Mobilising the desktop – the ultimate in mobile working

By Guido Marchetti, Office 365 Specialist for O2 Telefonica, MJ Flood Technology

It could be just another one of those buzzwords, regularly trotted out by the technology industry as the next big thing. So what do we mean when we say mobilising the desktop?

It’s all about giving employees the tools to stay as productive on the move as in the office. It could be the ultimate in mobile working. But it’s not as simple as giving them a smart phone or tablet and sending them on their way with a pat on the back.

We all know that smart phones are great for managing email while on the move. But then limitations kick in – not just because of lack of access to applications, but because of the physical size of the device. So some people like me have an iPad, which allows us to extend our mobile working capability with a larger screen. Now I can use web-based applications like SharePoint to access and share documents and even edit documents on the iPad. Finally, I’m beginning to get some real productivity from a device that gives me greater functionality and flexibility.

Applications enable mobility and are the cornerstone of working on the move. But they’re also about ease of access, security, reliability flexibility and the ability to be productive while out of the office. According to Gartner, there are approx. 40 separate factors to consider when mobilising the desktop. Having access to everything you need without compromise is the long-term objective.

So what do we do with applications to make them accessible? Do we web enable them all? It’s probably too costly. Do we custom-develop apps (smartphone and device apps)? Do we centralise the desktop or publish one or do we enable the desktop/laptop to move with the end user?

The answer is, there is no answer and it will come down to the unique requirements of each individual business. These are all viable solutions; it depends on the end user and that person’s role within the organisation; the tasks they must fulfill and applications they need at their fingertips to execute those tasks; the productivity and results you as an employer require them to deliver. We will ultimately end up managing a multitude of devices, and in order to decide which model best suits, we need to look at core issues and then address the other challenges that arise from that.

Looking at infrastructure is a good starting point and examining the ease of access to the applications required by mobile end users. Identify users who do not need these services and rule them out of the process. For example, some users may always need to be office based. When the applications are identified, look at the medium in which they are consumed and choose a best practice and cost-effective model to mobilise the application.

The medium of consumption then leads us to the type of device we equip the employee with or which they use in a BYOD environment. We also need to assess issues such as process, security, management, BYOD support, management, simplicity of deployment, deployment method and supplier as well as training, to name but a few.

Companies must engage with partners, who can help them understand the challenge around mobilising the desktop, understand the complexities of mobilising applications and securely managing the evolving IT real estate from desktops all the way to smart devices. It seems like a daunting challenge but it’s no different than planning any IT project rollout: assess, identify, deploy and support.

MJ Flood Technology Expands Enterprise Mobility and Collaboration Services

  • New accreditation as a ShoreTel reseller of unified communications (UC) solutions
  • Forecasts major business opportunities in UC driven by enterprise mobility and collaboration

Dublin, 15th November 2012 – Leading IT services provider, MJ Flood Technology today announced the expansion of its enterprise mobility and collaboration services, thanks to its accreditation by ShoreTel as an authorised reseller. The appointment recognises MJ Flood Technology’s IP technical skills and expertise and will result in greater market penetration for ShoreTel’s unified communications platforms, including business phone systems, telephony applications, conferencing and mobile communication solutions.

MJ Flood Technology views the relationship as a strategic move to expand its footprint in enterprise accounts, by offering ShoreTel’s ‘brilliantly simple’ converged IP platform, designed to provide customers with feature-rich, cost-effective business communications, which meet the demands for greater mobility, flexible collaboration, platform reliability and low total cost of ownership.

Commenting on the accreditation, Gareth Madden, sales director with MJ Flood Technology said:

“The drive towards greater enterprise mobility and collaboration is fuelling demand for a single seamless and integrated communications environment. By working with best-in-class vendors such as ShoreTel, we can help customers to leverage the power of their existing IP networks to promote greater workforce mobility and powerful conferencing while actively reducing telecommunications costs.”

Barry Dillon, country manager with ShoreTel welcomes the addition of MJ Flood Technology to the partner community. “The development of our reseller channel to include strong, capable partners is key to our business performance. MJ Flood Technology’s technical expertise, business acumen, commitment to service excellence and nationwide coverage ensures that together we can deliver a compelling business communications solution to organisations of all sizes.”

I was bullied. Let’s stop blaming the internet for cyber bullying.

By Guido Marchetti, Office 365 Specialist for O2 Telefonica, MJ Flood Technology

Following the recent tragic deaths of two young girls coupled with my own memories of being bullied in both primary and secondary school, the issue of bullying and in particular cyber bullying has really been at the forefront of my mind. Having heard more than a few heated and sometimes irrational debates across various media outlets in recent weeks, I believe we should stop blaming the internet and start looking closer to home for the cause and for potential solutions.

Perhaps the fact that I now have two very young children has led me to the conclusion that as a society, we should all be concerned about the environment in which we are raising the next generation. I believe there are several areas that need to be addressed: areas that will go some way to reduce the incidence of bullying and curb the further tragic loss of young life.


I’m not saying that the schools should monitor students’ PC activity. We all know that access to social networking sites is not possible as internet browsing is typically locked down in the academic environment. But where schools can help is by promoting awareness and education in acceptable online behavior and etiquette.

There is a perception that our activities online can remain anonymous or invisible and cannot be traced. Even as adults, I think we’ll all admit to perhaps being a little braver with the written word than with verbal communications. Children need to be taught that all online behavior, actions and activities can be traced back to them. Furthermore if the offence is serious enough, computer forensics could be used as evidence in legal proceedings.

The explosion of social media, as evidenced by over one million Facebook users in Ireland, is a relatively new phenomenon. And as a society it has become clear that there is a high degree of unfamiliarity with the concept of socially acceptable online behavior. In the real world, our activities in the online world leave a mark, whether we are aware of it or not.

In the same way as we teach our children to behave in a certain way when in company or never to take sweets from a stranger, we must educate them on the risks of negative online behavior and the possible impact that this behaviour can have on their own futures and on others.

Parental Responsibility – Industry Accountability

Some parents believe that claiming ignorance about technology is a defence as to why their children are allowed to continue to engage in unacceptable online behaviour. Yet parents supply children as young as six or seven with laptops and smart devices without monitoring the activities of their children on that device. Clearly, control and content should be regularly monitored by a parent with the ability to enforce ground rules for usage of mobile devices. There must be sanctions if these ground rules are broken.

The very ubiquitous nature of mobile communications has changed the landscape for the bullies and the bullied. For example, when I was bullied in school, I fled to the sanctuary of home to escape it. Home was my safe haven where the bullying stopped until the next time I was confronted with it in school.

Cyber bullying is constant – in your face all the time. The only respite is sleep and the next visit online could bring a backlog of even more abuse. Any form of bullying is soul destroying and as a teenager where do you turn? As parents we hope they will turn to us but many parents are ill-equipped to deal with this new phenomenon.

But where do our lawmakers stand on this issue? Are there adequate legal provisions in place to deal with bullying which leads to loss of life? Is this something that should be prosecuted in the courts at all? This is for our esteemed leaders to address.

But I feel that the social network sites should have a very clearly defined policy regarding online bullying and this needs to be rigorously enforced. With closer scrutiny of online behaviour, service providers need to take a much tougher line with those who breach usage policy – with account termination if necessary. Software systems can easily monitor for keywords and terms associated with bullying. After all, such social sites can target us with product marketing for commercial gain. So why can’t these systems be deployed for the greater good?

These social media companies are amongst some of the successful operations in the world. While they are not to blame for comments posted by individuals hell-bent on causing distress to others, they have to accept some form of responsibility for the activities that their sites are facilitating.

Cyber bullying is an issue that we need to tackle now to ensure the safety of our children online without compromising their freedom of speech. We need to regulate and monitor the virtual world, which they are so eager to explore, using the same moral boundaries that we would use in the physical world. As the fallout from our activities in both have similar if not the same consequences.