enterprise

Enterprise rollouts of Windows 8.1 updates through the Windows Server Update Service is hitting a bit of a roadbump. Apparently servers running SSL but without Travel Layer Security 1.2 enabled won’t be able to push out the update, and Microsoft is pausing the distribution of the update until this is fixed. This doesn’t stop you from updating if you haven’t already, since you can pick it up from the Windows Update Catalog, but Microsoft still suggests you wait until a fix is in place.

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Nokia has locked down a fairly juicy enterprise contract with Spain’s CaixaBank. This will see a whooping 30,000 Lumia devices rolled out across CaixaBank’s workforce. The Lumia 925 will be deployed as the first phase of this program, while employees will have a chance to get a deal on Nokia devices for friends and family as well. Tight integration with Office apps, NFC implementation, and strong encryption are just some of the reasons CaixaBank cited for their choice.

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So, you want to adopt BYOD?

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is the current hot trend. (And has been for a while, really.) There are many perceived advantages for a company that allows employees to bring their own devices to work and have access to your company resources, but is BYOD right for you? Can you make mistakes when developing your BYOD policies? Can you really let any device connect to your resources?

Lets look at a few top issues that you should be aware of.

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Skype is Microsoft's gem when it comes to communication services for both consumers and enterprise. Video calling enables folk to remain in contact when the only connection is a network and the company could well be looking to add live annotation capabilities to Skype. This would enable users who are conferencing over supported devices to make live annotations that can be exchanged with the recipient.

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Despite its steady rise in market share, and even surpassing Blackberry as the number three mobile ecosystem in the U.S., Windows Phone is still facing an uphill climb in the consumer smartphone arena. However, according to IBM, interest in Windows Phone is growing much faster amongst its enterprise customers than it is with consumers.

In an interview with RedmondMag, Jim Szafranski, senior VP of customer platform services at IBM's Fiberlink unit, said that many of his enterprise customers would prefer to use Windows Phone in their environments. The main reason, he says, is consistency. Microsoft dominates in the business infrastructure world, be it with Windows, Active Directory, Exchange, Dynamics, or Office.

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Delta Airlines has been working closely with Microsoft in the past year both to help streamline customer service and save fuel. They first rolled out Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phones to flight attendants for taking in-flight payments, and then a month later, replaced pilots’ heavy flight bags with Microsoft Surface 2 tablets.

Now, Delta has decided to upgrade its arsenal of Lumia 820 devices to Nokia Lumia 1520 phablets in order to increase the functionality of in-flight staff.

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Last year, Microsoft announced a forthcoming update for Windows Phone dubbed ‘enterprise pack’. The move was to further lure companies to adopt Windows Phone en masse, something many have been reluctant to do due to the lack of core features like VPN.

Today in Barcelona, Microsoft referred to this ‘feature pack’ in clarification to the press. All of those enterprise features, including extended MDM, certification management, VPN, S/MIME support and others, will be arriving with the “next Windows Phone update,” referring to Windows Phone 8.1.

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Nokia and Wortmann AG today announced a new partnership for Nokia smartphones in the B2B market. Wortmann AG is a Microsoft distributor in Germany and is expected to utilise its previous experience to work wonders with Nokia hardware for businesses. The Nokia Lumia 1520 will join the Lumia 1020 and other Windows Phones to expand on Wortmann's IT solutions. 

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Nokia today announced #LumiaBizTrial, a campaign offering businesses within the UK the opportunity to trial Lumia Windows Phones for free. Businesses that enter the programme will be provided with Nokia Lumia 925, Lumia 625 and Lumia 520 units to demonstrate how Nokia and Microsoft technologies can compliment other systems already utilised by employees. A "highly personalised service pack" will also accompany the devices to illustrate the benefits of using Lumia Windows Phones for business.

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Microsoft has announced the availability of Windows 8.1 end user readiness content for businesses. The user guide package provides a range of guides and video tutorials that will ensure users take full advantage of Windows 8.1.

While the content and the medium is aimed at business users, the videos and print-ready assets are great resources to demonstrate or learn about Windows 8.1 capabilities and features in general.

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Panasonic has today announced at the National Retail Federation 2014 expo that it's currently working with Microsoft to introduce enterprise-class mobile hardware using Windows Embedded 8 Handheld. This collaboration will enable the company to further expand its product portfolio with new handheld devices for businesses, rocking Microsoft's enterprise features.

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In an exclusive interview with our sister site CrackBerry.com, the new CEO of BlackBerry John Chen confirms that BlackBerry Enterprise Server support is headed to Windows Phone. No ETA for the popular backend service was mentioned, but Windows Phone, like Android and iOS are certainly on their radar.

Considered middleware, BlackBerry Enterprise Service (or just BES), is an industry leading and trend setting messaging service that also support calendar and contact support. Similar in nature to Microsoft’s Exchange, which it also supports, BES has been the backbone of BlackBerry’s success in the past. The company is hoping to reinvigorate their enterprise offerings by refocusing on what made them strong in the first place.

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The Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas usually makes way for a plethora of, well, consumer electronics. Hewlett Packard has decided to go the other route this year and rolled out a new collection of business machines; the company doesn't have the largest market share when it comes to the enterprise world, but their latest collection of machines from the company is promising to excite. 

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Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype may be seen as a positive move by many users within the ecosystem, as it brings modern communication to Windows, Xbox, and Windows Phone, but not everyone is keen to the idea. Cisco recently challenged Microsoft’s takeover of Skype Technologies. The challenge though, has been thrown out of the European General Court.

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Yammer is one of the leading enterprise social networks, and was acquired by Microsoft in 2012. It has apps for all mobile platforms, and a while back introduced one for Windows 8 as well.

Today, both Windows Phone and Windows apps (along with Android and iOS apps) have got updates that add much requested feature to the apps, along with bug fixes and performance enhancements.

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Lync enables workers to stay connected via their mobile phone or supported device. With the app and service, employees can easily initiate conference calls, meetings and keep in touch all within the tightly controlled Microsoft Lync system for enterprise. It's a sweet solution should you require an enterprise communication service for employees.

Microsoft has now released Lync for Windows 8.1 for those who have updated their Windows 8 installations. 

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Wapple (www.wapple.net) is a mobile and cross-screen marketing company providing design, device delivery technology and consultation to worldwide clients. The company is looking to address the "rapidly expanding Windows Phone and tablet consumer base" by ramping up resources to increase support for businesses, delivering apps to both Windows Phones and tablets.

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ABB Finland has partnered with Nokia to deploy more than 2,200 Lumia Windows Phones to employees, and the companies are working to add even more to the roll out. If you're not familiar with the brand, it's one of the world's leading suppliers of robotic, power and automation technologies. In Finland alone, there are around 6,600 people across 30 locations. It's a large company and one that requires a solid smartphone for its workforce.

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