No More ‘Small, Mid-Sized’ Businesses: Size Is out—Maturity Is In

Map pin flat above city scape and network connection conceptAs we approach another new year, some may already be thinking about resolutions for 2017.

Here’s a suggestion: Stop talking about your company in monolithic, size-focused terms such as “SMB” (“small to mid-sized business”) or “large enterprise.”

In all but the smallest companies, there is rarely if ever a situation where one size fits all. Why? Because in most enterprises (regardless of size) multiple initiatives and efforts are underway simultaneously. And while your business may be deeply experienced in some areas, some of those initiatives likely involve areas of focus at which you and your colleagues are novices.

IT presents several immediate and obvious examples. Your company may be expert in its primary business or businesses. But unless one or more of those is, in fact, IT, it’s unlikely that your company is as good at IT as it is at whatever it does best.

With this in mind, it may be more valuable and relevant to think less about companies in terms of “small” and “large”, and more about companies in terms of “start-up” and “scale-up” of specific initiatives. Or about processes that are more mature and less mature. Or environments or situations that are more complex or less complex.

Why words matter

This may seem at first like a pointless exercise in rhetorical hair-splitting. However, it turns out that how you frame discussions can have important effects on how those discussions play out and the results they produce.

Or, to be a bit more succinct, word choice matters.

Especially when you’re considering or pursuing initiatives important to your business.

Depending on the words you use to describe it, an initiative to, say, improve IT security or asset management may come across as a daunting, boil-the-ocean exercise, or as a worthy enhancement to the processes that run the business. And since every significant initiative involves engaging the support of others, how you present the initiative can have a major effect on its probability of success.

The challenge of word choice is equally significant regardless of the size of your enterprise. There are lots of smaller companies that face IT and other challenges as complex as those faced by larger organizations. And not every challenge faced by a larger enterprise is necessarily more complex than those faced by their smaller counterparts.

Another challenge: making sure the words used to assess challenges and plan solutions are based on accurate, credible information wherever possible. This means that in many cases, a central, well-managed repository of relevant information, stored and organized with an agreed-upon taxonomy, is the best foundation for communications based on or related to that information.

LANDESK solutions

LANDESK has both the solutions and the thought leaders to help you use the right words to pursue your IT initiatives successfully, and to back those words up with the best available information about your environment.

  • ITAM

Are you considering or pursuing an IT asset management (ITAM) initiative? You can read about how different people view assets differently, as well as what should be in your ITAM database, in this excellent blog post by ITAM Evangelist Patricia Adams: What is IT Asset Management?

You might also want to check out Patricia’s on-demand webinar in which she introduces her ITAM Attainment Model. There is also the very useful Info-Tech ITAM Report in which LANDESK was named a “Champion” vendor.

  • Risk management

How about risk management? Read Effective Risk Management Without Boiling the Ocean, another great post by our CSO, Phil Richards. In it, Phil discusses why a risk register aids risk and security management initiatives, and suggests some of the words that can help avoid boiling the risk management ocean.

  • Service management

Service management, within and even beyond IT? Got you covered there, too. LANDESK Service Desk combines social, mobile, and self-service support with data connectors and multiple integrations with other tools and data. Its ability to deliver a federated view of your configuration management database (CMDB) and other features are why Garter named LANDESK a “Visionary” in its 2015 IT Service Management and Support report.

Of course, we have other resources and solutions to help you succeed with initiatives in these and other areas as well. Check them out online, or contact your LANDESKAppSense, Shavlik, or Wavelink representative to learn more.

Let LANDESK help you make 2017 the year in which your organization increases the maturity of its IT initiatives and processes, to the benefit of the entire business.

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LANDESK takes action on Heartbleed. Updated: April 25, 2014

In light of the recent OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability news, LANDESK has analyzed our portfolio of products and websites and is providing the following update. For additional and continually updated information on this issue and LANDESK products, see: http://community.landesk.com/support/docs/DOC-31332. For updated information about other Wavelink products, see: http://community.landesk.com/support/docs/DOC-31375.

  • LANDESK Management Suite and Cloud Service Appliance ARE potentially affected by this vulnerability. It is unlikely that sensitive data is at risk due to the vulnerabilities within these products, but patches have been built for LDMS and CSA to remediate the vulnerabilities and are currently being tested. The patches will be available from LANDESK support as a hotfix, and will also be contained in the next set of patches that are released.
  • The following have been assessed and are NOT believed to be impacted by Heartbleed:
    • ServiceDesk
    • Service Desk as a Service (SDaaS)
    • Avalanche on Demand
    • LANDESK Mobility Manager
    • Asset Lifecycle Manager
    • Password Central
    • Shavlik products
    • Other LANDESK Cloud Services
    • The LANDESK customer- and partner-facing websites are NOT impacted by Heartbleed

Update (April 15, 2014):  A patch has been issued for the LANDESK Cloud Service Appliance (CSA). This can be applied through the CSA Update function inside the product. For additional information on this and the status of other potential LANDESK product exposures to the OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability, please refer to the knowledge base article http://community.landesk.com/support/docs/DOC-31332.

Update (April 17, 2014): LANDESK has released a patch addressing the OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability for the LANDESK Management Suite client agent. This patch applies to LANDESK Management Suite versions 9.5, 9.5 SP1, and 9.5 SP2. LANDESK has released this patch as a content update, available via the Update function in Patch Manager inside the product. This update is available for all customers. For additional information on the OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability and the LANDESK client agent, please refer to the knowledge base article located at http://community.landesk.com/support/docs/DOC-31332

Update (April 25, 2014): LANDESK has developed a component patch to remediate the OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability for LANDESK Management Suite versions 9.5, 9.5 SP1 and 9.5 SP2. This component patch also contains the previously updated Windows client agent, and will be available for customer download as patch content Friday, April 25. For additional information on the OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability, please refer to knowledge base article: http://community.landesk.com/support/docs/DOC-31332

Please contact Customer Support if you have additional questions.

2014 Prediction Series: Mobility

2013 is nearing its end and what a ride it has been!  What will the ride be like in 2014?  Well, you can expect your travel bag to get even lighter, as enterprise mobility makes it easier to get more work done while away from the office.  In 2013, we’ve seen the BYOD story rise to the top of mind for many IT administrators. Devices have entered corporate networks at a feverish pace as more and more employees across business roles are arming themselves with smartphones and tablets.

From a hardware perspective, the leading manufacturers of smartphones – especially on sparkling_2014_lightsthe Android OS, have become clear; with Samsung leading the way.  Apple released two new versions of iOS, and new generations of the iPhone (5s and 5c) and iPad (Air). Microsoft acquired Nokia, a signal that the company is drawing a parallel path to both Google and Apple – adding an understanding of mobility hardware into their mobile OS strategy.

So what can we expect from mobility in 2014?  Good news for enterprises everywhere: your employees will be able to do more, with less:

  • Less weight:  More corporate employees will take their tablet on the road – leaving even their laptops at the office.  One reason: tablets are getting even lighter to carry everywhere. Apple’s latest iPad, iPad Air, weighs 20% less than the generation it succeeds, and nearly 30% less than the original version.  At 16oz (US), this tablet, and notable Android equivalents, easily displaces more laptops in travel bags.
  • Fewer systems:  Mobile Device Management (MDM) becomes broadly viewed as a commodity.  The perspective that MDM is an ingredient in a larger IT management suite will continue to gain in popularity among companies. Enterprises everywhere will look for closer integration between management of mobile IT and other endpoints.
  • More mobile productivity: Couple the increased ease of carrying mobile devices with more integrated IT management of mobile users and companies can expect to see productivity continue to increase.  As mobile workers experience a more seamless experience when they leave the office, they can accomplish more on the road.

As these and other events unfold in 2014, LANDesk is here to help you get the most out of your enterprise mobile deployments – and all your IT management needs.  What are your mobility predictions for 2014?  Please post your predictions in the comments section below.

I invite you to also read my Wavelink blog post 2014 Predictions for IT in Ruggedized Environments for a look into the future of mission-critical mobility.

 

Myths about Voice ROI

For customers who have voice applications from traditional voice vendors, implementation can seem like an odyssey – complete with months of continuous project costs resulting in a start to finish ranging from six months to two years in some cases. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Remember that song that you can’t stand to hear, but you know the words by heart?  Even though you sing it through gritted teeth, you know the song, and it becomes stuck in your head and it just won’t go away.  Frustrating isn’t it?  For companies considering adding voice to their mission-critical mobile applications, the stories from traditional voice vendors are just like that old song: implementation takes several months, and if an ROI can be justified at all, it can only be proven for a single task.  Mythology is best kept for classic literature and not for voice technology.

For customers who have voice applications from traditional voice vendors, implementation can seem like an odyssey – complete with months of continuous project costs resulting in a start to finish ranging from six months to two years in some cases.  Traditional voice providers have established the myth that voice is very specialized technology – difficult to implement and costly to modify.  Their myths also suggest that once you’ve selected a voice provider, it is even more expensive to switch or use another system for a different task.

Voice-enablement can be a very beneficial part of a mission-critical mobility solution, providing task workers with a heads-up and hands-free option for data capture when using a keyboard or holding a barcode scanner is inconvenient or otherwise sub-optimal (many task workers benefit from a solution that uses all these methods where each makes sense).  However, voice-enabled mobile applications are being deployed in 30 days or less – thanks to Wavelink Speakeasy.

For real customers around the world, Speakeasy is breaking down the myths, and proving to be the fastest and most cost-effective way to voice-enable mobile applications.  These customers are witnessing how Wavelink is re-defining voice.  There’s no compromise in the capabilities of Speakeasy – it’s twenty-first Century voice technology, leveraging the capabilities of enterprise mobile devices while reducing the complexity of implementation.  Speakeasy is proof that voice-enabled mobile applications that are fully features, easily deployed, and financially viable with quantifiable ROI are not myths.

If your company in considering voice-enabling mobile applications to increase the productivity of task workers, even if you’ve already deployed traditional voice for specific applications, contact Wavelink – you’ll get facts, not myths.

The World’s Foremost Mobile Application Management Company

This blog has an ambitious title, but I think it is accurate. Let me explain why. The recent definition of Mobile Application Management (MAM) focuses on delivering and securing native apps on mobile devices. These features typically include app wrapping and app distribution. While that’s as extensive as many smart device operation systems allow, Wavelink has a far more comprehensive and compelling feature set.

For more than 20 years, Wavelink has developed products and technologies that have enabled companies to deliver their operational applications to the ever-evolving set of mobile devices that are optimally designed for the task at hand. Let me give an example.

For high transaction processes like picking or sorting in a supply chain logistics operations, companies have host-based applications that need to be displayed on a variety of mobile devices. They do not want to have to add custom logic to the application to handle the different form factors or device drivers needed to access peripherals such as bar code scanners, radios, or printers. This is the market where Wavelink application management solutions exist. The solutions are built for telnet based applications, web applications, and native console applications executing on the server. They take these applications and expose them on any mobile device taking into account form factors, driver integration, security, session persistence, latency, unstable wireless networks, and a variety of others issues the application developer doesn’t want to know about and certainty doesn’t want to handle differently for each device. Wavelink solutions are designed to handle these problems without modifying the original application. This enabling of applications across the mobile devices is unique to the MAM solution Wavelink provides.

In summary, a comprehensive Mobile Application Management solution needs to deliver, secure, and enable applications across any mobile device platform or form factor without modifying the original application. This is why Wavelink is the world’s foremost Mobile Application Management Company.