Avid qualifies the Leostream Connection Broker

Avid qualifies the Leostream Connection Broker

If you’re planning on taking advantage of Media Composer’s virtual machine option but are worried about managing who’s connected to what and where, we have good news: Avid have qualified the Leostream Connection Broker.

For the uninitiated, Leostream is a vendor- and protocol-agnostic management tool that’s designed to simplify the management of access to virtual machines. It allows systems administrators to manage and monitor which end users are using which desktops to connect to which virtual resources, all from a single point, whether you’re using a single hypervisor or multiple ones.

According to Leostream, this Avid qualification means you can allow users to:
– Create pools of available VM resources.
– Terminate cloud-hosted instances when users log out.
– Manage the power state of VMs and user access.
– Maintain user access logs and monitor who uses which VMs.
– Maintain usage statistics for pools of machines.
– Provision new VMware virtual machine pools from templates or as linked clones from snapshots, or build pools of cloud-hosted machines from images available in the cloud platforms.
– Manage user roles and session control levels.

Why choose Leostream?

We’ve been working with Leostream for several years, and have found it to be the most secure option for brokering virtual machines. It’ll also handle mixed environments with ease – we like to pair it with Amulet Hotkey cards to ensure facilities can broker their physical workstations and virtual machines using the same system.

“If you have a mixed estate – perhaps you have a server in a data centre running virtual machines that you use for your offline, and then users switch to using a high powered workstation in your machine room for the online edit – the combination of Amulet Hotkey and Leostream ensures that any end user client device can be pointed at any virtual or physical machine at any time,” explains our Systems Integration Engineer, Matt Ward. Leostream allows you to manage connections to on-premise virtual machines and standalone machines, as well as cloud-based VM systems, creating a truly flexible hybrid system accessible from anywhere on your network.

“We’re one of the few post integrators who have experience deploying Leostream at scale, and we find that it’s more secure than other options – it’s also been deployed in a huge number of critical enterprise environments, so there’s plenty of evidence that it can provide the availability, reliability and – with the right help – simplicity that we know our post clients need so that they can stay focused on delivering the end result.”

To find out more about managing virtual Avid machines with Leostream, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Amulet Hotkey fix temporal dithering for latest macOS

Amulet Hotkey fix temporal dithering for latest macOS

If you’re using Amulet Hotkey for KVM over IP, be warned that installing the latest version of macOS on your endpoints automatically re-enables temporal dithering.

This vastly increases the amount of information you’re forced to handle over IP and, as a result, will have a negative impact on the quality of your image.

Happily, Amulet Hotkey are already aware of the issue, and have released a kernel extension that allows you to disable temporal dithering at the driver level, regardless of which version of macOS you’re running. (If you’re running an earlier version of macOS or OS X, the fix should already be in place – contact us if you find this isn’t the case.)

The usual caveats apply: the fix will only work with Amulet hardware and software, not with that from third parties; the kext itself is not available publicly – in a delightfully cloak-and-dagger scenario, you need to get in touch with our team on the details below, and they’ll send you a temporary download link and instructions for how to install it.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Avid accelerates Pro Tools | S6 mixing workflows with new EUCON software

Avid accelerates Pro Tools | S6 mixing workflows with new EUCON software

Avid released a string of announcements as this year’s NAMM Show opened, including Pro Tools 2018, but one of the ones we’re most excited by is the new EUCON software update for Pro Tools | S6.

Debuting at the 2018 NAMM Show today, this update enables customers to use Pro Tools | Control – Avid’s free iOS iPad app – in conjunction with the Pro Tools | S6 control surface to remotely control Pro Tools and other digital audio workstations (DAWs), giving them the flexibility to be anywhere in the studio during a mixing session. They can also operate S6 Soft Keys to control multiple DAWs simultaneously.

“With the new EUCON software, sound engineers now have the freedom to step away from their console and even be in the room with the performer they’re recording,” said Rob D’Amico, Director of Pro Audio Market Solutions at Avid. “EUCON also enables customers to send Soft Key commands to multiple workstations at the same time – perfect for facilities running large rigs with multiple DAWs.”

Powered by MediaCentral, the EUCON software update and the free Pro Tools | Control app let audio professionals control track recording, playback and other transport functions remotely from an iPad when using Pro Tools and other EUCON-enabled DAWs. Ideal for capturing ADR and foley performances, it gives users the flexibility to position themselves anywhere in the studio while tracking or mixing a music or audio post session.

The EUCON update also allows audio professionals working on large scale film or TV post sessions to control multiple audio workstations for a faster, more efficient mixing process. Users sending commands from Pro Tools | S6 Soft Keys to all connected DAWs instantaneously can save a session, punch out of automation, and perform other tasks in concert as one. The EUCON software update also includes performance enhancements and stability improvements for all Avid EUCON-enabled control surfaces, including Pro Tools | S3, Pro Tools | Dock and Artist Mix.

As an open software protocol, EUCON facilitates tight integration between Avid control surfaces and Pro Tools, as well as a range of third party EUCON-enabled DAWs. It gives musicians and engineers high-resolution, tactile control and the flexible programmability needed to create great sounding mixes faster, as well as the ability to switch between different DAW sessions in a matter of seconds.

EUCON will be available in February 2018 as a free update to all customers with Pro Tools | S6, Pro Tools | S3, Pro Tools | Dock and Artist Mix control surfaces on valid support contracts. If you’re worried about your support contract status, you can get in touch with your account manager on the details below to double check your eligibility.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Pro Tools 2018 announced at NAMM

Pro Tools 2018 announced at NAMM

Avid have announced Pro Tools 2018 at NAMM and, like their last release three months ago, Avid say Pro Tools 2018 “focuses on helping music creators stay in a creative mindset, and finish projects with speed and efficiency.”

Avid’s announcement includes major improvements and new features for Pro Tools | First, Pro Tools, and Pro Tools | HD, and will be available to new customers, current subscribers, and users with an active upgrade plan (you can get in touch with us on the details below if you’re not sure where you fit in, or are worried your upgrade plan may have lapsed.)

Create at the speed of your imagination

The update contains numerous changes designed to make it easier for you to stay creative, including new MIDI editing enhancements and retrospective MIDI recording. It also adds the ability to save your favourite effects chains and instrument sounds as track presets.

Key additions include:

Retrospective MIDI record Capture MIDI performances and advance your musical ideas, even when Pro Tools is not recording. Quickly add your improvisations and practice runs into your session with a simple key command.

MIDI editing enhancements With numerous MIDI improvements and enhancements (including arrow key editing, transpose in-key, and extract chords), you can fix and finesse every note to perfection—from transposing and trimming notes with the arrow keys, to building chords and scores faster than ever before.

Track presets Browse presets with embedded media and build sessions on the fly. With track presets, you can quickly save, catalogue, and recall your favourite effects chains, vocal processing, session import criteria, and other track settings, and spend more time exploring the depths of your creativity.

Improved Import Session data Pro Tools 2018 will include a new ‘Track Data To Import’ dialogue with presets.

Playlist comping enhancements Build a Target Playlist of the best performances – from multiple playlists – right in Waveform view. It’s ideal when working with grouped tracks, making playlist management and viewing no longer a challenge. You can also now cycle through different takes within a clip using the arrow keys for faster review.

Mix window EQ curves show combined EQ effects inserted on a track With new EQ curve graphs on all Mix window channel strips, you can see how your settings and automation are impacting each track in realtime — even those with multiple EQs (supported plug-ins only). In addition, pre-fader sends and Automation lane view menu entries are now colour-coded, making them easier to distinguish.

“Start Collaboration” is now a file menu item Got a session that you’re dying to work on with others? Select File > Start Collaboration, and Pro Tools will automatically save your current session, close it, and reopen it as a project in the cloud, with all tracks converted and ready to be shared.

iLok Cloud support Pro Tools and all Avid audio plug-ins now support iLok Cloud. That means you now have the option to work iLok-free, and reclaim an extra USB port for a MIDI keyboard or audio interface. Or continue using your iLok as before.

Network Site Licensing – coming soon Need Pro Tools for your post facility, broadcast enterprise, or educational institution? You can now purchase a multi-seat Pro Tools or Pro Tools | HD Network Site Licence, which offers many benefits for larger organisations.

Try Pro Tools for free

Many of these features (specifically retrospective recording, editing enhancements, track presets, new EQ curves and UI enhancements are also available in the latest version of Pro Tools | First, the free version of Pro Tools software. You can download Pro Tools | First here.

If you want to know more about this or any other NAMM releases, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

In case you missed it: Our introduction to PTP

In case you missed it: Our introduction to PTP

Big thanks to everyone who made it to our IP event last week, not least Daniel Boldt (Head of Software Development, Meinberg) and Nikolaus Kerö (General Manager, Oregano Systems) for their insightful presentations. If you need to refresh your memory, you can download the slides here. 

PTP (Precision Time Protocol) is fundamental to the success of any media over IP exercise, and it was reassuring to see technicians and engineers from so many facilities show up to find out more – it’s always difficult to predict how interested people will be in something so deep in the weeds, but IP workflows have gained an incredible amount of traction over the last year, and it was fantastic to see so many people engaging with the future of their facilities.

Say goodbye to genlock

The full slide deck is available here, but to bluntly recap things: PTP replaces genlock when you’re working with media over IP.

In an IP-based workflow, you’re dealing with packets of data, not a synchronous stream of video on a dedicated cable, so traditional syncing methods won’t work. PTP sidesteps this problem by effectively ‘virtualising’ genlock, and using packets of data sent over the IP network to sync devices which are on it.

PTP is a safe bet

PTP is not a new technology; it’s been around for over 15 years, primarily in stock exchanges and other gambling dens, where the precise time of a transaction is incredibly important. The current version, PTP v2, was ratified in 2008, and is also know as IEEE 1588-2008 and SMPTE 2059.

Its move into production and post circles is recent, but it’s gaining acceptance quickly – Belgian broadcasters RTL have seven studios in Brussels that are linked up this way, and Germany’s WDR have also invested heavily. One of the reasons for this rapid rise is that, because internet protocols are so ubiquitous, and have so many applications in industries which are much larger and established than our own, there are already a number of affordable solutions available. We’re not waiting for manufacturers to catch up with demand, and we’re not paying exorbitant prices for niche hardware – readily available off the shelf solutions will get the job done.

Revolutionising OB at Sony

If it wasn’t initially developed for the media industry, what kind of benefits can PTP really deliver? Well, for one thing, Sony’s most recent research has found that you can half the weight of an OB truck by wiring it for PTP and IP transfer rather than relying on SDI, simply because it requires so much less cabling. This makes your OB setups faster, easier and cheaper to produce and to run.

And of course, there’s the fact that you no longer need to keep your equipment in one place. PTP will sync any device on your network, even if it happens to be on the other side of the country at the time, rather than in the studio with you, and it’ll work for both audio and video production.

Want to know more?

As always, you can get in touch with our team on the details below, and they’ll be happy to answer any additional IP questions you may have. We’re also running a tech breakfast on 31st January around AES67 and IP workflows for audio production, which might be of interest, and one on the fate of SDI on 13th February.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

FAQ: Avid NEXIS | Pro 20TB and 40TB engines

FAQ: Avid NEXIS | Pro 20TB and 40TB engines

In November 2017, Avid announced that they would be discontinuing the Avid NEXIS | Pro 20TB engine, and replacing it with the 40TB model they had premiered at IBC. With stocks of the 20TB model now critically low, we looked at the key questions you need to ask before moving to the 40TB engine. 

Avid_NEXIS_PRO

Will my existing 20TB engines still be supported? 

Yes. Avid will provide support for any 20TB NEXIS | Pro covered by a support contract until 31st December 2022, so your hardware should be safe for the rest of its usable life. It will continue to qualify for maintenance software releases, including bug fixes and client OS compatibility updates.

Will I be able to continue using my existing hardware? 

Again, yes. See below for specific compatibility information.

How does the price compare to the existing 20 TB engine? 

The new, larger engine is actually better value per TB, offering you twice the storage capacity for a relatively small uptick in price (the base model of the 40TB unit is currently £1000 more than the base 20TB model).

Are there limits to how I can configure my NEXIS | Pro system? 

Essentially, the same limits apply to NEXIS systems built from the new storage model as follows:

– Up to four Media Packs (in this case up to four engines) can be merged into one NEXIS | Pro system which uses the embedded System Director service mode of NEXIS File System.

– Up to 30 clients can be connected to the NEXIS Pro storage system simultaneously.

– Up to 24 clients can be actively connected to the system accessing storage Workspaces simultaneously.

– NEXIS Pro Engine Media Packs can be bound to the file system in either Scale Out Storage Group (SOSG) mode or in High Performance Storage Group (HPSG) mode. For systems containing more than one engine, both modes can be used (starting, perhaps, with one Media Pack in SOSG mode and one Media Pack in HPSG mode), and up to four Storage Groups can be configured as follows:

– Up to four engines can be connected and from one to four Storage Groups can be created with each engine’s Media Pack bound to the file system in SOSG mode delivering up to 400 MB/s bandwidth per Media Pack. Storage Groups can be sized according to bandwidth requirements, and further Media Packs added later if expansion is required (subject to the four Media Pack system limit).

– Up to four engines can be connected and one Storage Group can be created with each engine’s Media Pack bound to the file system in HPSG mode delivering up to 600 MB/s bandwidth per Media Pack bound in this mode. Additional Storage Groups can also be created if required; however, these must use SOSG bound Media Packs.

Can NEXIS | Pro engines be mixed with NEXIS | E ones? 

NEXIS | Pro storage cannot be mixed with NEXIS | E series engines, although a NEXIS | Pro based system and one or more NEXIS | E series based systems could be run in the same network environment if required, and from a common client base.

Can I add NEXIS | Pro 40TB Engines to my NEXIS | Pro 20TB system?

Yes, you can do this safely, although the total number of NEXIS engines in a NEXIS Pro engine-based NEXIS system cannot exceed four, and you will need to be running at least NEXIS software v7.10.1. This may mean that a software update must be performed on the existing NEXIS | Pro 20TB engines and all clients accessing the storage prior to adding the new NEXIS engines to the system.

Ideally, NEXIS | Pro 40TB Engines would be added to a new Storage Group separate from any existing Storage Groups consisting of NEXIS | Pro 20TB Engines in order to optimise available storage capacity.

Can I add NEXIS | Pro 40TB Engines to my ISIS 1000 system?

Yes, although the ISIS 1000 system would need to be upgraded to NEXIS | Pro 20TB engines and NEXIS v7.10.1 software or above before the new storage was added.

Can I add NEXIS | Pro 40TB Engines to my ISIS 5000 system?

No. However, NEXIS systems can be run safely alongside an ISIS system and both storage systems can be accessed from a common Avid Shared Storage client. So if you need to expand your available storage capacity or increase the storage bandwidth available to clients, a suitably configured Avid NEXIS system can be established in the same network as your existing ISIS system. In this case the ISIS system must be running a minimum version of ISIS v4.7.5 software (although the latest v4.7.11 is highly recommended) and the existing ISIS client software can be updated to the Avid NEXIS client software.

What level of storage protection is offered by NEXIS | Pro series engines?

Administrators can select to have data protected in NEXIS | Pro based file systems with either One Disk or Two Disk protected Workspaces. In the case of the One Disk protected Workspaces, data located in these Workspaces will remain available to users in the case of one disk in the NEXIS Media Pack failing. In the case of the Two Disk protected Workspaces, data located in these Workspaces will remain available to users in the case of up to two disks in the NEXIS Media Pack failing. Administrators can also elect to create Workspaces with no data protection enabled, although we recommend that users only select this option if they have an effective onsite backup workflow in place.

Is NEXIS engine mirroring available as a data protection scheme in NEXIS | Pro based systems?

No, this advanced data protection scheme requires use of the NEXIS System Director Appliance (SDA) and is only available in NEXIS |E Series engine-based configurations.

Have we missed a question? Ask yours in the comments, or get in touch with the team on 03332 409 210 or at broadcast@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our IBC roundup.

Coming in 2018: Audio trends to look out for

Coming in 2018: Audio trends to look out for

We asked our experts to gaze into their crystal mics and predict 2018’s biggest trends for the audio industry. Reliable picks included networked audio over IP, an even bigger push on 3D sound than we’ve seen in 2017 and Ambisonics quietly cornering the market for virtual reality content…

Networked audio over IP: Dante, Ravenna, BLU Link, Q-LAN and AES67

We’ve been talking to everyone who’ll listen about Focusrite’s Dante products for years now (and, to a lesser but no less enthusiastic extent, about gear that uses Ravenna, BLU Link and Q-LAN). While all these formats are excellent in their own ways and most studios we kit out will include equipment from multiple vendors, they weren’t always cross-compatible.

The AES67 standard was designed to fix this, among other things, and allows interoperability between Dante, Ravenna and other such networks as if they were one and the same. While AES67 has been around since 2014, it’s only recently it’s really gained traction, with newer Dante and Ravenna solutions being AES67-compatible straight out of the gate. Our hope is that in 2018 working across standards becomes even easier, with the rise of the AES70 management standard allowing us to control routing between between Dante, Ravenna and BLU Link without any compatibility issues or loss of signal quality.

We’re also interested in seeing what Q-SYS, JBL and BSS have up their sleeve this year for audio system control, and advise anyone who works with audio and video to keep an eye on SMPTE 2110, which allows you to transport audio and video synchronously in separate streams, in native AES67 rather than multiplexed with the video, as in SMPTE 2022. SSL in particular have been developing solutions that incorporate this standard, including their more recent Dante-based interfaces.

Want to know more about this? Head to our Soho centre at 9am on 31st January for a special Tech Breakfast with our senior audio engineer, Matt Ward, who’ll be briefing people on AES67 and its related standards over coffee and a danish. Sign up here

Ambisonics overtake immersive audio and virtual reality

One of the things we’re most excited about at the moment is the resurgence of interest in Ambisonics, driven by the latest developments in immersive audio and VR. Originally developed in the 1970s by Michael Gerzon, Ambisonics was integrated into Pro Tools in v12.8.2, and we expect to see more third party tools appearing as VR and immersive home and cinema formats become ubiquitous.

If you’re experimenting with Ambisonics (particularly capturing sound fields), we’d recommend keeping a close eye on developments in high order ambisonic microphone arrays over the next year as the ability to store and process a greater number of channels becomes available. These arrays produce phase-coherent immersive audio signals that give your virtual environment natural acoustics, and working in higher order allows for more spatial accuracy.

In other immersive news, 2018 could be the year that SMPTE release an open standard for immersive audio, and it’ll be interesting to see whether the latest evolutions of DTS:X and Multi-Dimensional Audio can challenge Dolby Atmos – follow us on Twitter to keep up with developments.

Refining the cloud

Putting immersive audio aside for a minute, the other toolkit we’d like to see Avid expand in 2018 is Pro Tools’ suite of cloud collaboration tools. Rumours suggest we’ll see their online collaboration services refined, giving audio customers a more streamlined, integrated solution that will lure end users away from slightly less secure methods of sharing (they’re also overhauling the Media Composer Cloud-connected application, so it will interesting to see how these two sync up).

Perfecting shared storage for audio with DDP

Collaborating also means managing content and storage efficiently, and investing in a flexible and reliable storage and management data solution is undoubtedly the way forward if you want to streamline and optimise your workflow. Not many tools can deliver on all fronts but, having tested a lot of options, we’re big fans of Dynamic Drive Pool, a solution which has been designed specifically to work with this type of media.

DDP is essentially a pool of drives from which virtual or logical volumes can be created and accessed via Ethernet. This is a SAN (Storage Area Network) system, which allows data to be read and written in blocks very quickly, allowing network volumes to appear and behave like local storage. This is the perfect companion for audio systems like Pro Tools, Fairlight and Nuendo.

Got a prediction for 2018? Let us know in the comments. To find out more about any of the above, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

How to achieve a hassle-free, zero-touch iOS rollout

How to achieve a hassle-free, zero-touch iOS rollout

Our iOS lifecycle solutions use tried and tested methodology (we’ve deployed 50,000 devices so far this year!) so iPhone and iPad rollouts are a breeze for not just end users, but the IT staff that support them. Here’s how we make sure your rollout is as efficient as possible…

Without a clear strategy for deployment in place, the headache that often comes with large-scale rollouts can be huge – especially for IT staff tasked with making sure everything goes off without a hitch. There can be the potential for missing kit, company-wide downtime, and end users needing help getting their device working as they should.

With our iOS lifecycle solutions, we take the hassle out of deploying hundreds of devices across your business. Whether your company is new to Apple, already has an Apple estate or has a mixed device environment, we’ll ensure you get the best experience from your mobile technology.

The perfect rollout

 

Before

Prior to your rollout, end users will be able to log into a dedicated web portal and select their new device from a predetermined list. They’ll also be able to book a collection time and place, and arrange to return their old device. New devices will then be delivered to site at the specified time, ready for end users to collect.

During

As end users will have pre-booked time slots to collect their devices, you know they won’t all be turning up at once. Our iOS deployments are tracked using a custom app, CAT24, which gives you full visibility of where your rollout is up to, who has received a new device and who has returned their old one.

With CAT24, you can:

– Import employee lists, serial numbers and automatically sync stock before rollout.

– View on hand, in delivery and returned devices, as well as images and employee lists.

– Export details via .csv or integrate into existing business systems.

– Discover employees and check returned device serial numbers.

– Capture images to confirm the quality of returned device for resale.

– Scan and assign new device to employees.

– Have employees sign off receipt of new devices.

– Integrate with SAP and other systems, for live insight.

We’ll also have a member of our friendly, accredited tech team onsite during your rollout, so if there are any hiccups, they can address them and get you back on the right track. They’ll also be happy to answer any questions you or your end users have about the new devices, and getting set up.

After

If required, we can provide training for you and your end users, as well as a support hotline so staff have a dedicated number to call with any queries or issues. We can also provide bespoke collateral that will come with the new device to help get end users up and running as soon as possible, ensuring a hassle-free and informed rollout.

We know that accidents are inevitable, but believe suffering downtime because of them isn’t. With our hot swaps, users can have a replacement device in their hands the same day, and will be kept up to date while we repair the damaged device.

The benefits

We estimate that with a traditional iOS rollout, it could take users up to five minutes to collect a new device and return any old ones. Across 15,000 devices, that equates to 1250 hours, or 167 working days spend across your company deploying new tech.

With our iOS deployments, we can reduce this to less than one minute per device, which means only 250 hours or 33 working days spent on the rollout – that’s a difference of 133 working days!

As well minimal downtime, with a Jigsaw24 iOS rollout you’ll also get:

Reduced admin. Dramatically reduced administration of manually logging assets that is required during a rollout.

On time delivery. We can deploy thousands of devices over agreed timescales – in a recent deployment we rolled out 15,000 devices in six months.

Real-time updates. Throughout the rollout, HR and IT staff will receive clear progress and inventory information in real time.

Reduced support tickets. With rapid repairs, hot swaps and dedicated support hotlines, you could see support tickets reduced by up to 50%.

Improved data security. Significantly improve your data security and brand management with our pre-delivery staging and configuration services.

Get in touch with our Apple Practice to arrange an ideation workshop at our Apple Experience Centre, our leading demo facility in the heart of Soho, London. Give us a call on 03332 400 888, email enterprise@Jigsaw24.com or visit our enterprise site.

Are you getting the most out of your iOS devices at work?

Are you getting the most out of your iOS devices at work?

Our iOS Lifecycle solutions are based around staff experience. With our tried and tested methodology (we’ve deployed 50,000 devices so far this year!), iPhone and iPad rollouts have been a breeze for our customers. Here’s how we make sure you get the best out of your devices from day one…

Everybody likes exciting new tech. But the headache that often comes with large-scale rollouts can be huge, with the potential for long wait times, missing kit, and not knowing how to get up and running once the device is actually in your hands.

Without a clear strategy for deployment in place, and the necessary support available after you’ve got your devices switched on, many people find that they’re not getting the most out of their iPad or iPhone for business. But don’t worry – whether your company is new to Apple, already has an Apple estate or has a mixed device environment, we’ll ensure you get the best experience from your mobile technology.

The perfect rollout

 

Before

Prior to your company’s rollout, you’ll be able to log into a dedicated web portal and select your new device from a predetermined list. You’ll also be able to book a collection time and place, and arrange to return your old device. Your device will then be delivered to site at the specified time, ready for you to collect.

During

As you and your colleagues will have pre-booked time slots to collect your devices, so you’ll avoid the usual lunchtime rush as everyone devices to pick up their iPhone at the same time. Our iOS deployments are tracked using a customer app, CAT24, which ensures a smooth, zero-touch rollout.

We’ll also have a member of our friendly, accredited (and a little bit geeky) tech team onsite during your rollout, so if there are any hiccups, they can address them and get you back on the right track. They’ll also be happy to answer any questions you have about your new device, and getting set up.

After

If required, we can provide training for you and the IT staff supporting you, as well as a support hotline so you’ve got a dedicated number to call with any queries or issues. We can also provide bespoke collateral that will come with your new device to help get you up and running as soon as possible, ensuring a hassle-free and informed rollout.

We know that accidents are inevitable, but believe suffering downtime because of them isn’t. With our hot swaps, you can have a replacement device in your hands the same day, and will be kept up to date while we repair your damaged device.

The benefits

With a Jigsaw24 iOS rollout you’ll get:

Minimal downtime. We’ve got the deployment process down to a tee, so it should take you less than a minute to collect your new device and return your old one.

On time delivery. We can deploy thousands of devices over agreed timescales – in a recent deployment we rolled out 15,000 devices in six months.

Real-time updates. Throughout the rollout, your HR and IT staff will receive clear progress and inventory information in real time.

Reduced support tickets. With rapid repairs, hot swaps and dedicated support hotlines, you could see support tickets reduced by up to 50%.

Improved data security. Significantly improve your data security and brand management with our pre-delivery staging and configuration services.

Get in touch with our Apple Practice to arrange an ideation workshop at our Apple Experience Centre, our leading demo facility in the heart of Soho, London. You can call us on 03332 409 306 or email enterprise@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Why choose Apple for digital transformation?

Why choose Apple for digital transformation?

Digital transformation is a long term commitment that radically changes the culture of an organisation. Which means that if you’re going to do it, you need to be on a platform that can change with you, and that offers you a combination of stability and flexibility. We think that’s the Apple platform. 

Earlier this year, MDM providers Jamf reported that 91% of organisations now use Mac and 99% use iPad and iPhone. This surge in popularity is partly due to employees who use iOS devices in their personal lives demanding access to the same technology in the workplace, but there are a number of compelling reasons why the Apple platform is ideal for the enterprise space, especially if you’re pursuing digital transformation.

Co-engineered hardware and software

Apple computers are known for their long lifespan and excellent build quality. Unlike most other manufacturers, Apple produce the hardware and software components of their devices, so the two are perfectly engineered to work together. This makes machines more reliable and less prone to productivity-sapping bugs and glitches. It also means that the user experience is consistent across the full range of devices, so an employee who has an iPhone will be able to figure out how to use their first desktop Mac quickly and intuitively.

As mobile working becomes more prevalent, the integration between Apple devices becomes more important. iCloud storage has been a standard part of an Apple account for some time now, and in the last few years huge strides have been made in improving the integration between desktop, iOS and cloud versions of their core apps, so users on different devices and platforms can collaborate in realtime. iOS’s Handoff functionality even allows employees to close a document on their desktop as they leave the office, and open the same document on their iPhone to work on while they travel.

Most Apple devices have a built-in camera, GPS, gyroscope and accelerometer. Apps can take advantage of these to record data that would have previously required expensive equipment, or increase visibility over your operations at low cost (giving delivery drivers an iPhone with a tracking app is probably the most common example of this). And because Apple produce iPads and iPhones in a range of sizes without much drop-off in performance, every employee will be able to find a model that meets their needs.

A focus on privacy and security

Apple devices provide the best security of any mainstream platform. This ranges from system level security, such as using Touch ID to enforce two-factor authentication, to sandboxing apps, to AES-256 bit hardware encryption for data at rest and a VPN over the transport layer when your data’s in transit.

When an Apple device in enrolled into a mobile device management (MDM) solution, the device is designed to secure important company data while protecting end user privacy. The MDM solution can only see corporate data and apps, not personal information, creating a natural separation between corporate and personal data without any need for separate workspaces. This is particularly useful in BYOD or mobile working environments, as it allows you to wipe, restrict and control corporate data without interfering with any of the user’s own files.

Apple have made it even easier to enrol your devices into a MDM solution be rolling out their Device Enrolment Programme. The DEP allows your MDM solution to save settings and profiles to Apple’s own servers. When you turn on a new device, Apple then push the appropriate profile to the device immediately, so security settings are applied from the moment the user turns on the device, so they’re never working on an uncontrolled device and there’s no chance of you losing vital data.

Streamlined deployment and management

As mentioned previously, there are number of device management solutions available for the Apple platform, and both iOS and macOS are designed to work with your management solution, not against it. Apple even introduced a Device Enrolment Programme that allows your MDM solution to communicate with their servers and automatically install the correct profile on a new device as soon as it’s turned on, enabling zero touch deployment. Once a device is active, you can manage how it accesses accounts, apps, books, domains and extensions, and dictate the user’s ‘Open in’ options when they access a file.

As for corporate apps, these can be purchased centrally and in bulk, then pushed out over MDM. Alternatively, you can host a private app store populated with whitelisted apps to ensure your employees only have access to approved content.

Another advantage of iOS in particular is the fact that, because updates are quick, easy and user-centric, over 59% of iOS devices are on the latest version of the operating system just six weeks after its initial release. Contrast that with the Android user base, which at the time of writing had only 0.6% of its membership on the latest iteration, and which has substantial numbers of users who are still several versions back.

This version sprawl increases the likelihood Android devices will be incompatible with your legacy systems, be unable to access the latest version of core apps, and generally increase the amount of time your IT have to spend on day to day support, as they have to be aware of five generations’ worth of bugs and fixes, as opposed to being able to quickly identify and correct issues they know a single generation has with your systems.

The best platform for apps 

Apple’s App Store currently houses over 230,000 apps for business. Whatever issue you’re trying to address, there’s likely to be a native app to get you started. If you don’t have time in your schedule to sift through 230,000 apps, take a look at Apple’s specially selected Mobility Partners are a great place to start. These best of breed apps have been identified as particularly innovative, comprehensive or useful within their sector, and are ideal for companies who want to engage with digital transformation.

As well as helping you find the best off the shelf solutions, Apple also aim to make life as easy as possible for in-house development teams. All of their devices are optimised for the Swift programming language, which is easy to learn and was designed with security first in mind. If you decide to build your own apps, you’ll get access to the Apple’s Xcode IDE, and Simulator testing environment.

Once your app is developed, it can be hosted privately on the App Store, so you can reap the benefits of Apple’s distribution platform without making your app visible to the general public.

Partnerships

All this is impressive, but Apple aren’t determined to take on the enterprise alone. They’ve partnered with the likes of Cisco, Deloitte, SAP and IBM (who currently have the world’s largest Mac estate) to develop an integrated suite of solutions that ensures you won’t be starting from the ground up if you choose to adopt Macs.

As well as ensuring that Apple and PC systems can be integrated across your organisation, these partnerships are developing dedicated solutions for iOS devices and doing a huge amount to reassure stakeholders that iOS devices in particular can be a stable, secure part of their IT estate.

Why choose Jigsaw24?

We have over 25 years’ experience working in mixed platform environments, and were recently named the UK’s first Apple Authorised Enterprise Reseller. The staff in our dedicated Apple Practice have unrivalled expertise, knowhow and experience in providing Apple solutions. Our services cover:

Strategy on Apple ecosystem If you’re considering reviewing, updating or building your IT strategy over the next five years, and want a clear roadmap for your Apple estate, we can help by supporting mixed environments and even offering outsourced IT support.

App development and UI design With our own internal app development team, we’re able to assist with every step of getting you your own iOS app, from an initial consultation to scope out what you need, through to development and implementation, including deployment and management.

Business process optimisation Our consultants can advise on your current workflow and what can be done to improve it, with recommendations for moving forward so you can optimise your business processes.

Security and risk management We’re well equipped to consult on device security, and make sure iOS and macOS address the security requirements and regulations of your organisation.

Deployment and transition We can deploy ready-configured devices to your end users, and our device transition and data migration service ensures all devices are seamlessly transitioned and that all user data is transferred.

Support Our in-life support ensures your devices are always covered, including hardware break/fix, remote support, onsite visits and replacement devices.

Lifecycle management We provide all the services you need throughout the life of your Apple device. From a simple warranty to a complete support and management service – we can even help you release the residual value of your device when it’s time for a refresh.

Apple devices are a popular, powerful tool for business transformation. User demand for access to the Apple platform is high, and the potential for its native apps to increase productivity, efficiency and end user satisfaction is clear. If you need a more bespoke solution, the Swift programming language provides a secure, easy to learn point of entry into development for both iOS and macOS. To find out more about how we can help you begin this journey, or unlock the potential of devices already in your organisation, get in touch with the team on the details below.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email enterprise@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.