Finally a new technology to restore sound quality and cure my ears!

Strangely, as technology generally is supposed to improve quality and performance, it has been the opposite in the music/audio industry. death of sound Quality

Sound reproduction quality reduced when technology moved from vinyl to CDs, and again reduced even more dramatically when moving from CDs to mp3 or other compressed digital audio format. Sound quality regular music listeners on most personal users devices, be it smartphone, mp3 player, computers, TV, audio system etc are worst today that it was 50 years ago… mp3 compression or streaming audio loses as much as 80 to 90% of original recorded sound quality…and it seems young generation does not really care, even when they spend more time than any other generation before listening to music, specially on their smartphone. Clearly mobility is more important.
Most young people don’t buy CDs anymore but download compressed digital music or listen to streaming music; Beyonce last album for the holidays was downloaded 2 Millions time in 2 weeks, a new record, but not for long. CDs sales are going down and down and down.
ponoAs I was a sound engineer in a past life, this keeps bothering me… I have been looking for a long time at Neil Young "PONO" project of trying to launch and market for a download service with a new technology reproducing high quality studio recordings, but it has been delayed and delayed, as it seems he did not find the right investor, probably due to a weak business model and a high price point … everybody does not have Steve Jobs Marketing genius.
BUT TIME HAS FINALLY COME! signal doctor
Harman International announced yesterday at CES a software solution "HARMAN Signal Doctor", based on HTML5, Java and CSS, that automatically analyze and upgrade the audio quality of of compressed digital music files to restore the original sounds as it was recorded !
I have not been trying it yet but it seems this doctor is finally going to cure my hears.
Problem is, to be cured by Signal Doctor, you will have to buy a new Harman product for your home or for your car. However I suppose in a short term they may OEM their technology broadly to be embedded on other audio brands, and they even talk about marketing it as a mobile phone app, this could make this company rich, as I suppose everyone is going to want it, finally reuniting  Mobility and Audio Quality, this is THE Solution I was looking for, or am I the lonely  survivor concerned about sound quality ?

Sound-Quality-300x187

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Is your datacenter ready for BYOD ? (Bring-Your-Own-Device)

byod-tshirt1I remember a time where my employer was paying for my mobile phone, my laptop and my internet provider…With the reduction of IT budgets and the evolution of mobile technologies, the times are changing and the working habits are changing: the time of carrying 2 phones, your personal phone and a phone provided by your employer, and the time of the employer providing a free smartphone you may like, those times are over, and therefore more and more people are now bringing their own mobile device, smartphone, tablet or laptop, to their workplace, and more and more companies implement a Bring-Your-Own-Device policy  (BYOD).

However it means IT has to manage new and more devices; In a budget perspective it means IT is replacing CAPEX (Capital expenses) for OPEX (Operational Expenses).

A recent survey from CDW, shows that IT managers surveyed report that 89% of their employees use personally owned mobile devices for work.

But is your enterprise ready for it? And is your Datacenter ready for BYOD?

BYOD requires a strategy, process and policies, as well as hardware BYOD_Challenges-Securityand software platforms, and applications, to secure, support and manage these new devices and endpoints.

So what are the challenges facing your organization?

What are your user’s expectations?

What are the benefits for your organisation?

What do you have to do to be successful?

 

1- The Challenges facing your organization and Datacenter

A new survey conducted in EMEA showed that 70% of the enterprises surveyed allowed their employee to bring their own devices, 40% allowing access to corporate applications and 30% allowing only access to internet.

First challenges that come to mind are, of course are bout security and bandwidth, in fact they come in that order: Employee device introducing a virus, Employee losing a device with critical data, Employee staling data.. but there are more. Here are the details results of this survey about those challenges:

– 20%: Securely connect employee deviceBYOD challenges aruba-networks-study-byod-emea-illo05

– 18%: Ensure mobile device security

– 16%: Establish a corporate policy for acceptable use

– 14%: Enforce access rights, based on user, device and application

– 11%: Build enough wireless coverage and capacity (bandwidth)

– 10%: Avoid the use of more IT resources

– 9%: Evaluate the business benefit relative to risk

We can add a few more challenges you will be facing like policy enforcement, physical theft, malware prevention, IT support increase, storage infrastructure readiness, education …

 

2- What are the benefits of BYOD for your organization?

The BYOD brings some challenges but also provide some benefits:

– Increase in employees productivity and job satisfaction

– Reduced number of devices to purchase and support

– Reduced set-up and training time and cost, employees using devices and tools they like and know how to use

– Reduce maintenance of devices (employees take better care of their personal devices)

– Improve communication between field and office personnel as well as increased availability to customers – resulting in better customer service.

– Improve Work-Life balance of your workforce

The CDW survey also shows that 67% of small business mobile device users believe their company would lose competitive ground without mobile devices, and 94% believe their mobile devices make them more efficient.

85% of IT managers believe that mobile devices make their company more efficient.

 

3- What are the users expectations?

Based on a Forester research, 60% of companies offer BYOD, and Gartner predicts it will be 90% by 2014, accessing company data with at least 2 mobile devices.

BYOD-large1Users love to be able to use their own device at work, not to carry multiple devices, they understand the security, policies and management challenges it generate, however they hate having to keep entering 8 digits passwords for each app., specially when it requires special characters (!)

The chart describe quite well some of the key users expectations:

– Users do not want their personal data to risk to be wiped-out

– Users do not want to have to enter enterprise passwords for personal apps

– Users want to be able to keep using personal apps as facebook, twitter, iCloud, Pandora, Spotify, dropbox etc.

Best scenario would be to create virtual separation on mobile devices applying different policies to personal and company data.

 

4- What do you have to do to be successful?

Define a BYOD StrategyBYOD_v2

Create and communicate clear and strong policies and guidelines

Educate your employees on Cybersecurity

Plan for network bandwith and storage

Secure personal mobile devices to protect your network and data accordingly

Implement a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution.

Implement a Mobile Application Management (MAM) solutions

Other option is to contract a managed service solution from a service providers, ie in the cloud managed services solution

Approve any mobile device being used in your business

Have a separate network designed solely for BYOD devices

Optimize your web platform for mobile devices and offer mobile apps for your business to your employee and to your clients

Monitor results: security, performance, resources, cost, employee and customer satisfaction.

 

In summary, Does BYOD make sense for all businesses? Probably not. Different organisations have different business needs and security requirements and Risk policies.

Does it always provide all benefits promised? Probably not. Some businesses will get more benefits than others. As an example, about Capex vs Opex expenditures, Kris Lovejoy, VP of IBM IT Risk Management, declared at the recent Reboot Ottawa Conference that IBM spends more on securing and managing employees purchased devices than they do on those provided by the company, even when cost of the device has been factored in.

BYOD has become one of the main drivers of IT and Network transformation, it poses some serious challenges to IT organisations and to datacenters but it can be successfully managed and the benefits are real and worth embracing it. However One Size Does Not Fit All !

Ready-for-BYODI mainly work from my home office, but tomorrow I will bring to my company corporate office my own BlackBerry Bold and my own Blackberry Playbook tablet to work, but will still bring my company owned Lenovo laptop. They’re better be ready, I know they really are as a matter of fact, but ARE YOU READY?

and IS YOUR DATACENTER READY FOR  BYOD?

6-In-store Mobile Shopping will change the way we shop …

With the new mobile technologies, apps and services available now,  and more soon to come, Mobile Shopping from in-store is the new trend and we can expect from it a new interesting, interactive, personalised experience as a consumer in our favourite stores.

New industry standards are being created, new mobile apps are being developed, new mobile commerce offerings are being launched and you will soon be experiencing it yourself.

In-store mobile shoppers, will be able, on their smart phone, to scan a product or take its picture, to see products advertizing, videos, compare products, compare prices in competitive stores, find technical specifications, or ingredients for food, read consumers product reviews, retrieve discount coupons online, receive directly on their phone promotions and coupons based on their purchase history in the store, get loyalty points from the store and much more.

There will be real benefits for the retailers and stores too, by providing more information, better service, improved customer satisfaction, by attracting more customers in their stores and converting them into buyers, and improving customer loyalty, they will increase their sales.

M-Commerce Multichannel Outlook, US, 2010The charts attached show that Mobile-Commerce & Mobile-shopping are still at the  early adoption stage, but you can be sure this will grow quickly and explode sooner than later, as this will be a way for major brands and retailers to differentiate themselves, gain competitive advantage, improve customer experience, retain or gain new customers, and increase their market share.

We are in the information age, smart mobile phones are part of our life and becoming an extension of ourselves, and consumer demand for this shopping experience will grow, as did text messaging, Instant Messaging, streaming video, mobile gaming, mobile TV etc…

As consumers spend increasing time online, are used to shop online from their home, and as they are demanding more and more apps from their mobile phone, mobile will link products and stores to the digital world

Mobile-Commerce and In-store Mobile shopping will change our shopping experience and the way we buy.

Are you ready ?

1- Size does matter: what is the right size for a unique mobile device ?

My first mobile phone, in the late 80’s was huge and mainly usable in my car only, with a heavy transmitter in the trunk, and the price per minute was a luxury, then my cell phone got smaller and smaller and I could carry it anywhere in my pocket, then I had a Palm, then I jumped on the first Blackberry coming to market, and my latest Blackberry is smarter but bigger as all the new Smart phones, bigger and bigger. My charming wife, an Apple Fan, of course uses an iPhone and dreams of an iPad, while my youngest daughter uses a phone with a keyboard, mainly to text her friends as well (hopefully with an unlimited text contract!) and an iTouch for emails, twitter and youtube…They play music and videos, they take pictures, they are wifi enabled, they are more and more powerful and can run apps, but still all those smart devices are quite big and still too small to really be used as a professional computer.

Meanwhile, my laptop is getting thinner and thinner, the screen smaller and smaller, as well as my wife’s iBook, and my son’s Netbook is tiny tiny. Yes, we can use it as a VoIP phone at home,  in an hotel room, or this type of places, but not really convenient on the road or streets, as an example.

Now, the problem is, we are still carrying two devices, as smarter as they are, and I suppose everyone, just as I do, really wish to carry only one, so the BIG question now really is: What size is acceptable for a unique mobile device ?

We had tablets on the market for quite some time, but nobody was buying it, until Steve Jobs, the Marketing Genius, launched its iPad and created a market for it. However, 3G or not, Wimax or not, CDMA or not, I feel these tablets are still too big and certainly will not replace a phone. By the way, the new tablet RIM is supposedly working on is just a companion to be connected to a Blackberry, still 2 devices…

Also check the video of this Nirvana phone developed by Open Kernel Labs and Citrix, the sky is the limit: http://bit.ly/9Bfvtf 

So what size and when ?