By @tecdr

John Spencer the North European CTO of Citrix talks about BYOD and why we are using mobile smart devices more than ever.

You spoke earlier about people I think it was in Russia, that used to use computers, and now they are using just iPads in their day to day jobs instead.

Yes, where we are finding big success and certainly in the UK is with the government and probably the medical field is the best example right now.

citrix healthWhere we can take a nurse or a consultant now armed with an iPad, and deliver a medical application to them that when they get to a patient, particularly in a trauma type situation, they have got instant information, rather than firing up a laptop or trying to find a desktop that is probably another 300 meters away. So I think tablet and smart device type adoption in the government and in the police force where these is big adaption as well. In the police force what used to happen was when Mr. Bobby used to come up and have a conversation with you and then potentially arrest you on the street, he’d stand there with his pen and paper, he’d take a bunch of information and if he didn’t like you, he’d handcuff you, put you in the van and then cart you back to the police station. He would then spend the next four hours typing up the information he’d taken down. Now what they can do is take a smart device of some description. When they get to a crime scene, they can take all the notes on the device itself, take photographs, and they’ve got GPS coordinates. They can take voice, take video, get back to the office, plug the smart device into a monitor and keyboard, and then use all the information that they captured electronically and import that into their criminal data application. What that does is that it now allows the police officers another four to five hours a day back on the streets.

For me, the worrying thing is BYOD. Where do you put it in place? And how do you make sure that the devices been used are ones that you can regulate?

And that’s where things like MDM comes in “mobile device management” capability. Say, from a BYOD perspective, depending on how you use Citrix technology– for example, if you’re using our XEN App and XEN desktop technology, we don’t really care anymore because XEN App and XEN desktop is secured by design. So you can use any end point, I don’t really mind. The data never leaves the data centre, it’s just a screening representation going down there. But as you go moving in to that more native mobile experience with those in mobile technology, then you potentially solve through an IP on the device, and that’s when you want something like MDM. So you can have some control and policy capability around the actual device itself particularly in a BYOD world. So depending on which technology is being used by customers. Sometimes they’re relevant, or sometimes may not be relevant in a BYOD world.

Microsoft have various mobile smart products at the moment, their tablet, surface is very good, but when it comes to their phones, I think they aren’t great. I think you wouldn’t develop apps for them because most people are going for either Apple or Android phones.

Microsoft has got this methodology about creating a single application under Windows 10, and delivering that in a traditional in a client laptop type environment or if you’re using a mobile device, it will then adapt to whichever device you have chosen to use. I think Microsoft have had this since Windows 7 days. No one has really adopted it, and actually the real problem, even if people adopted it and started developing applications with dual format in place who is actually using Windows 10 mobile phones? Not many people. It’s kind of Apple or Android from what I’m seeing in market right now.

When years ago, you used to have the choice of using something like a Blackberry device, which have been officially gone, and then you also had the Palm Pilot. They were to be the big things, but now they’re all been replaced because they can’t offer what Android or Apple can. You want usability, and something that you can use anywhere which is robust.

 No one’s taught you how to use an iPhone, you just picked it up and said that’s kind of fantastic know. I’m doing this thing right now,  I’m kind of trialling is, I can pick up my phone in the morning, I got my secured email right here, I can do everything on here. I have the ability to join conference calls, things like I can go to meetings Webex technologies I can dial with single clicks. So, I don’t have to sit in the car trying to find twelve digit conference IDs. I get into the office, I plug my phone into a HDMI or VGA cable into a large monitor, bluetooth keyboard on it, and the Citrix Xl mouse, and I use this as a thin client for the rest of the day. I also just need to make sure that I’m charging it. But it’s very very useful now that you get a large 21-inch screen with Windows 7/10 desktop, remote it in to this, create data on there, store in my share file repository, get it out at a customer meeting, and I can immediately go to my share file local app on here, and share data I created. So I can just use one device all day, and it’s phenomenal from my prospective.

ShareFileNow, if you’re going to be in video conference, can you do that on your iPhone?

Exactly. Yeah.

Have you seen Blab yet?
No I have not seen that.

It’s like periscope. You can have four people at the one time talking. So you can have all four people chatting together. If one person leaves, somebody can join in and take their place. In the meantime, you can be a bystander and type in questions. And if one of them decides that they have to leave the conversation, you can then have the chance to join in, take part, and be viewed as well.

That’s interesting. What we find in is things like Skype for business. What was the link? Jabber, probably the two kind of killer applications in that space that people want to use. In fact, I was down in a large financial institution in about two months ago. I was doing demonstrations for their board on mobility. One of the key apps for them was Java, and the mobility to either do IM, voice, or video calls which dramatically reduces their telephony costs. The massively we do kind of video that telephony calls. But what was interesting in there was, I was specifically told– and I never did this anyway, but it’s quite interesting– they said, “Do not bring pen and paper, all right?” They want to do everything– what do they want to see is.. They want to see iPads. They want to really embrace technology. Pen and paper is just frowned upon. So it’s quite interesting kind of thought process that went through in this organisation.


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