Carrying our computing destiny on the go
The computing world as we know has changed. And it certainly looks like users can now finally be in charge of their own computing destiny. Taking the BYOD approach, one step further, Alcatel-Lucent’s big message says the real play for technology is about truly becoming user centric and not device centric.
Jan Zuurbier, Head of Global Sales for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise is at his chatty best when he says that BYOD as we know it is just the symptom indicating the changing usage patterns in computing services.
“We like to call it instead Build Your Own Destiny,” Zuurbier tells me as he emphasises that we have well and truly as an industry moved ahead from the PC era to what he likes to call the Personal Cloud era.
The manifestation of this trend is the fact that users will increasingly bring their own devices into the work place, simply because they want to carry themselves and their data (both personal and corporate) with them wherever they go.
That’s certainly the cue that Alcatel-Lucent has been waiting for as it rapidly makes changes to its OPENTOUCH Unified Communication Platform and its networking portfolio.
“The interesting part of the story is that IT has the headache of managing the new environment and CIOs need to now, more than ever before, focus on the user, understand the context and understand how they are using the device,” he says. For this to happen, we really need to work at integrating intelligence at the platform as well as networking level and support user/role and application aware computing.
So how does that help make a difference? User profiling according to Zuurbier will be a key enabler and Alcatel-Lucent says the answer lies in its AFN technology philosophy also known as application fluent networking. This technology dynamically allows the networking platform to allocate priorities to the user and application based on the profile and help increase speed, better security and lower latency at the same time.
That moves me onto thinking when this technology drift will reach glacial proportions, especially when currently BYOD as a concept is only being offered to 15-20% of the executives who are higher up the food chain in the organisation.
Currently, according to industry estimates typically people in organisations tend to have three devices, only one of which has been supplied by the company itself. Zuurbier however remains completely upbeat, saying that although some sectors might limit BYOD adoption, segments like healthcare and education by virtue of their users will need to broaden the concept to the larger market.
Ultimately of course it’s also about giving users freedom to choose. “IT cannot always be Dr. No…we have to allow users the opportunity to define their own computing destinies,” he emphasises to me.
And how is Alcatel-Lucent doing that differently? Well for one, moving away from the enterprise heavy method of delivering technology, the company has in fact made its unified communication application on the OPENTOUCH platform available on the app store fully enabled for iOS.
While the application itself sits in the cloud, the client side app will allow users to take their devices into the work place and automatically sync to the OPENTOUCH server at the backend for implementing controls. CIOs can then seamlessly control and manage this device without having to put out an army of engineers to configure each incoming device.
The application will now also be made available on Android devices before moving onto the Windows environment. Looks like Alcatel-Lucent is seriously taking on the responsibility of enabling IT to keep the control and yet free the user.