With acceptance of cloud-supported technologies gaining ground all the time, many Irish companies are looking to extract more value from the services available to them. According to Jimmy Sheehan, technical director of Ergo, chief among the issues driving the queries he is seeing is mobility and the benefits that can be derived from being able to access data on the go.
“Everybody is talking about mobility and in particular about the issues that can surface around identity and rights management as a result of embracing mobility,” he said. “A lot of the customers that we are talking to who have got some kind of mobile strategy are doing it because the organisational and productivity gains are undeniable, but at the same time they’re worried about making sure they’re satisfying compliance-driven requirements.”
While the benefits of having data available remotely through phones, tablets and laptops are well understood, making sure that a company stays on the right side of its obligations with regards to rights management and protecting data isn’t so easily done. “That’s front and central to the conversations that we are having at the moment,” said Sheehan.
Ergo works extensively in this space, providing managed enterprise mobility (MEM), SharePoint, Office 365 and System Center Services with its own integrated FlowForma smart business process management software. This software handles processes such as expense claims, capital and operating expenditure, holiday request forms and many other workflows where normally hard copies of documents get created unnecessarily.
This enables clients to cut down on the unnecessary use of paper and streamline business processes that previously required forms to be filled in and filed. In addition, the company supports mobile device management and rights management services. This allows customers to remotely secure and wipe data from devices if they are mislaid or stolen, based on customer policy requirements. “These kind of full device lifecycle management solutions are becoming more important as customers start to rely more and more on mobility- driven processes. As that way of doing business matures, we are wrapping it with full device lifecycle management processes powered by FlowForma,” said Sheehan.
“It’s a fully closed loop, not only from the point of view of device management but also in terms of provisioning, supply, security and device retirement. “At the same time, we’re also seeing demand growing for fully packaged services such as with SharePoint and Office 365, as well as anything that allows the customer to derive more value out of their cloud investments.”
Currently, Sheehan says Ergo is servicing around 10,000 users through Microsoft’s Office 365 platform and he sees the demand the company has experienced for its services over the last 18 months continuing throughout 2015. “In general a lot of walls are being knocked down in relation to cloud migration, so I think it’s going to become easier for companies to move their business between providers according to their needs. That’s going to continue and I think it will inject a lot of competition into the market. It’s a good time to be shopping for these kinds of services,” he said
Meanwhile, he also thinks mobility isn’t going anywhere soon as an industry driver either. “Serving real time information back to the customer from the cloud is definitely something that’s going to continue to grow in appeal. In general, keeping pace with the rate of change taking place in the market isn’t easy but we pride ourselves on having the kind of interactions with our customers that allow us to help them continue to have access to the best technologies,” said Sheehan.
“For example, there’s a new service called Office 365 Video which creates a video platform for corporate use. That’s a level of innovation that can really help our customers move things on. If you look at the customers that are using Office 365 today, nearly all of them are using it for productivity reasons and to reach out to users in disparate locations. Video is another logical step,” he said.
Ergo predicts that the ability to generate and host video content securely and then make it available to corporate users will be a compelling prospect for many companies. “It’s the ideal way to host all of your training and health and safety material in one place – it’s something that has a lot of power. There are many transformational opportunities out there like this for companies to really rethink how best to facilitate their businesses and I think that 2015 is going to be a key time for this,” said Sheehan.
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