Mobile Blog

Oct
18

Save 5 minutes a day

In our iOS Masterclass at Apple on Friday the 13th and our business event of October 17th, we explained and demonstrated the features we believe are important for enterprises, important for you.

Thank you all for your active participation in these events!

In this blogpost a short recap of the highlights that will save you at least 5 minutes a day!

  • Photo search function in iOS allows you to find scenes and objects in the pictures you took. Try a keyword like ‘cake’ or ‘bike’, you’ll be amazed how well your iPhone or iPad understands your command! Did you know the native camera app also understand QR codes? No app to be used, just show the QR code to your device!
  • Files is the app that combines all storage providers on your device, including your on-premise ones. Thanks to our Enterprise Files we can put your file server in that list as well. So you can open just any corporate document straight from Microsoft Word, easy.
  • The Dock, a feature that allows fast app switching also provides you the capability to open a second ‘floating’ app and multi-task. Force touch the app in the dock and see more options. Remember that the most right hand app in the Dock is the most recent one you have been using on other iOS devices.
  • You already know the trick to take a screenshot, power and home button at the same time, now with iOS 11 you can immediately edit the picture and send it via email.
  • In iOS 11 there is now “screenrecording” aka ReplayKit. This brings support for end-user on the next level as users now can share their screen with remote people, simple and efficient! Contact our mobco support in case of trouble, or just for testing out the new TeamViewer for iOS experience!
  • AR kit gives your new device Augmented Reality features, check the website madewithARkit.com for inspirational examples! Know that also your Notes app benefits from this feature when it scans documents for you.
  • With Storage optimisation you can literally win gigabytes of storage with loosing crucial data, check your iPhone Settings how much you could save!
  • The embedded ESIM in the latest products provide access to local operators. Visiting countries outside the EU roaming coverage? Just go into settings and activate a one month subscription!
  • DEP, the Apple Device Enrollment Program, allows IT to automatically activate devices AND enrol these in their EMM solution. The new DEP program now allows you to enrol devices you have purchased in retail or previously released from the program. A new feature that is warmly welcomed by IT teams suffering from non controlled purchases.
  • Apple TV is probably the next device you will be putting in every meeting room, managed by MDM. Digital signage made easy AND just any screen via AirPlay on the meeting room display.
  • The collaboration between Cisco and Apple is now very tangible with new security features that will dramatically reduce incidents. The Umbrella service makes life for phishing hackers very hard, but it keeps us safe without impacting our user experience! FastLane is another example of this collaboration where Wifi signals are optimised for real time communication or important apps, something that requires both networking and device configurations.

Contact us for a workshop to find out how can further improve the efficiency of your team and company!

Sep
29

Starbucks WiFi is the new corporate Network

This blogpost is written based on the feedback gathered during our Roundtable event on September 27th, based on my notes and interpretation.

Gartner states that the default management platform for employee devices, from PC to smartphone, should be an Enterprise Mobility Management platform (aka MDM). The same firm states that the driver for business transformation is the digital workplace (Digital Workplace Summit London 2017). You can find an article on the conference here.

And since the digital workplace is mobile first, reason enough for us to organize a Roundtable with customers and subject matter experts. On September 27th we welcomed Mike Murray from Lookout and Apple experts to cover 2 important questions on this ongoing business transformation: is it secure and can how can it improve the way I work?

Mike started by describing the new normal: most employees just want connectivity and do not longer want to be linked to a physical location to gain access to work resources. Hence the title of this post and the conclusion that the traditional network perimeter is disappearing.

Traditional protection mechanisms are failing hard today, traditional SPAM filters are doing a great job in preventing people from clicking on malicious links – because they block the message – but what if that message is passed to the user via a different channel, say Facebook or Twitter ? Cybercriminals are ready for their next big business and are massively moving towards mobile to gain access to your private data, corporate data, passwords, … Already today we find malware on 47 out of 1000 android devices and 1 out of 1000 on iOS. Downloading from official app stores is strongly recommended, as this seems to be the number one location to get ‘infected’. But users are sometimes not always aware they will get infected, the example Mike gave where a parent gets a text message that his daughter was in a traffic accident and “click here to find out in which hospital she is” illustrates how advanced, persistent and “low“ these criminals act.

Android is clearly the most targeted platform, partly due to the fragmentation of the platform and the inherent lower security, but also because this is the dominant platform in those regions where cyber criminals are mostly active; China and Russia. In that respect we are lucky we can learn from what’s going on and protect ourselves.

To start, a correct configuration of the mobile device taking advantage of all configuration settings in terms of security is mandatory. These first measures are no guarantee, but they will certainly rule out the most common issues in the public/hacking domain.

Moving to the second part of the Roundtable the discussion was more oriented towards business functionality and what new features iOS 11 brings. But before diving into the new toolset that is made available to the entire iOS community, we need to check where we are in the ‘Mobile Journey’. Transforming a business takes time to  move from a physical location for work towards a digital workplace that responds to the A3 strategy (the project name chosen by UBS in London for Any time, Any place and Any device – their concrete objective for the digital workplace). Most of the companies represented around the table are today only using a basic set of functionalities on the mobile device, only a limited set of more advanced apps. It is clearly understood the employees want more, but the back-end systems are just not ready – yet.


A question we often get is how to transform a PC application to a mobile app. In our mind we don’t think you should do that. PC application are built in different era when software engineers were asked to put as much features as possible in one application, hence the menu, sub menu and right click options. These applications require training and are offering features of which only 20% are used. Mobile apps are developed with the user experience in mind, require no training and are used for 100% of their features – since ideally there is only one, the app itself.


Many of the attendees are currently not investing in such applications that could redefine their business processes. Not yet. The mobile journey towards the digital workplace is a process that can take many years and where some parts of the business are faster than (more regulated) others. Facebook as an example: banned in the beginning and today absorbing large chunks of the consumer marketing budgets with active daily usage. Aside the commercial interest there is also the employee who wants to use new tools and the risk of shadow IT when no adequate tooling is provided.

As a consensus we also concluded not all functions in a company require a mobile first approach ‘today’. The form factor of their prime computing device for business is defined by their function and personality. It is up to IT to provide the most rich menu card to these employees in terms of functionality and security.

With iOS 11 Apple is adapting the OS, the interface and apps to the business level. The Dock is there when you need it, multiple windows are open to accommodate easy switching between apps, drag&drop allows easy content creation, … the number of new features that in some form or shape feel familiar are now available on the most powerful mobile platform.

iOS 11 in combination with the iPad Pro invites you to find new, easy, simple ways to do your job.

During the entire Roundtable we used the new Apple TV to present, wireless. We know that’s not a new feature, but the magic can be found under the hood. The Apple TV is automatically configured when it’s plugged in for the first time using, imagine what that means for business meeting rooms. No IT interactions needed, from procurement to production.

Let us assist you in your mobile journey and contact us to learn more about our workshop business transformation and the digital workplace!

Sep
26

1 week in business with iOS 11

The iOS 11 version of Apple is fundamentally changing things for business. We’ve written white papers for IT, security and the business, but in this post, I would like to share with you the top 3 features after just one week of business use.

Getting non-DEP devices into your DEP portal

The ease of use the Device Enrollment Program brings is just great. Unboxing the Apple products has always been a nice experience, now this continues with the automatic enrolment in the enterprise services. Mail, intranet, apps … all installed automatically on your device without any hassle.

With iOS 11 a company can now enter ‘old’ or non-DEP devices it owns in the DEP portal.

This brings unification to the fleet and eliminates the ‘exception’ policy that is sometimes applied.

It only takes a cable to connect to the device and some configuration work. Let us know if you’re interested so we can share our Tech Note on how to do that!

Apple TV becomes the meeting room standard

Even when wireless charging is one of the new features of iPhone 8 and X, we don’t like cables in general, and certainly not on our table.

The Apple TV creates the perfect meeting companion with specifically developed apps for signage, white boarding and screen mirroring via Airplay. But it’s not feasible to go into every single meeting room to configure all that.

With the new release of tvOS you will also find the Apple TV in the DEP portal, that means a zero-touch deployment!

Unbox, plug in, meet, as simple as that.

Why install additional management software when you’re existing EMM can now manage your meeting rooms?

Let us know if you would like to experience this in your meeting room!

Share your screen with the helpdesk

Our support guys like Teamviewer, they use it to assist their fellow IT colleagues by sharing the screen, check the issues and fix them. Only, it didn’t work that way on iOS.

Now, with ReplayKit, this feature comes to iOS 11 and provides our support people with a view of the iOS device’s screen of the person calling.

It works cross all networks, doesn’t require VPN, just works!

Our engineers love it and it provides a better experience for the employee!

If you want to learn more about any of these topics, please contact our mobile experts!

Sep
15

Jan De Nul and mobco

On air in September 2017 on Kanaal Z – an interview with our customer Jan De Nul on the roll-out of Apple iPhone.

An innovative project with a clear mission to get everything right, from the start. Using all available mobile technology we managed to automate completely the activation and configuration of the devices. The result was the smooth distribution of hundreds of new iPhones in a just a few days.

Contact us the learn more about this project >

 

Meer over Mobco – Kanaal Z – 16-09-2017 from ulrik van schepdael on Vimeo.

Sep
14

Press Release: mobco Achieves Apple Authorized Reseller status

Firm now provides a complete hardware, software and managed services portfolio geared to facilitating mobile business transformation for its clients.

Brussels, September 14 2017 – mobco, a leading Belgium-based provider of managed mobile technology since 2010, today reported it has become an Apple Authorized Reseller. This new status better positions mobco to help Enterprise (and Government) clients transform their businesses. mobco, through its dedicated IT consultants, now offers complete services with respect to Apple products, including support for the Apple Device Enrollment Program for its clients.

“We are excited to have achieved this important benchmark,” said Ulrik Van Schepdael, founder and CEO of mobco. “Our new status as an Apple Authorized Reseller paves the way for us to provide even greater value to our clients and prospects with a complete mobility portfolio that includes software, hardware and services. Clients can focus on their core businesses and benefit from our expertise in mobile IT and Apple products; they can take advantage of our managed services and strategic advisors for the best possible mobile implementations to facilitate their business transformation. Congratulations to mobco team members for their hard work and diligence in making this happen.”

Press images can be downloaded here >

Download the full press release >

Please find all our contact details here >

 
Aug
24

mob.co

When we were looking to refresh our looks, we thought “less is more” and found the shortest domain ever for our company: mob.co

Upside: it’s very short, extremely short, making even the URL shortening services a bit jealous. So, our email addresses are also one of the shortest in the business, ab@mob.co, where “ab” is the acronym of the person you would to reach.How easy can it be to get in touch with us!

Downside: .co is not a Belgian domain and sometimes blacklisted.

Therefore we decided to run a test period of a few months where we use both domains, our traditional mobco.be and mob.co together.

If you encounter issues with our new domain, please let us know >

Aug
24

Work mode: off!

It was all over the press mid June in Flanders, there are just too many people with a burn-out. We might agree mobile devices are quite addictive and are not helping in the fight against this burden.

For most of us the smartphone is glued to our hand, and the constant news flow in social media, email and other apps satisfies our curiosity all the time. Hence the problem, “all the time”.

At mobco we recognise we are partly responsible for creating this problem. We want to enable flexibility for your employees, so they can read email on the go, access documents etc.

But we need to help out those who feel they’re loosing control and just can’t resist reading business mail during the weekend. That’s why we have introduced the “Work Switch”. It’s simple and doesn’t need any training.

When you hit the switch on your smartphone, you will no longer receive business mail and you will not be able to access documents or intranet resources. Hitting the switch again will enable all connectivity, back to work! Contact us if you need more information on this feature! info@mobco.be

Jun
20

2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management

Congratulations, you have made the right choice!

Gartner traditionally publishes its Magic Quadrant report just before summer to name and shame the Enterprise Mobility Management vendors. The ranking indicates their ability to execute, deliver upon promises, and completeness of vision, their portfolio. The most important inclusion criteria are a broad OS support, MDM, MAM features with at least 8M USD in revenue and 5 production references. Only 13 vendors have made this year’s MQ, that is half of the number we saw 7 years ago, the first time this report was published!

At mobco we focus on the balance between three “powers” to make a mobile project successful; IT operational efficiency, security and user experience. We are very pleased to see these “powers” are also reflected in the Gartner evaluation and we clearly have selected the right partners to enable mobile IT.

Two companies with a remarkable stamina in the leaders quadrant are Airwatch, now VMware, and Mobileiron, the only standalone vendor in this part of the quadrant.

In our business, focussing on the enterprise and large organizations where security is top of mind, we are very pleased to see our partners on top of the stack! Aside VMware and MobileIron, the obvious leaders and forerunners in this market, we also see IBM and Blackberry. Blackberry, still present thanks to the successful integration of Good Technologies, means business for managing mobile apps and IoT. The big surprise is IBM with MaaS360, offering only a SaaS solution with an older feature set and lack of support for the latest iOS and Android version.

Companies in the “visionaries” quadrant include Microsoft and Citrix. Incomparable offerings, but still closely positioned to one another, where the vision of Microsoft is clearly Office 365 oriented. Citrix is for the first time in 5 years no longer present in the leaders quadrant.

In conclusion:
– the number of participants in the MQ is decreasing each year, illustrating this market is maturing
– focussed companies provide better and faster product support
– service quality in EU is offered through specialist partners, enabling more than the regular single vendor product stack

This last item is not reflected in the MQ of Gartner, but does represent a clear value for you, our customer. We bring you the best of breed EMM technology and we complete that with specific solution tailored to your needs!

We are delighted to see our partners in the top-right quadrant. It shows our commitment to bring you the best available software combined with our expert services!

Download the full report from our partners’ website:

The Gartner MQ from the airwatch web site >

The Gartner MQ from the MobileIron web site >

May
15

Take control over your mobile devices before ‘they’ do!

Mobile devices are potentially next on the hacker’s list – it’s time to act and secure the mobile devices! Join us on June 6th to get back in control.

In too many cases IT is seen as the ‘guys who restrict everything’, and in a lot of those cases that’s true – for a reason.

If IT wants to avoid bad things from happening, such as the ones we’re experiencing with the global ransomware attack, they need to close as much doors as possible. But how many ‘doors’ are that and how can we continue to ‘work’ while all ‘doors’ are closed?

An interesting comparison everyone can make in its company is between the security rules and measures on mobile and on PC. Knowing that only a fraction of the mobile devices being used for work are actually managed in some form, the results should be staggering… Where most PC’s are managed in a company, the mobile devices are ‘less’. At the same time we see global hacking campaigns targeting PC’s (including business PC’s) with ransomware.

The success on PC’s is due to two facts: – it’s easy due to the architecture of the platform – there are a lot of those around

We could say the same thing for mobile devices, but the first one is certainly NOT true.

On PC’s the restrictions imposed by IT are also experienced as very restrictive (a typical employee can not install a private application) but is not very secure. Content from ‘outside’ can still be downloaded and infect the entire system, because the platform is designed that way.

On mobile devices the restrictions imposed by IT only affect corporate apps and data, the employee is in full control over his device and can install any app he or she likes – without any impact on the security of the device or corporate information.

On June 6th we organized an event with subject matter experts to dive into security, the GDPR link with mobile, because it’s important, but also to illustrate it should not be the final goal – it’s only the beginning of a business transformation where the employee experience plays a central role.

Contact us to get the presentations and speaker notes >