Steve Jobs Day

On October 16th we remembered one of the pioneers of microcomputing. Steve Jobs had a heavy impact on technology and the way we interact with technology today. To honour Steve, everyone at mobco came to work in Steve’s typical outfit: turtleneck, jeans and a pair of sneakers.

Former California governor Jerry Brown announced October 16th as “Steve Jobs Day” shortly after Apple’s co-founder and CEO passed away in 2011 following a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Although it may have been a one-off holiday, this day will always be a perfect opportunity to reflect upon Steve Jobs’s legacy.

Let’s talk pro: new Apple hardware

A new article written for professional users why we have a new smartphone standard and why iPad is the new laptop.
Read more on the pro features that matter and the available products for professionals like you, for iPhone this is a range extending from 6S to 11 Pro Max.

The 3 most important take-aways from the 2019 Gartner magic quadrant

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Every summer, we get a new magic quadrant from research and advisory company Gartner, which provides a clear overview of all the most important UEM tools. Most UEM providers look forward to this quadrant every year, because each vendor is compared on various factors: capabilities, vision, strategy, … The quadrant is an excellent way to determine the leaders in our sector. This year, there were some changes to the quadrant and our CEO Ulrik Van Schepdael listed them here for you.

1. Unified Endpoint Management is here to stay

We all still often use the term Mobile Device Management when talking about managing mobile devices, but a couple of years ago this was changed into UEM or Unified Endpoint Management. The reason for this acronym change is to clearly indicate that more traditional devices are also incorporated into UEM platforms. So, we now no longer refer to the MDM magic quadrant, but the UEM magic quadrant.

2. UEM platforms should integrate with Client Management Tools

In this year’s edition Gartner has also clearly indicated the need to integrate or co-exist with Client Management Tools. The UEM leaders in the quadrant all manage mobile endpoints, but the ones excelling, are those with the best capability to extend this to traditional PC’s and Mac’s.

I strongly believe there will never be a platform that is capable of managing ‘all devices’ properly: a modern UEM platform should not even invest in legacy Client Management techniques, that’s a waste of effort because it will probably never achieve the same level of detail and management granularity as for example SCCM, to name just one.

I would like to ask Gartner to go back in time and reinstate the Mobile Device Management Magic Quadrant. They should again include players such as SOTI and JAMF, who respectfully declare their focus. They do NOT to try to please ‘all’ but instead excel in their focus. And wouldn’t you rather work with a vendor who has a clear focus and stand out in what they do?

3. What the future will bring

The way I currently see this business evolving is that in the near future we will have a multitude of endpoint management platforms, all linked to a single device or OS vendor. The speed of evolution of each device and OS vendor makes it virtually impossible for this UEM industry to continue on its path of ‘doing it all’. So we will not see one platform taking control over every device in the workplace, and that’s ok! Our advice is to use the best platform for this specific device, OS or asset. You shouldn’t change a great management platform for something that’s less good but does “other things”.

That’s also the reason why we created an Employee Service Portal 2.0. This new workplace control center connects to multiple device management platforms and shows everything in one clear dashboard. With this portal, we no longer talk to the device but we talk to the management platform of the device. As a result you get a comprehensive overview of all assets used by that employee, irrelevant if this is Modern Management, Client Management or just Asset Management.

Click HERE if you want to read the Gartner report.

Please send an e-mail to sales@mob.co or call + 32 2 6699 500 if you want to know more about the Employee Service Portal!

On-Premise Single Sign-On, the user friendly way to stay secure finally works on Android Enterprise

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Seamless Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication for mobile devices is now required more than ever. As security threats are on the rise and employees rely on their phones, especially for business related activities, so there is an increased need for a centralized login system.

What is Single Sign-On and how does it work?

Entering credentials manually is frustrating and very time-consuming. But it’s even more error prone on a mobile device. Being able to respond to work-related requests in time benefits employers and employees alike. Especially when your staff is working remotely. Here is where Single Sign-On (SSO) comes in.

SSO provides your users with convenient access to authorized resources without compromising on security. With SSO the user only authenticates once through their device – this is enough to identify the user and grant access for all applications in the company.

Kerberos, the standard of SSO

The Kerberos-authentication technology is the standard to provide Single Sign-On in the enterprise context. It is used within internal environments and has a proven track record. Some of you might wonder how Kerberos exactly works.

Basically, Kerberos comes down to this: It is a protocol for authentication, that uses tickets. It will avoid storing the passwords locally or sending them over the internet – instead it uses a trusted 3rd-party server, the so called KDC. Further it is built on symmetric-key cryptography that makes it extremely secure.

You have a ticket—your proof of identity encrypted with a secret key for the particular service requested—on your local machine; so long as it’s valid, you can access the requested service that is within a Kerberos realm. Rather than re-entering your user/password credentials, your ticket (cached on your system) is used to authenticate allowing for Single Sign-On.

What about Mobile?

Single Sign-On has always been a challenge on mobile phones – especially on Android devices. While companies got the advantage of the Kerberos SSO on their iOS devices, Android users where left behind. To bridge that gap Device Admin and EMM Proprietary solutions were needed to enable it.

Now that companies have to switch to Android Enterprise the Android world is lacking this important feature. Because Device Admin is being deprecated and companies have to switch to Android Enterprise the Android world is lacking this important feature.

Seamless SSO for Android

Fortunately there is some neat Swiss-made and EMM agnostic compatible solution called Hypergate. The Swiss company behind it is developing mobile security applications for more than a decade and designed Hypergate like a Swiss pocket knife: Simple, effective and offers a lot of possibilities.

Hypergate allows a hassle-free authentication to services and lets users consume the services they need on the go. That saves time and keeps the great Android user-experience they’re used to.

It leverages the open Android account’s APIs and enables SPNEGO Kerberos SSO authentication while using system apps like Google Chrome to browse the intranet. It simulates a secure Smart Card logon and handles the native Kerberos protocol just like any other workstation in your network. The communication happens directly with your KDC (Domain Controller), no additional backend component needs to be installed.

Will it work in my environment?

Hypergate is a very flexible application – it’s compatible with all leading Enterprise Mobility Management solution including MobileIron, Microsoft Intune, VMware Workspace ONE, BlackBerry and furthermore. In addition it is device agnostic, allowing you to have a fully diverse BYOD fleet.

The application can be deployed to all employees via the managed google play store. Besides, Hypergate does not require any infrastructural changes at all. Allowing you to set up SSO in hours, not months.

Truly Mobile with Hypergate

A recent update of Hypergate makes Passwords Expirations, Password Changes and Password resets a pain point of the past. It was often the case that if your support team was resetting your password, you were forced to change the password on a Windows machine. Finally your employees can be truly mobile. No dependence on having to use a computer to complete their work. This helps to eliminate the cost of support time.

Get in touch with us if you want to know more about Single Sign-On and Hypergate. We are a certified partner of Hypergate and we are keen to show you what impact Hypergate can have in your work environment.

New Samsung Enterprise Edition devices


Samsung recently announced new additions to their Enterprise Edition line-up. Besides the Note 9, the affordable Galaxy A8, and the higher-end S10 and S10e, it will soon also include the XCover 4S. Other Enterprise edition devices will follow soon this year. Now, why should you choose a Samsung Enterprise edition phone?

The benefits of a Samsung Enterprise device

Samsung developed the Enterprise edition especially for the corporate market and made sure the all-in Enterprise package has everything a company needs. This includes the latest Samsung devices, Knox enterprise software and ongoing tech support. The Enterprise Edition devices bundle gives you efficiency and savings and helps you easily set up an enterprise mobile ecosystem.
This unique offering comes with:
Versatile devices (both high-end and low-end) for all types of businesses, to keep your team connected and productive.
✓ The devices have a market availability of 2 years
✓ 4 years of security and firmware updates, to keep your private data and company data safe
✓ 4 years of E-FOTA on MDM, so you can easily enroll firmware to all the devices
✓ 4 years of Knox Configure, to secure and manage your devices easily
 
 
Come to Mobility Matters in Rotterdam if you want to know more about the Samsung Enterprise devices (Samsung is one of our main partners!), or contact our sales team by sending an e-mail to info@mob.co

When will you start protecting your private data?

Do you have a security app on your smartphone or tablet? No? Then you should definitely keep on reading! Most mobile users do not think their device needs to be protected because they believe they’re careful when downloading apps or clicking on links. But no matter how hard you try, it is simply impossible to protect your data from hackers without the proper protection. And we will show you why.

Why mobile security is so important

Research from our mobile security partner Lookout shows that 56% of mobile phone users have clicked on a phishing link. This means that more than half of the people reading this article have been a phishing victim in the past year. If you are one of those unfortunate clickers, your microphone could be turned on right now, there could be someone going through your texts and photos or even your “secured” bank information.

Then there’s also the WhatsApp hack: it was recently announced that spyware was installed within WhatsApp. This meant that hackers were able to access the phones of people using WhatsApp, including calls, texts, contacts, camera and microphone of the WhatsApp users. The vulnerability illustrates a new way of attacks that easily escape the App Store gatekeepers, as it is installed after the app is activated on the victim’s device.

The misconception about security apps

People often hesitate to use a security app because they fear it will invade the employee’s privacy by monitoring its mobile behavior. Not true, these security apps are designed to monitor cyberattacks and to safeguard the data stored on your phone.

Secure all your data: private and professional

Your smartphone contains your professional and private life: it is your bank, diary, camera, GPS, calendar, communication & work tool,… all in one. It demands proper protection!

Implementing the right security tools within your organization will benefit all employees as it will secure all data, including their private data. Everybody benefits from a better mobile security; it requires awareness around the threats and communication around the actual measures that are taken (or can be taken). The higher the adoption rate, the better secured your company is, the better your private data is.

Want to know more about our mobile security solutions? Join us in Rotterdam or send an e-mail to info@mob.co and let us help you protect your company as well as your personal data.

How to get your workforce on the mobile train

So you want to make your employees more “mobile”? Good idea. You probably realize this is more than buying a smartphone from the local dealer. But have you considered what your users think about mobile devices? Their thoughts and feelings go hand in hand with a successful adoption journey, and ignoring their basic needs can lead to under-utilized company investments. Let’s give you some inspiration.

The device

A uniform pool with all devices on the same platform is easy to deploy and support, but isn’t always desired by users. A list of devices to choose from, on the other hand, gives more freedom and power to users. We already wrote about this web shop-like experience in a previous blog.

If the company provides the hardware instead of a Bring Your Own Device approach, then that’s your “first impression moment”. Best advice: make it exciting, regardless if you define just one or several options. Nobody wants last year’s leftovers when this year’s model is the talk of the town. A wow-effect which leads to a substantial part of the entire on-boarding.

That brings us to non-work-related usage. Smartphones and tablets are part of our day to day lives, in and out of the office, so people will also use it in their private time. Therefore, it should be capable to serve private needs, just like company cars: parents amongst us will probably not be happy with a company car that is not able to take your children’s stroller in the trunk. Most users will consider it as their own device and people will take care of the devices as if it were their own, which saves on repair bills.

The enrollment process

The best manual is one that is never used, so the process should be intuitive and dummy proof, from splash screen to home screen. Zero-touch enrolments, where the device gets its configuration over the air without being touched by the IT team, are gaining popularity. And for good reason: the user gets a proper out of the box experience, will appreciate the fact that their new device is really new, and IT doesn’t need to waste time (and money) setting up devices one by one.

Make the workflow as simple as possible: limit the times the user needs to provide his credentials to… one. The reason is simple: it just feels weird providing credentials multiple times, it’s a hundred times worse than the annoyance of a 2nd factor. Entering a variable code feels secure and is usually accepted by the user, entering the same credentials again without a proper reason just feels useless.

Consider which apps you want to push to the users during enrolment, and which you want to offer in the corporate store. Your corporate email and messaging app should be installed and enforced, while an app to edit presentations will not be the daily work tool of your field engineers.

The user benefits

Mobile platforms are the best in class regarding user experience for many years now and will keep that position during the coming decade. But the experience on a mobile device isn’t only about using apps. The way it integrates into your company systems is key for user adoption. Users should feel a gain in time and efficiency, with as little compromises as possible. It doesn’t make any sense to complicate the basic tasks users are executing every day, but it makes sense to provide extra features to help the user. Entering in a virtual conference room with one click instead of the hassle of a dial-in a phone number with corresponding conference bridge number is one of the classic quick wins for every user. Calendar and contact integrations deserve your attention, as they are intensely used by office workers. Today many companies are not mastering shared calendars and meeting room bookings on mobile devices, let alone the ease of calling a contact stored in your CRM with one click or swipe.

So in a nutshell:

• Give your users the latest model of their favorite brand that they can also use for private purposes

• Choose an MDM platform with zero-touch enrolment and an easy workflow

• Remember to only push corporate apps that are essential, and offer the other apps in the company’s app store

• Always keep the user benefits in mind, especially in terms of time and efficiency

As you see, the benefits of the mobile workplace are numerous and should definitely be a top priority for every company! Want to know more about enterprise mobility? Come to the Mobility Matters Conference or contact our sales team on info@mob.co.

Is the future foldable? Our thoughts unfolded

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Think back at the year 1994… The movie ‘Pulp Fiction’ was released and Uma Thurman became a world superstar, Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president and the internet got real with the start of both Yahoo and Amazon.

Nice to know, but that’s not why you’re reading this blog post, is it? 1994 is also the official birth year of the smartphone as we know it…

The rise and fall of the first smartphone

The Simon Personal Communicator, created by IBM, saw the light in 1994: a monochrome LCD Touch Screen measuring 4.5 by 1.4 inches and a battery life of… one hour. This device allowed you to make and receive phone calls, send and receive faxes and emails and check your contacts and calendars. With only 50k units sold ($1.100, anyone…?), Simon lived fast and died young.

Tech geeks had to wait until 2007 to get their hands on a new smartphone. Apple reinvented the phone and launched the iPhone 1. We all know what happened next: smartphones got bigger, faster and better. The latest trends in the smartphone business? 5G-smartphones, in-screen fingerprint scanners and… foldable phones.

Huawei Mate X

The manufacturers’ race

ZTE launched a foldable phone late 2017 but in the past few months, we’ve seen an avalanche of foldables being announced: Samsung announced the Galaxy Fold, Huawei showed off its Mate X-model. Other manufacturers like Motorola, LG, Xiami Oppo and Vivo also entered the foldable phone market.

Apple’s patents and Google’s announcement about optimizing Android for foldable phones suggest that the market is ready for foldable phones, and the major phone brands aren’t taking a backseat. Every manufacturer is promoting foldable phones as the next evolution in computing devices, but are they really? And more importantly: are they a solution to an actual problem?

Our thoughts unfolded

Being early adopters, some of you will probably be considered as test animals for the manufacturers. All of us want bigger screens but at the same time, we don’t want to log around a huge device. Are you willing to throw out your tablet as a secondary platform and use your, battery draining, foldable as the primary product? Expectations are that we will be overwhelmed by new features over the coming years by manufacturers to see what actually sticks and we can only applaud that. Coming from an era where you had to press ‘7’ three times just to type the letter ‘R’, innovation has never disappointed.

But will the foldable replace your laptop? Yes, but no. The foldable will certainly not replace the 27” widescreen in your office, but you will be able to connect your cool foldable to your monitor to expand the smart-foldable-experience to an entire desktop. Samsung calls this ‘DeX’ and this is already available on non-foldable phones without any extra accessories, you just need a simple USB-C cable.

Will the foldable replace your tablet computer? Yes, but no. We can’t figure out what the ideal screen size is for a tablet, and neither can the manufacturers. So chances are slim the foldable will match your favorite tablet size, but who knows.

So will a foldable phone be useful to you? Probably not in the same way you needed a smartphone in 2007. Smartphones can do much more now than in the early days. But a foldable won’t offer new ways of communication which are not offered on flat phones. You’ll probably want to buy one because it’s cool. By all means, go ahead! Let’s give it a shot and see what the future brings. We all got used to previous innovations, so why not welcome this one?

 

The asset management tool that is changing companies

Large companies have an impressive and growing fleet of employee devices and assets: laptops, smartphones, smartwatches and tablets. But all of these assets require attention: from employee demand, delivery, repair up to end-of-life replacement. Luckily, there is a new tool on the market allowing you to streamline your asset management with minimal effort and maximum automation.

What is this new tool?

The Employee Service Portal (in short: ESP ) is built by the mobco team, based on suggestions and feedback from our clients. The portal covers the entire life cycle of the employee devices: from device selection, request, approval and delivery, up to repair and self-service actions.

Power to the employee!

Every employee has his own device preferences: some want Apple while others prefer Samsung, some want bigger storage while others prefer a better camera. With the Employee Service Portal, the freedom of choice lies with the end-user.

The ESP offers a webshop-like experience where employees can request a repair or choose a new device. The portal also includes a clear overview of work devices, including repair or order statuses. This means no more e-mails from employees asking when their tablet will be back from repair!

Improvements and integrations for the IT department

We built the ESP tool with the concerns and requests of the IT departments in our minds. Asset management is a very time-consuming activity, and this is largely due to the increase in mobile devices. And let that be our core business!

We have eliminated those extra efforts through smart integration and maximum automation with Unified Endpoint Management systems (formerly known as Mobile Device Management). The platform is constantly updated with information gathered from the company’s Active Directory and mobile management platform, and also by mobco on new hardware deliveries and repairs. This means that the IT department has a clear overview of all assets in the company and can keep a detailed record of all hardware movements and (spare) stock level.

Why companies love the tool

ESP does not only offer advantages for employees and IT departments, but the portal is also a huge improvement for employers.

It lowers the operational burden and administrative overhead because of its smart integrations with other platforms. This includes a fully automated order and repair flow, including pick-up and delivery! The secured platform also brings a significant increase in efficiency for all employees and the IT department.

Convinced? Contact our sales department (info@mob.co) for a quick chat or a demo and discover how ESP can be implemented in your company.

Why mobile complicates IT

With mobile devices, we carry around powerful and connected computers. We use the device for fun, social media and business without even wondering how the data finally arrives on the device.

It’s coming over the air…

We want access to business data no matter the network we are connected to. That means we need to ensure business data travels securely over public networks, preferably encrypted and invisible to the competitor.
The firewall and VPN technology used to protect access to the data center ensures only the right people, devices and apps gain access. A strict control on multiple layers provides the best security, but also increases complexity.

It’s also coming from the cloud…

Most public business apps come with a cloud component. If business processes rely on the availability of the cloud, it needs to be included in your monitoring system. Not impossible, but what is it exactly you’re measuring? The availability of the infrastructure or the functionality of the service you’re using for your business.

It’s changing fast…

Imagine you’re trying to solve a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle and every 10 minutes someone mixes up all the pieces.
That’s about the feeling an IT administrator has when dealing with cloud, on-premise, mobile device, public apps, … everything changes constantly.

With the arrival of mobile we experienced a revolution in support calls: people call less to ask how things actually work, if they don’t understand an app it’s now called “a bad app”, people now call to report infrastructure issues.

That’s why we developed a service to measure the total mobile user experience, so we understand what the employee gets.
So we can detect failures faster and fix these quicker!

Read more on our mobile monitoring service > !