Last month I kicked off a new series focusing on companies and start-ups that are helping to move the Internet of Everything (IoE) forward. Today, I am excited to share some insights from Alex Hawkinson, founder of SmartThings, a platform for automating connected objects.
Alex shares an interesting perspective with us about the value of increased connections and how creating an open, low-cost way to automate our lives is key to achieving the full benefit of the Internet of Everything. Here’s a look at how Alex and SmartThings are pioneering the growth of IoE.
SmartThings is garnering a lot of buzz in the industry for adding intelligence to everyday objects to achieve home and office automation. In which ways is SmartThings leading the way by connecting the previously unconnected?
The dream of the Jetsons-style house has long been just that – a dream. Different smart devices have come to market but, generally speaking, they’ve been hard to buy, set up and use. With SmartThings we set out to create a single platform and single app interface from which you can control all of the connected objects in your life. When you purchase a SmartThings kit, you can connect pieces of your home in minutes once you plug in the hub and download the app. You can mix and match third-party devices with those created by SmartThings to build the connected space that makes the most sense for you. SmartThings is simple enough that the average smartphone user can bring a connected world to life, but sophisticated enough that an inventor can create completely new devices and applications to custom fit his or her needs.
Join Cisco, Intel, and other leading healthcare and technology organizations for a series of leadership webcasts on October 23-24 that address the top challenges facing healthcare and IT professionals today. The third annual Intel Health & Life Sciences Innovation Summit will focus on relevant topics such as care networking, how mobility expands care from the hospital to the community, and customizing care with big data. This free, unique online event includes:
Get a preview of this online event by listening to Barbara Casey, Senior Executive Director for Healthcare at Cisco, discuss clinical mobility devices and connecting the unconnected.
Steria is a leading provider of IT-enabled business services with 20,000 employees worldwide. Steria serves private and public sector organizations across the globe – with operations across 16 countries throughout Europe, India, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. With their expertise in IT and business outsourcing, Steria provides innovative solutions to help their clients improve efficiency and profitability.
One of Steria’s recent challenges was how to satisfy its clients’ desire to improve employee productivity and enable employees to work from any device. While IT-as-a-Service is becoming an increasingly competitive market in the Americas, offerings in Europe are still sparse – so this was also an opportunity to provide competitive differentiation for Steria’s services. Steria turned to Cisco to solve 3 key problems:
1. Providing employees with instant on-demand provisioning of desktop software and easy access to workplace IT resources,
2. Enabling employees to work from any device anywhere, and thus optimize computing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO),
3. And providing a simple, user-friendly portal and service catalog to make software offerings easily accessible.
Redesigned from the bottom up, the UI update came from a strong team effort to deliver a solution that is not only relevant to our customers, but intuitive and easy to use for business users. Our vision is that anyone from sales to marketing, from store management to customer operations should be able to use the tool without having the call the IT guy.
The redesign process considered around the needs and learnings of our early customers, with over 20 individual customer interviews and previews, and incorporated input from proven UI and HCI experts.
The most important feedback was from our customers, and we listened! The new UI contains both overt and subtle changes, all tailored from our customers’ perspective in order to deliver tools they need to make better business decisions, enhance their customers experiences, improve their operational efficiency and increase their revenues
Some of the major UI innovations coming in this release include:
A new dashboard introduced to deliver key information at a glance when the user first logs in. The dashboard layout can be configured to display the most relevant information to the user so that they can immediately make use of it within the business.
There’s no question that more people around the world are connecting to wireless networks at home, work and play via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This rise in mobile device usage begs the question: How soon will it be (if not already) before these mobile devices dominate the mobile network, especially in the workplace?
Just recently, I read an article in Forbes, by Louis Columbus, that addresses the issue of increased mobile devices and unprepared network infrastructures. The article examines a study by IDC that predicts that 87% of sales for connected devices will be tablets and smartphones in next four years. As many employees prefer working from their own mobile devices, corporate networks, as they’re currently designed, will not be capable of successfully managing such a large volume of mobile data traffic generated by these mobile devices. With such expansive growth expected, the majority of businesses will either need to adapt an existing strategy to support this increase in mobile devices or adopt a new strategy.
Currently, there is a clear need for enterprises to better prepare and invest in their IT infrastructure. As more employees use their own devices at work for business and personal use, it’s imperative that business organizations require a secure mobile device and BYOD strategy to accommodate their business needs and employee preferences. However, the decision to adopt BYOD comes with a set of challenges for IT organizations.
Many of the benefits of BYOD, such as having the choice of device and anywhere, anytime access, are somewhat adverse to traditional IT requirements for security and support. In the past, IT pre-determined a list of approved workplace devices, typically a prescribed desktop, laptop, and perhaps even a small, standardized set of mobile phones and smartphones. Employees could choose among these devices, but generally were not permitted to stray from the approved devices list. With BYOD, IT has to approach the problem differently. Read More »