Yesterday, Connect Communications presented the new Shortel Dock for iPad and iPhone to a group of City clients at our Enterprise Mobility Showcase in the glossy Heron Tower.
We started the sessions with a presentation by Canalys UC Analyst Phillip Pexton who talked about an industry in transition, driven by the huge uptake of tablet PCs. We heard that smart phone and tablet usage could be as high as 72% - people prefer them because they find their laptops too heavy to carry. The average number of devices per person is estimated to be 3 or more, as it becomes normal to carry a phone, a laptop and a tablet. Of course, this is putting massive pressure on corporate wireless networks, and it means our clients need different skills within their IT departments. They need to support the new operating systems – Android which is rising fast in popularity, and iOS – and numerous apps. At the same time, IT departments are beginning to work within new budgetary and licencing models as well.
It is definitely an area of concern for IT departments, and especially for financial companies in the City of London. The Bring Your Own Device scenario is not an easy environment in which to maintain compliance – our financial clients in the City of London still need to ensure that certain staff members’ calls are recorded, and this becomes much more difficult as people become mobile and move between desks and use their own devices to make business calls.
Against this background, we presented the latest solution from Shoretel – the Shoretel Dock for iPhone and iPad. It’s a true hot-desking solution that lets you place your iPad or iPhone on the Dock, to connect to the office wireless infrastructure. It seamlessly connects to the office infrastructure to link into the PBX and office telephone extensions, and accesses the Outlook Calendar to provide presence information.
It blew us away when we tested it against similar solutions. Particularly impressive is the ability to walk around as you speak, and the system will transfer the call from Wi-Fi to GSM as you move. With a small licence cost per user, it will potentially pay for itself in a few weeks by reducing your mobile phone charges. It’s a beautiful solution which has been carefully thought through to work in the new, personalised, wireless world, and adapt to the work environment, wherever that might be – in the home, in the office, or in transit between the two.
It’s thought that employees with tablets are giving as much as 25% extra time to their work, because they can now work on the train and the bus and keep an eye on work during their free time at home. This extra input of time and energy has to be good for any enterprise.
Martin Cross, our Technical Director has written up the findings from his tests in a detailed White Paper – this is a must read if you are considering a Mobility implementation – please contact us if you would like to see a copy.