Weekly design inspiration: Smallest Printing Company, book towers and Cupcake Ipsum

Weekly design inspiration: Smallest Printing Company, book towers and Cupcake Ipsum

Stuck in the office and looking for a bit of Friday design inspiration/distraction? In this first part of a weekly series, we cover off what’s been getting our design team excited during the week. From printers made for Borrowers to boiler suits, enjoy!

The Smallest Printing Company

It was Liana who put this one forward, with only one thing to say: “it’s so cute!” And that pretty much sums it up because what more can be said about this printing company over in Holland who are using a Viprotech silk screen table and a scale model Roco-Ets V50 to print smaller-than-Hobbit-sized posters at this year’s Chaumont International Poster and Graphic Design Festival? Dubbed The Smallest Printing Company and set up by Letterproeftuin, follow the link below to find out more and to see plenty of pictures of the mobile printing installation.

The Smallest Printing Company by Letterproeftuin

The Smallest Printing Company by Letterproeftuin

Visit the Letterproeftuin website to find out more and see pictures of the print setup.

Book towers in Japan

Ever wondered what the Shard in London would look like if it was made of books? Well this is probably the closest you’re going to get (unless you have a lot of spare time on your hands one day). In Japan, book stores have added a creative flare to visual merchandising by finding elaborate ways to display their products. With some opting for a straight columns and others using a twisting method, we have to wonder what’s next. Now, who’s for a game of Jenga?

Japanese Book Towers

Japanese Book Towers

Take a look at more examples of the book towers over at Kotaku.com.

Cupcake ipsum

Our team are a bunch of bakers – in fact, the whole country seems to be in a bit of a tizz when it comes to sweet treats – and now it’s not just our bellies that are full of sugar. Cupcake Ipsum has started to make an appearance in our design drafts. Simply pop in the amount of text you need, give it some love and out comes as many placeholder marshmallows and cookie cheesecakes as you can manage.

Cupcake Ipsum

Cupcake Ipsum

Head to www.CupCakeIpsum.com to get baking.

Ged Palmer’s hand lettering

Got a font fetish? Take a look at Ged Palmer’s hand-drawn custom lettering and designs. A British designer who specialises in custom lettering, Ged found his fascination while painting graffiti when he was younger. He now uses an extremely sharp pencil to create designs for clients. Take a look at the link below to see more examples of Ged’s work.

Example of custom lettering by Ged Palmer

Example of custom lettering by Ged Palmer

Visit GedPalmer.com for examples of his work.

Six seasons of Walter White

If you’re a fan of Breaking Bad and are now in a state of mourning after its (premature) departure, this one’s for you. Everyone else will probably just be a bit flummoxed by the sheer determination of the folks at waltswardrobe.com, who have put together a diagram of every single one of the 521 outfits worn by Walt during the show’s six seasons. Click the image below for the full size version – just prepare yourself for plenty of pants and boiler suits.

Walt's Wardrobe

Walt’s Wardrobe

Head over to WaltWardrobe.com to take a look at each season individually.

Keep an eye out next Friday for more inspiration from our design team. In the meantime, head on over to the Jigsaw24 shop to take a look at great deals and prices on design and publishing essentials. Found something you think should have made it into the list? Pop it in the comments bow below.



Infographic: Are you ready to go mobile?

Infographic: Are you ready to go mobile?

Five ways that the public sector is tackling changes in technology head-on, and improving both its services and IT strategy

Mobile devices, app technologies and cloud computing were among the top strategic technologies named by Gartner for 2013. All of them are changing the way that people communicate, and are offering opportunities for the public sector to revolutionise how it provides its services. To give you an idea of how these changes in computing will affect your workflow, we’ve taken a look at just some of the key technology trends.

Click here  to download the infographic as an image. Or take a look at the interactive infographic below (and hit the full screen button to get the best effect)!

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.


Guide to Wacom 2014: Intuos Pro, Intuos, Cintiq and Stylus options

Guide to Wacom 2014: Intuos Pro, Intuos, Cintiq and Stylus options

[UPDATE 07/01/15 – This is 2014’s Guide to Wacom. If you’re looking for our rundown of all the latest models, including the Wacom Cintiq 27QHD, head to our Guide to Wacom 2015!]

In August 2013, Wacom revamped its range of graphics tablets and displays. Out was Bamboo, which had typically been seen as the entry-level model, and in was a whole new selection of Intuos and Intuos Pro tablets, along with a new range of products – the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus and Bamboo Stylus.

But what do these products mean for you? Should you opt for the Intuos or Intuos Pro? Is a new Stylus a good choice for working on the move? Have there been any changes to the Cintiq line-up?


Wacom Intuos Pro tablet

Go for this if… you frequently work in creative applications such as InDesign, Photoshop and QuarkXPress. It’s the ideal tool for precision work on layouts and imagery.

As far as graphics tablets go, the Intuos5 was always the godfather of the range. Available with up to a 102.4” square working area, it offered a large creative workspace, the very best in pressure sensitivity and multitouch functionality. The good news is that all of that is present and correct in the new Intous Pro range.

Wacom Intuos Pro special edition

Wacom Intuos Pro special edition

This is very much the graphics tablet that most people will want to use (though bear in mind that when it comes to the larger models, it’s not necessarily the tablet that everyone will actually need!) and is perfect for designers, 3D artists, videographers and more – essentially anyone who spends a decent portion of their day in Photoshop, Illustrator, QuarkXPress or editing tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer.

As with the Intuos5, there’s still a small, medium and large option, and with multitouch functionality, you can set up shortcuts such as ‘swipe’ to undo, ‘pinch’ to close a window and more. While the small is a good choice if you need a more portable option, for most creative work we’d recommend the medium. Essentially, the more detail you need to go into (or the more screens you’re using), the bigger the model you should go for.


Buy Wacom Intuos Pro Small Pen & Touch here – £155 (£186 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Intuos Pro Medium Pen & Touch here – £199 (£238.80 inc VAT) saving you £50 for a limited time!

Buy Wacom Intuos Pro Large Pen & Touch here – £329 (£394.80 inc VAT)

Buy the special edition Wacom Intuos Pro Medium (with matte aluminium finish) here – £245 (£294 inc VAT)

Save up to £50 on Wacom Intuos Pro. Buy now from Jigsaw24


Wacom Intuos tablet

Go for this if… you want to use a graphics tablet but aren’t after the precision or size of an Intuos Pro. It’s the perfect entry-level model.

The Wacom Intuos tablet is new entry-level offering in the Wacom range. For anyone who knew the Wacom range before this new model, this has essentially replaced the Wacom Bamboo.

Wacom Intuos tablet

Wacom Intuos tablet

There’s a bit of a myth that graphics tablets are only for, well, graphic designers, but actually the pen and tablet approach is useful for everything from basic image editing to navigation. What this Intuos does is allow you to be far more precise in your on-screen movements than you can be with a mouse.

I’ve now moved on to an Intuos model, for example, and although I do use Photoshop and InDesign, this is infrequent. The Intuos allows me to be far more precise in the way I navigate on-screen, moving windows and selecting text more naturally than I could with a mouse.

With a new streamlined design, the Intuos models come in either small or medium sizes, with multitouch options available for those who want additional navigation.


Buy Wacom Intuos Pen-only Small Tablet here – £49 (£58.80 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch Small Tablet here – £65 (£78 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch Medium Tablet here – £129 (£154.80 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Intuos now - from 48 ex VAT


Wacom Cintiq display

Go for this if… you work with illustrations, 3D design or any field where you’re more likely to deal with texturing, fine art or brush work.

Wacom Cintiq brings together the Intuos’s pen and touch input with a high res display to create a piece of technology that is, quite simply, unbeatable for digital artists. Rather than having to interpret your on-screen movements on a tablet, you get to paint directly onto the screen, allowing you to achieve incredible accuracy. It’s also completely customisable to your way of working – each stand allows you to position the screen in a way that is comfortable for you, and the ExpressKeys and TouchRings can be tailored to your needs.

Wacom Cintiq 24HD

Wacom Cintiq 24HD

There are a number of sizes available – the Cintiq 24HD, for example, is a 28.6kg beast with a working area of 518.4mm x 324mm, while the newly-released Cintiq 13HD is a far more portable option.


Buy Wacom Cintiq 13HD here – £489 (£586.80 inc VAT) saving £135 for a limited time.

Buy Wacom Cintiq 22HD Pen-only display here – £1269 (£1522.80 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Cintiq 22HD Pen & Touch display here – £1499 (£1798.80 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Cintiq 24HD Pen-only display here – £1299 (£1558.80 inc VAT) saving £365 for a limited time!

Buy Wacom Cintiq 24HD Pen & Touch display here – £1599 (£1918.80 inc VAT) saving £480 for a limited time!

Save up to £480 on Wacom Cintiq. Buy now from Jigsaw24.com

Wacom Cintiq Companion and Companion Hybrid

Go for this if you… are a business that wants to combine your graphics tablet and laptop into a single piece of kit.

The Wacom Cintiq Companion is another new addition to Wacom’s range of tablets that includes the full functionality of a Wacom Cintiq but adds all the processing power and storage you need for everything from creative tools to your standard word processing. There are two options available: the Companion which has a Windows 8 OS, so you can access applications just as you would on your laptop or standard tablet, while benefitting from the pressure sensitivity and inputs that you expect from a Wacom tool; and the Hybrid that runs on Android for pressure sensitivity on a mobile OS.

Wacom Cintiq Companion

Wacom Cintiq Companion

The big thing about the Cintiq Companion is convenience! Where the standard 13HD Cintiq has always been the mobile option, for businesses that want real creativity on the move, this takes it to the next level. So, for example, you could have Adobe Creative Cloud running on your office computing, then use the second download rights on the Cintiq Companion for a unified workflow. This is literally the only tool of this kind out there!

Wacom Cintiq Companion 256GB – £1374.99 (£1649.99 inc VAT)

Wacom Cintiq Companion 512GB – £1666.66 (£1999.99 inc VAT)

Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid 16GB – £999.99 (£1199.99 inc VAT)

Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid 32GB – £1083.36 (£1299.99 inc VAT)

Buy the Intuos Cintiq Companion now. Call us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com


Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus and Bamboo Stylus

Go for these if you… want to be able to play around with ideas while on the move. It’s a nice solution for iPad users who want to benefit from Wacom precision without carrying around a graphics tablet.

The Intuos Creative Stylus, Bamboo Stylus Fineline and Bamboo Stylus Solo and Duo models are new additions to the Wacom range that allow you to get creative on the move. Paired with an iPad, they allow you to sketch and paint ideas using a rubber nub tip, while benefitting from the same kind of artistic control that Wacom are known for.

The big thing to bear in mind here is that there are three main products available. The Intuos Creative Stylus is a professional-grade option and the more fully-featured, effectively turning an iPad into a mini Cintiq option. It includes 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity for more fine-tuned artwork, and includes Palm Rejection technology that means only the input of the new 2.9mm nib pen is picked up by the iPad. What’s great for designers is that you can create work on the move, then transfer designs into professional applications like Photoshop. The newly updated 2nd generation model is also USB rechargeable.

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus (2nd generation)

For those who require a stylus more for note taking and sketching than technical drawing, Wacom have introduced the brand new Bamboo Stylus Fineline. With a 1.9mm nib, 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and the ever-popular Palm Rejection technology, the Fineline is designed for use with iPad for precise note-taking, natural handwriting, doodling and navigation.

Wacom Bamboo Stylus Fineline

The Bamboo Stylus, however, is the more basic option. New updates to the 3rd generation stylus sees a new longer-lasting 6mm nib for smooth writing and improved sensitivity, making it still an incredibly accurate device for quick sketches, note taking and navigating on touch screens. There are two versions available – the Solo, which just includes the carbon-fibre, 6mm nib; and the Duo, which also includes a ballpoint pen.

Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo

Buy Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus (2nd generation) here – £54.16 ex VAT

Buy Wacom Bamboo Stylus Fineline here – £40.00 ex VAT

Buy Wacom Bamboo Stylus Solo here – £12 ex VAT

Buy Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo here £20 ex VAT


Buy a Wacom Stylus now from Jigsaw24 - only £20

Got a question? Call us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com to find out more about the different models from Wacom available or the best graphics tablet for your creative workflow.



IT trends within wholesale, resale and retail businesses

IT trends within wholesale, resale and retail businesses

In August 2013, we held our first annual Apple for business survey. We wanted to give you the chance to compare yourselves against the competition, to see technology trends within your industry, and to get an idea of how Mac and iPad are being used by businesses. While the survey itself was designed to provide information on technology in businesses as a whole, we were able to pull some interesting stats from respondents within wholesale, resale and retail.

Macs for graphic design, iPad and iPhone for bespoke job functions

With 25% of respondent reporting that Apple is the primary platform used, we asked them to tell us what they primarily use any Mac, iPad and iPhone devices for. For Mac, the results were unsurprising and mirrored those across businesses as a whole. Graphic design, video editing and audio editing all ranked highly (supporting the Mac’s creative heritage) while emails, word processing, spreadsheets and video conferencing were also popular choices.

The prominence of Mac in creative teams was echoed later in the survey. When asked to what extent Apple products are used across their business, a quarter of respondents said that “Apple is the primary platform used.” Where Apple is confined to a one or multiple departments – “If Apple products are limited to one or a handful of departments, which of the following best describe the departments they are used in?” – 85.7% identified that Macs are used by the marketing department, far in advance of its closest competition, IT support with 28.6%.

For iPad and iPhone, internet browsing, note-taking and calendars were among the most common functions. However, within wholesale and resale respondents, there were additional job-specific functions – both devices are being used for stock management, point of sale, customer interactions, visual merchandising and to display sales catalogues.

The appearance of these uses of iPad and iPhone within the survey results supports a general trend towards using iOS devices within the retail industry. For example, there are now a range of iPad- and iPhone-based POS options available for shops that help facilitate a more dynamic in-store environment.

Rather than being confined to a till, sales assistants can walk around the shop, showing customers product catalogues, checking stock levels and handling credit and debit card purchases literally anywhere. The move to iOS POS is a trend which is already prominent in the US, but is increasingly being seen in the UK.

Interestingly, only 25% of the businesses surveyed said that they have their own in-house iPad or iPhone app that has been developed for a specific job function. The usage of a custom app is part of a growing trend within businesses.

The most used day-to-day device within wholesale and resale is the desktop computer

It’s important to point out that responses came from a number of different job functions. We received information from those who identified themselves as from Creative and Sales teams as well as IT and HR.

We asked “Which of the following devices do you use day-to-day?” Of those who responded, 62.5% identified the desktop computer as their most used device; a further 37.5% said that they primarily use a laptop or notebook. Interestingly, no one said that they use a tablet or mobile phone as their main device. In the wider research, 12.3% of respondents from all business types said that they used a mobile device rather than a computer.

Fewer instances of BYOD than in business as a whole

As part of the research, we wanted to get an idea of trends around bring your own device (BYOD) schemes; employers are starting to see more employees bringing in their own laptops, tablets and mobile phones into the workplace and use them for work purposes.

However, 57.14% of respondents in the survey identified that all of the devices they use at work are owned by the business – when factoring in all industries, this number was much lower at 39.68%. This difference is hardly surprising: if mobile devices are being increasingly used for POS and in-store service, the security requirements would be too great for employees to use their own phones and tablets.

100% of the remaining respondents said that they use their personally-owned mobile phone at work, roughly two-thirds said that they use a tablet which does not belong to the business, and one-third said they use their own laptop for work purposes.

Easy to integrate and popular, but perceived as expensive

The survey asked current Apple users to what extent they agree with a number of statements that have been made about Apple products.

By far the strongest opinion came in response to “There are key synergies with existing Apple-based products when buying additional Apple-based products.” 87.5% of respondents agreed, with the remaining unsure as to whether or not they felt this was accurate. This echoes the results from all businesses where around 76% of respondents were in agreement.

Similar results were seen for “It is easy to integrate Apple products into my workplace” where around 75% of respondents agreed with the statement. Interestingly, around 75% also said that they would “have resistance internally” if they were to switch to using Apple-based products. But as 50% identified that they believe “Apple IT products are too expensive,” and 50% said that, “Windows-based systems interface better with our customers and suppliers” this may be seen as due to cost and compatibility rather than IT readiness.

To find out more about compatibility between Mac and Windows, take a look at our Apple for business site here. Or to find out why Macs are often the cheaper option, have a read of our total cost of ownership whitepaper here.

What is clear though is that Apple products remain the popular choice: around two thirds of respondents said that “Most people in our office would rather have Apple-based products” and when asked, “Do you think Apple products help you do your job better?” 100% agreed.

Want to find out more about Apple for your business? Take a look at our business site here, get in touch with us on 03332 409 319 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com.

The results are in… Apple for business survey 2013

The results are in… Apple for business survey 2013

Early this month, we asked you to complete our Apple for business survey 2013, with the intention of giving you the chance to see how you compare to your competition, and to find out about trends in the adoption of Mac and iPad technology. You answered, and as promised, here are the results…

The most used device for day-to-day work is the desktop computer

We asked respondents to rank which type of device they used most on a day-to-day basis. With recent reports claiming that tablet ownership is up 282% since Q1 2011 many argue that the likes of iPad and other tablets are having an effect on the devices that we use to do our work.

According to our survey, 60% of respondents identified the desktop computer as their primary device, with a further 26.15% who use laptops and notebooks as their main machine. Collectively, 12.3% of respondents either use a tablet or a mobile phone as their primary device.

Device usage in business - computer/laptop/tablet/mobile phone

Graph showing the most used devices on a day-to-day basis

Informal BYOD is still the norm

Unsurprisingly, only 39.68% of respondents said that all of the devices that they use are owned by the business; the survey results support the recent trend towards using personally-owned technology for work purposes. Currently, the trend is for this to be either a mobile phone (44.44% of respondents said that they use their own phone at work) or a tablet (39.68% bring in their own tablet device).

Chart showing whether business devices are personally owned

Chart showing whether business devices are personally owned

Respondents were also asked whether or not their business has a BYOD scheme in place, allowing them to bring in their own computer/tablet/phone. Only 28.79% of businesses currently have a formal scheme in place. With 63.64% not having a scheme in place and 7.58% unsure, it’s clear that the majority of companies in the survey have devices being used without the necessary protections in place.

Chart showing whether businesses have a BYOD scheme in place

Chart showing whether businesses have a BYOD scheme in place

This was replicated later in the survey when asked about the level of support for Apple products in the workplace. Only 54.35% of respondents said that their business offered full or good support, while 39.13% claimed there was limited or no support available.

Apple users view Mac/iPad/iPhone more favourably than non-Apple users

Interestingly, the perception of Mac, iPad and iPhone wasn’t always that dissimilar between Apple users and non-Apple users. Below we have compared the level of agreement between the two groups.

Where we saw the largest difference was in response to whether or not “It is easy to integrate Apple into my workplace.” While 89% of Apple users agreed with this statement (and a high proportion strongly agreed), only a third of non-Apple users felt that there wouldn’t be complications if they wanted to use Mac/iPad/iPhone.

When asked whether or not “Apple products cannot run some of the software products we use in our workplace” the consensus among non-Apple users was that there are applications that Apple products do not support; only 63% of Apple users agree with this statement. In the following question, however, 94.92% of Apple users said that they are aware that Apple computers can run Windows and Windows-based software products. While the survey didn’t cover software applications that can’t run on Mac, if you’re a Mac user who can’t run a specific application, we want to hear from you – drop a comment in the box at the bottom and let us know about your experience. To find out more about how Mac can run both Windows and Mac software, take a look at our article on the myths of Mac here.

Perhaps most interesting was that 80% of non-Apple users and 62% of Apple users agree that “Apple IT products are too expensive compared to other Windows-based products.” Previous research by Jigsaw24 has shown that the perception of Apple products is that the initial expenditure is higher than PC, but that when factoring in the total cost of ownership, the overall price of a Mac is less. Take a look at our whitepaper on the total cost of ownership of a Mac here.

Most telling from the results was that 96.43% of Apple users when asked “Do you think Apple products help you do your job better?” said that they would agree with this statement.

Chart showing whether or not businesses feel that Apple products help them do their job better

Chart showing whether or not businesses feel that Apple products help them do their job better

When asked to comment why, feedback ranged from the ease of use of the operating systems (“Ease of use with minimal learning curve and almost zero downtime”, “Easier to use than Windows. I can just get on with my job”) to the reliability of the hardware (“Simple to use – no support issues”, “More reliable, easier to use. Last longer than any PC product I have used”).

Speed also featured highly in the feedback, and this was replicated later when respondents were asked “Do you know why Apple products are used in your business?” Graphics capability was ranked highly by 57.38% of respondents while speed was important for 40.98%. Again the feedback repeatedly included “reliability”, “no need for an IT department” and “resilience.”

Chart showing reasons why businesses use Apple products

Chart showing reasons why businesses use Apple products

Macs are for consultants, iPad is for sales consultants

With Apple products historically being considered as tools for creatives, but with a greater emphasis on corporate use in recent years, respondents who had identified that Apple products were limited to one or a handful of departments were asked which departments they were referring to.

For the most part the consensus was that Mac is still holding the fort in marketing and design departments (75.47% of respondents said that Mac usage was within these teams) with a large number of IT and support teams (39.62%) and sales and consultants (33.96%) also using the OS X platform.

As for iPad, sales consultants were the biggest group with almost 35%, while marketing and design also ranked highly. Warehouse/Operations and Finance/Purchasing were identified as being the least likely to use iPad.

Want to find out more? We’ll be putting together a full report of the results in the coming weeks but for more information about Apple’s place in business, feel free to get in touch with us on 03332 409 319 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com. We’d also love to hear what your thoughts on Apple’s place in business is. Leave us your comments below. 

Choosing the right version of Adobe Creative Cloud: Single apps vs. complete

Choosing the right version of Adobe Creative Cloud: Single apps vs. complete

So you’re on board with the idea of Adobe’s Creative Cloud, but not sure which version is the best one for you? With single apps and complete versions floating about, we wanted to clear the air and explain the differences between them.

First thing’s first, let’s get one thing out of the way: we’re talking Creative Cloud for teams here. This is Adobe’s collaborative option for groups of up to 100 creative users. It comes with additional benefits such as extra storage and centralised admin and management that aren’t available to individual users. You can see a quick introduction to Creative Cloud for teams in our infographic here.

Essentially, within your workgroup, you can now have a mix of users who are enrolled in single app memberships and users who can access the full set.

What’s the difference between complete and single app?

The obvious difference is that, while Creative Cloud for teams complete includes access to the full range of Creative Cloud apps and services (including the online collaborative tools and file sharing functionality), a single app plan only includes access to one app and limits the amount of storage to 20GB per user (100GB for the complete option).

Additionally, while the single app version lets you sync, share and collaborate with colleagues, and create a customised online portolio with Behance ProSite, you don’t have access to the full range of Creative Cloud apps.

To put that into perspective, with complete, you’re getting access to 19 apps, 6 additional web tools and 8 workflow apps. With single apps, you’re only getting access to one chosen app and Behance, but it is around half the price of the complete version’s promo price.

But how do prices compare?

To enrol a member as a single app user, it will cost you £171 per user per year if you’re already an existing user of CS3, CS4, CS5 or CS6. New customers will be charged £267 per user per year.

As for Creative Cloud for teams complete, it gets a little bit more complicated but it’s worth remembering that if you buy before August 31st you will benefit from massive savings!

Until the end of August, Adobe are running a price lock promotion, whereby you only pay £362 per user for each of the first two years of subscription (a saving of over 40%!). After those two years, you’ll pay the full amount for the remaining years.

Don’t worry if you miss out on the price lock, though. From September until December, you’ll still benefit from an offer price of £455 for your first year of subscription.

So should you go for single app or complete?

It’s completely up to you, but we would say that if you’re likely to need more than one app, then you’re better off going for the complete option, purely because it gives you access to all of Adobe’s creative tools as and when you need them, and for an affordable price. If you’re buying before 31st August, for example, then the price of Creative Cloud for teams complete is around the same price as two single app subscriptions; after that, if you’re using 3 or more apps, then complete is still the more affordable.

[UPDATE, 16/04/2014]: From 1st June 2014, Adobe CS6 will no longer be available in TLP and CLP licensing programmes, with the last order date being 30th May. Adobe are doing this to simplify their creative offering and decision making process for customers and by removing this option and focusing on Creative Cloud, it will be easier for all customers to stay up to date with the latest and greatest features and tools. If you have any questions about making the move to Creative Cloud, please get in touch!

Want to buy now or have a question about Creative Cloud for teams? Call us on 03332 409 251, email Adobe@Jigsaw24.com or take a look at our Adobe Creative Cloud for teams page here.

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.

Best practice in… iOS app development

Best practice in… iOS app development

From corporate strategy to handheld reality, we present the best practice guidelines for app development

The trusted pen and paper looks very old-fashioned in an age of tablets and touch-sensitive applications. Appearances, however, should be the least of your concerns – after all, a reliance on paper-based administration could cost your business a competitive advantage in the digital age.

Just ten years ago, companies were taking a tentative approach to the web and organisations shied away from creating transactional sites. Huge increases in broadband capability mean it would now be anathema not to create a great web presence – and, in the digital era, that type of access means mobile first.

Your workers and consumers have powerful pocket computers and they want to interact on the move. But to make matters even more complicated, the creation of a mobile-ready site will not be enough. Research suggests as many as 85% of consumers using a mobile device prefer to use apps to interact with a business, rather than a web site.

Apps, then, are what your clients want. Any created apps need to meet an identified business objective. And once you start creating apps, you must set apps at the core of your IT strategy. Put apps at the centre, and you will be able to cope with future changes in consumer and worker mobility.

What are the differences between internal and external apps?

There are two main types of app: those that provide a new channel for businesses to interact with end customers, and those that allow internal users to use corporate information on the move. Customer-facing apps boost client interaction, while employee-facing apps improve workforce efficiency.

Customer-facing apps must work across multiple channels and, probably, operating systems. Consumer preferences mean your organisation must consider all mobile eventualities. Internal apps, however, should be aligned to your corporate device strategy – will you standardise on one particular system or will you, at more cost to the business, choose to keep your options open?

There are a number of different frameworks that businesses can use to develop apps for individual, or cross-platform, mobile operating systems. Long-term maintenance costs can be high, so executives need to make the right decisions early because there is no point supporting a niche platform or device.

Businesses working in Apple’s iOS mobile operating system should make the most of the Xcode environment, which includes a series of development tools for iPhone and iPad. A large amount of development effort for your public-facing apps will be centred on user experience and look and feel, such as corporate branding.

Apps that move into transactional elements will require special attention. Such transactions will need to operate with the application programming interfaces (APIs) that connect your app into your backend processing systems.

Look and feel will be also crucial for employee-facing apps and will help dictate whether your tool is used. Data management and verification will be particularly important in the case of internal apps. Pre-filling forms with regularly used data, for example, will help ensure workers are able to update information on the move and without the need to return to the office.

How can your business create an app?

The huge amount of already-verified tools means your business might be able to take advantage of an existing app. The size of the Apple ecosystem means that, even if an app isn’t exactly what you need, it could be fit for purpose with a small amount of modifying.

The end of the line, of course, isn’t reached if a tool can’t be found in the App Store. You might need to engage with specialist developers or you might decide to produce the tool in-house. In both cases, external expertise is available to guide you through the process.

The crucial matching of technical capability to business need must be kept close to home, so you should make sure functional specification is understood in-house. The intellectual property – the area of the app that will provide competitive advantage – must be internally controlled.

Whatever parts you choose to develop or manage in-house, you will need to ensure your employees are trained and up to date. The Xcode development environment includes a series of tools and helps IT workers operating in iOS to hit the ground running.

But large elements of app development and support work can be externally managed. Just as in the case of traditional IT outsourcing, a specialist external partner can help ensure non-core elements, such as technology development and app delivery, are realised in a cost efficient manner.

How Jigsaw24 can help

You need to make apps central to your business strategy, but your executives will want assurance that the move to mobile is going to work out well. One sensible approach is to reach out to external experts who can help the organisation make the right decisions regarding potential app developments.

Jigsaw24’s ‘A Day in the Life’ programme evaluates your current business processes and customer experiences, before making recommendations on where creative IT solutions could provide a business benefit. Our team of analysts spend a day analysing your options around mobility, data availability and information processing.

Executives can use this specialist advice to ensure any proposed app meets broader business plans and can deliver a return on investment. When it comes to platforms for app development, Jigsaw24 holds expertise in Xcode and can help you make the most of the mobility offered by iPad and iPhone devices.

Jigsaw24 can also help you engage with developers who have undertaken work in a related field of app development. We can assist you as your team develops its iOS app in-house. And if you need to make this new app cross-platform, we have the contacts to create a true multi-channel tool.

Want to find out more about iOS app development and how Jigsaw24’s in-house app team can help you? Get in touch with us on 03332 409 234 or email CIO@Jigsaw24.com

Video killed the radio star: A new level of digital interactivity

Video killed the radio star: A new level of digital interactivity

Businesses can use Enterprise TV to develop a level of digital interactivity that is far in advance of traditional communication channels.

What makes video great?

Leading executives suggest the ability to stream live and pre-recorded content represents an opportunity to collaborate with customers and employees in a distinctive manner.

Rather than having to rely on written text, static images or spoken audio, the digital revolution presents an opportunity to push content across the network and to communicate interactively. The amount of digital advertising money dedicated to video is set to rise by more than 50% through 2015, according to researcher eMarketer.

However, the overall share of digital spending for video is still small, standing at just 3% in 2012. The reason for the lack of uptake is simple enough – while business executives recognise the potential of video, they also believe there are a number of significant business and technology challenges to overcome, including cost, flexibility, integration and implementation.

So, what should leading executives do in their attempts to make the most of video? Help comes in the form of Enterprise TV from Jigsaw24, a platform that executives can use to run their own TV channels and push content through a dedicated iOS or Android app channel to customers and employees.

How can my business overcome cost concerns?

Video conferencing is expensive. Prices can vary from hundreds of pounds for a low-level desktop solution to hundreds of thousands of pounds for a full-on telepresence suite from a major provider. Add in networking costs, and your chosen approach to enterprise video can quickly become costly.

The effects of the downturn are still being felt and spending on dedicated videoconferencing systems declined in 2012, according to Infonetics Research. However, video conferencing helps improve the quality of interactions and executives do want to find cost effective solutions.

Recent Frost & Sullivan research suggests spending on video conferencing systems and services will almost double from current levels to $6.3bn by 2016. Enterprise TV provides a means to stream content, create video-on-demand and run conference sessions across multiple formats.

How can my business ensure system flexibility?

Executives can use Enterprise TV’s live and video-on-demand formats to push content to employees and customers in a variety of ways. Businesses can upload training videos to their TV channel. Tests can be added to video channels and HR information can be viewed at a time that is convenient for each individual, rather than having to disrupt an entire department.

As well as on-demand company announcements, Enterprise TV allows organisations to hold webinars through live channels. Or additionally executives can have company presentations to hand ready for meetings with clients. Further platform developments mean businesses will also be able to use webinars to create a two-way interaction, increasing the potential for video-based collaboration.

iOS video delivery through Jigsaw24's Enterprise TV
iOS video delivery through Jigsaw24’s Enterprise TV

When it comes to your customers, your clients can access public channels via the downloaded app. Content can be streamed live to digital signage, so customers visiting your firm are greeted with video on different screens. Businesses can also run advertising between scheduled programming and ensure targeted messages are pushed to customer-facing channels.

How can my business create an integrated platform?

Video requires a simple user interface. The success of video on-demand services – such as BBC’s iPlayer and Channel 4’s 4oD, and streaming providers like LOVEFiLM and Netflix – shows the potential for allowing people to select content of their choosing. Your users, both internal and external, are already used to on-demand video.

Enterprise TV provides a platform for your business to take advantage and to create a corporate version of popular consumer channels. The system uses a simple user interface and can be hooked into existing platforms and directory services, allowing staff to log in using their standard credentials (and other users to request them). Once inside Enterprise TV, it’s a simple click and select setup for accessing both live and on-demand content. Enterprise TV allows businesses to run up to 36 channels, so executives can run a mix of live and on-demand video for internal and external requirements.

There are no restrictions on video size or length. Executives can alter storage requirements to suit business needs. And rather than having to rely on the basic branding features of other platforms, Enterprise TV allows businesses to use their own designs across icons and headers.

Security is also a concern – some content, after all, is too sensitive for general consumption, such as HR and corporate information. While YouTube and Vimeo can help increase exposure, Enterprise TV can ensure such coverage is restricted to a targeted audience.

How can my business implement the technology?

The benefits of video might sound great in theory but your business might need more practical evidence. As proof of concept, Jigsaw24 can provide executives with access to our own servers to see how well the system works.

Once your business peers are convinced, the software and hardware required for Enterprise TV can be run either on premises or at a data centre, depending on customer need. Your business can work with Jigsaw24’s design department to customise the interface in line with your corporate branding.

Our workflow specialists can also provide advice on every aspect of the video process, from live production and editing through to final delivery and management of content. And if you want more hands on expertise, Jigsaw24 can manage and schedule the uploading of your content. We can then provide on-going support to ensure your business is making the most of video.

For more information on the features in Enterprise TV and to download the Jigsaw24 app, head to our Enterprise TV page here. Or get in touch with the team on 03332 409 234 or email CIO@Jigsaw24.com if you want to find out how to make the most of video content.

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 Stuart Page of Bauer Media and Chris Taylor of News International have used mobility and Apple to revolutionise operations.