DAVE FREDRICKSON Enterprise networks on the brink p.12
KUNAL GUPTA Apps and interfaces will adapt to the mobile user p.14
SEPTEMBER/ OCTOBER 2011 VOLUME 2 NUMBER 5 www.itincanada.ca
CANADAâ€™S TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH AUTHORITY
Mobility Matters finding your bearings
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Vol 2 No 5 September/October 2011
10 Technospective on Networking & Communications
Features 4 Editorial 10 Technospective on Networking & Communications Wireless carriers claim 4G is here - but is it really? 12 Technospective on Data Centres Connecting mobility tactics and strategy 13 Technospective on Skills, Service & Delivery Equipping the IT department to deliver mobile security 14 Technospective on Personal Technology App discovery and management
6 Cover Story: Mobility 2012: Where we’re going (and what we’re doing along the way) Departments 16 In the Middle Beyond devices: the many inputs to mobility implementation
24 Case Study Trailcon doesn’t just use tablets, they depend on them
20 Case Study eShift uses iPhones to deliver nursing care
26 Case Study Tablets complete the mobile vision at SAC
21 Case Study Solving for mobility via desktop virtualization
28 New in Social Perspective and invective from the IT in Canada Forum
22 From the Inquiries Desk What’s hot and what’s not in Canadian mobile banking
30 Executive Perspectives Dell’s Paul Cooper
Online Extras: www.itincanada.ca Missed an issue? Misplaced an article? Visit www.itincanada.ca for a full archive of past It in Canada issues, as well as online extras from our many contributors. 26 Case Study September/October 2011 ITinCanada.com / 3
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obility is the new mantra. Chanting its way into business environments with new vigour, mobility has entranced IT managers everywhere with the latest on managing the BYOD phenomenon, the device as cloud access point, changes in workforce behaviour and the organizational productivity benefits of mobility. This excitement was palpable at our inaugural CIO Summit held in Toronto this month, as IT attendees worked through constructing the best case for mobility and best practice for workplace implementation. And it is this broad-based preoccupation that has led IT in Canada to feature mobility in all its complex glory in the current issue of our magazine. The importance of mobility to business success has also inspired our research arm, IT Market Dynamics, to consider mobility in its latest survey panel from the point of view of both IT and business managers. But survey findings, highlighted in this issue in our central research feature, “Mobility 2012: Where we’re going (and what we’re doing along the way),” do more than confirm accelerating adoption rates. They underscore the need for organizations to develop a mobility strategy that considers the “why”, “what” and “which” before moving to “how” in delivery of solutions that address the three essential components of mobility – products, solutions and changes in the way we work – and helps, along the way, to carve out a key role for IT as enablers of this process. Readers will find resonance of this broad approach to mobility coverage in our current issue, through Technospectives that speak to each of the core components of mobility. In our Data Centre Technospective, for example, Michael O’Neil discusses ‘people’, ‘process’ and ‘technology’ as it relates to mobility implementation in critical facilities, and in our Skills & Delivery Technospective, Dave Chappelle has consulted with IBM and HP to learn more about preparing staff and infrastructure to manage the complex challenges associated with mobile security. The ‘people’ aspect of mobility implementation reads loud and clear in our “In the Middle” section as Canadian resellers reinforce the importance of understanding the interconnection between process, use case and technology adoption. In many instances, mobility adoption presents challenges to IT, but also to the user who must wade through the ever growing world of mobile apps to achieve productivity nirvana: app discovery and management are the themes in our Personal Technology Technospective. And the technology underpinning of the whole mobility movement – the building of next gen 4G and LTE networks by Canadian service providers – are put under the microscope by Stef Dubowski in our Networking and Communications Technospective. What emerges from these pieces is the complex reality of mobile adoption for enterprises. As an editorial team, we have gained additional appreciation for the real-world complexities of mobility in preparing our series of case studies for this magazine, which illustrate implementations in four Canadian businesses. The cases we’ve selected demonstrate the myriad ways mobility can be employed: they range from smartphone use by the South West Community Care Access Centre, an Ontario healthcare services provider that was looking to extend the reach of its scarce nursing resources, to the adoption of tablets by Trailcon, a transport trailer rental, leasing and service company, for inventory tracking and better management of equipment maintenance, to deployment of tablet/PC convertibles to accommodate student and faculty need to work with a variety of media in St. Andrews College in Aurora, Ontario, and finally to implementation of desktop virtualization by AGF, a Toronto-based private equity firm that wished to create a secure solution to address all mobile requirements and technologies. And finally, we bring you news from the future of mobility, in a topic that is surely dear and near to the hearts (pockets?) of readers everywhere – the advance of mobile banking in Canada.
Mary Allen Editor and Toronto Bureau Chief, IT in Canada
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By Michael O’Neil
Mobility 2012: Where we’re going (and what we’re doing along the way) Mobility is on the minds of users everywhere – and the proof is found in the devices that they hold, which appear with or without IT approval. What’s the best way to build influence over your organization’s direction?
obility is one of the most compelling subjects in the IT industry today, but it is also one of the most difficult to pin down. As a term, ‘mobility’ can be fairly applied to: a way of working, remote from a central office location; the technology products used to allow workers to connect with customers and colleagues from remote locations; and the solutions that connect mobile devices to corporate
resources to make remote workers productive. In our 3Q11 research, IT Market Dynamics – the research arm of IT in Canada – combined surveys of Canadian IT leaders (subscribers to IT in Canada/eWEEK Canada) and non-IT businesspeople (drawn from Leger Marketing’s business panel) to explore the devices, the workplace benefits, and the solutions that are defining mobility in Canada in 2011-2012.
Figure 1. The benefits and drawbacks of mobility
6 / IT in Canada September/October 2011
First – “the why” Often, IT professionals are consumed with “the how” – how do we deliver the capabilities demanded by our users and/or management? With mobility, though, it’s important to start with “the why.” The first question that needs to be asked about mobility is, in what ways does mobile work benefit the organization that is investing in the tools needed for workers to be productive from
remote locations? And what, specifically, are technology solutions. Business managers are closely rather than remotely managed. the advantages and drawbacks associated also believe that mobility will improve the But it is clear from the benefits findings that with mobility? Understanding these drivfrequency and quality (in that order) of there are areas where the converse to these ers can help IT organizations to structure customer contact, which is – like produc- statements is also true. Ultimately, ITMD delivery strategies to address the areas of tivity – a key executive management goal. believes that IT organizations (and their greatest management/organizational need. ITMD believes that an appreciation of this suppliers) can profit from recognizing that To explore this question, ITMD asked two management perspective is important to there is some innate management discommulti-part questions of the Leger business successful IT strategies for mobility: by fort with mobile workers that can temper panel respondents. The first asked responemphasizing productivity and customer recognition of mobility’s productivity and dents to rate five possible benefits of mobile contact, and building systems that are customer contact advantages. IT approaches work on a scale of 1 (“strongly disagree”) focused on these objectives, IT can secure that mitigate this concern – for example, to 5 (“strongly agree”); the second asked ongoing management support for its mo- by explicit inclusion of monitoring and respondents to use the same scale to rate bility initiatives. reporting tools – will likely help alleviate five possible drawbacks to mobile work. The third intriguing observation from concerns, even if that discomfort is not When we combine all responses regardthis data is found in the relative ranking of openly discussed at the boardroom table. ing mobility benefits and drawbacks in a the drawbacks. After security – which is a single Figure, as we have done in Figure 1, regular objection to any IT-enabled solu- Next – “the what” we are able to elicit a few important hightion – we find that management discomfort Once mobility as a way of working has level findings from the survey data. The with mobile work patterns is the most com- broad support within the business commufirst is evident from the gap between the mon objection to mobile enablement of the nity, the next question is, what devices can blue (benefits) and red (drawbacks) data workforce. In some cases, this objection be used to equip the mobile workforce to points; in the opinion of our respondents, will have merit: there are job functions that connect, and – more importantly, given the with respect to mobility, benefits clearly are easier to manage within a location than uncertain business climate that constrains outstrip drawbacks. Respondent ratings outside of it, and employees who will de- capital investments – how they be delivered for common mobility benefits are on averliver better value for compensation if they into the hands of the users? age roughly 45% higher than for the five drawback categories. Figure 2. P revalence and purchase points for mobile technologies The second interesting finding is contained in the relative ranking of the benefits. From a business perspective, the foremost benefit of mobility is productivity – workers who can connect to the workplace from remote locations (and particularly, we would assume, those for whom travel is a core job requirement – sales, field support technicians, emergency and medical staff, route drivers, employees engaged in inspection and monitoring, and other mobile workers) are believed to deliver greater return on compensation if they are supported by mobile September/October 2011 ITinCanada.com / 7
are these purchases supported by formal from the Leger Marketing panel and comITMD asked several “what” questions “BYOD” (bring your own device) probined them with our IT in Canada/eWEEK of both our business and IT respondents. grams? In our research, ITMD explored Canada subscribers, to obtain two perspecFindings from two of these questions are this issue, asking respondents reporting tives on Canadian brand preferences for presented in Figure 2: what proportion of employee purchases if they had instituted mobile devices. Canadian workers are currently equipped “a program or policy to encourage employIn general, we find that business users are with notebook or other mobile PCs, tablet ees to purchase laptops, smartphones, or less likely than IT respondents to express computers and smartphones – and what tablets for business use.”Results indicate strong preferences for one brand or operproportion of these devices have, on averthat policies in this area have not kept pace ating system over another: when asked to age, been purchased by employees themwith purchasing patterns. A weighted avselect a “best fit for business needs” from selves? erage of just 13% of respondent organizaamongst Apple, RIM, Android, webOS, and The first finding that leaps out of this tions report that they have instituted these Windows, 32% of business users did not Figure is that smartphones are now estabprograms today. specify a preferred brand of smartphone lished as the primary connection device for and 49% did not state a preference for mobile workers in Canada. From our surWhat kinds of devices are seen tablets; by contrast, over 90% of IT responvey – reaching more than 500 respondents as “best fit” by business users dents have a defined smartphone preferrepresenting organizations with remote and IT? ence, and 75% specified a preference for workers, and spanning both IT and non-IT Given the diffusion of buying points within tablets. It seems likely that in many cases, managers – we see that smartphones are mobility-equipped organizations, ITMD business users will be open to accepting used by 55% of employees. Notebooks and was interested in understanding preferplatform guidance from IT. other mobile PCs are used by nearly half of ences – within both the IT and non-IT When we narrow our focus to users with employees within these respondents’ orgacommunities – for different brands of a defined preference, as we have done in nizations, and tablets, which are much less smartphones and tablets. In Figure 3, we Figure 3, we see some interesting differcommon, have begun to make inroads into have extracted respondents with IT titles ences between IT and non-IT perspectives. corporate environments, especially within the SMB community. The other notable finding from this research is that responsibility for Figure 3. B est fit technologies – business and IT perspectives – scaled to 100% of preferences acquiring these products often rests with employees. Nearly one-third of smartphones deployed in organizations with remote workers, and almost onequarter of notebooks in these environments have been purchased by employees. This trend is especially pronounced in small businesses, which often lack formal capital allocations for replacing aging client devices; SMB ratios of employee-purchased devices are 50%-100% higher than in large enterprises. The high levels of employee purchases shown in Figure 2 beg a followup question: how often 8 / IT in Canada September/October 2011
Business users are more ardent in their support of the BlackBerry as a smartphone and the iPad as a tablet than are IT respondents, and are also more likely to welcome Windows as a tablet OS. IT in turn is much more likely to see Android as a “best fit” platform for both smartphones and tablets. webOS, which was still considered a viable mobile platform alternative at the time that the survey was conducted, attracted little support from either the business user or IT communities.
Tying it all together – “the how”
other way, providing limited resource access to a wider swath of employees. Only 5%-10% of respondents who have remote employees deny them access to any data or systems unless they come physically to an office. It’s certainly true that in some environments, limiting resource access to employees with a “need to know” – remote sales staff in some situations, travelling executives in others – makes good business sense, and may be necessary to meet regulatory requirements. It’s likely also true that in other environments, exposing just a subset of information to staff, or locking down resources from remote access altogether, will be the best approach to ensuring information security and/or process consistency. That said, mobility is here, and IT needs to find ways to support it. Management recognizes the productivity and customer contact benefits that can be gained through a mobile workforce. Employees themselves feel so strongly about the access and flex-
ibility provided by mobility that they will often purchase these kinds of products themselves. The survey results have identified areas in which IT has an opportunity to address management concerns (for example, providing monitoring tools to assuage management discomfort with remote workers) and opportunities (such as platform selection) for providing needed guidance to the end-user community. But while the tactics leave room for discretion, the direction does not. At IT in Canada’s recent CIO Insight Exchange Symposium, one IT leader from a financial institution observed that IT is being told that they “have to” support mobility – that IT “isn’t a partner” if it doesn’t find a way to accommodate management and user demands for any time, any place, any device empowerment on the corporate network. The ship is leaving the harbour; armed with the information from ITMD’s mobility survey, IT management can make sure that it has a hand on the tiller, and not just a berth in the engine room.
The third area of focus for the ITMD survey was “how” – as in, “how much access to various corporate resources does IT deliver to mobile users?” To approach the issue, we structured a question that asked respondents to consider three separate resource pools: customer information, which was defined as “customer contact info, order status, etc.”; corporate information, “such as financial data”; and corporate communications systems, defined as including “your company telephone extension and voice mail, email, Figure 4. U se of mobile technologies to access corporate resources and other systems used to communicate internally and externally.” As Figure 4 shows, Canadian organizations have achieved varying levels of support for mobile access. Of the 512 respondents with remote workers, we see that roughly half are delivering seamless support for mobility, with data and communications systems “as easy to access…when you are remote as when you are in the office.” Another 25%-33% have enabled access to complete data and systems resources, but restrict that access to selected staff members. A third group has gone the
September/October 2011 ITinCanada.com / 9
TECHNOSPECTIVE NETWORKING & COMMUNICATIONS
By Stefan Dubowski
Wireless carriers claim 4G is here – but is it really? Next generation mobile technology has a key role to play in cloud computing, but not all 4G networks are created equal.
ireless network providers are under enormous pressure. Not only are they expected to provide fast video and data links to users’ preferred content spots (be they YouTube or the corporate LAN), they’re also expected to do so while providing excellent uptime. Few CXOs are willing to suffer slow feeds and weak signals, especially with the advent of cloud-computing, wherein more and more enterprise services reside outside the corporate data centre, accessed via wireless endpoints such as smartphones and tablets. So what are Canada’s carriers doing to ensure that their networks are ready for the increased demand? Many service providers are installing next-generation wireless systems (“4G”) designed to provide faster data rates and lower latency. But some are further ahead than others – and not all 4G networks are created equal. IT decision makers are advised to consider network capacity and coverage, and the technology behind the system when assessing wireless solutions for their organizations’ roving employees.
What is 4G? It’s important to understand that a carrier’s current 4G network may not be all that different from its 3G network. Service providers such as Bell, SaskTel and Telus operate networks that employ High Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) technology, supporting actual data download speeds (as opposed to theoretical speeds, which tend to be much higher) of 7 to 14 Mbps. Originally, HSPA+ was classified as “3G+” – a stutter step between 3G networks and future 4G networks employing LTE technology. But earlier this year, the International Telecommunications Union changed the way it categorizes network generations, paving the way for HSPA+ operators to brand their 10 / IT in Canada September/October 2011
Reade Barber, senior director, data product management, smartphones, access, messaging and applications, Rogers
networks as 4G. Bell, SaskTel and Telus now all say that their HSPA+ networks are 4G. LTE – the technology slated to replace HSPA+, which promises actual data rates closer to 20 Mbps – has always been classified as 4G. Rogers Communications may be the first Canadian carrier to offer true 4G services. The company lit the nation’s
premier LTE network this summer, beginning in Ottawa where Rogers worked with network-technology provider Ericsson to trial the technology. In late August, the carrier announced that it would expand the network to Toronto by the end of September. Vancouver and Montreal are to follow, said Reade Barber, senior director, data product management, smartphones, access, messaging and applications. While LTE supports higher data downloads, the technology may well come to be known for providing faster uploads. As Barber explained, uploading is quickly becoming an important consideration for end users. “That’s where customers will actually see a lot of benefits, in those applications where you have to upload from the endpoint to the cloud... things like videoconferencing and cloud storage.” Continued on page 25
4G INVESTMENTS PAY BACK IN GDP GROWTH, JOB GROWTH: STUDY The U.S. could experience the creation of between 370,000 and 770,000 jobs following massive investment into 4G wireless networks among mobile service providers between 2012 and 2016, according to Deloitte. One Canadian Deloitte analyst figures Canada will witness similar increases as carriers in this country roll out next-generation networks. In a report by analyst firm, Deloitte, titled “The Impact of 4G Technology on Commercial Interactions, Economic Growth, and U.S. Competitiveness,” said wireless carriers south of the border could invest $25 billion to $53 billion in 4G, resulting in $70 billion to $150 billion in GDP growth, and job growth. Duncan Stewart, director of research for technology, media and telecom at Deloitte Canada, said it’s probable that Canada would see increases close to 15% of those the U.S. will see, thanks to this country’s smaller population and other factors. By Stewart’s calculations, Canadian carriers will invest $3.75 billion on network upgrades, resulting in $10.5 billion in GDP growth and more than 55,000 jobs. But in truth, it’s difficult to measure the impact that mobile broadband has on the economy, Stewart said. “Societies that are rapid adopters of information-communications technology like 4G tend to be ones that are already doing well economically... It’s really hard to disaggregate cause and effect.”
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Connecting mobility tactics and strategy in the data centre
By IT in Canada staff
“We see enterprise networks as being on the brink” – Dave Fredrickson, HP
hen we think about mobility, we don’t generally start by considering data centre issues. However, the systems that enable mobile workers to access essential data and resources reside within the “glass house,” and effective planning around central system access and security is a key step in delivering on the productivity promises of smartphones and untethered work styles. To explore the key considerations in aligning data centre tactics and strategy with mobility requirements, IT in Canada spoke with Dave Fredrickson, VP and general manager for HP’s enterprise servers, storage and networking business. Here are some of the issues as we see them, and some of Fredrickson’s observations.
DF: To me, it’s about the software
IT in Canada: What kinds of stress does mobility put on data centre operations?
IT in Canada: What data center technology, or technology standards, do you think are most in need of change, to allow IT to provide “always on, always up, all information” access to mobile workers?
Dave Fredrickson: Next to people, the most important asset is information. Access to information at the right place at the right time can be a key competitive differentiator, and will allow for greater service and drive greater revenues. This has put new demands on IT infrastructure – a number of organizations are having difficulty because of the silos of data within their legacy environments.
IT in Canada: That’s consistent with what we’ve been hearing – that the first issue with mobility, at least from a data centre perspective, is information access. Mobility delivers productivity and customer contact benefits to the organization, but requires fundamentally different methods of assembling and accessing data within (and across) corporate systems – and of course, multiple and changing access points create another set of issues... 12 / IT in Canada September/October 2011
side. We look at it on three levels. There’s the application level that says, “How do I gain access through a data warehousingtype facility, drilling down to the information that’s required?” Next, there’s, “How do I pull resources together through the middleware offerings that actually link the various systems?” And then there’s the third level; “Okay, how do I make sure that my data’s protected, and that I’m not allowing for unwanted intrusions into the walls of the data center – and any other systems that I’ve got?”
DF: We see enterprise networks as being on the brink. Customers are facing new challenges associated with personalization and with the explosion of mobile devices and data. Networks are often weighed down by legacy architectures that were built for basic connectivity. [It’s essential to] unify the network silos by ensuring that protocols are implemented consistently across all network devices and throughout the enterprise. And then what’s very important is delivering comprehensive security and access policy management.
IT in Canada: Beyond the network, what does data center management need to focus on, as they roll out and evolve a mobility strategy within their organization?
DF: Security is the number one or number two topic that comes up with any of the executives that I speak to. We find that organizations are looking to heighten their security intelligence and devise a plan for implementing security policies and management strategies to monitor mobile access.
IT in Canada: Are there skills that the IT staff should try to build to help secure mobile users? DF: Organizations need to implement more robust training with analytical tools so that they make sure their people are aware of threats and can react quickly. Many organizations still are a little bit ostrich-like, pretending that threats are not out there because they haven’t happened to hit them. I’d say that there is a large number of organizations that are at risk because they haven’t implemented – at the application level, or with pattern analysis, or with robust prevention technology – the right levels of security for the data centre.
By Dave Chappelle
SKILLS SERVICE DELIVERY
Equipping the IT department to deliver mobile security As mobile device adoption steamrolls its way onto your network, what processes, tools, and training do your IT staff require?
he rapid adoption of personal mobile devices is forcing everybody in IT to adjust. “Demand has taken mobile faster than we’re capable of [handling] yet,” said Willie Wong, market manager, security and business continuity, IBM. “There were 200 million devices sold in 2010. That’s nothing, until you see it was a 75% increase over the number sold in 2009. With that amount of increase, organizations have to deal somehow with risk management. Avoid a nightmare by assuming you’ll have Blackberry, iPhone, and Android phones in your environment.” Avoiding the nightmare begins with policies that answer questions, such as: what type of information is allowed to leave the enterprise, and travel outside the firewall? “Legal will review with the CSO and CCO the risks and guidelines, and the policies that need to be set,” said Patricia Wilkey, global director of desktop and mobility, HP enterprise services. “For example, we allow all of our users email access. That can be on a smartphone or tablet, or through the Internet on another device. The IT team will learn what the policies are, and ensure they have the right tools to manage and validate that the policy is being adhered to.” From an HR perspective, having employees in other countries may limit what you can do on corporate or personal devices. Maybe you want to prevent people from downloading cartoons or other types of data on their devices. Or ensure the devices don’t have camera functionality. With a tool, you can do so. Bear in mind that users ignore security when they perceive it as interfering. “One client wanted secured 8-characters and a certain methodology in a password process,” recalled Wilkey. “Several thousand
workers needing symbols and upper and lower case in their passwords caused many painful requests to the service desk. You have to understand how people will use the device, because if it doesn’t work for them, they won’t use it.” After years of managing laptops, network teams are coming to recognize that phones are merely one more endpoint device needing the same controls. “PC, desktop, server, phone, whatever – it should have corporate security guidelines, modified to take it [the device] into account,” said Wong. “Your data and company assets must be protected. If the company is big enough for that, they should have the ability to monitor and enforce policy infractions.” In that process, are there any customer legacy systems that need to be maintained that will require ongoing investment? “You don’t always have to,” noted Wong. “Can you upgrade the interface instead? Interfaces are growing faster than the Internet was in the late 90s. Everything is web-based now.” According to Wong, the CIO and CFO must determine the cost and ROI of upgrading. This decision can be made with the help of a resident expert who understands mobile capabilities. Wilkey recommends examining the platforms – RIM, Apple, Android – to ensure you’re getting productivity when managing all of them. “It comes back to the policy set by the enterprise,” she said. “And ensuring there are tools to manage those policies. What is the budget and how many tools will you allow?” Another recommendation is to look for a mobile device management application in the core itself. “I don’t know anybody who would try to do it manually,” Wong said. There is plenty of choice in third party tools
Willie Wong IBM
Patricia Wilkey, HP
and systems that allow the team to manage devices. “And while we say device, it’s really about the application - white labeling or black labeling, and tools that prevent the device from having certain apps on it,” said Wilkey. Infrastructure-wise, email is usually taken for granted, and yet it’s the key function that is used on PCs and smartphones. Are managers allowing employees to use gmail for business? A company’s own remote access gateway (RAG) can provide default access control from a corporate image, along with firewall, malware protection, and encryption – depending on how the RAG is set up and how much is invested. Wong divided management in two. Some companies focus strictly on internal operations: “Remember when the Internet first came, and people wanted intranets? You´re going to let your people access email through their smartphones.” In this environment, Wong said, you need to make decisions to guide deployment: “Are you deploying a corporate image or do you have to develop a standard or policy? That’s the internal perspective.” Alternatively, mobility can be seen as a single model that is supported across employees and customers. “Does your front end need an interface to go through your portal?” Wong asked. If so, it might be possible to use the existing approach to manage employee access as well. “Understand what your mobile Continued on page 25 September/October 2011 ITinCanada.com / 13
By Mary Allen
App discovery and management, the personalization journey Mobile apps have just crossed the one million mark threshold, but how do you find a good one?
uelled by open access to mobile platforms via vendor APIs, apps are breeding at an astonishing rate. While many apps are free or come preinstalled on mobile devices, others are born out of the developer’s creative urge, competitive instinct and faith that their application will catch hold to become the next big thing, soaring, birdlike, to the top of the best seller list on overcrowded vendor marketplaces. This faith – or hope – has generated an enormous amount of development activity and a veritable cornucopia of apps to address real (and imagined) user needs. All told, Apple’s App Store currently boasts 425,000 mobile apps, “and counting”: if you want games, an independent monitoring site (148Apps.biz) has counted 77,566 of these, and if you are interested in ‘lifestyle’, there are 35,710 of those. Developers have also taken up the challenge on other vendor platforms – the BlackBerry AppWorld now offers 28,008 apps (including 2386 utilities, 890 productivity and 12036 reference and ebook apps) and Windows Phone 7 has approximately 30,000 apps. The Android Market, which according to third-party monitor AppBrain currently has 283,568 active apps, now apparently receives near as many app hopefuls as does Apple (20,000 per month). App counters at Appsfire have just released a compelling new stat: as of September 16th, 2011, all the mobile applications ever created for the Android and iOS operating systems put together exceed a million, and this number is expected by market watchers to explode with the growing adoption of tablets. But are these numbers an indication of productive innovation or the product of 14 / IT in Canada September/October 2011
developer enthusiasm run wild like Oryctolagus cuniculus when it was introduced to Australia back in 1788? Is it possible to introduce some control, or is this plethora of apps destined to overwhelm and devastate the user’s mobile habitat? How can the user manage the vast spread of options that has been laid at the mobile app table? One way is to make use of browsing capabilities that have been built into the various vendor distribution channels. Typically, these marketing sites categorize apps according to broad usage: the App Store, for example, allows users to browse categories such as games, lifestyle, social networking, and education in addition to displaying featured apps and top sellers. RIM’s App World offers 18 different categories, which are further divided into subcategories – “Productivity,” for example, contains document tools, organization, productivity and search apps. Google’s Android Marketplace has adopted a similar approach, with “Games” divided into eight sections, and “Applications” broken down into 26 categories. While each category is searchable, descriptions for these apps tend to be almost as brief as the sound bite customer reviews that are provided, and rankings appear to have little impact on order of presentation in store catalogues. So what makes for a good mobile app, and how can users find a tool that is both effective and relevant to their particular circumstance? According to Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile, one of the keys to developing good apps is to design for the device – for specifications such as screen size and type, keypad, etc. The Polar Mobile perspective is especially interesting as the Waterloo-based mobile app developer has experienced sig-
Kunal Gupta, CEO Polar Mobile
nificant market success since launch in 2007, and counts Time, Wired, CNN, Sports Illustrated, CTV and The Globe and Mail among its 300 major media company clients. The company now develops apps to suit the varied form factor of different devices since, as Gupta says, targeting “a one-size-fits-all user experience means you end up developing for the lowest common denominator as opposed to a class experience.” Going forward, however, changes in workforce behaviour and technology advances are demanding that we think about mobility in a different way: “we need to stop thinking about mobility as a device and understand that it is people that are mobile.” While users are currently expected to adapt to the device, in the future, Gupta explains, people will be constantly connected via any number of devices – a phone, laptop, tablet, TV screen, etc. – so “applications, the user experience and interface will need to evolve in a way that enables them to adapt to the user.” In the mobile world of today, adapting apps to the user can involve emerging strategies such as context, where an advertiser can interpret device signals to tailor apps to the user, but more often entails matching one of the million apps to user needs. In terms of personalization solutions that could acContinued on page 27
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IN THE MIDDLE
By Chris Rogers
From left to right: Robert Duvall, president, Robert Duvall Consulting; Michael Potwin, business development manager, Softchoice; Mary Ann Yule, general manager, CDW Canada; Carlos Paz-Soldan, president and CEO, Tenet Computer Group; Greg Tobin, general manager, D&H Canada
Beyond devices: the many inputs to mobility implementation Driven by the popularity and high penetration of smartphones, companies are now scrambling to implement mobility policies for their workforce.
he mobility trend is nothing new, but the popularity of smartphones and tablets is pushing it to the forefront. Removing the limitations of heavy laptops and standard feature handsets has driven renewed interest in this space. There’s no question we’re more connected today than ever before, and there has never been more choice for individuals or organizations that are considering going mobile. IT has a large role to play in this scenario to manage and secure the mobile workforce. This issue’s In The Middle section asks solution providers about the challenges and best practices around implementation of mobility solutions.
Q: What business problems are your clients most often trying to address with mobility solutions? Robert Duvall, Robert Duvall Consulting: The first challenge is effective and 16 / IT in Canada September/October 2011
efficient synchronization of data from the office to mobile devices. All the companies that approach us request mobile management not only of their email but of their contacts, tasks and calendars as well. When they add or delete a contact on their mobile device, they want it to be added or deleted from Outlook at the office. Devices using ActiveSync technology, such as the iPhone and Windows Phone, have built-in technology to accomplish this. The second challenge is protecting the integrity of business-critical information. This becomes a concern when employees utilize their own personal mobile devices in a corporate environment without authorization. When an employee leaves, how can the employer control/retain confidential business content that resides on that employee’s personal device? Who owns the data? What rights does the employer (or the individual for that matter) have when company information resides on a personal device?
Michael Potwin, Softchoice: I would say that security and governance are front and centre with our customers these days when the topic of mobility comes up. Mary Ann Yule, CDW Canada: Companywide integration of mobility solutions enables businesses to improve employee productivity and efficiency, enhance business processes, reduce operating costs and gain competitive advantage. Our customers want to ensure their employees can be productive anywhere, anytime, which requires them to have access to the organization’s data and applications. This includes everyone from field sales reps who are always mobile, to office staff on a business trip or away from the office for another reason. The more connected employees are, the more productive and efficient they will be. Plus, mobility solutions enhance project collaboration and field service management, which is a big contributor to competitive advantage.
IN THE MIDDLE
Carlos Paz-Soldan, Tenet Computer Group: As a starting point, mobile solutions for business are (or could be) used to bring systems closer to the point of need or transaction. This allows businesses to be more efficient and responsive in the performance of traditional processes, and provides operational and tactical advantage to the business. For example, providing an outbound salesperson with immediate access to information while they are in front of a client would allow them to close a deal, initiate an order, or answer a query right
often times, technology is the least complex part of the issues they face, and managing organizational and behavioural change is the most. Carlos Paz-Soldan: People require the most attention, particularly when it comes to mobile devices, because of the variability in conditions of use (e.g. in the field under rain) and the hardware limitations (e.g. screen hard to read, no keyboard). Process is next. Computerizing a bad process just makes it easier to do bad work – mobility
“THE HANDHELD DEVICE IS ONLY AS GOOD AT THE INFRASTRUCTURE IT’S CONNECTED TO...SO OUR FIRST CONCERN IS A SOLID BACK END OFFERING.” – Robert Duvall then and there. However, mobile solutions can also provide strategic advantage to proactive organizations, by allowing them to create new ways to engage end-customers, enhancing brand perception, empowering staff and partners and enabling access to new markets.
Q: People - process - technology. Which do you find requires the most attention when you are working with a mobility client, and how do you address their needs? Michael Potwin: Each of our customers has a unique set of business challenges –
allows us to do bad work anytime anywhere! Workflow analysis is a great way to start, because it usually shows tasks that can be improved or eliminated (the “we’ve always done it this way” syndrome). Technology is the easiest area to address, or at least a lot more predictable than people and more controllable than processes. Robert Duvall: Process and technology are the two big elements to overcome. All the mobility products offer solid connectivity, so we need to push personal preferences for mobile devices to the side and talk about process. If you ask most people why they
choose iPhone over Android or Windows Phone, it would most likely be a personal, rather than a professional decision, but this can get costly. Features that are not built-in or “out of the box” may cost you quite a bit on the backend. Mary Ann Yule: I don’t think you can say definitively that one is more important than the other. Each is important to varying extents and depends on the needs of the organization and the individual, so they all require some level of attention. People use the mobility solutions, so it’s always important to pay attention to their needs. Many people are naturally attracted to what’s latest and greatest in mobility, but the really important issue is what they want and need to get out of a mobility solution, and how it fits with business needs such as collaboration, communication, productivity and cost-effectiveness. Business processes always require attention since a mobility solution can greatly enhance a process, but if not carefully selected or implemented, it can be an impediment. Sometimes a mobility solution works right out of the box, so to speak. But there may be technological limitations or new features that require the business process to be tweaked or even overhauled to work effectively and generate the expected benefits of mobility. Technology offers so much choice these days but to implement any solution efSeptember/October 2011 ITinCanada.com / 17
IN THE MIDDLE fectively requires attention to hardware, applications, network infrastructure and many other considerations.
Q: There are many different components of a mobility solution: back-end infrastructure and software, wireless connectivity plans, handheld devices, mobile applications, security and data management. Which of these components do your customers generally have and want to work with, and which do you typically bring to your customers?
bility. The handheld device is only as good at the infrastructure it’s connected to, or what it is capable of being connected to, so our first concern is a solid back end offering.
Q: Even with HP’s recent decision to backburner webOS, there are several different mobility platforms available to customers. Do you consider one to be better (or worse) than the others from a business deployment and management perspective and which do you recommend to your clients?
“OFTEN TIMES, TECHNOLOGY IS THE LEAST COMPLEX PART OF THE ISSUES OUR CLIENTS FACE, AND MANAGING ORGANIZATIONAL AND BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE IS THE MOST.” – Michael Potwin
Mary Ann Yule: All those components must be considered for every customer. However, when it comes to mobility, we can identify several key elements to any solution we bring to customers: mobile applications, like security and data management, are defined by the infrastructure. Ideally, it’s best to map out the business challenge and what the solution looks like, and then decide on the infrastructure requirement to implement it. Next, we define the extent of connectivity required (home, out of country, etc.) to ensure the solution is truly mobile. Finally, we consider which devices offer the required form and functionality, and work best under the infrastructure. Robert Duvall: The back-end infrastructure of a mobility solution is usually a Microsoft product running Exchange. A large part of our business is Small Business Server, and that particular product is geared for the mobile user. When we gain a new client who is small and in a workgroup setting, we start by having discussions on the back-end infrastructure. A question we start with is, “What problems do you find slow you down or cause your daily routine to be unproductive?” The answer usually starts off with email issues, then communication or collaboration, followed by remote access to the office. All of these things can be overcome in a short amount of time; the real issue is mo18 / IT in Canada September/October 2011
Carlos Paz-Soldan: Each platform has pluses and minuses, and they have to be evaluated based on the clients’ requirements. Some of the points to consider are: user considerations, such as usability, technology comfort level, degree of mobility, geographical span, language, localization, applications, personal use; device considerations, including display, input, power, peripherals, accessibility, environment, loca-
tion; connectivity considerations like cellular, Wi-Fi, carriers, coverage, data plans, speed; infrastructure considerations, such as integration, security, manageability, compliance, reliability; application considerations which would cover read-only versus update, push versus pull, authentication, authorization, disconnected operation, interoperability; and development considerations, such as platform, framework, native versus web versus mixed, user interface, device resources, etc. Robert Duvall: We recommend without a doubt a controlled OS. [Apps for] BlackBerry, iOS and Windows go through vigorous tests and must pass certain criteria before they are allowed to be published. Android, however, has none. Mary Ann Yule: Mobility platforms are becoming so advanced that any one can handle most business applications. The choice really depends on the nature of the customer’s business, and what they are trying to achieve. It’s important to determine what the solution will be used for and how it will be used. From this discussion, and a review of available options, the best choice will emerge.
EXTRA PERSPECTIVE Greg Tobin, general manager, D&H Canada “From a management standpoint, VARs need to be prepared to justify the complexity and value of their work in building a mobile platform. One of the biggest challenges is dealing with the end-user’s misconception that a wireless implementation is simply about changing a few default settings in their server, leading the end-user to under-value the expertise a reseller can bring to the table. Another hurdle is understanding the unique security aspects of mobility. The “bring your own device” trend adds a new layer of complexity to the workplace environment when employees introduce their personal devices in a corporate setting. Security creates the single biggest opening for error on the part of both the user in the mobile workplace, and the reseller selling to that market.”
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By Dave Chappelle
eShift uses iPhones to deliver nursing care in patients’ homes
How one nurse provides four patients with better care – from home
ackground: South West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) is one of 14 organizations created in legislation to provide assessment and care connections for people in the community. Although a large part of its work consists of support for seniors, CCAC helps people of all ages remain independent while recovering from illness. Provincially it supports over 600,000 people a year. On any given day its staff are looking after 15,000 in Southwest Ontario. The covered territory – southwest St. Thomas to Tobermory – is a five-hour drive from tip to tip. Included are 19 corporations, 32 hospital sites, 73 long-term care homes, and a huge network of other providers. The Centre connects with other organizations. Part of its funding is contract nursing and therapy, using groups like VON, Bayshore, and ParaMed to deliver in-home services. “How we deliver those services is slightly different based on population make-up and geography,” said Gordon Milak, South West CCAC senior director, performance management and accountability. “We’re a rural part of the country and there are challenges we face. Health-care technology must enable the team to achieve shared goals. When you’re in a community you’re not in a hospitable; you’re in their home. And you need to respect that. The eShift project helped us overcome that.” Additionally, some team members don’t see each other face-to-face. Decisions are made differently than in a hospital. For example, complex pediatric patients are medically fragile. They need monitoring to stay alive. Parents look after them mostly, and they need support while asleep. “We put in a nurse on night shift,” said Milak. “It’s been effective, but it’s a challenge. The nurse pool is shrinking, and graveyard shift is not the most popular. Legislation al20 / IT in Canada September/October 2011
Gordon Milak, South West CCAC
lows a nurse to teach a family member how to do certain tasks.” Technology: eShift began in 2007. The solution was developed jointly by CCAC, VON, Care Partners, and IT consultancy Sensory Technology. Piloted pediatrics followed in 2009, and in 2010 CCAC added palliative care. “We have tried some technology fixes in the past,” Milak said. “The adoption rate can be low. The focus can be on the tool. How do you support a professional caregiver to really do their job? They’re focused on the client. We wanted to leverage the experience of a good nurse across the community.” eShift is a program in which an iPhone application links the client caregiver to a registered nurse. Nurses harvest data through the iPhone that they use to monitor. While the application can be written to run on almost any electronic device, it’s the components of that unit that harvest the information necessary for the nurse to conduct an assessment. Management and delivery: With eShift, nursing care is provided eight hours a day, so the family caregiver can sleep. A nurse can be dispatched to the home within an hour. Instead of packing the client off to a hospital and waiting for a long time, a physician can review real-time data and make changes to medication and care plans, even from home if necessary. “We can now have one nurse to four clients, because the information harvested by the iPhone is being sent to a real-time portal.” When a client needs to see a physician in a hospital, that information is transmitted to bedside. “We can have a veteran nurse whose experience is worth gold, who may be at a point
when he/she’s not willing to do night shifts or travel,” said Milak. “He/she can work from home with an Internet connection and the four clients in their homes, anywhere. As long as there are nurses ready on call who can be dispatched in an hour, the monitoring nurse can be anywhere.” Business benefits: A large part of eShift‘s success revolves around how nurses and support workers changed the ways in which they interacted, working with provider agencies and CCAC for assessment and onboard quarterbacking. Milak is quick to credit Patrick Blanchard, principal of Sensory Technology: “Patrick’s responsive and intuitive. He has an innate ability to translate the language. Clinical people don’t understand technical jargon, and technical people don’t understand clinical jargon. Staring at a solution, you don’t know what questions to ask. If you don’t understand the workflows, introducing a new technology is pretty much a recipe for failure. That change-management component is absolutely critical.” While eShift hasn’t saved money, it’s increased the use of resources for the same amount, with higher quality and sustainability. “As the program grows we’re looking at cost equivalency on an hour-by-hour basis,” Milak said. “We’re able to cover more clients for no more investment. Clinicians are spending 100% of their workdays providing better quality care, that is financially and from an HR standpoint, sustainable.” As Milak observed, it’s always a very delicate balance. “Ultimately we’re guardians of our clients. We don’t take unnecessary risks. This program worked to full scope of practice within legislation of all colleges. At the end of the day we’re dealing with human beings. No individual can be cut and pasted – scenarios change every day and you’re being responsive to those you’re caring for.”
By Mary Allen
Solving for mobility via desktop virtualization AGF is getting out of the edge device business, delivering virtual apps instead to provide the ultimate mobility solution.
ackground: Canadian owned AGF is one of the few remaining independent investment companies. With assets under management of just over $48 billion, the firm has over 800 employees who have been heavy users of mobility technologies. Depending on job role, some employees were equipped with BlackBerry phones and/or remote access laptops, while the lure of consumerization enticed others to experiment with tablets. For AGF, the challenge was to draw all these technologies together in one overarching strategy via an enabling technology that could resolve many of the issues associated with mobility. AGF chose to implement desktop virtualization as its vehicle for turning any client device into a workplace tool for mobile productivity. Implementation: AGF has adopted a two-pronged approach to fulfill its mobile strategy. The firm currently has two pilots underway: the first entails delivery of all required apps (as opposed to remote delivery of specific apps or email) through Citrix’s XenDesktop to 200 office productivity workers; and the second involves deployment of 30 to 40 Apple iPads to sales staff, the group within AGF that was considered most likely to improve processes through use of a “consumption” device (the tablet). These pilots have advanced past proof-of-concept and are slated for complete production by the end of 2011. Ultimately, these two pilots will be brought together for full rollout of a virtual mobility solution across the firm. According to Joe Belinsky, VP technology services at AGF, the biggest challenge throughout the project has been recognizing the “user use cases and applications.” While this issue is not unique to desktop virtualization scenarios, it has been exacerbated by the firm’s need to move applications
and employees away from familiar PCs. However, by understanding and delivering exactly what people need in their daily work life, IT has brought this closer to resolution. Belinsky noted, “It’s all about good project management and user buy in,” which can be secured through creation of a superior user experience. For AGF, the “nirvana or end state,” Belinsky explained, is rollout of virtual desktop in the office on non-PC devices, replacing the PC with economical and eco-friendly thin client [AGF is currently evaluating Wyse and HP technologies] and other mobile devices. This plan is predicated on the spread of fast mobile networks: Belinsky noted, “4G or LTE is being rolled out as a network standard across Canada so that will bring cellular speeds that are comparable with Wi-Fi, if not faster. Now you have ubiquitous access at a high speed and richer content, so do you really need local content? What place is left where you need to be offline? This is why we’re trying to move away from the device and towards application delivery. As a corporation, we are looking to get out of the edge device business.” This shift involves a unified approach to device management, which Belinsky sees as critical to the success of AGF pilots, or indeed to any mobility deployment: “If you look at just one piece of it, and say, for example, that you want tablets in the enterprise – taking a singular view without altering some of the other components – you end up with more fragmentation, more data and potentially more places where it’s hard for people to move about and maintain access. This may solve some problems, but can create others.” Belinsky contrasts this kind of “tactical manoeuvre” with desktop virtualization, a simpler concept that skirts issues associated with device and data proliferation
Joe Belinsky, VP technology services, AGF
through secure delivery of desktop apps to any device – to ensure security, compliance and risk avoidance, critical concerns in the heavily regulated financial services sector. Belinsky said: “When we look at mobility, we try to eliminate the data footprint – ideally completely – on the mobile device.” By providing secure, policy-based authentication and access to corporate apps and unstructured data via virtualization, Belinsky’s team renders the device or USB security a moot point. Benefits: Centralized security management and the removal of corporate data from edge devices have removed many of the headaches for IT associated with securing multiple mobile devices. Belinsky also expects the enterprise will see cost savings “over the longer term” through a virtualized solution. But the biggest benefits are for the user, who will enjoy access from wherever via the virtual desktop, as well as a more fluid work experience as the desktop is always on – no time is spent on PC boot up, opening/closing windows, etc. as all apps and sessions remain open – and the desktop is exactly the same, no matter which device is used for access. For Belinsky, this consistent work experience, which is device and location agnostic, represents the ultimate mobile solution. September/October 2011 ITinCanada.com / 21
FROM THE INQUIRY DESK
By Mary Allen
The IT in Canada inquiry desk reviews what’s hot and what’s not in Canadian mobile banking. Christie Christelis is CEO of Technology Strategies International, a technology strategy and market analysis firm that focuses on the payment and the mobile sectors, areas that Christelis has been tracking for 16 years. IT in Canada asked Christelis for his views on adoption trends in the Canadian mobile banking scene; an abridged version of that discussion follows.
Everyone seems to be talking “mobility”, but what does this mean in a banking context?
Mobile adoption in banking can mean use of any phone that’s got web capability and can go into the backend and do the same things as on a PC. Another view involves tracking specific usage of different things on the user’s mobile phone. This really took off at the beginning of last year, when the major banks started running mobile apps for the Blackberry, iPhone and other devices. CIBC was first out of the gate and there was a lot of interest; TD apparently has the biggest number of downloads to date across all banks. I think some statements claim 750,000 downloads in the first six months. Mobile banking is being introduced in stages, and the banks have been very deliberate in what they’ve been doing. First off, they wanted to get the consumer familiar with online banking and they see mobile banking as an extension of this. Once the primary relationship link with a client is through a mobile phone, the next step is to extend this to payments. Ultimately, they expect that the mobile user will use their phone for banking and payments, and they are using mobile banking to build trust in the system. It’s one thing to have an app and it’s another thing to get consumers to 22 / IT in Canada September/October 2011
use it with trust. They have to have all of their ducks in a row to make sure that it is a bulletproof process.
IT in Canada: If mobile banking is an extension of online banking that will ultimately lead to mobile payments, does that replace credit card systems? Christelis: To a certain extent. The one thing the banks have realized over the years is that when a new channel emerges, as much as they would like it to replace an existing channel, they end up having to support all of the channels. They learned the lesson that you don’t take away branches because you have ATMs, online or telephone banking. There will be some kind of a dynamic between the online and physical worlds – we’re not likely to see the demise of the physical credit card any time soon. What happens if your phone runs out of power, if it hangs up or something like that? Your wallet is your fallback position. And the other point with credit cards is that even if the card is replaced in the physical world, the credit card credentials will still be on the phone or maybe in a mobile wallet.
IT in Canada: You’d have the same kind of identification and the same kind of accounting. Christelis: Yes. The secure element will contain all of those important details to complete a transaction using your phone. It becomes a virtual cloud then. Different approaches to mobile wallet will depend on who the issuer of the mobile wallet is, but I think eventually whoever that is will need to accept all brands of cards or payment mechanisms. People don’t want to have a VISA wallet and a MasterCard wallet and an Interac wallet – that’s too inconvenient for the consumer.
IT in Canada: Can we move to the issue of trust? What do the banks have to do to make consumers comfortable with the mobile channel? Christelis: What do I have to do to prove to you I’m not a liar? I have to tell you something and you have to see that it is true a few times to build up trust. If I tell you 10 things and nine are true but one is a lie, I’m still branded as a liar. The banks have to be very vigilant about what they do in terms of security. I don’t think that there’s any major bank in Canada that is unaware of the issues around security and mobility. Perceptions are fuelled by some of the big stories that are reported in the press, and though there have been mobile breaches, there are in fact many more substantial online breaches. But the banks have been at the online banking scene for a long time and the mobile experience shouldn’t be vastly less secure than the online channel. I haven’t heard one report of a mobile banking hack in Canada. Continued on page 27
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Beyond mobility: Trailcon doesn’t just use tablets, they depend on them
By Christopher Rogers
From built in digital cameras to barcode scanners, Motion Computing’s tablets help Trailcon ditch paper and go real-time.
ablets get so much hype in the consumer space that it’s easy to forget about all the different business applications they can fulfill. Motion Computing, a tablet-based solutions specialist, has developed a number of devices for industries ranging from healthcare to construction that help remind us. Motion’s solutions may not have the sleek looks of the consumer tablets and their feature set is different. Some models are equipped with handles for portability, as well as many docking appliances, cameras, Wi-Fi and mobile broadband options, even bar code scanners. Motion’s tablets are also built for use on the Windows 7 platform, allowing companies to easily build and integrate a solution on to the devices. One industry where Motion has found a niche is transportation. Motion’s devices have helped a field that wouldn’t appear to need a mobile computing solution, let alone a tablet solution. But Motion’s devices have helped Mississauga-based Trailcon Leasing realize real-time data management, maintain up-to-date records and enhance customer satisfaction along the way. Trailcon is a transport trailer rental, leasing and service company with operations in Ontario, Alberta and BC. Stuart Innes, IT manager at Trailcon, said that the company maintains its own fleet, and extends the life of its equipment through employment of mobile mechanics who are deployed into the field to service equipment. “In order for us to maintain the equipment like we do, we rely a lot on technology, reporting and algorithms that are built into the software,” Innes said. The software helps Trailcon monitor everything from equipment condition to parts inventory. Prior to tablet deployment, Trailcon was plagued by a paper-heavy workflow that was ineffective at tracking inventory and caused 24 / IT in Canada September/October 2011
delays in invoicing and collection. Trailcon’s team of mobile mechanics also needed a solution that could help them while on the road. Before implementation, there was a significant delay in in the transfer of paper from mechanics in the field to the head office. Innes said that he has been testing different tablet hardware for at least 10 years, but has found a number of common problems including software integration. His first experience with Motion Computing came when he was shown the C5, Motion’s healthcare tablet. When Motion developed and released the F5, a more ruggedized tablet that keeps the C5’s handle design, Innes took another look. Trailcon’s intended use of the devices required that the screens be highly visible outdoors and the F5’s screens were the best the company had tested. But the first F5 model Trailcon deployed was not ruggedized, and Innes admits the price was alarming at first. Innes said Trailcon tested the first F5’s for six months – “we put them through hell” – and Trailcon made sure Motion knew what was working and what wasn’t. In the end, the speed and accuracy with which mobile workers were able to complete tasks was the true benefit. The addition of peripherals such as bar-code scanners and built-in cameras was another reason for adoption. The inclusion of a mobile broadband option in the first F5 allowed the mobile mechanics to take the devices on the road. Innes said the first F5 was limited to use with an integrated Telus SIM card but the new F5v allows Trailcon to use its carrier or choice. Trailcon’s tablet fleet is now made up of approximately 70% F5v’s and 30% F5s. The F5v is ruggedized and the screen uses Gorilla
Glass. Innes said it’s important for the field mechanics to have a tablet that can withstand a tool being dropped on it. One of the most important aspects of the deployment was helping Trailcon’s existing software solution to work with the tablets. For this, Trailcon used a version of G&C Software Solution’s Unit Management Systems. As a Motion Computing partner, G&C developed a solution that allowed Trailcon employees to update systems in real time. Innes commented on the solution’s intuitiveness: “It’s all based on drag and drop technology…[our employees] see a picture of a mobile mechanic, with his name and number, and when they mouse over top it tells them exactly what he’s doing. It’s all real-time.” Other use scenarios for Trailcon include physical checks before and after equipment is returned. Innes said it is a lot like renting a car except the tablet allows Trailcon to do all paperwork in real time. Digital pictures of damage can be taken using the tablet and connected to the report. He said the process makes things easier on Trailcon’s service department, support staff and on its clients. Innes said that Trailcon has been good at keeping up with the flow of new technology. So much so that by the time Motion releases the next F-series, Innes is sure he’ll have some suggestions for them.
Continued from page 10
He wouldn’t say how fast an upload Rogers’ new network would support, however. Even if Rogers’ LTE infrastructure is appreciably faster on the uplink than HSPA+ is, the carrier won’t be alone for long. Competitors including Bell have announced plans to build their own LTE systems. So does Rogers actually have a genuine competitive advantage? Duncan Stewart, director of research for technology, media and telecom at Deloitte Canada, said yes – and no. “Being first to market always matters a little bit.” But “as we know, if the other guys want to build their own LTE networks they can – and they do. We’re seeing that in the United States, Europe and Asia. I cannot think of any geography where LTE has been launched by a single provider and the competitors have not followed relatively rapidly.” Bell spokesperson Albert Lee said the company will launch LTE in certain markets by the end of the year, but “we can’t comment further on future plans.”
Continued from page 13
strategy is,” Wong urged. “Can you serve both communities?” Small businesses can simplify this issue by asking their telco for a standard package. The cheapest method is to put mobile security into your business conduct guideline and security policy.
Personal vs corporate “There isn’t one wonderful tool that will do enterprise mobile security management,” said Wilkey. “Technology isn’t at the level for securing iPhones yet. Securing the tablets is happening more.” A typical Blackberry is more powerful than the computer that sent man to the moon. Besides being a potential HR issue and an individual’s PC, the device often must serve both corporate guidelines and personal use – the catch is, where does one end and one begin? If there is a problem with a device, how can one know it wasn’t the corporate app that caused the issue? Wong found a Bluetooth program that transfers a file from the tablet onto a PC. When downloading, most people see the app
NETWORKING & COMMUNICATIONS
Saskatchewan developments Meanwhile Bell announced in June that it’s introducing HSPA+ service in Saskatchewan, providing higher data download speeds to 98% of the urban and rural population. The network enhancement is the result of a roaming agreement with SaskTel, which is expanding its own HSPA+ footprint across the province. The company has been rolling out improved wireless service regularly throughout 2011, with an eye towards completely upgrading the network across the province by the end of the year. SaskTel had already deployed HSPA+ to 102 locations by early August. In the future, SaskTel plans to introduce dual-cell HSPA+. Already employed by Bell and Telus, dual-cell effectively doubles the network’s capabilities, affording theoretical download speeds of 42 Mbps. “We are working on that right now,” said Andy Tate, SaskTel’s media spokesperson. SaskTel is also looking into deploying LTE technology. But it’s too soon to for the carrier
to specify its plans, Tate said. Telus, meanwhile, is expanding its services in Manitoba. The company’s two new cell towers in Oakbank and Dugald – plus upgrades to 42 existing wireless sites near Winnipeg – represent a 15% increase in total 4G (read: HSPA+) coverage in the province since February. Telus did not meet requests for an interview by press time. If LTE provides faster uploads than HSPA+, as Barber from Rogers claims it does, the technology could be an important element in supporting organizations’ cloud-computing systems; travelling executives, sales folks on the go and other mobile users will want to interact with data and correspondents through the cloud – and that calls for symmetrical upload/download network capabilities. “Trying to run mobile enterprise applications in the cloud, I need a robust high-speed network,” said Deloitte’s Stewart. “If cloud computing is the future of technology, you need LTE.”
SKILLS SERVICE DELIVERY wanting access to storage, and grant default permission to everything. “All this particular program does is transfer files – it wants access to storage. Great. Then network permission. Sure, then it wants access to emails, and permission to make outbound calls. Look at the history behind some of these applications – this one was out of China. God knows who wrote it. If this wasn’t gathering information, I don’t know what is.” Loss of the smartphone when there’s no password lock or encryption is especially dangerous. In that case, the finder has everything, and can take the memory chip out and look at it on a PC. So Wong recommends that companies consider remote wiping. Organizations are advised to be careful with wiping though, because some devices will automatically wipe after 10 failed login attempts – that may be executed by a legitimate user.
Training and Certification Do you need someone trained in every single security tool and application? That’s the biggest challenge from a cost perspective.
“The IT person needs to be trained to audit capability, software pushes, and device management,” said Wilkey. “When first setting up, creating a script of what the repeatable processes are to be [is key]. For example, a customer may want to give employees and corporate devices the ability to work. First though, they will want to ensure the employees have read the policies. So as part of user registration for the mobile device, they need to read that policy, or say that it was read, and once that happens, they can have access. The team sends an email, and the security policies are pushed down to that device, which is registered and set to go. It’s typically not the data center or monitoring teams; it’s more of an application management team doing the controls.” Another thing many companies miss is risk awareness. “That’s probably the most overlooked measure,” Wong said. “The average user does not know. They don’t want to know. At a quarterly, annual, or semi-annual meeting, spend half an hour on uses and misuses of company assets.” September/October 2011 ITinCanada.com / 25
By Mary Allen
Tablets complete the mobile vision at SAC Fujitsu tablet PCs allow the boys at St. Andrews to add sketch and pen schematics to their electronic notebooks.
ackground: One of Canada’s oldest independent boy’s schools, Aurora-based St. Andrews College (SAC) prides itself on its early (1990s) integration of technology into educational programming. In 2002/03, the school embarked on a mission to create a mobile environment for students, faculty and staff members through laptop deployment, empowered by what SAC director of IT Steve Rush describes as a “tipping point” in the development of enabling wireless networking technologies, Internet capability and device battery life. Since then, the school has stayed the mobile course, but adopted tablets to meet the students’ need to view and create different onscreen media, and provide faculty with a multi-functional device for building “daybooks” – an online replacement for the traditional classroom text. Implementation: In its initial pilot with a faculty group, St. Andrews experimented with another tablet that was sluggish, slow to reboot and prone to freezing. Ultimately, the school purchased over 700 LifeBook T 5010 Tablet PCs, Fujitsu’s convertible laptop/tablet running on Windows, which proved more reliable and robust – critical attributes in an educational environment where failure can disrupt the classroom and where device handling may be more slapdash. St. Andrews’ choice was also determined by speed – the device had to be capable of running media arts software as well as GIS and accounting software: as Rush explained, “We wanted a full featured laptop, but we also wanted the slate functionality of the pen.” The LifeBook’s pen capability addressed one of St. Andrews’ primary goals in adopting tablet technology – enabling students (and faculty) to draw schematic diagrams or sketch notes as 26 / IT in Canada September/October 2011
Steve Rush, Director IT, St. Andrew’s College
required in classes such as math and science where more than text is needed. Tablets also helped the school to drive the functionality of Microsoft’s OneNote, an Office application that the school had adopted six years earlier. According to Rush, “it was the perfect application for students because it’s really just a notebook online that allowed us to get text, images, and diagramming, in an archaic way, and compile student notes in one place... and give up the binder and the paper.” OneNote was also used by teachers to compile all the resources needed for lessons in one online daybook. However, with introduction of the tablet, St. Andrews was able to offer pen functionality to add the input of penned images to the text, audio, photo and video media contained in students’ virtual binders. Rush describes OneNote as a “free form relational database” that is easily searchable, saves automatically and imperceptibly, and which students can use as “an electronic notebook” that may contain live links to further resources. Rush manages an IT team of five which is responsible for all maintenance and repair work on the school’s IT assets, and helps with user training – device setup (email, use of OneNote and the school’s assignment “turn in” site ) for new students and best practice in use of technology in the classroom for faculty. To prepare for tablet
deployment, the IT staff engaged in “the usual” network administration tasks, such as set up and testing of email accounts and passwords. By providing the same type of laptop/tablet device to all school members, IT has simplified user training and reduced pressure on the network and on the administrative support that would have been required for multiple devices. Laptop/tablet uniformity has had an additional benefit: Rush’s department has been able to keep all parts needed for repair work on premise in five additional laptops so repair is typically completed within the hour. Rush advises organizations considering tablet deployment to keep it simple, and to “prepare for disaster” with repair capabilities on location. St. Andrews runs IT according to the “three minute rule”: Rush explained, “If teachers can’t get the technology working in a timely manner, they will abandon it.” So IT must do everything possible in procurement and maintenance to ensure reliability. Benefits: Each constituent at St. Andrews has benefited from the tablet deployment. As Rush notes, students work in a customized, paperless environment that they are comfortable with at home, on the road or in the classroom. Teachers have gained access to a wealth of “all the time” resources to build courses based on personally selected multimedia materials. IT staff have to deal with one image only so if a student appears with a virus or other problem, the tablet can be quickly reimaged with stored network files. According to Rush, “troubleshooting time is kept to a minimum, while uptime for user productivity is maintained at maximum.” And for St. Andrews, tablets are helping the school train students for a very different mobile workplace – for careers of the future – to fulfill broad educational commitments.
PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY Continued from page 14
complish this matching, Gupta believes that we are “still in early days” and that for now, social media is the most useful vehicle: “today, users are primarily discovering new applications through their network, which in turn is being facilitated by Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels, where people recommend, refer or share apps. Informal networks, such as at a dinner party are another means.... it’s not about searching 500,000 apps [on an app store site] to make sure you’ve got the best one, but rather about finding apps that are good for what you are trying to achieve.” According to Gupta, users discover apps by “asking around, sending out a question on Facebook or tweeting for a suggestion.” This social approach has been adopted by some platform providers – Apple, for example, has a feature called Genius that is essentially a recommendation engine,
which suggests new apps for purchase based on the individual (and/or friends’) download history, and there is no shortage of app blogs and review sites (ex. Android Tapp) devoted to each platform. Whole new services are building around the social promotion of apps – a site, such as appbackr, for example, is in the business of locating wholesale app investors who offer social network promotion of the app as part of their contracts. Beyond app discovery, personalization can also refer to how apps are organized and managed on a specific device. On this score, personalization is more current capability than future expectation. On Motorola’s flagship ATRIX 4G smartphone, for example, apps can be segmented into recently used (which puts frequently used apps like calendar or phone dialler at the top of the list) and downloaded (which strips out native
applications that come with the phone) views, and new app groupings can be created for specific use cases. A folder might be created for games, or a work project based on the user’s personal logic and these apps transferred to a new window. The goal, as Dave Petrou, director, sales and business development at Motorola Mobility Canada, says is “to provide the flexibility needed to manage the multiple apps that you may have downloaded and make apps easier to access and to consume.” Additionally, the phone’s main icons (excluding the menu button), which remain visible on every panel, can be assigned to any app, tailoring set up to user preferences and adding ease of use. The device, then, can be configured to respond to individual taste, habits or work needs, providing the hardware component to management of the app wild west.
FROM THE INQUIRY DESK Continued from page 22
IT in Canada: Besides the trust issue, what are the other hurdles in Canada? Are cell phone fees a barrier to adoption? Christelis: Absolutely, but this is purely an elasticity of demand issue and I don’t think it specifically focuses on banking or payment. While users are likely to use data less because it costs more in Canada than in most jurisdictions around the world, I don’t think it’s a killer issue. If you think about smart phone penetration here, it is broadly based though skewed to people that can afford data plans. The incremental costs of online banking are probably not that significant right now, but could have an impact on your data fees if you are doing a lot of banking every day.
IT in Canada: It’s interesting that Canadians are viewed as laggards with technol-
ogy adoption in comparison to the U.S., but are one of the highest adopters of smartphones in the world – despite high data fees. So I think it will be really interesting to see how mobile banking plays out in Canada. Christelis: Absolutely. Part of our acceptance of online banking has to do with the fact that it is a lot easier here. If you think about the global success of ATMs and Interac, it was because we had only 10 senior bankers to sit around the table. It would be impossible to do the same thing in the States because they have different standards for all the debit cards that are issued by the smaller players.
IT in Canada: Do you think there will be the same kind of cooperation between banks in the mobility space that there was around creation of the Interac system?
Christelis: No, there’s no real need for that. With the Interac system, they were setting up the network in a two-sided market so it was very important for them to agree on the way forward, whereas with mobile banking this is not a requirement. As mobile payments become more pervasive, there may be a greater need as we would be dealing with again with a two-sided market. Part of the mobile payment scene is going into Near Field Communications, which requires that acceptance devices hold the NFC capability. Depending on how mobile payments are handled in a non-NFC environment, there may be a need on the acquiring side as well for collaboration in certain areas. But right now, the banks don’t really want to collaborate.
September/October 2011 ITinCanada.com / 27
NEW IN SOCIAL
PERSPECTIVE AND INVECTIVE from the IT in Canada Forum
The IT in Canada IT Forum is Canada’s most active source of IT-focused social content. Here’s a sampling... TAKING ONTARIO MOBILE: RESEARCHERS SEEK INPUT Posted: 2 days, 7 hours ago... Started by: vroberts... Forum: Interconnected.... Views: 53…Replies: 1 Mobile phones, whether feature or smart devices, have evolved from being simple telephone communication devices to becoming critical and pervasive life management tools. Researchers, led by President Sara Diamond of OCAD University and Vera Roberts of the Inclusive Design Research Centre and funded by the Ministry of Research and Innovation, are investigating actions that government, industry and academia can take to develop a fully mobile Ontario for residents through the Taking Ontario Mobile Project. Mobility is not simply about the number of devices deployed…it is the capacity to move seamlessly through work, leisure and personal life wherever one is located. The design of infrastructure, services and systems can allow individuals to become mobile even without a device…[to gain] access to emerging mobile verticals, such as mHealth medical expertise, mLearning, mGovernment services, mFinance and mCommerce, mobile business support, culture and entertainment, mobile emergency response or environmental control technologies… Individuals across all sectors are encouraged to respond to the industry and consumer Taking Ontario Mobile surveys even if they do not yet use mobile technologies. Respondents will be entered in a draw to win one of three Windows smartphones. The survey will only be open until October 14th so please respond today and help shape the future of mobile technologies in Ontario. 28 / IT in Canada September/October 2011
Visit http://www.trra.ca/TOM to participate Reply: • Quick update - at IT in Canada’s request, Dr. Roberts has agreed to extend the survey deadline until the 21st. There are actually two surveys - one for users of mobile information, and one for professionals in the commerce/retail/finance/services, education, entertainment, and health sectors. The main link leads to both.
LEARN ABOUT WINDOWS 8 Posted: 2 weeks, 2 days ago... Started by: Nubee... Forum: Skills & Delivery.... Views: 1,544... Replies: 2 Microsoft revealed its new operating system yesterday. Attendees of its annual BUILD developer conference received shiny new tablets loaded with preview versions of Windows 8, which will be available for both tablets and desktops about a year from now. The post below from Alex Willhelm provides an in-depth (3,000 word!) first-look and from Mary Jo Foley we get the condensed version. And if you’d like to view today’s keynote address, go to the BUILD conference site.
Links: Hands on with Windows 8 Alex Willhelm | 13 September 2011 thenextweb.com/microsoft/2011/09/13/ hands-on-with-windows-8/ Microsoft’s Windows 8: Here’s what we now know (and don’t) Mary Jo Foley | 13 September 2011 www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsofts...-know-and-dont/10608 Replies: • In my post from earlier today I mentioned that Windows 8 will be available for both tablets and desktop when it is released next year. In a rather quick and forward looking post, Zach Epstein suggests today’s move by Microsoft “ushers in the post-post-PC era”: ... The PC was the future, and it let people perform functions they never thought possible. Then the tablet was the future, and it let people interact with content in ways they never thought possible. Now, the future means all things to all people. I’ve mentioned it before on several occasions, but the point is much easier to make now that Microsoft has given the world a better look at its vision of the near-term fu-
NEW IN SOCIAL
ture of computing. PCs are not going away. They will continue to be the primary means of computing for business and consumers alike. Tablets are not going away, either. They will continue to provide a much more intuitive way to interact with a consumer electronics device. Microsoft’s vision, however, unifies these devices. One platform to rule them all. Apple paved the way but Microsoft will get there first with Windows 8... • Windows 8 has the potential to be really cool, and to be a real headache for users. When the familiar desktop becomes just an app (shades of Windows 3.1), and the method of interacting with the OS changes completely, it will inevitably rattle a few cages. Fortunately, though the look is different, keyboard and mouse still work as expected. There are just additional ways to interact with the computer, especially one with a touch screen. The OS is not fully baked yet, and things will change between now and shipping date, but it looks promising.
GOOGLE VS. FACEBOOK (ROUND 2): GOOGLE+ Posted: 1 week, 1 day ago... Started by: James Burchill... Forum: Digital Life.... Views: 213... Replies: 2 About a year ago, Google launched ‘Buzz,’ a social network that in many ways mimics Twitter and was, of course, immediately touted throughout the blogosphere as a ‘Twitter Killer.’…Now Google has announced the
Google+ Project (or Google Plus Project). Again, the blogosphere is claiming that this will be a ‘Facebook killer’ or that Google is ‘going head to head with FB.’ The headlines sound great, but in reality, this new social network from Google does neither. === What is Google+? …Basically, it’s a social network based on your Google account’s contacts. You can create Circles of friends, family, co-workers, and so forth as you wish. Those in your social network can be in more than one Circle, but each circle cannot see things posted or announced to other Circles. So your family sees what you post there, but your friends don’t. …You can open video chats via Gmail (called ‘Hangouts’) with one person or a whole Circle of friends. Unlike standard chat sessions, however, these are built on a sort of front porch model. The idea is that you make yourself ‘available’ to a friend, a Circle, or everyone and those you’ve made yourself available to will see that. They can strike up a conversation via IM or video chat and one or several can join in. This potentially makes for a fun, casual way to communicate akin to the real world ‘front porch’. Mobile sharing is also a big deal for Google+ with a lot of facilitation for making it easy and fast to share mobile content. Videos, pictures, etc. can be uploaded immediately via most platforms - including location sharing. It’s also got a ‘Huddle’ feature that allows for group messaging to create plans or coordinate get togethers. Check it out via your Google Account by going to plus.google.com…
Replies: • Not all corners of the blogosphere are proclaiming Google+ to be a killer of anything, except maybe Orkut (which Google launched in 2004). Daya Bayans of Webguild is particularly scathing. In his post, “Who Is Really Using Google+” he says: “Beside folks in India, Google employees are the only ones ‘really’ using Google+. That’s because their bonuses are tied to it. Hence, they are forcing family and friends to use it. They benefit everytime you use it. You don’t. They want you to spend your time making them rich. They actually believe that you are that stupid.” Bayans goes on to link to a PBS article by Dan Reimold, professor at University of Tampa, who says in Google+ Social Media Upstart ‘Worse than a Ghost Town’, “Google+ is dead. At worst, in the coming months, it will literally fade away to nothing or exist as Internet plankton. At best, it will be to social networking what Microsoft’s Bing is to online search: perfectly adequate; fun to stumble onto once in awhile; and completely irrelevant to the mainstream web.” • ...and sure enough, just as I hit the “post” button I got an email with another, important perspective. From Citi Investment Research and Analysis, via a post in AllThingsD, comes a chart that illustrates the ascendence of Facebook, and why Google would feel compelled to counter:
If you want to check out the IT Forum yourself, you can find it at www.itforumexchange.com (or simply by clicking on the Forums link at the top any page on IT in Canada, www.itincanada.ca). While you’re there, why don’t you register (it’s free) and join the debate?
By Michael O’Neil
Big data and its big carbon impact Dell Canada country manager Paul Cooper provides his views on freeing up budget for IT-enabled innovation and providing support for mobile environments.
ontext: Paul Cooper is the country manager for Dell Canada, and also heads up the company’s public sector sales team. Cooper recently took time to talk with IT in Canada CCO Michael O’Neil about how buyers budget for (and look for returns on) IT-enabled innovation, and how mobility is changing the ways in which IT delivers service to internal and external customers.
Michael O’Neil: In our research, we have found that IT managers have two discrete requirements: to manage the costs and throughput of their business-as-usual technology, and to tap into the technologies that offer the promise of enhanced IT delivery. What are you seeing customers do to upgrade their core delivery capability while simultaneously conserving budgets for new projects? Paul Cooper: We see a few broad themes. The first is standardization: ensuring that you haven’t allowed for a proliferation of various devices, operating systems and applications. The second piece is virtualization, which is applicable to servers, to storage, and to client technologies. As customers go through the virtualization cycle, they often find an opportunity to consolidate – to reduce the cost associated with maintaining physical servers and storage and real estate. And then the final step we see them taking is driving to a greater state of automation. When we see customers move down that path—and it is a journey, you don’t just move one day to the end state – the outcome is often that they have dramatically shifted their spend ratios. They’ve gone from 80:20 30 / IT in Canada September/October 2011
management capabilities that are appliancebased or enterprise-wide that will help them manage mobile devices in a way that previously wouldn’t have been possible. While they may not be standardized in terms of the way they present to the corporation or the entity, they are common and similar – meaning that both sides of that requirement are served in terms of the solution delivery.
O’Neil: That seems like a really interesting take on mobility. So the way that you apply standardization to that is through the system management level layer as opposed to the device layer? Cooper: Right. Through virtualization you Paul Cooper, country manager, Dell Canada
[operations/maintenance vs. innovation] all the way to a 50:50 scenario. And they typically use those dollars that are freed up to find areas in which they can innovate – in service delivery, in how they access their customers, or how they support their customers – to create competitive advantage.
O’Neil: That’s a great prescription. Let’s apply it to mobility – which seems at this point to run counter to your standardization goal, since we are seeing a proliferation of devices and operating systems. What are your customers investing in, and why are they investing in it? Cooper: We’re seeing customers – and users – demanding that they have anytimeanywhere access to information, to applications and to services…and we’ve spent a lot of time developing and acquiring system
can create images that are consumer-centric versus corporate, and which can apply across all form factors that are currently in the marketplace. The underlying theme is this concept of bring your own device – the consumer experience encroaching on the corporate world is unstoppable. We saw it first in education, which is probably logical, since students don’t tend to understand the need for a standard; they just want to bring whatever device they like using or happen to have in their hand into that school. So we saw it first there, but now we’re seeing it in healthcare, we’re seeing it in other corporate environments, and I would say, in three to five years it will be the de facto standard in terms of how people operate. If you are interested in reading more from the interview with Dell Canada country manager Paul Cooper, the full transcript is available through IT in Canada’s download site at http://tinyurl.com/wpdownloads.
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