Dec 05

Conference Notes 1

I’ve been testing different devices for use at conferences and thought you’d enjoy the outcome…well if you are a geek that is.  The top 3 were, in reverse order:


3.  The Lenovo Tablet 2 :


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I just don’t get on with this device and found out of preference this was being left in the hotel room.  Battery life wasn’t long enough for a day and without the charging dock it was impossible to keep charged. 




The device itself doesn’t intelligently interact with the case (i.e. in case then sleep doesn’t work).


2.  The iPad Mini with Logitech Keyboard. 




Battery was great it was the smallest and lightest and when using it I didn’t need to carry a bag.  However the downside is I take notes using the keyboard and the device is just too small to rest on your lap.  It became unusable.  #fail


1.  The Lenovo X1 Carbon Touch




Battery life good enough if you restrict screen brightness.  The base is large enough to comfortably sit on your knee, excellent keyboard and was just the best device for note taking.  It was also very lightweight and you don’t even know its in your conference bag.  The other great thing is its also a perfect device for those evening assignments that are still required when you are travelling – perfect for running 2 word documents side by side while authoring or reviewing etc..  Hands down the best device I’ve ever used.


Going into the exercise I thought the Tablet 2 would win as I’d already had concerns for the keyboard size on the iPad Mini.  To my surprise though it was the X1 that was first choice by a mile.


My only regret is I didn’t also take the Helix to test that but I know my day to day working preference is the Carbon.


Oct 16

BYO Notebooks, thinking through the experience

The market for BYO services has been focused on smartphones and tablet devices primarily running iOS and Android.  As the market starts to shift to consider BYO notebooks running Windows, MacOS and Linux we need to think of BYO differently.




With iOS and Android the model above works really well.  The operating systems isolate applications and data very well and its much harder for the user to share data between applications on the device.  With the Notebook operating systems that is not the case, the whole experience is built around higher degrees of interaction between the applications and the operating system.  If we also consider the people who benefit most from BYO then those people are knowledge workers and innovators who will expect a level of interaction between applications; and the view of the device changes when we consider their personal knowledge system (their treasured applications and data).  So for a notebook this is what it looks like:




But the challenge with this model is the enterprise view of BYO today, primarily in my view driven by iOS and Android use, is that that container for enterprise data is solid, nothing in, nothing out on the device itself.  For me that doesn’t work.  Thinking of the use case these are knowledge workers and innovators and the value to the enterprise is the infusion of their personal knowledge assets into the enterprise.  The other consideration is the boundary isn’t solid today.  Even organizations who lock down USB media don’t lock down email.  My experience of BYO layers on notebooks is that the solid boundary causes too many compromises in user experience.


The best approach for me is a permeable layer.  Users can store enterprise data within that corporate layer, the enterprise ensures the device meets minimum patch levels, the data can be erased but there is a much better user experience. 




Enterprises can then classify properly which data they will allow in the permeable layer and still protect sensitive data by hosting those applications and data making them accessible via virtualization technology.  But the less sensitive applications and data are delivered locally and have the user can infuse information from personal knowledge sources into their corporate work.


So the campaign starts here, a permeable layer is what we need for Notebooks :-)


Oct 13

User Experience Fragmentation

Lets face it most of us have a fragmented user experience. The challenge is enabling some level of integration which we tend to do on a number of devices. On each device our personal and corporate experience has some boundary, not necessarily the boundary our enterprises think is the boundary but a defined boundary never the less. What we are doing today is solving the problem ourselves and as knowledge workers many of us will live closer to the edge than ever before in terms of pressing the boundaries. Very few enterprises are actively tackling the issue, most living in a state of reluctant awareness.

I heard an interesting sentence from Gartner today:

every person is becoming a technology company

This gives the good folk who read my diatribe an advantage; we are well positioned to take a degree of leadership as we ourselves are also the edge cases; we push the boundary so who better to help enterprise clients advance their IT strategies alongside the strategies of each of their employees.

I’m guessing that like technology companies themselves some employees will be excellent at selecting and defining their working practices with a combination of personal and enterprise IT. Others will be lousy and many mediocre. As I think aloud here its very much ourselves who have to drive the message that productivity depends now and more in the future upon the effective integration of personal and enterprise knowledge systems, data and applications.

How much value can the enterprise exploit from the personal knowledge stores of its people?
As its people become sourced for specific skills and those people share skills across clients how do we protect the enterprise?
How do we define appropriate boundaries, not impenetrable walls, between personal and enterprise knowledge.

As usual my posts are mainly to illicit a response so comments are more than welcome.


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