality is the process in which virtual, computer-generated elements (sound, video, graphics or GPS data) are added to real life visuals to modify a view or enhance a view.

The junaio app is an augmented reality viewer that allows you to tap into the channels developed in junaio’s developer community. Within the app, you can:

– recognise imagery and add virtual overlays
– add interactive computer-generated elements to magazines and other publications
– tap into GPS data to find a local store or service
– scan QR codes
– read barcodes
– and more…

As an app user, all you have to do is download it from the App Store, load it up and download content from any of the channels in the built-in library. Take a look at junaio’s video below to see some of these examples in action.

Who’s junaio good for?

While the junaio app already includes thousands of options for viewing everything from the location of tweeters to the nearest place to get a hangover cure, for businesses, it will really benefit anyone who needs realtime visualisation in situ. On a basic level, it’s possible to create a store channel with details of all shop locations for the end user to find their nearest option, but it would also be possible for visual merchandisers to develop apps that scan shops for to identify product placement.

Construction is another area where junaio comes into its own. So much so that Apple have even put together a case study on how engineering and construction giant, Bechtel use junaio alongside Autodesk 360 on their iPad to view mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems over images of a construction site. The built-in GPS in iPad is used along with junaio to plot their location within the site for accurate visualisations. Take a look at the case study and video here.

Our favourite feature

When it comes to augmented reality, there have been a fair few duds released over the years for mobile devices (i.e. they didn’t quite manage to recognise imagery as well as you’d hope, and you’d be left shaking your phone in an attempt to get the virtual elements to catch up), but that’s just not the case with junaio – it’s actually incredibly accurate.

The big benefit here is that it has real business potential, as the Bechtel case study above proves. The accuracy and reliability with which it adds virtual content to real life imagery means that you can develop uses for the app which take a lot of the guess work out of visualisation.

Where can I get it?

The viewing app itself is available from Apple’s App Store and is completely free – click here to head on over there now to download. For businesses wanting to develop bespoke uses for junaio on iPad, head on over to the junaio site here.

For more information about business uses of iPad, get in touch with our team on 03332 409 306 or email business@Jigsaw24.com.

Infographic: Go portable and get productive

Infographic: Go portable and get productive

Seven crucial areas that will help define how you can use mobility to increase employee flexibility and business competitiveness

Many employees now own personal portable devices that are more powerful than the desktop technology that reside on their office desks. Drawing on independent market research from Jigsaw24, and other industry sources, we consider the seven core issues that are crucial when creating a modern mobile strategy.

Infographic: Seven crucial areas that will help define how you can use mobility to increase employee flexibility and business competitiveness

Infographic: Go portable and get productive

 

To find out more about going mobile in business, get in touch with us on 03332 409 219 or email business@Jigsaw24.com.

App of the week: Pulsar for Salesforce

App of the week: Pulsar for Salesforce

Already using Salesforce? Well, imagine having access to its features on your iPad, while getting the benefit of social, cloud and device services. That’s where Pulsar comes in…

What is Pulsar for iPad?

If you’re already a Salesforce user, you’ll know that it provides businesses with incredibly powerful tools for nurturing and closing deals. And while there are all manner of apps available for extending those capabilities to iPad, few of them do it as successfully as Pulsar by Luminix.

Pulsar provides both online and offline access to Salesforce tools on iPad, meaning you always have access to data, regardless of where you are and whether or not you have a connection (and we all know how difficult getting a connection can be…).

How does Pulsar work?

Pulsar works by hooking into many of the features of Salesforce, while leveraging much of the functionality of the iPad. The user interface has been designed specifically for the device, adding everything from one-touch social functionality to visual pipelines and organisational charts.

Pulsar for Salesforce gives you:

–  Offline access to Salesforce data, so you always have the information you need, regardless of your connection status.

–  The ability to create and edit contacts and notes while offline.

–  Access to LinkedIn, Twitter and search engine results for leads and contacts, and a LinkedIn summary screen.

–  An integrated map that shows you the location of your account’s office.

–  A pipeline view that visualises your deals by stage, and a timeline view that shows exactly what has been done with each account so far.

–  An organisational visualisation to show which contacts are allies, champions and blockers.

–  Integration with device email, calendars and address book – basically, you can see Outlook, Google, Yahoo, Salesforce events and more in one calendar. Amazing!

–  A to-do list that helps organise your day and makes sure you follow up on activities.

–  Offline access to documents that have been saved in Salesforce’s shared libraries.

Who is Pulsar good for?

Salesforce users. If you’re not already signed up to that then Pulsar’s not going to be any use to you. However, if you’re following up and closing leads, and would like to be able to do that on an iPad, this is a great tool because it puts everything you need right at your fingertips.

It’s worth bearing in mind that there is competition out there (including Salesforce’s own Salesforce Touch), but as far as free options go, we’ve not found anything that can compete with Pulsar. Salesforce’s own ForcePad app doesn’t have offline access, for example, while the Dashboard app only displays the Dashboard features of Salesforce.

One favourite feature

The unified calendars! It brings together all of your different calendars and Salesforce events into a single view so that you can easily see exactly what you have on. When Pulsar was first released, it was one of the only free apps available that allowed you to centralise everything in this way. And it was a big draw for some of our own sales team choosing to use it.

How much is Pulsar and where do I get it?

As we’ve already mentioned, Pulsar is completely free, making it an appealing alternative to many of the paid options out there. Check out the Apple App Store to find out more or to download.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.