Product Review: Polaris Soundshield Wireless Headset

Product Review: Polaris Soundshield Wireless Headset

Are you looking for a vast improvement in your wireless headset experience, for either yourself or your call center employees? The Polaris Soundshield Wireless headset is sure to deliver what you’re looking for. It is specially designed to give you both control and comfort, along with unparalleled acoustic protection and HD wideband sound quality. It truly is one of the best headsets in its class.

An incredibly intuitive and easy-to-use device, it is the only wireless headset to employ modern touch screen technology, making calls run much more efficiently and smoothly. Polaris put a lot of research behind these devices, studying the habits of users in order to create the best experience possible, and it really shows.

Sound quality was also a major goal in the design of this model. It comes with top-notch acoustic protection, so you won’t have to live in fear of getting your ear blown off the next time someone gets a little excited on the other end of the line. This headset automatically filters such spikes in volume and employs patented shriek-rejection software that will keep your eardrums pristine. It also offers superior protection against static and other acoustic problems. Along with this, the HD wideband technology allows for crystal clear sound and natural-feeling conversations. If you need to keep on top of noise control and want some stats on how loud things are getting for your employees, these headsets can keep sound data for you that can be easily exported as graphs and analyzed by managers.

Sick of that annoying tell-tale beep that will cut your conversations short? Don’t let your important business dealings get interrupted again by a dying battery when you can use a headset with the longest-running battery of all wireless headsets. Not only does the Polaris Soundshield headset feature a battery that can last over 13 hours (or 9 hours in wideband mode), but it has a talk and charge feature that allows you to charge one headset while using another. Unless you’re performing a filibuster over the phone, you’re likely to never find yourself running out of talk time with these headsets.

Best of all, this headset comes with a 3-year warranty, so you can rest assured that if anything goes wrong, Polaris will fix it up for you. This is the longest warranty available for any wireless headset on the market.

The Polaris Soundshield headset represents a natural evolution in technology from just the simple headphone and mic combinations of the past. If you’re dealing with having to make business calls or running a call center, you need something that can provide business-level performance. Let the advanced acoustics technology and the easy touch screen interface help your business to run more efficiently, and keep the ears of your employees safe with some of the most effective sound protection technology.

Natural Evolution in Technology.
Natural Evolution in Technology.

Find out more at: www. soundshieldwireless.com.au

NEXTDC (ASX:NXT) – Where the Cloud Lives

NEXTDC CEO Craig Scroggie

Established by one of Australia’s most successful information technology entrepreneurs, Mr. Bevan Slattery, NEXTDC (ASX:NXT) is a carrier and vendor neutral data centre operator, providing world class UTI Tier III certified facilities in every major market in Australia.

In a recent interview with CEO Craig Scroggie, The Australian Business Executive learned a little more about the growing business of carrier neutral data centres.

“The company’s goal is to serve both enterprise and the cloud computing providers, domestic and international, as the home for all of their computer infrastructure,” Mr. Scroggie tells us.

“We tend to say, when people think about NEXTDC, it’s where the cloud lives. It’s where people come to house their computing infrastructure, but also connect to their network providers and connect to their cloud computing providers as well.”

Neutrality

Data centres are not a new phenomenon, but the changing nature of the industry, and the rapid rise of cloud computing, means carrier neutral centres have become a big player in the industry, offering an alternative to in-house or vendor-run facilities.

“The data centre is somewhere where people come to do business together in a neutral location,” Mr. Scroggie says, “so enterprises will come to the data centre in order to get access not to just one outsourcing provider, they’re coming to get access to all of them.”

Carrier neutral data centres are fast becoming commonplace, both in Australia and across the world. In the emerging cloud computing world, organisations require a different kind of access, due to the bonding of networks together in order to provide pay-as-you-consume computing capacity.

“We provide not only the physical aspects of housing all of that computer infrastructure… but importantly a network connectivity, the ability for organisations to be able to connect to a multiplicity of carriers and cloud computing providers.”

The company is also soon to release NEXTDC switching fabric, enabling fast, direct connections to cloud services, bypassing the public internet.

Technical issues like the amount of power, cooling, security and standards are all highly important to a company like NEXTDC, but neutrality is the crucial component that puts such businesses in high demand.

At the enterprise cloud level, big, global public cloud suppliers have changed the way enterprises are consuming computing capability. Organisations can pay for exactly the amount of computing they need, no longer required to spend large amounts of capital on servers and software without an immediate return on the investment.

“In the pay-as-you-consume computing world,” Mr. Scroggie explains, “you can spin-up a server, and only pay for the minutes that you use it for. So too it goes for storage, or network, or anything else that is moved into the consumption economic model.”

Mr. Scroggie uses Apple’s iTunes model as a comparison, a platform where users have access to a huge catalogue of content, but only pay for it as and when they use it.

“As a consumer,” Mr. Scroggie adds, “those services that you’re eating in the application economy are far more pay-per-use, than they are just a payment for a fixed amount of capacity whether you use it or not.”

The switch to more on-demand content means issues such as latency, the speed of the network and the larger consideration of where the information lives, are far more important than they used to be.

“A lot of people tend to imagine one big cloud in the sky, one big cloud globally that all the information is delivered from at a very low cost. And that’s not the case.”

The reality of the distribution and consumption of content is now actually the opposite, driving content to the edge rather than it being centralised at the core. As a result, anything that is latency or application sensitive needs to be located in closer proximity to the end-user.

In Australia, all the data is cached in regional centres, with content going out to almost every major city. “The availability and the scale of the network is important today, and it’s going to continue to become increasingly important,” Mr. Scroggie says.

This means the majority of larger U.S and European content providers that come to Australia require local infrastructure service and content, a requirement that is driving a lot of investment from offshore in local hosting of infrastructure.

“This is only going to continue to accelerate the rate at which the amount of content continues to grow,” Mr. Scroggie says, “the way that we consume that content from an on-demand perspective is continuing to increase, and consumers wanting pay-per-use, that is increasing.”

The way Australian consumers are behaving, and the increase in on-demand type services means going forward, the infrastructure and software services will continue to be placed close to the user.

NEXTDC has been recognised for its leading carrier neutral data centres
NEXTDC has been recognised for its leading carrier neutral data centres

Network Infrastructure

Mr. Scroggie’s background in the industry was developed through the best part of ten years’ work with Symantec, as Vice President and Managing Director in the Pacific region. After working in storage and security, he went on to gain experience in the data centre space.

When Mr. Slattery began setting up NEXTDC, Mr. Scroggie was asked to join the board, and spent 18 months as a non-executive director with the company before being offered the position of CEO, taking the company on the next leg of its journey.

When asked about the decision to list the company on the Australian Stock Exchange in December 2010, Mr. Scroggie highlights the huge level of investment needed to establish a company like NEXTDC.

“In the data centre industry, you’ve got to build all of your project, or the majority of your project, up front, and that is the base building, and the core infrastructure needs to go in—so it’s hundreds of millions of dollars in order to build out a national network of data centres.”

“The only way really in Australia to put that together on such an enormous scale was to list the company very early in its life, and that’s why it was [made an] IPO, pretty much from the beginning.”

The company now works out of multiple locations, in all of the major Australian markets—Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth.

The establishment of such a wide base of operations represents the best part of a few hundred million dollars’ worth of investment. But the current rate of growth in data centres is huge. Considering the way organisations are consuming on-demand, NEXTDC expects the growth to continue, and the investment to be justified.

The benefit for the client is there for all to see; the security that comes along with facilitating large-scale deployment is a huge selling point in terms of luring clients into a co-location model.

From an operational standpoint, one of the most enticing aspects of carrier neutral data centres is that the customer needn’t have ownership of the land, building or any physical assets.

“Many organisations would not be able to offer either the physical security or the size of the infrastructure, or the high availability nature of what we do… in a lot of cases they’re more secure and more resilient than what they would have been able to manage inside their own organisations.”

For organisations looking to set up infrastructure, the amount of capital needed in order to support the level of computer capability is of paramount consideration. Nowadays organisations needn’t put up that kind of capital, as they can co-locate their infrastructure with public and private computing providers and other enterprises.

“One of the most important benefits… is that the ecosystem, the way that companies share information today, has changed, and if you move into a co-location facility, inside that ecosystem, you are doing business not only with other enterprise customers, but with telecommunications providers, with public and private clouds.”

This exchange of information is no longer done via the internet or fibre intercap from city to city, it is happening within the four walls of the data centre, saving companies sometimes tens of thousands of dollars per month on communication costs.

NEXTDC’s data centre management portal ONEDC® offers further benefits to the customer. Designed to give customers remote visibility of their data centre service, considerations such as access management and power monitoring, which used to be done at the data centre, can now be done remotely.

ONEDC is now being developed into a feature-rich cloud platform for Data Centre Intelligence that will enable end users to manage their data centre assets across multiple locations through a single pane of glass, creating new efficiencies and business insights.

“When you think about changing the user’s experience, and what’s unique,” Mr. Scroggie tells us, “ONEDC has been an important enabler for customers when they think about additional value outside of just the data centre.”

NEXTDC provides world class UTI Tier III certified facilities in every major market in Australia
NEXTDC provides world class UTI Tier III certified facilities in every major market in Australia

Head in the Clouds

Investment in overall larger network infrastructure to support consumers and businesses in Australia is critically important. Considering the change in consumption and creation of online content, high-speed network access will only further the productivity and economic leverage that will be gained from these pursuits.

There are still a number of companies in Australia, such as Fujitsu and Hewlett Packard, which still have their own facilities, with which they operate carrier or outsourcing data centres.

“One of the advantages when we’re working with enterprises,” Mr. Scroggie says, “is that they want choice… they don’t want to be tied to a single carrier. Generally when you go into a carrier-owned data centre, clearly that carrier would prefer that you consume their services rather than a competitor’s.”

“We tend to think of ourselves as the Switzerland of the IT and telecommunications industry because of our commitment to neutrality, so you can have access to everybody, rather than having access restricted to only the carrier or a small number of carriers that are available in a non carrier neutral data centre.”

The same can be said for cloud computer providers, which are predominantly interested in selling the services they provide. When customers move to NEXTDC, they have the option of over 40 carriers and more than 180 service providers offering a huge range of services.

“Within those 40 carriers and 180 service providers, there are many, many different public and private cloud computing services available to our customers, and they can move between them if they want to, they are not locked into having to stay with one particular provider.”

Cloud computing offers the ability to consume and pay only for what it used. Providers of public clouds are usually referred to as offering a ‘multi-tenanted environment’, involving sharing the infrastructure with multiple other users.

In contrast, a private cloud will likely be made available only to the individual user. Sometimes these two cloud services are combined, creating something known as a ‘hybrid cloud,’ allowing companies to have a greater degree of control, as well as the ability to customise the platform.

A number of enterprises will retain legacy infrastructure, as was the case with Australia Post, a great example of a company which, despite having the capacity to manage its own data centres, chose a more efficient method by using a large, hyper-scale, co-location facility run by NEXTDC.

“[It’s] not only the security and the availability that’s afforded to them, but it’s the multiplicity of other service providers that are doing business with them that they get access to. And the combination of all of those brings many economic benefits to an organisation the size of Australia Post.”

Australia Post has a traditional or heritage computing infrastructure, but is also an innovative organisation. By using several different public and private service providers, it created a hybrid infrastructure, which it moved to NEXTDC’s Melbourne facility.

“Depending on the organisation,” Mr. Scroggie says, “there are many and varied different considerations that they make relating to security, data sovereignty and pay-per-use.”

Many organisations will embrace public cloud platforms, as they are quick and cost effective to set up, and offer the added benefit of the customer paying only for what they use, but others are more wary of the model.

“Some organisations might be concerned that if they’re using a public computing service, that the data is not hosted in Australia, [so] they have to choose a provider that has the infrastructure and information that is based in Australia.”

Data sovereignty is currently a hot button issue in the industry. In 2013 NEXTDC sponsored a University of New South Wales whitepaper addressing the issue. When thinking about the use of public and private clouds, concerns about where the information lives are on the top of a company’s agenda.

“A primary decision criteria for any investment in a public or a private cloud is going to be: is the infrastructure hosted in Australia, and does the content stay in Australia?”

If information goes into another geography, it can cause significant problems. For example, if private health information has the potential to end up in a different country, there is an obligation for providers to make sure it stays in Australia.

“Depending on the type of information, we have different regulatory obligations for protecting information… every industry has a different set of regulatory requirements, but then there’s the governance requirements, and that is that an organisation might just say: we are not comfortable with our information sitting in a country where another government’s regulations govern how that information can be accessed.”

Any time information is stored outside the country, that country’s government will be able to decide and enforce the laws regarding how it is used and distributed, and dictate the rights a company has to access that information.

“Data sovereignty is a very, very hotly debated topic for organisations when they’re thinking about leveraging public and private cloud computing providers.”

Australia has a number of requirements in relation to data and what should be stored in the country. It is therefore down to the organisations to ensure they are complying with the government’s laws to help the system run smoothly.

“Certainly if you’re Microsoft or Amazon and others that have made big investments in Australia, there is no question that those organisations want to sell to federal and state and local government departments, and in order for them to get access to those government dollars they need to have infrastructure in Australia.”

So even the big multinational companies will have some kind of sovereignty in the country of origin, meaning user information will not travel halfway across the world to be regulated by another government.

“If you’re using Microsoft’s services, it is hosted locally in Australia, so the data is resolved here in a geo-cluster and it’s split between Melbourne and Sydney. Microsoft publicly made that announcement and you can get information about those services and the types of information that are stored locally.”

In contrast, a company like Apple has its services hosted offshore, and so any details entered by the user may be subject to another country’s laws. “Depending on the user and depending on the application,” Mr. Scroggie adds, “whether you’re a consumer or an enterprise, those things matter to varying degrees.”

To read our NEXTDC editorial profile as it appeared in The Australian Business Executive magazine, click on the cover image below.

To see this editorial as it originally appeared in The Australian Business Executive magazine, click here.

NextDC

Written by Nicholas Paul Griffin

Innovate or Die: An Exclusive with BlackBerry ANZ MD Matthew Ball

Matthew Ball

An exclusive from The Australian Business Executive

Matthew Ball is the Managing Director for BlackBerry in Australia and New Zealand, overseeing sales, marketing, retail, distribution and partner relations.

Matthew joined BlackBerry ANZ as Marketing Director in 2011, and appointed Managing Director in 2012. He has over 15 years’ experience in marketing, business and commercial roles, principally in the Australian technology and telecommunications sector.

Prior to joining BlackBerry, Matthew was Group Marketing Manager at Microsoft Australia for the Xbox and Entertainment Division and Head of Mobile Data Business for Vodafone Australia.

Matthew discusses the revamp BlackBerry has gone through, leading to a new innovative range of products.

Jesse Landry: There’s new interest around BlackBerry at the moment with your move away from mobile phone technology towards cloud software. How did this come about?

Matthew Ball: Like any businesses operating in the technology sector, BlackBerry has been through a period of disruption and evolution here in Australia and New Zealand, and around the world. This remains constant, and the lessons we’ve learnt over the past few years have seen us change the way we do business and how we serve our customers in what is a new era of mobility.

Just to be clear, BlackBerry is still innovating in hardware. We haven’t moved away from that – just look at the BlackBerry Passport. There is no mobile device more secure than a BlackBerry operated on our network, and our focus is to design devices for people who want to get things done, securely. Just ask President Obama in the USA, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron.

With the mobility landscape constantly changing and becoming more competitive, we’ve adapted our business model to become software-centric. Today, BlackBerry is a software company that also makes smartphones for people that are super-productive and just want to get stuff done securely in real-time, wherever they are. Sometimes the fact we sell both software and hardware is difficult for people to grasp, but our organisation is geared to help businesses of any size, regardless of mobile platform, use BlackBerry architecture to securely manage their mobility strategy.

The foundation for all of this is our enterprise mobility platform, BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12, or BES12. Available on premise or as a cloud service, BES12 enables businesses of any size to achieve their desired levels of secured mobile productivity, regardless of what devices people bring to work, are provided with, or what apps they use.

We have also made some strategic acquisitions to take secure communications and collaboration even further. Examples of this are Secusmart, a leader in high security voice and text encryption, and WatchDox, which allows users to protect, share and work with their files on any device.

JL: Do you think these are the key factors that have kept BlackBerry relevant?

MB: BlackBerry has remained relevant because security and productivity are our main strengths and these things continue to be among the top priorities for CIOs and IT professionals. Knowing that corporate data is safe, regardless of where your employees are working, isn’t just about peace-of-mind, it’s about protecting your competitive advantage and in some cases, those individuals responsible for corporate data.

When it comes to the question ‘Why BlackBerry’, our customers usually tell us it’s our unique combination of encryption, app wrapping and secure infrastructure which can manage any device through a single console. But most of all, it’s how they can leverage this for optimal workforce productivity in a secured environment.

We are also hearing from customers about cost savings and future-proofing and why a comprehensive enterprise mobility platform is better than trying to glue many products together. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) trend saw the mobile device management (MDM) market explode and research shows it continues to grow, but it is now starting to commoditise as businesses are consolidating their IT investments.

According to our global 2014 study ‘Moving Targets in Risk’, only 35 percent of executives, risk compliance officers and IT managers within large organisations are very confident that their data assets are fully protected from unauthorised access via mobile devices. In fact, more than two-thirds believe mobile devices are the weakest link in their enterprise security framework.

That’s alarming given security breaches can happen all too easily. The Australian Federal Police told the ABC that more than 3,500 cyber-attacks on Australia from foreign countries and criminals were reported in April 2014, and the threat is only going to increase.

Whether it’s a targeted attack, or an employee using a dating app on a work smartphone and unknowingly downloading malicious content or simply leaving a tablet behind on public transport, the risks to sensitive corporate data are real and growing. That’s particularly important when it comes to customer data – information that is often prized in the eyes of hackers wanting to make a quick buck at the expense of unsuspecting individuals.

The easy option would be to lock-down devices and restrict the flow of data but that’s simply not workable in our digital age. The approach to security today must be about enabling people to do more by implementing the right level of control to allow users to access corporate data anywhere, without compromising it. We have transformed our business to enable customers to do just that.

While the landscape we play in has evolved and will continue to do so, what is clear is that today’s mobile-first world does not supplant the core capabilities of what governments and businesses really need: secure and private communications, productivity and efficiency gains, and real-time collaboration. These are all competencies that make up BlackBerry’s DNA, so it’s no fluke BlackBerry has remained entrenched in most of the major governments and major enterprises around the world, as well as here in Australia and New Zealand

JL: Considering it wasn’t long ago the company found itself struggling, can you outline the strategy to secure your position in these new market segments?

MB: At the beginning of our transformation, BlackBerry introduced a new leadership team under CEO, John Chen, who looked at how to structure the business for a new age of mobility. This meant creating four distinct lines of business that all enable a connected world: Enterprise Services and Security, Devices, Messaging (BBM) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

BlackBerry has focused on returning to its roots in business and government, continuing to deliver devices and services designed for individuals and organisations that want maximum output and productivity; with the peace of mind their data over mobile is secured.

Most importantly, BlackBerry has put the customer first. This has resulted in changing the way we innovate and go to market, breaking down walls to make enterprise mobility more cost-effective, simpler and easier for customers to manage. We’ve opened up to let customers and partners use our secure network to manage any device, solving BYOD and compliance headaches. We are both competing and partnering, for example, announcing a strategic global partnership in March 2015 with Samsung, where BES12 will manage Samsung Knox devices to deliver defence-grade Android security. Here in Australia, we are seeing a lot of interest in the BlackBerry and Samsung solution.

We’ve also invested in partnering with companies to deliver services in vertical industries such as health. A great example is NantHealth which runs a cloud-based clinical operating system in the US that connects the doctor’s office or hospital with the medical network and the payment system. NantHealth and BlackBerry are combining secure cloud-based and supercomputing services to provide data integration, decision support and analytics, allowing care providers to crunch huge amounts of data to aid in accurate diagnoses.

Finally, by introducing cloud-based solutions like BES12 Cloud, even the smallest businesses can have low cost access to all the benefits of BlackBerry security, with no need for in-house IT expertise.

The strategy was to bring it all together, not just offer individual components. From hardware, to network, to software and services that secure everything, including IoT end-points, we are well placed to solve our customers’ challenges in a way individual mobile device management vendors simply are not.

JL: Can you elaborate on the product?

MB: BES12 is the latest innovation in enterprise mobility that lets organisations manage all their mobile solutions across iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Samsung KNOX and BlackBerry devices.

BlackBerry secures devices with an end-to-end architecture that secures data on the device, through the connection, back to behind the firewall, via BES12. The model enables a unique level of control and security that is trusted by government agencies and regulated industry. All of this is underpinned by BlackBerry’s renowned global, secure network. Encrypted end-to-end, BES12 consolidates and routes all traffic through a single port for ease-of-administration and tight control of mission-critical traffic and data.

Going far beyond basic mobile device management, it’s available physically (on-premise) or as a virtual cloud solution. BES12 Cloud is best suited for small and medium businesses, as well as large enterprises in non-regulated verticals. It’s geared towards businesses looking to manage a range of mobile devices, protect their corporate data and enable employee productivity. Simple set-up and configuration makes BES12 Cloud easy for small and medium businesses to adopt cross-platform enterprise mobility management and keep costs down.

Analyst firm IDC believes the entirely redesigned BES12 is an evolution of enterprise mobility management capabilities that reflect BlackBerry’s deep enterprise mobility experience as well as the company’s keen awareness of the market’s realities now and looking forward. (Source: IDC Technology Spotlight: Future-Proofing Enterprise Mobility with EMM Platforms, November 2014)

JL: Why is this needed?

MB: According to Gartner, with the increased growth of IoT, there are some major security concerns. When you combine a widely distributed fleet of autonomous devices that are capable of making decisions and can directly affect the physical state of people and things, you have a considerable risk to manage. Gartner says security discipline must be built in to the devices, and the networks that they rely upon in order to avoid digital business catastrophes. This includes direct threats to the health and well-being of employees and customers – an area most IT security organisations are not familiar with managing.

The era of multi-mobile platform environments and new end-points, such as wearable technology, is predicted to explode. As a result, the heat is on businesses to find affordable solutions that not only address mobile challenges, but can also be scaled for ongoing use. This is where BES12 comes in.

Smaller businesses have similar needs but are generally faced with tight budgets and lean IT support, which is why we offered the self-managed BES12 Cloud. BES12 gives users the unprecedented ability to work seamlessly and securely across any device running Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone operating systems. It also dramatically increases productivity by tailoring BlackBerry’s unique security and collaboration features to any mobile device.

JL: So BES12 is device agnostic?

MB: BES12 offers easy management of iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 smartphones and tablets, as well as a wide range of Samsung KNOX and Android for Work smartphones and tablets.

For organisations migrating from their existing BES5 solution, BES12 also offers capability to manage older BlackBerry OS devices – such as the BlackBerry Bold. We are helping many customers here in Australia to make that migration and maximise their existing BES infrastructure to manage mobility.

So, for whatever device used in an organisation, BES12 offers full flexibility and choice in managing a customer’s mobile solution, all through a simple browser interface and without complicated or expensive server installs.

JL: How do you see this product repositioning the perception of the company?

MB: Ongoing innovation of BES12, plus the introduction of new services such as BBM Meetings for easy mobile conferencing and BlackBerry WorkLife for split-billing of personal and work mobile use, helps to cement BlackBerry’s repositioning as a software-centric company with security, privacy and productivity at its core. BES12 is also helping smaller businesses, not just large enterprises, think strategically and act preventatively when it comes to security, rather than react in hindsight.

But we offer more than that. Take Watchdox for example. Major data breaches are mounting and we hear of new ones almost daily. The question is whether we are investing our security resources in the right places because the one asset that is often overlooked is arguably the most important – the data itself. Compared to other file sync and share services out there, Watchdox offers true data-centric security with multiple deployment capabilities both on-premises and in the cloud.

WatchDox security travels with documents to give organisations full visibility and control over how files are edited, copied, printed or forwarded. The solution also allows users to revoke access or delete files remotely, and gives administrators the ability to remotely lock or remove access to files compromised in a data breach. This is ideal for the financial sector and other regulated industries which need full visibility and control over how files are edited, copied, printed or forwarded.

The missing ingredient in most end-to-end security frameworks is digital rights management, or DRM. DRM-protected documents are able to prevent unauthorised users from accessing them, and can be set to self-destruct if they fall into the wrong hands. The trick is making DRM seamless because cumbersome and buggy applications become obstructions to business users’ productivity, collaboration and mobility. Security is only effective if it doesn’t get in the way of doing business. Otherwise, it gets circumvented. That is why Watchdox was such a great fit for BlackBerry.

JL: Are you able to discuss a customer who has implemented this?

MB: The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is the federal government agency that carries out financial statement audits of government bodies that receive Commonwealth funding. They have incredibly strict security requirements and a need for optimal productivity for its workforce of over 350 employees who constantly work off-site at different agencies.

Given that 86 percent of the ANAO’s workforce is mobile, the need for a flexible, secure platform was clear. The ANAO migrated to BES12 to manage a range of mobile devices, including BlackBerry, ioS and Android.

By providing a separation between their work and personal space, ANAO employees – who are mostly auditors – have the flexibility to access the network using the device of their choice without sensitive data being compromised.

Another customer is AEG Ogden, a company responsible for the management of the largest network of venues in the Asia Pacific region. Dirk Hoffman, their Chief Information Officer for the Middle East, Asia and Pacific provided us with a quote that read, “With a workforce that is always working remotely, on-site or on the move, we needed an agile, scalable and easy-to-manage enterprise mobility platform that could manage any device, and promise both full productivity and security of information. To meet these requirements, we have already deployed BES12 and BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Classic devices, and now in the process making BES12 our one-stop solution to manage all mobile devices in our APAC network.”

JL: The benefits for large corporates or Government seem obvious, but are these products applicable to the SME market?

MB: Absolutely. BES12 Cloud is built for organisations of any size. It’s secure, flexible, simple to deploy and use and cost-effective. BES12 Cloud allows admins to manage mobile device policies via a browser interface without server installations and without IT expertise.

Take for example, Morea Architects, a small but established family business with a team of ten architects and designers who regularly share and present plans and 3D design images to clients on mobile devices when outside the office or on-site. The team relies on the ability to use the latest architectural software on the move; and access to highly confidential client architectural designs from anywhere.

Morea needed an affordable mobility solution that could be as flexible and reliable as its business. As a business without an IT team, it also needed technology that was easy to deploy. Their mobile fleet includes BlackBerry Passports, as well as iPads and Android devices – which are all managed by BlackBerry.

JL: So, in your opinion what should our readers think when they hear BlackBerry?

MB: BlackBerry is a next generation mobility platform that will not only enable a whole new ecosystem, but will create opportunities and an ecosystem for everyone around it.

What put BlackBerry on the map was our smartphones, but today we are so much more than that. We are ‘The New BlackBerry’ – truly cross-platform. This means you can be an iPhone, Android or Windows 8 customer while being a BlackBerry customer too.

JL: Finally, what does the future hold for BlackBerry?

MB: BlackBerry has not just ridden the first wave of mobility disruption; we have re-engineered our business and changed our strategy to successfully and collaboratively ride the second.

The first wave of enterprise mobility was all about bringing smartphones into organisations and giving IT the tools to manage them – otherwise known as mobile device management. In the second wave, enterprises not only want to control the devices, but enable their employees to become as productive as possible – all securely and cost-effectively, of course. That’s Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), and BlackBerry is already the leader.

We’re also set to release new devices this year, including the recently-previewed ‘Slider’ style device, which is exciting for us and for our customers.

Our customers can look forward to a bright future for our business that plays to their needs and has mobility front and centre of our strategy.

Find out more about Blackberry and their new products at: www.blackberry.com