For those who think “required logins” on desktop PC’s to assure good security can be annoying – check out what highly mobile users deal with. Think about the synchronization and data backup issues that arise when you have multiple access points to related data.
Recently I chatted with two successful VP level sales professionals from large well known companies (Polycom and Tellabs). Both are tenured pros, having lots of “travel miles” and laptop computing time in their history. How surprised was I to find that today, being mobile means carrying 3, even 4 mobile computing devices – not just a laptop PC.
This reality was further driven home by some other events. As the above picture illustrates, today “House & Home” magazine found they must develop 3 presentation formats for one E-magazine (PC/Laptop, Pad/Tablet, Smartphone). Also the Road Warrior 2.0 Challenge contest, sponsored by Hyatt Place (asking real-world business travelers to help redefine today’s Road Warrior)! In addition to the expected Free plane tickets, 10 Free nights at their hotel etc. the prize package included – you guessed it, 3 mobile devices:
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 / Apple iPad 2 / Samsung Infuse 4G smartphone
The only item missing was a wireless carrier’s portable Aircard / WiFi Hotspot device (the 4th item one of the above mentioned sales professionals sometimes carries). I’m not going to argue the logic of the approach one way or the other – I’m just presenting that it’s a fact of life for today’s highly mobile professional. Plus it is amazing what the combination of devices allows them to achieve.
Example: the Tellabs gentlemen uses his portable Verizon Aircard to give Internet access to ALL his WiFi enabled devices anywhere he wants while paying only one service carrier charge. The laptop PC, iPad (and Blackberry if desired) each have unique device benefits – but can all be online anywhere his cell service signal exists. On occasion he has provided internet access (WiFi) to 2-3 client visitors during a quick meeting in an airport lobby. Thus allowing each guest to avoid paying for a generic public WiFi signal – and making Internet login quick and easy for all.
Yet, the even BIGGER question is – how does one keep their address book, calendar and docs (Contracts, Presentations etc) files synchronized across all those mobile devices? Knowing you may need the latest data from any one device at any given moment in a day?Even more important – how do you successfully backup all your data routinely on 3 different mobile devices? Many people find themselves strained to routinely backup just their desktop PC.
Since Halloween is close let me give you the SCARY ANSWER first – buy some big multi-legged Octopus type sync cable that might fit all the different devices, then spend hours plugging and unplugging cables prior to and after each trip to keep everything in order!
A much less scary answer is - implement a Cloud Computing solution of enterprise quality, that handles not only sharing files (i.e. Dropbox, Box.net etc) – but also contacts, calendars and applications that also comes with a SLA (Service Level Agreement guarantee). Get everything fully synchronized in wireless fashion, regardless of where you are in the world and achieved via a single sign-on account. Google Apps For Business (GAFYD.net a professionally “managed services” version) will provide these features.