Sunday, April 20, 2014

IBM Impact 2014 Conference Preview

IBM Impact 2014 conference begins one week from today and I'm looking forward to attending.  I authored an article on the conference earlier this month on IBM Mobile Business Insights blog and I wanted to follow it up with details on my schedule.  Safe travels and I look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!

Monday, April 28
  • 10pm: Arrival.   Note: I was originally scheduled to arrive on Sunday but I have to deliver a last-minute presentation at IBM's NYC headquarters on Monday.

Tuesday, April 29
  • 10:00am-2:00pm: Staff the IBM MobileFirst Studio booth at the product showcase
  • 5:00pm-7:00pm: Press dinner
  • 7:30pm-9:45pm: Imagine Dragons concert

Wednesday, April 30
  • 9:00am-5:00pm: Internal IBM meeting
  • 10:30am-11:30am: Present "The Biggest Mistakes with Mobile Initiatives and How to Avoid them." in Lando 4303

Thursday, May 1
  • 2:15pm-3:15pm: Present "ID4319: The Impact of Mobile on the IT Organization" in Titian 2303
  • 10:30pm:  Departure  

  • Login to with your conference credentials (provided via email) to create your profile, connect with other attendees and create your conference schedule
  • Configure the IBM Connections mobile application to login to the IBM Impact community.  Instructions can be found here
  • Follow @IBMImpact and #IBMImpact on Twitter

Thursday, March 27, 2014

IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge: Proposals Extended to April 14

At Mobile World Congress 2014 last month in Barcelona, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty announced the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge.  If you're not familiar with IBM Watson, it's the technology that won the Jeopardy game show challenge on TV in 2011.   IBM is challenging developers to integrate Watson capabilities into a mobile application.   Proposals have been extended to Monday, April 14 are due on Monday, March 31 and five finalists will be announced at the IBM Impact conference in Las Vegas next month.   Winners will receive support from the Watson team and design services from the award-winning consultancy IBM Interactive to refine their app and bring it to market.

Key resources:

The video below from IBM provides more details on the challenge

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Apple releases iOS 7.1, Device Enrollment Program and "New IT" website

Much of the focus in the press is around Apple's rumored upcoming devices including the iPhone 6, "iWatch" and "iPad Pro."  However, over the last two weeks Apple made three significant announcements that had nothing to do with devices including:
  1. iOS 7.1
  2. Device Enrollment Program
  3. New IT website

iOS 7.1
Apple released iOS 7.1 which is a minor release for iPhones, iPads and AppleTV (version 6.1).  The release contains bug fixes, new features and enhancements to the user interface. One of the key new features is Apple CarPlay which replaces iOS in the car and integrates iOS with in car telematics built on BlackBerry QNX.  New vehicles are expected to ship with CarPlay support later this year.  The following video from Volvo provides an overview of the capabilities and user interface.

Device Enrollment Program
The new Apple Device Enrollment Program enrolls corporate-owned iOS devices in mobile device management during over the air device activation.  Prior to this feature, it was necessary to configure devices with MDM manually.   MDM vendors like IBM Fiberlink MaaS360 now support this capability and is demonstrated in the video below.  Device activation can be found 34 minutes into the video:

Apple "New IT" website
Apple updated their iPad in Business website and rebranded it as "New IT."  The website is organized into the following sections: deploy at scale, protect corporate data, manage devices and buy and distribute applications.  With the relaunch of the website, there is much more content on the new website that enterprises can leverage including a new security whitepaper.   Apple is clearly listening and responding to the needs of the enterprise with the relaunch on this website.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Mobile World Congress 2014 Summary

I was in Barcelona last week attending Mobile World Congress.  The annual event, with more than 75,000 attendees, is hosted by GSMA which is an organization of 800 of the world's mobile operators.   However, as the growth of mobile has exploded, so too the scope of the conference has expanded beyond carriers.

Mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets and wearables, were a big focus of the conference.   New devices were everywhere including the Samsang Galaxy S5, Nokia X and Samsung Gear Fit - just to name a few.  Connected cars, mobile payments and advanced wi-fi hotspots were also well represented at the show.

IBM had a significant presence at the show, highlighted by CEO Ginni Rometty's keynote.  In her address, Ginni announced the Watson Mobile Developer Challenge.  In addition to the keynote, IBM has a large booth on the expo floor and hosted the MobileFirst Influencer Forum.

I had the opportunity to meet with dozens of clients to discuss some of the challenges of adopting a "mobile first" strategy.  The conversations focused not on the mobile device itself, but instead what you do with it.  Many clients I spoke with are struggling with developing and securing mobile applications that unlock the potential of the mobile device and the ability to transact business anywhere, anytime.   I briefed clients on the IBM MobileFirst portfolio and shared examples of how IBM is helping thousands of clients worldwide deliver on the promise of a mobile enterprise.

I've included a few videos below which provide a good overview of IBM's presence at Mobile World Congress 2014.

IBM's presence at Mobile World Congress

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty's keynote presentation

IBM MobileFirst influencer forum at Mobile World Congress 2014 with presentations from IBM's Rich Esposito, Marie Weick, Kevin Custis and more

Friday, February 21, 2014

Why I bought a new laptop and a new desktop computer in the "post PC era"

I recently bought both a new Windows laptop and desktop:
The Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 is for work and earned an editors choice award from CNET.  Right now it's used for testing and demos until the IBM CIO's approves Windows 8 for employee use.   It's a fantastic laptop: thin, light, powerful and with a gorgeous high-resolution display.

The HP desktop replaces a Gateway desktop I purchased a little over three years ago which had started exhibiting hardware problems including a crashed hard drive.  Since I needed more storage space and wanted to upgrade to Windows 8 anyway (the Gateway was running Windows 7) I decided to purchase a new desktop rather than putting more money into a three year old sick desktop.   This is the only PC in our home (my son has a Chromebook for school) and is used daily for web browsing, paying bills and keeping track of finances.   The desktop also serves as my home media server (photos, music and video).    I use a cloud backup service (Carbonite) to backup over 1GB of data.  I also use iTunes Music Match and Google Play Music.   I use Google Play play my old time radio collection since iTunes Music Match doesn't support MP3's less than 96Kbps 

Truth be told, my wife and kids use their mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, iPad Mini) far more than our desktop PC and I did consider not replacing it.  All of the task could be performed on smartphone or tablet, leveraging cloud storage.  However, cloud storage is fairly expensive.  For example Amazon charges $500 a year for 1 TB of storage.  That said, with PC sales continuing to sink, more and more users are clearly not replacing their existing PC as they are using them less or not at all.  I'm probably not the typical use case.  In the end, I decided to by the new HP desktop and our family has been happy with the decision.

While I'm a heavy user of my Apple iPhone and Android and iPad tablets at work,  I can't get all my work done on these devices.  I need a PC operating system like Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh.  Why? There are a number of applications that I use for business that either aren't available or lack key capabilities.  That said, the gap continues to close.  For some, there is no gap and they've migrated 100% to mobile and the cloud.

I'm interested in your thoughts.   Have you gone 100% mobile (mobile only) or are you mobile first? (leveraging a PC when needed)