Are Smartphones a Smart Idea for Small Businesses?

As a student, I consider looking reruns of “Star Trek” in my university dormitory with the different University of California matriculates, and sure, I turned into a piece of a geek for positive! My preferred phrase uttered episode after episode turned into, “Kirk to Enterprise. Come in, Enterprise,” and with a simple flick of the wrist, a well-prepared Federation employee could “beam” Captain Kirk again to Enterprise from anywhere he became. Maybe Gene Roddenberry and the alternative geniuses at the back of the Nineteen Sixties hit have been in reality generation experts and visionaries. Think approximately it; Captain Kirk talking without delay to someone on any other space vessel, or maybe in every other galaxy, via a live connection on a huge display screen show. Does this remind you of Cisco TelePresence possibly? What about the electronic “pads” the yeoman turned into always handing to Captain Kirk to sign-off on. Did Steve Jobs have that vision in mind as he fleshed out the primary iPad layout? Maybe the most prescient tool on the show changed into the communicator. Could it have been a precursor to contemporary cellphone? I do not assume Roddenberry, even in his wildest dreams, imagined the path of contemporary smartphones; a tool powerful enough to allow users to play phrase video games with friends whilst talking to their mom and searching a website for an extremely good vicinity for sushi. Interestingly sufficient, it changed into Canada in which both of those wonders had been born.

The clever smartphone revolution became of route pioneered by way of Canadian large Research In Motion (RIM), and I’m not certain now not even the corporation’s corporate strategists ought to have foreseen how deep the insertion might be whilst Blackberry first hit the market. The term “CrackBerry” snidely mentioned those individuals who, in spite of a crowbar, couldn’t be separated from their BlackBerry devices. RIM enjoyed an awesome benefit in being first to the marketplace, and their legions of converts who eagerly fed on the entirety BlackBerry have been harbingers of a new era of commercial enterprise mobility. The days of “out of office” greetings were numbered as any smart, aggressive business enterprise knew that if they had been extra reachable to their clients and potentialities the probability of ultimate enterprise and growing agile customer service became astronomically better than the ones now not embracing the mobility fashion.

In the case of business, as well as within the wild, the hunter frequently will become the hunted. Even even though RIM had a quite sturdy foothold at the fledgling marketplace, others soon came to dislodge the chief from the mountaintop. Even PDA makers consisting of Palm, Inc., with their Treo gadgets, jumped into the fray after seeing their product was becoming out of date. Soon others with new operating systems like the Apple iPhone and the Google-sponsored Android device were introduced to the market. Of route, it would not definitely be a party without Microsoft, who has been looking to crack the phone and mobility market for numerous years with their Windows Phone. Though lagging in the back of in characteristic set, the Windows Phone changed into the idea to have a moderate advantage in ease of incorporation into complete Windows-based environments. However, the comparative ease of the competition to do the same, as well as weaker Windows Phone characteristic sets, kept Microsoft on the out of doors searching in for the most element; till now. Industry watchers are cautiously maintaining an eye on the following iteration of the Windows Phone running machine, Windows Phone 8. Microsoft has placed a few heavy bets on this product touting the seamless consumer interface between the phone and the computer or pc. Time will inform whether or not this method will be a winner or a disaster.

Today’s telephone market gives a plethora of alternatives which makes it difficult to point to one that is taken into consideration to be the BEST. In reality, there might not be one everyday preference due to the fact the wants and needs of the small and mid-sized business are all over the board and there is no “ordinary” community configuration. However, I assume we can agree there are numerous alternatives that maximum SMB agencies could use inside the realm of the smartphone characteristic set. Being able to behavior commercial enterprise on the fly is the maximum compelling and commonplace motive small organizations are thinking about the telephone and the way it suits into their average plan. Sure, employment agencies are in the equal boat, however, the SMB space may also well have more agility and versatility in their business model to deal with a shift like this. More and greater, there are small start-u.S.And sole owners that may take advantage of the power smartphones mixed with cloud answers that eliminate the need for an onsite server and suite of applications. Solutions like Microsoft’s Office 365 allows customers to have all in their organizational statistics, e-mail, databases, intranet, voice, and IM communications treated in the cloud and accessible anywhere on their telephone tool of desire.

This form of configuration and cellphone integration works well for agencies which have a small office or a domestic office, however, it may also work nicely for companies trying to reduce fees and not reinvest in costly hardware, software, and personnel to help it. However, there are various pitfalls around security and device get right of entry to.

Addressing the former, with the ease of connection for a developing wide variety of phone alternatives, the disadvantage can be the capability for protection breach. What if the tool is misplaced or stolen? What if a worker is going to a competitor but siphons off crucial consumer records before they go away? What if the Internet connection the device is getting access to is hacked leading a malevolent outsider to get entry to your inner network? These are all vital factors to don’t forget. Most smartphones are simplest capable of getting admission to the network via a relaxed connection thru a Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnel, for example. These tunnels are a clientless range referred to as SSL, which is a browser-based totally connection that leverages the relaxed sockets layer in Internet Explorer. In different words, it’s not just like the vintage VPN connection that required a patron to be downloaded, needed to be maintained, and needed to be accessed only from the device it was loaded onto. The clientless SSL model can be used from any compliant browser, even an airport or motel kiosk.

It’s vital to understand how smartphones are capable of getting admission to the network properly and securely as most employees won’ tot get entry to a BYOD environment; bring your own tool. These situations are playing out at each rung on the commercial enterprise length ladder, however the equal protection troubles continue to be as noted above. How to properly address the plethora of gadgets gaining access to the network? I hate to introduce some other acronym, but Mobile Device Management (MDM) could be the ticket to fixing that riddle. Between cloud-primarily based solutions and on-premise options, MDM carriers permit businesses to securely control each enterprise owned and worker-owned devices. With compliance to federal regulations an ever-changing problem, these MDM solutions can help provide evidence that the entity’s facts are secure and protected. They can even tune the region of the tool, and if it’s far misplaced or stolen, deliver an administrator the ability to fasten it down or even wipe it smooth of all corporate data remotely. That gets a bit intricate when coping with gadgets owned by way of employees, but a number of the MDM suites will permit for the removal of most effective corporate facts, leaving the images of your lovely canine or lovely niece intact.

So there are lots of alternatives and selections round clever telephones for the SMB crowd. There are too many alternatives, and too many people want and need for me to suggest or factor in the direction of any personal device. Regardless of the choice, the need for protection and management is something that can’t be omitted. It is important to do a thorough assessment of your wishes and how your finances can cope with all the key factors of the solution. A cell phone as a key tool in a commercial enterprise for any range of customers, however, I regularly wonder what will they look like in the destiny. I’d be pleased if gadgets of the future may want to materialize a great cup of espresso to me just like the food replicators in the Star Trek universe! Live long and prosper, and be cell!

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Originally posted 2018-09-15 13:14:50.

Timothy Washington
Hardcore internetaholic. Social media nerd. General writer. Freelance travel junkie. Music practitioner. Twitter guru. Alcohol maven. In 2008 I was writing about wooden trains for fun and profit. Earned praised for my work researching fatback in Los Angeles, CA. Spent 2001-2006 lecturing about walnuts in Cuba. Earned praise for analyzing tattoos on Wall Street. Uniquely-equipped for deploying wooden horses in Jacksonville, FL. Spent a year lecturing about tar in Salisbury, MD.