This week’s technology news – 23rd May 2014

Duh! How not to manage mobile phone security
If ever there was a perfect storm around Mobile Device Management, the BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson, could safely be said to have been at its apex this week. The well known British journalist lost his mobile phone whilst off duty watching a football match at Manchester United. Ordinarily this would have been a mere inconvenience, but when your phone contains the mobile contact details for most of the Cabinet, including the Prime Minister, it’s more than just an ouch of embarrassment! The BBC have not given further details about whether it was their corporate issued device, or Nick Robinson’s personal mobile. No.10 are treating it as a “serious security breach” and it is being investigated also by the Information Commissioner. Whatever the case, the BBC’s security governance policy should cover all devices for those staff who carry sensitive data of any nature, in which case they could have shrugged it off lightly with a mere remote lock and wipe.

Telemetics uptake in Transportation offers better security and customer service
The drive for logistics operators to make their business uber competitive, with ever economic solutions, cost-savings and service-led delivery has just got a step closer with the increased adoption of telematics for the industry. Longstanding operators and one of the first pilot customers, Logistik in XXL use the TC eMap® software with an integrated tracking function and software from telematics provider Daimler FleetBoard to which it is linked and which helps make the process transparent. MD for Logistik in XXL Volker Asche, comments: “Our dispatchers are able to determine the whereabouts of the goods in real time, optimally plan routes and inform customers about the location of the cargo. Via Daimler FleetBoard’s connection to TimoCom’s freight and vehicle exchange, the whole fleet is displayed on only one screen making complicated switching between different apps a thing of the past. In addition, protracted telephone calls with drivers are spared without limiting the information flow”. This ability to locate the vehicles automatically on the exchange adds to customer trust with the increase in offering of security measures, all of which emphasises the importance of effective mobile device management across logistics organisations to safeguard their door to door service.

More job cuts at HP bring count to 50,000 under Whitman
Hewlett-Packard’s second quarter results are out, and the picture is not pretty. Off the back of this HP announced another 10,000 to 16,000 job cuts are imminent. This brings the total of layoffs since Meg Whitman became CEO to a staggering 50,000. Besides this unpleasant news Meg Whitman said that the HP turnaround remains “on track” during an earning call, we also learned that the turnaround is now at its midpoint. The job cuts are primarily coming from HP’s services, an area they have struggled in recent years. The long-term turnaround is based on less reliance on low-end PCs and increased sales of high-end servers. Which of course makes a lot of sense on paper, but is a lot easier said than done. At this point it is uncertain how well the HP turnaround will go in the long-term and hopefully we have seen the last of the job cuts from HP for a long time.

Third time’s a charm: Surface Pro 3 Impresses
With Surface Pro 2 launching just last October Microsoft caught many off-guard when it announced its successor, the Surface Pro 3 this week. The Surface Pro range does not chase after the iPad market and instead has defined itself by the difficult balancing act of being both a tablet, when on the go and a laptop, when in the office. The Surface Pro 3 is shaping up to be the best realisation of this concept thanks to several clever updates. The Pro 3 is both lighter and thinner than the MacBook Air, touts a new 12” screen and battery life is up to 9 hours. In an uncharacteristic move for Microsoft, pre-orders went live the same day as the announcement. Will these upgrades be enough to finally tempt corporations to exchange their laptop and tablets for Surfaces? For most, not yet, but Microsoft has given us the most convincing argument for device convergence yet, a strategy that could not only increase security, productivity and mobility – but also reduce management and admin costs.


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