Top 6 Blogs for Frequent Flyers

I am somewhat of a road warrior, where I am in my car a lot. Personally, I travel by airline a lot less for business now being in a startup with an eye on the budget. Technology is an equalizer here. Web applications, mobile apps and the internet on my smartphone and my iPad provide me with the business tools to get work done.  Frequent flyers for business have an equal need to remain productive when mobile.

In my own experience I found that life on a plane is not that difficult, rather, it’s the planning, scheduling and work in between that can get our of hand.  Here are a few notable resources for frequent flying business people to help become more efficient when not ‘wheel up’.

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The Middle Seat Terminal – @middleseat
The Wall St Journal’s frequent flyer blog provides industry news, booking strategies including this great guide to when it’s worth paying for flyer status.

The Points Guy@thepointsguy
All the latest miles and frequent flyer credit cards deals plus hotel and airline reviews to help you maximize the return from your frequent flyer miles, credit card points and hotel points.

UPGRD@upgrd
Two dozen travel bloggers review their experiences, top-tier travel amenities, and how to leverage your points to get the upgrade for cheaper.

FlyerTalk@flyertalk
The world’s most popular frequent flyer community provides blogs and forums to discuss the latest industry news and rewards programs

Road Warriorette @RoadWarriorette
Besides reviewing frequent flyer programs, this blog reviews luggage and other travel accessories, covers travel etiquette and questions about TSA security screenings from a woman’s perspective.

Frugal Travel Guy@frugaltravelguy
Rick Ingersoll, the Frugal Travel Guy, provides hints and tips on “seeing the world at prices you can afford” for both leisure and business. Which rewards credit card has no foreign transaction fee? How do you spend a week in Cape Town on rewards points alone? Read his blog to find out.

BYOD: Mobile Device Management (MDM) Matters

The use of personal devices in business continues to be a growing IT trend. Some call it the “Consumerization of IT”, where employees make a personal choice on what hardware they desire to use to do their job, be it a laptop, smartphone or other. Some experts view this as boon for IT hardware expense reduction while others see trouble ahead in the form of data security and unnecessary additional expense due to managing those initially rogue devices. The shared value is usually around employee productivity. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) leads to Bring Your Own App (BYOA) as a personal device choice leads to more personal choices on which apps make an employee more efficient. Giving the employee the choice on which device to use provides a level of satisfaction and freedom to work how, where and when they want, a clear indication of why this trend is so prominent.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is software that helps IT teams monitor, manage and secure any mobile devices a company, including those brought by the employees. Distribution and configuration of devices and apps are now centrally managed to control the security risk and ultimately the cost.

There are a lot of companies that develop and provide MDM software to manage the increasing number of mobile devices used by employees. Of them, here are 6 popular choices for a CIO or IT manager to choose from.

MDM company and analyst information via – Solutions Review

mobileiron

  • Overview: Positioned in the Leaders Quadrant of Gartner, Inc.’s Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management Software 2011, MobileIron is solving the problems CIOs face as business data and applications move to smartphones and tablets. The MobileIron Virtual Smartphone Platform and the MobileIron Connected Cloud are the first solutions to give IT and users real-time intelligence and control over mobile content, activity, and apps in order to secure the enterprise, reduce wireless cost, and improve the mobile user experience.
  • Gartner: “MobileIron launched its product in September 2009, and has seen very quick growth in sales, mind share and market share, outselling most MDM platforms in the past year. Built from the ground up, it is solely focused on mobility management, incorporating the Virtual Smartphone Platform (VSP) architecture to support security, data visibility, application management and access control. It does not provide encryption or VPN capabilities outside of what is provided on the device. MobileIron was one of the first vendors to combine MDM with network service management.”

Airwatch logo

  • Overview: AirWatch is the global leader and innovator of enterprise-grade smartphone security and mobile device management solutions. Positioned in the Leaders quadrant of Gartner, Inc.’s Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management Software 2011, AirWatch helps to deploy, secure, track and manage an enterprise’s entire fleet of Android, Apple iOS, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows Mobile and Windows 7 devices.
  • Gartner: “Has done a good job scaling its business during the past year…one of the more innovative companies, adding features before most of its competitors.”
  • Forrester: “AirWatch boasts both strong on-premises and hosted MDM and WLAN management solutions.”

Good logo

  • Overview: Good Technology combines award-winning enterprise-grade mobile security and control with an exceptional user experience, allowing enterprise and government employees to connect, communicate, and collaborate on iPads™, iPhones®, Android™, Windows Phone and other leading smartphone platforms. Good opens new possibilities for maximizing business and personal productivity by providing secure, easy-to-use, and instant mobile access to email, collaboration, application, document editing and device management capabilities on iOS and Android devices. Good also enables secure mobile application and secure, custom social media platform development.
  • Gartner: “Good for Enterprise is a mobility suite that supports mobile collaboration with strong support for security and management. The main components of the suite include: Good Mobile Control, for MDM; Good Mobile Access, for secure access to corporate data; Good Mobile Messaging, for secure wireless email. Good Technology’s MDM and security capabilities are sold as part of the entire mobility suite (i.e., not sold as individual products) and require the adoption of Good Mobile Messaging product for wireless email, including Good’s email client. It replaces the email server’s native mobile support. Through its native email client, it enforces separation between corporate and personal data; however, many MDM capabilities are available in the email client only. Good Technology provides the strongest implementation of containerization for the email client, on iOS, Android and Symbian devices. It also supports data leakage prevention (e.g., prohibiting the saving of email attachments outside the container).”

symantec logo

  • Overview: Symantec Mobile Management provides strong and complete policy management across the widest range of mobile platforms. Functionality around centralized control, user enrollment, configuration management, application distribution and helpdesk management facilitate comprehensive lifecycle management of devices irrespective of the type and ownership. In addition to MDM, Symantec’s mobility portfolio helps secure remote access using strong authentication and helps to protect information using encryption, data loss prevention and anti-malware. As these capabilities are built on a scalable platform used to manage thousands of endpoints, enterprises can enable large mobile deployments confidently and efficiently.
  • Gartner: “Acquired Odyssey Software after the end of the evaluation period and will fully integrate its console and mobile DLP solution into the Symantec security solution, SMM. SMM provides Symantec’s first competitive entry in the MDM market.”

zenprise logo

  • Overview: Zenprise is the leader in secure mobile device management. Only Zenprise protects all layers of the mobile enterprise, keeping organizations secure and compliant. Zenprise MobileManger™ and Zencloud™ let IT say “yes” to mobile device choice while safeguarding sensitive corporate data, shielding the network from mobile threats, and maintaining compliance with regulatory and corporate policies. This gives IT peace of mind, lets executives take their businesses mobile, and makes employees productive while on the go. Whether delivered as an on-premise mobile device management server or cloud solution, Zenprise MobileManager lets you manage the device lifecycle across every major platform—iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile. And do so with the industry’s easiest-to-use solution.
  • Gartner: “Zenprise has done a good job in increasing visibility among midsize and large companies during the past year, and continues to innovate and lead in vision for the MDM market.”

MaaS360 logo

  • Overview: Fiberlink is the recognized leader in software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for secure enterprise mobile device and application management. Its cloud-based MaaS360 platform provides IT organizations with mobility intelligence and control over mobile devices, applications and content to enhance the mobile user experience and keep corporate data secure across smartphones, tablets and laptops. MaaS360 helps companies monitor the expanding suite of mobile operating systems, including Apple iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. Named by Network World as the Clear Choice Test winner for mobile device management solutions and honored with the 2012 Global Mobile Award for “Best Enterprise Mobile Service” at Mobile World Congress, MaaS360 is used to manage and secure more than one million endpoints globally.
  • Forrester: “Despite being a relative newcomer to the MDM space, Fiberlink’s single pane of glass, web-based console and experience with and commitment to security and compliance in the cloud computing arena has earned the vendor traction with the US federal government and a place on customers’ shortlists.”
  • Gartner: “Fiberlink’s MaaS360 Platform is a pure MDM cloud services offering, for organizations aiming to support both corporate and personal devices. Existing embedded platforms (BES, EAS and IBM Lotus Notes Traveler) are included in MaaS360 management via a single “cloud extender” agent that is deployed in the LAN.”

10 Tips for Hosting a Productive Conference Call

conference_call_We’ve all had dreadful conference calls. You know the kind – the ones that drag on forever without accomplishing much at all, the ones where you get static, echoes and the sound of someone eating their lunch, the ones that get dominated by one speaker. Now that joining conference calls and online meetings from your mobile phone is easier than ever before, here are 10 tips on making them more productive.

1. Share the agenda with all participants

Would you call a meeting if you didn’t have an agenda? No! Why waste the time? Send the agenda early on so the participants will have time to prepare before the call. You will get more done when everyone is prepared. Agendas will also keep participants focused and allow for easy transitions.

2. Start on time

Waiting for everyone irritates those who were on time and rewards the laggards. Instead, reward those who were on time by starting the call when it was scheduled.

3. Have everyone introduce themselves

As a way of easing into the discussion, have everyone say their name, role and location. Participants will feel more comfortable when they know whom they’re addressing.

4. Gently remind everyone to mute their phone when not speaking

Odds are someone will be dialing in via their mobile phone, on speakerphone, or both! Eliminate the sounds of static, echoes and background noise by having everyone mute their lines. Remind landline callers not to place the call on hold and remind everyone to unmute themselves before speaking. Become familiar with how to mute with your conference call setup.

5. Address everyone by their name and role or location

If participants are unfamiliar with each other, refer to everyone by their name and location, i.e. “How do you see this, Nancy in New York?” This way everyone knows who’s talking and gives perspective to their comments.

6. If the call is scheduled for over an hour plan for breaks

Participants will need time to freshen up – get some water or coffee, use the restroom. Scheduling these breaks avoids a disruption during an important discussion.

7. Keep notes on who is and isn’t contributing

Encourage everyone to contribute. Quiet participants may need some persuading.

8. Summarize and review actions

At the end of the meeting, summarize the findings and ask each participant to go over their action items. This will bring everyone to the same page and let everyone know what to expect from each other.

9. Share meeting notes with all participants

Make sure everyone receives a summary of the meeting including the list of attendees, what was discussed, a brief summary and action steps. This will help everyone reference the meeting and keep track of their action items.

10. Dial into your conference with MobileDay

Don’t get worked up before the meeting digging around your email looking for the dial-in info and then trying to dial all those codes! Let MobileDay dial you in with just one touch and make it simple to set up conference calls! MobileDay is a free conference calling app for iPhone and Android.  http://mobileday.com for more info.

Thanks for reading. Have you got more great conference call tips?  Please leave a comment and add to the discussion.