Two years ago this month Apple introduced what Steve Jobs called a “magical” device. But if you let go if it in mid-air, will it magically float? (Don’t try this without one of these cases)
I’m more of a Penn & Teller fan myself, I’m interested in what REALLY happens behind the scenes of “magic” show. After all, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. So let’s look at the hidden wires and plexi-glass holding the iPad up in mid-air.
Wifi and Networking – of course there are no actual wires attached to an iPad (unless to charge or sync) as it’s designed to be the ultimate mobile and portable device. Wifi Networks are crucial in enabling the magic experience, and secure ones at that. Sure, you may have Wifi in your workplace, but in the past you just needed Wifi in the boardrooms and the odd exec office to support laptops. Now people want to use their iPads everywhere – do you have wall to wall coverage? Can the network itself handle all these new always-connected devices? Is your network secure inside and outside the company walls? Do you have a robust VPN in place that’s supported by iOS out of the box (Cisco or Juniper)? Perhaps it’s time for a Softchoice Network Assessment to ensure that your network is ready.
Private Cloud Infrastructure – along with being the ultimate mobile device, the iPad is the ultimate Cloud device – that is, the Cloud endpoint. Not designed to hold a lot of files and data, the Cloud is essential when using the iPad and syncing with other devices and services so users can work however and wherever they want. Most Apps on the iTunes App Store rely on the Public Cloud, but is that the best option for your business? In 2011, the very popular DropBox, which many users leverage to stash confidential documents and files, had a security lapse that saw all accounts accessible without a password for nearly 4 hours.
As a business, now is the time to make sure your Cloud services are secure and ready for iOS access, and Softchoice has the Server and Storage chops to help you build that Cloud and virtualize the apps you need.
Enterprise Applications – with over 7,000 Business Apps in the iTunes store, there’s no shortage of options. Many apps even tie into existing Enterprise apps many business use today – offerings from such giants as IBM, Oracle and SAP. Do you have the latest versions of your key enterprise applications running in house to support the iPad Apps? Don’t forget the most crucial piece that doesn’t even require an extra App – Enterprise email. iOS support Microsoft Exchange as far back as the 2003 edition, but you’ll get the most mileage with your mobility on Exchange 2010. If you haven’t upgrade yet, preparing for iPad integration is the ideal opportunity to take that step.
Support – one of the biggest conundrums for IT to overcome with disruptive technology, especially when it comes to client devices, is “How will I support my users on this new device?” Luckily, the iPad, specifically iOS, is very intuitive and user friendly. In fact, it’s recently been revealed (no surprise to this author) that the iPad is the least problematic tablet so IT helpdesk can expect less drain on their resources vs rolling out a new line of laptops or upgrading an entire desktop OS. There’s also a much lower chance of installation errors on an iPad vs a PC as the process is much smoother and less complicated.
For those times when users DO need help with the iPad or iOS, there’s no greater tool that Apple’s world renowned AppleCare program that allows users to call Apple directly with any technical issue. By adding the 2-Year protection plan, both the hardware warranty and the phone support are covered allowing users to walk defective iPads right into any AppleStore for immediate support. What other client hardware has that service?
Softchoice has the ability to not only provide the iPads and management tools, but also the skills and resources that makes the iPad magic. Think of us as wizards, if that helps.