Tag Archives : android

Impending Lync Mobile Release

Almost a year after the release of  Lync Microsoft has this week released the server code and supporting documentation for Lync mobile clients, with clients to follow sometime next week.  While the lack of voice and video capabilities has disappointed some within the community I think this release is a good start.

I emphasise that Microsoft hasto view this as a start of the Lync mobile journey and not an end.  Mobile and Tablet adoption is simply moving too fast within the corporate IT system for Lync to fall behind on these devices.  For Lync to justify its licence fee and be the unified communication platform in an enterprise it must provide feature parity with the desktop version.

This is no easy task for Redmond, especially when the Lync team have to go and invest in non Windows platforms.  While the Lync team understand the need for a broad base of clients I’m not so sure this message is well received by their Windows counterparts.  Future Lync mobile and tablets are for another day, lets take a look what Microsoft will be delivering this week.

First off a broad and comprehensive set of clients, including iPhone, iPad, Android, Nokia and Windows Phone.  The Blackberry client was developed by Blackberry themselves.   The iPad and iPhone clients are probably the stand out in terms of look and overall feel.  The functionality revolves around three core components (a much more detailed feature list and comparison can be found below):

  • Corporate address book with the ability to see presence and share instant messaging (individual and multi party).  This is the core element of the clients.
  • Call from work – while voice and video calls can not be started the clients do have the ability to initiate a standard GSM call, with the Lync server calling a mobile/cell upon request by the user.  Single number reach can also be enabled.
  • One click to join Lync conference calls – this will be very popular, attempting to input conference pins on a mobile is a frustrating experience, as long as you have a data connection the mobile client will take all that entry away from you with a single click.
Implementation is not straight forward, changes are required firewalls, certificates and the Front End servers.
Further details can be found in the presentation given to partners yesterday.

Lync Mobile Clients: Update

Official details of the Lync mobile clients are drip feeding their way.  Nokia blogged this week that they will have a Lync client for Symbian here.  Windows Phone 7 Mango imminent release will have a Lync client.  Blackberry support Lync with BES5 SP3, with the client available to downloaded on RIM’s app store.

That just leaves Android and iOS news.  MS confirmed they will have official clients available this year and I still expect this to be the case.  So if you are being asked about when Lync will be available on iPhone or Android you shouldn’t have to wait too long to provide an answer.  I would start to plan some time in Q4 to make sure you have some tech time to provide updates to your Lync servers.

I’ve seen some noise around the Lync twitter channels that voice and video will be available this year.  I have seen nothing from Redmond that has pointed at this.  At the moment I would set expectations that IM/Presence and one click to join conferences will be the available features with voice and video sometime in the future.  There are of course unofficial Lync clients providing voice and video.  I’d welcome any insights as to what the business value voice and video provides on mobile.  I have seen some specific use cases but they are aimed at supporting a new business process rather than just providing voice and video on the move.

SAP Shifts Gear With Updated Mobile Strategy

Information Week has an interesting article on SAP’s internal mobile and device strategy. SAP already have 2500 iPads within their corporate environment yet the SAP CIO understands that this is just the beginning. A number of pertinent points are made that CIOs should take note of:

  • A one app, one device mobile strategy will just not work.  Your business is going to create many different use cases that will inevitably lead to a requirement for many applications on many different devices
  • Be prepared to continually iterate hardware and software.  The release schedule and new models from many different manufacturers drives the need for a flexible procurement and management platform
  • As a CIO don’t be a showstopper.  iPads and the new devices are not just flashy toys, they are addressing real business need and if the CIO does not react they will be seen as a blocker to the business

Take a look here

“The rich combination of mobile apps, devices, and content will drive the use-cases in the enterprise world—we don’t think a one-app, one-device model is practical, and so we’re looking at how to manage a very diverse set of platforms going forward.”

Android Honeycomb Challenges Flare, Lync and Cuis

At CES this week Google demonstrated Honeycomb – the tablet specific version of Android.  Google are pitching the device as a potential communication platform in a similar fashion to Avaya and Cisco recent tablet announcements.  Take a look at the Verizon CES keynote. At around 8.23 Mike Cleron (Principal Android Engineer at Google) states that Honeycomb will add to Android’s communication platform capability.  He then goes on to demonstrate real time video chat from Google Talk.

This highlights to me yet again that Google are looking to enter the enterprise communication market and when they consolidate their software and devices into an enterprise grade offer they will be a very serious player in the market.

The device demonstrated was a Motorola Xoom and will be sold on the Verizon network.  No pricing has been released yet.

Microsoft widening Lync client base in 2011 6

In October I wrote here that the Microsoft UC team needed to widen the clients available for Lync and I hoped the Communicator client release for Mac OS X would flow through to their mobile clients.  The good news seems to be that this now seems to be coming to fruition.

At the Lync launch event Microsoft announced an official Lync client for iPhone will be inbound during 2011.  Microsoft are also working with RIM on a Blackberry client – RIM wished to take the lead on the development of the client.  Nokia will also have a Symbian client available soon.

The missing piece is of course Android.  I’m sure there will be Android clients released for Lync developed by partners and independent of Microsoft.  If you had asked me a couple of months ago if Microsoft would devote any effort in their own Lync client for Android I’d have said you were mad.  Now I am not so sure, I now think there is a chance we will see a Lync client for Android that will have some input from Microsoft in 2011.

Throughout 2011 expect to see a broad range of Lync mobile clients and be able to add ‘any device’ to the be connected anytime, anywhere on any device soundbite.

RIM’s inevitable decline in the enterprise has begun

When you are in a dominant market position it is often hard to sustain but I do think there is more going on with RIM/Blackberry.  RIM managed to hop on and ride the corporate mobile market during the formative years of the market.  Now the enterprise mobile market is maturing Blackberry is being swept aside by other competitors.  Unless something dramatic occurs Apple, Google and possibly Microsoft are going to dominate the mobile enterprise space over the coming years.  RIM, Nokia and HP might still have some share but I think we are all set for the next 5 years and it’s not good news for RIM.

Currently most organisations have Blackberry as their corporate standard for email and calendaring on a mobile device.  In 12 months time many will have changed this for a multi platform strategy.  The sheer weight of demand for Apple and Android devices makes this strategy unavoidable.

Read/Write article highlighting how Bank of Amercia and Citigroup are moving away from Blackberry.

Last month, Apple reported that 80% of Fortune 500 companies are testing the iPhone, including Procter & Gamble, General Electric and JPMorgan Chase & Co., the latter of which is also considering Android, saysBloombeg.

The article also cited an August survey by Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., which found that 74% of U.S. and U.K. companies now let employees use non-Blackberry devices and in the U.S. alone, that number is 83%. Cost and employee preference were the two main reasons for the switch, the poll found.

Android OCS client now available for download 2

Update: here is the link to the official Microsoft Android Lync app

From the guys at Widget Media there is now an OCS client available for Android.  This is a welcome addition, the MS OCS and Lync team need to recognise that they can’t expect large organisations to fall into the Windows Phone 7, Nokia and Blackberry mobility story.  Many (if not all) have Android and Apple clients in their environment and to gain the full benefit of UC an OCS/Lync client for Android and Apple is needed.

Although I don’t know the technical detail I am told that the APIs in Lync make developing rich media clients on different platforms easier.

Check out the AndrOCS site here

10inch Android Tablet out in UK next two weeks

Engadget is reporting that the Tegra Advent Android tablet could be available in the UK next week in Dixons for £249. I’m not surprised that Advent come to market first as I remember picking up one of the first available netbooks in the UK from Dixons which happened to be an Advent branded machine.

I’m probably going to pick one of the devices up when they are released in the UK.  While I love the open nature of Android I do worry that the fragmentation of the system will prevent a genuine contender to the iPad.

Update, i’ve found the official release from Dixons:

Dixons Retail, parent company of PC World and Currys has today announced the exclusive UK launch of two new tablet computers; the Advent Vega and the Advent Amico in a move which will bring tablet computing to the masses.

The Advent Amico, at only £129.99, using Android 2.1 with a 7” touch screen and WiFi, offers customers a great introduction to the fun and convenience of tablet computing.  It is only 15mm thick and is great for downloading quality videos, games and music to enjoy anywhere. With the addition of a camera it offers customers fantastic value for money as an entry level tablet.

The fully featured Advent Vega at £249.99 is a quality and affordable tablet computer, brimming with features. It has a capacitive multi-touch 10.1” screen and an nVidia Tegra 2 dual core 1GHz processor making it one of the fastest tablets on the market, perfect for high quality video and sound playback and indeed more powerful than many netbooks.

Popular sites such as BBC iPlayer, gaming sites, MySpace, Yahoo! Mail and YouTube can all be accessed with ease on the new Advent Vega.

The Android 2.2 operating system coupled with the fastest processor for tablets on the market enables users to easily navigate their way around the functions and programmes on the Advent Vega.  With a 4Gb SD memory card as standard, up to 10 hours continued use, only 14mm thick, a 1.3 megapixel camera and WiFi capability, the Advent Vega is a very capable tablet, ideal for portable computing, at an affordable price.