Tag Archives : iphone

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.

Securing Your iOS Device

Here is an interesting blog with some great recommendations on how a corporate security team could configure security for iOS devices. The blog is written by John Halamka a CIO within the US Healthcare industry.  A snippet is below but for the full article take a look here

I’m often asked how IT departments should advise users to secure their iPads and iPhone4′s.

Here’s the process suggested by my security team:

1. Make sure you’re running the latest iOS version (4.2.1 currently)

2. Download “Find My iPhone” (free app) from the Apple App Store. Log in or set up a new Mobile Me account and add the iPad to be tracked. Also try it out from a desktop to make sure you can (as a test) send a message to the device.

3. Make sure the iPad autolocks, requires a long passcode and erases data after 10 failed passcode attempts.

In Settings->General, configure:

a. Auto-Lock: set to something short, like 2-5 minutes (NOT “Never”)

b. Passcode Lock:

1. Turn Passcode On

2. Require Passcode: Immediately

3. Simple Passcode: Off (then set a long passcode)

4. Picture Frame: Off

5. Erase Data: On

Nokia and Microsoft Tie Up

The Nokia/Microsoft partnership must be a huge disappointment to the Nokia employees who were once the giant of the mobile phone industry. Elop’s message struct a perfect cord for me. While his explicit message was clear – Nokia must change or die. It was his implicit criticism of Nokia’s culture and leadership that had the most power.

Nokia like many large organisations has been taken over by a management buercacry focused on producing powerpoints and quartley updates for steering groups that delivers nothing but oblivion.

While the powerpoints and updates circulated at Nokia and the Management Consultants billed more and more hours, Apple and Google beat them in the only place that matters – the marketplace with real users.

Elop had no other option but to put a bonfire to the Nokia management team and strategy. The Windows Phone tie up was an interesting choice. I’m sure Google were tempting Nokia with Android but I’m not sure Android would have been a distinct strategy for Nokia to move forward with.

Although Apple and Google dominate I do think there is space for one more operating system in the mobile market place. If Microsoft can execute quick and feature rich updates to the Windows Phone 7 platform over the next 12 – 18 months and if Nokia can free up their internal resource to deliver really good hardware I think there is a chance that this tie up could work.

It is easy to view Apple’s smartphone dominance as unbeatable but the technology market place is evolving so quickly that even Apple will have to make important strategic decisions over the next 12 months to stay ahead – cloud and diluting their handset mix as two examples.  As do Google, Android marketplace and their diverse handset/software mixture are challenges that they must overcome.  If either Apple or Google stumble Nokia/Microsoft could be ready step in.

Lync Video: iPhone, Virtualisation and Resiliency

If you want a quick overview of the new features of Lync take a look at the video below from Jeroen Riejing of Avanade.  The video covers a one slide Lync overview of topics such as; mobility, resiliency, clients/phones and virtualisation.

I’m not sure when the slides were presented but they do include some details on the impending Lync mobile client for iPhone (around 2.52 of the video) which suggests they were presented sometime in Q4 2010. The slides are based on Microsoft product team presentations so if you need any specific slides from the video ask your MS account team or you can also send me a message.

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.

Will Android growth in US take a hit when iPhone is released from AT&T?

A Credit Suisse report (found via Apple Insider) has calmed fears for AT&T management and investors that if/when the iPhone moves to other carriers large swathes of subscribers will follow.  While this may be accurate I’m not sure this is the story.  For me the story will be more iPhone versus Android.  I’ve spoken to many people and businesses in the US who have moved to Android as their smartphone platform because they (for whatever reason) do not want to be on AT&T’s network.  This has resulted in a market share of the smartphone market of circa 20% in the US.  In the UK however where the iPhone is available on all main carrier networks the growth of Android and market share has lagged the US to circa 10%.

My question is:  will the momentum created by Android be maintained if/when iPhone is released on other US networks.  I would argue that it will.  The market gap that Android has filled in the US has allowed device manufacturers, carriers, retailers and Google build a market presence that will be difficult for Apple to stop.  It also supports investment in the Android platform which still requires improvements to UI and marketplace to compete successfully with Apple.