Comeback of Dual Phones?
Over the past few months, I have increasingly noticed people carrying two mobile phones. Many of us remember a decade ago when some people would carry a firm issued Blackberry phone for “business” and a second cellular phone to make “personal” calls. With the adoption of smartphones, the two functions have merged, where the majority of users today conduct both business and personal activities on a single mobile device (smartphone). While this was convenient to employees as end users, it was also a “work/life balance” distraction, making it near impossible to separate family life from business life. Most of us have unfortunately experienced getting pulled into a work email discussion over a weekend when all we were going to do was check the weather on our browser or call a personal friend. (more…)
Mobile Workstation Options
Mobility is consistently selected as one of the key technology trends making accountants more effective, but this can mean very different things to different personnel depending on the working needs of the individual user. Whether the accountant is primarily a desktop bound tax person that wants a way to access resources when at home or a consultant/auditor working primarily with clients in the field, there are a variety of solutions to provide mobility that complements their work style which include laptops, tablets, netbooks, and smart phones.
Mobile Device Policy Considerations
Virtually every firm today is dealing with how employees are connecting to the firm’s network to access email, client files, and other network resources, but few have reviewed and updated their policies to deal with the realities of today’s BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment. The lull after busy season provides a great opportunity for the firm’s human resources personnel to meet with information technology personnel to discuss what changes need to be made, to update their policies, and remind/educate firm personnel on the firm’s updated mobile device policies. Below we list ten key BYOD considerations that every firm should reevaluate in light of today’s mobile environment.
Remote Device Awareness
In addition to personal computers, tablets and smart phones, firms must be aware that other devices can be configured to access firm resources including e-Readers, portable gaming devices and even portable media devices that use WiFi to connect to the Internet. The firm’s policy should be expanded to include ANY mobile hardware that can connect to the firm’s network, regardless if it is owned by the employee or the firm.
What device should you use? Smartphones Explored
Devices, across the board, have been homogenized. There is very little that separates the best in class from the next 3-4 ‘like’ items in the same category, and if there is, wait 30 or so days, and the gap tightens with the next software release or feature set.
Historically, when people have asked what device they should buy, I have said Apple’s latest & greatest. No longer! I now say do what feels good and leave every other opinion aside. Like a car purchase, you need to get behind the wheel and drive it around for a few hours to really see if your preferences are met. Your needed, essential functions can all be met by many of the options now available to you. Sure, there are more apps on the Apple platform but how many of these are relevant to you? As a person who tries to dumb down his smartphone, every app I need is on every platform, and I would venture to say my profile is 90%+ of the market.
Now that I said all of that, here is an article with an update on the latest devices from the major manufacturers with varying OSs. I could have spent 80 hours writing this post…so instead, I decided to use an article that GizMag wrote, because they did a much better job than I could have done.
Get instant Cloud Status updates on iPhone
With the release of a new Twitter account and website for the status of the Xcentric Cloud, you have the ability to opt in to getting notifications on the go if we are experiencing an issue. If you so desire, it is possible to get notifications on your iPhone with a free application, called Boxcar.
- Download Boxcar (link goes to the App Store)
- Open the app and go to Settings, then select “Add and Edit Services”
- Click the + at the top right to add a new service
- Scroll down and look for “RSS or Atom Feed”
- Name the Feed what you want, ie. XcCloudStatus
- Enter the RSS feed url: http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/130941773.rss
(This comes from the Twitter page of the @XcCloudStatus account. You can either type it in by hand, or view this on your iPhone and copy/paste into the app)
- Tap save and you’re done. Now, when we post updates to the Twitter account, you will have instant updates pop up on your phone (as long as you toggle Badge Updates to “ON” in the Feed settings screen shown below).
(click image for larger version)