The WebPal Wire

Get our latest updates as we bring you new insight on how cloud computing is already changing in its infancy. Security, content and business process are just a few categories within of wide range of topics covered in our blog

Archive for May, 2012

App technology helps you achieve “The Perfected Self”


The new adage that “there is an app for that” is very telling to where most innovation is going. There are apps to help you remember to pick up groceries, find the nearest gas station or even suggesting recipes based on the foods you have in your fridge. The technologies that are incorporated to these apps have been around for a while now, but what made a difference is the mobility of the technology and the emergence of the cloud. Now almost every industry is looking at using mobile and cloud technology to create more efficient processes. But what can apps do for you as a human being? The newest feature in The Atlantic Monthly suggests that app technology is  putting a modern twist on traditional behavioural modification techniques that “can make you richer, thinner, and happier.”

“B.F. Skinner’s notorious theory of behavior modification was denounced by critics 50 years ago as a facist, manipulative vehicle for government control,” reads the introduction. “But Skinner’s ideas are making an unlikely comeback today, powered by smartphone apps that are transforming us into thinner, richer, all-around-better versions of ourselves. The only thing we have to give up? Free will.”

While the “sacrifice of free will” involved in weight loss and exercise-based apps is debatable, it’s encouraging to know how many “helpers” are available for your smartphone. MyFitnessPal and LoseIt allow users to count their calories and develop a weight loss social network to help them develop healthier habits. The social aspect is very important to behavior modification, and the sharing of data on the cloud between mobile devices and personal computers ensures counting calories is as easy as possible.

WebPal understands that data is most valuable when it is accessible from anywhere, transferable to any file format and secure. We provide all that with the WebPal Cloud Content Management system, putting your company’s content to good use.

The Power of the Cloud study reveals business game changers


Cloud adoption is an emerging trend, but many business leaders do not realize the positive impact it can have when applied to an organization as a whole, rather than just applying it to IT operations. The IBM’s Institute for Business Value and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s study, called The Power of Cloud: Driving Business Model Innovation, identified game-changing business enablers that should convince business leaders of the efficacy of cloud software in all factions an organization. Those game changers include IT cost flexibility, business scalability, market adaptability to respond to changing markets, customized products and services for user-centric experience, and the ability to connect with a network of people in even the most remote regions of the world.

There are many factors that are attracting companies to cloud content management software, including easy-to-manage systems that share data and can be accessed on desktops and in the cloud, and the mobility of data on a secure server. The potential of the cloud to facilitate a workplace that transcends the confines of an office is just beginning to be explored, and we are relying on innovators in the space to move us into the next phase of business. But to fully exemplify the power of the cloud and to get consumers to trust the technology, they have to integrate applications and mobile technology into the content management systems, all the while maintaining a high level of security. There is still some way to go, but change is definitely happening for cloud and information technology at large.

Obama tells federal agencies to go mobile


Earlier this week, we discussed the innovative changes that mobile technology is bringing to health care and small business. Accessing data and content from anywhere at any time is one of the most appealing features of the cloud and mobile technology, and it seems that the U.S. government is taking note. On Wednesday, President Obama issued a directive to all major government agencies to make key services available on mobile devices within a year.

“Americans deserve a government that works for them anytime, anywhere, and on any device,” said Obama in a statement. “By making important services accessible from your phone and sharing government data with entrepreneurs, we are giving hard-working families and businesses tools that will help them succeed.”

One of the biggest incentives for developing this mobile strategy is the prediction that more people will access the internet from phones rather than from desktop computers by 2015. Another aspect of the mobile strategy is the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, which will encourage collaboration between federal employees and top technology innovators on projects like open data initiatives and personal health records. Being such a large and long-established organization, the U.S. government will have to fight against more traditional perspectives to make sure the transition to mobile is smooth.

One of the primary challenges will be overcoming the ‘trust factor,’” says Kevin Kelly, the COO of LGS Innovations. “Utilizing a shared-services approach will definitely yield improvements in cost efficiency. However it requires one agency to trust another with the handling and delivery of its critical information.”

The WebPal Cloud Content Management system allows you to access your data from any device in a safe and secure environment. To find out more about what it can offer your business, go to our features page.

Health care and small business are going mobile


Mobile technology and cloud content management software is an equalizing force that we have just begun to understand as tablets and smartphone adoption continues to increase. Software like WebPal Cloud Content Management allows information to be accessed from almost anywhere in the world using a mobile device. Changes are occurring in almost every industry as a result, health care and small business.

The New York Times recently reported that mobile technology is helping people in remote areas without proper access to health care get medical advice from some of the best doctors in Western medicine. The major medical schools are taking note and adjusting student’s education to accommodate a future where diagnoses and patient updates can be given through a tablet or smartphone.  John Hopkins University School of Public Health is working on 51 projects that investigate the potential impacts of mHealth (mobile health) technology. Yale is intending to issue mobile devices to medical students. Harvard University is helping launch an app that enables faculty to review patient/student encounters for third year medical students. These changes could be just the first step towards providing quality health care services throughout the world.

The changes to business due to mobile technology are just as revolutionary. Now, the lines between the office and home life are becoming more blurred, most notably for small business owners. A Sage North America study reveals that small business owners are taking fewer vacations and working more in the evening and on weekends than ever before. The study, conducted among 258 small businesses, indicates that 78 per cent use mobile devices to access work-related information outside of the office, and 85 per cent believe mobile has had a positive impact on their business. Most small business owners are going the extra mile in an effort to weather the recession, and mobile is helping them take their business to the next level.

Social BPM irons out the creases in business processes


Business process management is one of the most useful methods for progressing towards a more efficient and well-run organization. It’s becoming even more useful as it integrates with other forms of IT, notably the cloud, social media, and mobile technology. Technology like WebPal that allows you to manage your documents in the cloud while handling complex business processes are bringing immense change to all forms of business. The health care industry is already employing these kinds of technology.

The Ottawa Hospital is using BPM software to regulate data and improve efficiency. Dale Potter, senior vice president and CIO at The Ottawa Hospital says, “… we are able to help our staff have one consolidated view on important data and processes, getting the right information to physicians at the right time.”

Bringing a social aspect to BPM can also help an organization gain more accurate and insightful information. One way to increase employee socialization in BPM systems that experts are suggesting is gamification. This means introducing gaming aspects to processes. A Forbes blog explains that introducing activity points, rewards, missions for individuals and groups, and virtual goods are all effective ways of identifying top performers, methods of success, and methods for widespread adoption of high performance techniques.  A mission could be learning steps of a complex piece of software, and interaction can monitor how employees spend their time and attention on activities. In a new way, BPM software is a way of breaking down the silos within an organization and creating a positive corporate culture.

How efficient are your business processes?


For IT experts, data is king and it needs to managed well if a company hopes to improve process efficiency. In 1979, the late psychologist Robyn Dawes wrote about the importance of data in a paper titled “The robust beauty of improper linear models in decision-making.” She stated that research always indicated that “a decision made using a good professional objective decision-making model will always trump intuition.” This is found to be true even when using the most simplified decision-making models. Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter and Square, also found this to be true.

“For the first two years of Twitter’s life, we were flying blind… we’re basing everything on intuition instead of having a good balance between intuition and data… so the first thing I wrote for Square is an admin dashboard. We have a very strong discipline to log everything and measure everything.”

Having a set of business processes will do wonders for the efficiency of your company. BPM software helps you map processes, create new ones, and identify best practices throughout the organization. Most vendors have software that is sized and priced in packages for big, medium and small-business organizations. Vendors are also turning to software as a service (SaaS) products, like WebPal, which is hosted and managed by the vendor and the customer pays for usage.

“It’s a cost-effective way to get the benefit of enterprise-class software without the hassles,” says The Globe and Mail.


Cloud content management on fast track due to mobile technology


The job of CIO within a company involves not only establishing sound IT objectives and practices, it’s also about moving with technology to create an environment of innovation. Cloud content and document management is one of the fastest moving IT sectors and it’s easy to get left behind. Remote storage itself is not a new concept, but as users become more mobile with smartphone and tablet usage, it has escalated rather quickly. This means the face of business is changing.

“We’re seeing 90 per cent of consumers buying mobile technologies and it’s happening in commercial small and medium businesses because they’re working from home and the office more and more,” says Leyland Brown, VP of Hewlett Packard Canada. “They need flexibility to work where they are so they’re asking for that mobile platform to stay connected.”

The new Google Drive system has already grown in leaps and bounds to adapt to the mobile workplace; it is now being “integrated with Google’s lightweight, essentially mobile-oriented Chrome operating system.” Now, not putting your content on the cloud is virtually impossible, not to mention irrational.

“So long as computer users typically worked on just one machine, storing data locally was simple, practical and convenient,” says one blog. “But once the typical user has several devices, and wants to share data, whether personal music or work contacts, freely among them, the local-storage paradigm goes out the window.”

WebPal is a secure and easy-to-use server that allows you to access your data from the cloud. Check out our features page for more information.

How to deploy a BYOD policy


As mobility becomes a primary concern for CIO’s and head executives, Bring-Your-Own-Device policies are becoming the most popular trend in mobile and IT strategy. Consumer demand for smartphones and tablets are not going away anytime soon- their share of the mobile and personal device market increased to 46 per cent last year - and if your employees are using those devices anyways, you might as well use them to create a remote work environment. Forbe’s has some valuable advice for companies looking to layout a BYOD policy that will maximize savings while maintaining security.

The first consideration is your business objectives, or figuring out why you are supporting a BYOD policy. If it’s cost-savings, having an ‘employee-pays’ policy is crucial – this includes paying for the device, as well as part of their voice and data service costs. Although you may be skeptical over employee acceptance of this policy, it can work if you apply the right amount of oversight to the program.

“An ‘employee pays’ model can and does work – but not if the company expects to monitor and/or restrict what they can do when they’re in ‘personal’ mode,” says the Forbes blog.

“Even the most regulated and security-conscious enterprises and government agencies can broadly support BYOD, meet all of their security, data loss prevention, and compliance requirements, and never have to compromise employee privacy.”

Self-service by your employees is also crucial to cost-savings. Things like enrollment, policy acceptance, adding new devices, changing devices and wiping lost devices should all be regularly serviced by your employees.

“If you don’t allow your employees to self-serve for these routine activities, by definition, you’ll be driving calls and emails to your support desk that could have easily been avoided.”

WebPal understands the importance of mobility in your workplace, which is why we enable you to access your WebPal server and all your content from your mobile device. WebPal also connects with some of your favourite apps. To find out more about WebPal’s features, go to our webpage.


Your cell phone won’t kill you, and other mobile news


Great news for smartphone-addicts everywhere; a new study has revealed that there is no convincing evidence that shows a relation between cell phone use and cancer. The problem is, there is “little information beyond 15 years,” so scientists will continue to monitor causes of cancer. But in the meantime, hypochondriacs can relax about putting the phone directly to their ear to speak.

Mobile usage has become so ubiquitous that school districts are adopting a BYODevice policy to move forward with the times. Derry Township in Pennsylvania are using laptops in their lesson plans more than ever before. To save money, they are encouraging students to use their own smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Surprisingly, the UK is not so forward with the times as they are still struggling to bring 4G services into their country. Mobile network Everything Everywhere, the merged company that was previously T-Mobile and Orange, is urging business leaders to lobby the government to move forward with the 4G roll-out. The sale of 4G has been delayed as operators fight over the method of airwave distribution.
“The UK had struck me as a place where mobile technology is deployed first and yet the infrastructure is behind Germany, Scandinavia and the US. I want to do something about this issue,” says Olaf Swantee, chief executive of EE since September.
If you want to move your content management system with the times, sign-up with WebPal today. We offer mobility, scalability, accessibility and security in one system. Check out our features page for more information.

Cloud storage wars waged: LG vs. Samsung, Google vs. Microsoft


Major mobile companies are competing in the cloud storage race to release the best cloud content management and storage systems before anyone else, and the race is getting ugly. LG Cloud was launched today, just two days ahead of Samsung releasing a similar cloud storage system. So for this round, LG wins by a hair – at least in release date – but we will have to see which system is more efficient and effective.

The LG Cloud allows sharing content between smartphones, tablets, PCs and TVs. The most exciting feature is that it enables real-time streaming transcoding technology, which automatically converts content to the device’s preferred format.

Between Google and Microsoft, it’s not just a race; it’s an all out war. Google Drive was launched this week, and this is bad news for Microsoft’s market share on document management systems.

“With word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software freely available and shareable online, Google was already chipping away at Microsoft’s dominance of the market,” says one blog.

“This war is about trust. It’s about who can be trusted to hold our documents, photos, research, corporate files and hundreds of millions of emails while keeping the entire pot safe, accessible and secure. It’s about trusting them to only share these documents when we ask them to, and knowing that they’ll trust us to make those decisions responsibly.”

WebPal offers accessibility, scalability, mobility and security all in one neat cloud-content-management package. To find out more about what WebPal can do for you, check out our features page.