Industry Updates

News Updates (February 10, 2009)

From Exchange to Google Apps … Google is hosting a webinar on February 12 at which one of its Apps customers will talk about the experience and benefits of shifting from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps. “These talks are informal and open. We share an overview from our featured customer and a brief look at Google Apps, followed by Q&A. There’s a lot to say about Google Apps, and we figure that our customers are the best people to tell you how they’ve used Google Apps in business – what’s worked, what they’ve learned, and what they’d recommend to other businesses who might be considering a move to Google Apps. Next Thursday, February 12, we’re pleased to welcome Jud Clift, President and Founder of ASE Technology, who uses Google Apps to manage his print technology business. ASE Technology migrated from Microsoft Exchange and a Blackberry Enterprise Server to Google Apps and since then has used services like Google’s email and integrated IM to help field sales reps get faster answers from headquarters when they’re out with prospects.” Registration required. More

Legal Issues with BlackBerries … Joshua and Megan look into the legal implications of giving BlackBerry devices to non-exempt employees. “[A]fter-hours PDA use increases an employer’s exposure for overtime and record-keeping liabilities, as well as the possibility that nonexempt employees will not be properly compensated for all time actually worked in violation of the FLSA and state wage laws. The practices and policies that many employers currently have in place for after hours work may no longer “fit” today’s PDA environment. Employers must reexamine their current policies and procedures and revise them to reflect PDA usage. They must also reexamine their employees’ exempt versus nonexempt status. Once appropriate policies governing PDA usage are in place, they must be adequately communicated to employees and then enforced. Policy violators should be subjected to appropriate discipline. Following these steps should limit the risks PDAs pose to employers under the sate and federal wage laws.More

Collaboration in Health Care and Breakpoints … A great example of collaboration between health care providers in India, designed to address patient needs, as well as an exploration of why collaborative efforts often fail, eg, mis-aligned interests, perceptions of inequality. “An excellent example of such a collaborative strategy is Narayana Hrudyalaya, an extensive and hugely successful rural health care delivery organization in India. Under the leadership of its energetic and innovative founder, Dr. Devy Prasad Shety, NH has made health care available to countless poor in India through the collaborative efforts of the government’s health insurance program, the Indian Space Research Center (which provided gratis telecommunication services for telemedicine), the extensive system of rural mobile clinics, and the postal system. Additional costs to all network participants are negligible, but the value created by the combined effort is immeasurable.More

Collaboration in Government … To implement President Obama’s vision, agencies will have to change the way they work. A new report looks at what’s involved, such as creating an open IT environment, treating data as a national asset, and fostering a culture of collaboration. “Leadership by example is critical to implementing a culture of collaboration, the report states. Obama has used technology to communicate and seek out diverse viewpoints on a broad scale. Agencies should start to use collaboration to improve the efficiency and quality of services they deliver. They also should integrate chief information officers into the missions of the agencies so they can provide strategic and technical support to agency heads and feel empowered to seek innovation“. More

BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0 … RIM previewed the forthcoming Version 5 of its BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which offers new administrator and end user capabilities. “The update will also have some updated features for the end user, and it’s no surprise that the e-mail capabilities will be enhanced. BlackBerry users will have an easier time setting follow-up flags, will be able to manage e-mail folders, forward calendar appointments, and view attachments in meeting requests or calendar entries. Contact synchronization also will be improved …. Workers will also have access to files on the corporate intranet on the go with the updated server, which could drastically reduce the equipment needs of mobile employees. For example, a salesperson could download a PowerPoint presentation from the corporate network to his BlackBerry on the go, and display it using software on the handset or by using the handset as a USB drive.” Available 2Q2009. More

Telepresence to Ground 2 Million Airline Seats … A report from Gartner predicts that 2 million airline seats per year by 2012 will be lost to telepresence systems. “Telepresence systems–such as Cisco’s TelePresence and HP’s Halo–use high definition video, stereo audio and purpose built videoconference suites to help make participants feel as if they are meeting in the same room as each other. The analyst reckons telepresence tech will replace 2.1 million airline seats annually, costing the travel and hospitality industry US$3.5 billion per year–but giving tech kit makers a boost. Online worlds such as Second Life could also see increased usage as companies seek alternatives to air travel“. More

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