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This week, IT veterans Simon King and Anthony Orr share what excite them about modern IT. We talk about biotechnology's impact on our lives and how ubiquitous computing is changing organizational structures. Neural dust, robots and sensors. The rush of test-driving a Tesla and thrill of watching America's Cup sailing in San Francisco Bay.

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Exploring the Enterprise App Store: Join us live!


Quietly and gradually a revolution has occurred in the way applications are procured and owned within organizations. Like the proverbial frog slowly boiling in a pot, some businesses are coming to understand just how diverse their application population has stealthily become. More concerning is the fact that IT acknowledges how little control and visibility they really have over much of it.


No longer a luxury


It’s no surprise, then, that providing a viable and easy to use enterprise app store as an alternative to the plethora of unmanaged sources is one of the top priorities of many of the organizations I talk to.


I really hope you can join my colleague Warren Lynne and me on August 28th at 11am CDT (GMT -6) as we dig a little deeper into the trends driving many IT organizations to invest in building an enterprise app store.


We’ll show you how you can get better control of the whole app lifecycle from procurement through provisioning. We’ll also look at some of the concerns organizations share over the new risks mobile computing and BYOD bring and what you can do about them.


Keep it simple, keep it in one place


For an enterprise app store to really work and hold the attention of the modern employee, it has to be well laid out and incredibly easy to use. Oh, and by the way, you also have to make sure people can get immediate access anytime, anywhere!  Sure, isn't that easy. 


Well it is with BMC Appzone.  In our webinar, we’ll explore the importance of accessibility and usability in building your app store. You’ll also discover the benefits that come from centrally managing a wide range of applications across multiple platforms in one consolidated system.


See BMC AppZone in action


A demo speaks a thousand words, so we’ll conclude the webinar with a look at BMC AppZone live. So what you waiting for? Register now and I’ll see you on August 28th at 11am CT (GMT -6) !







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This week, founder and CTO of Vancouver-based Partnerpedia joins the Zoo to talk about how app stores evolved from mobile-only shops to a place where employees can download cloud, custom, desktop and mobile software. With the consumerization of IT, people want to have fun when trying out productivity tools - just like they do on iTunes, Google Play and's AppExchange. Geoff also gives his projections for the upcoming NHL season.

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This week, product managers Lorna Russell and Peter Adams talk to the Zoo about innovation in IT. From online gaming's impact on collaboration and virtualization to robots and social anthropology. Like punctuated equilibrium, innovation in IT seems to evolve in fierce bursts we must adjust to as quickly as possible.

It's The User, Stupid!

Posted by Matt Dircks Aug 8, 2013
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Sitting in a coffee shop trying to catch up on some work.  A quick scan around the room reveals a lot of folks with laptops and tablets, some playing games or updating social media, but the vast majority connecting to their co-workers via email, web conferencing or other collaboration technologies.


While I am sure the same scene is repeated in thousands of places around the world, a number of things come to mind:


  • Users expect, if not demand, the ability to access content, applications and whatever infrastructure they need to engage with other team members, customers or partners - regardless of where they happen to be or with whatever device they may be using.
  • To enable productivity, the user experience has to be simple, engaging and contextually relevant- whether on a tablet, a smartphone or god forbid… a laptop.
  • If I am in a location or on a device that has specific pre-requisites or that will provide me with unique capabilities- take advantage of them automatically &  transparently.
  • If I need certain applications to do my job, push them to me or provide them to me in a manner that I can easily install and use. Ideally, make me feel like I am in Apple’s App Store or Google Play, but without having to search through 800,000 apps to find the ones I need to do my job or those that my corporate IT folks say are “approved” for users.


Done well, a user-centric approach to delivering applications & “context” regardless of location or device creates opportunities for business to be more dynamic, more collaborative and more effective.


Done poorly, user-centric initiatives run the risk of becoming loosely organized chaos- with huge spikes in calls to IT help desk, increased security risks, and unplanned software license compliance costs from unmanaged users.


Ignored completely, businesses run the risk of becoming  “road kill”, unable to respond to increasingly competitive & dynamic markets.



This shift to a user-centric approach underscores a more significant change in IT, an evolution from looking at services in the context of routers, servers, clients & firewalls to thinking of services from a users perspective.  Services in terms of applications, content, and context -delivered from many sources via  on-premise, cloud or hybrid environments.


As the the emerging trend of user-centricity continue to gain momentum over the coming months/years, we are already seeing profound impacts on how businesses organize themselves, structure work, and redefine relationships between employees, suppliers, and customers.


Ignore it at your peril.


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Searching for and downloading apps has become second nature to most people who are a part of the mainstream adoption of smart devices. Even my only non-smartphone carrying friend often uses the phrase “ask the wizard” when we are wondering about where something is, what’s on the menu, the score of the Astros game or just about anything you can ask Google or accomplish with a mobile app in seconds. Using technology to make our lives easier is no longer just for geeks. It is so commonplace that we often forget what life was like just a few short years ago.


…Unless, of course, we are talking about at work, where the majority of companies have not kept up with the times. Business professionals know they can accomplish their work more efficiently using various tools and applications that are available for download.  On the surface, it sounds like a win-win situation – right?  Employees are happy helping themselves to the tools they desire and need to do their jobs, and companies get a more productive workforce to boot.


Unfortunately, in most cases, gaining access to these applications and going through the significant number of company approval channels required to gain access to them can take days, when the solution is usually needed right now.

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Once again, IT departments are forced to be the wet blanket in this exciting world of endless possibilities. It’s no different than 10 years ago when IT departments had to regulate and monitor what software employees loaded onto their company desktops. Security must be maintained, compliance regulations must be met and company assets need to be protected. There is an inherent conflict between the evolution of how consumers now find solutions to help themselves and how employers traditionally administer tools for business needs.


Today, BMC Software announced the continued focus on helping to ease this IT friction with the introduction of a new enterprise app store based on an acquisition of leading enterprise application store and marketplace provider, Partnerpedia. Only months after the successful introduction of MyIT, this announcement signifies another milestone validating the BMC commitment to streamlining the personal and professional experience for end-users.


BMC is making it easier for users to access applications centrally by offering an enterprise app store that provides employees secure, autonomous access to the cloud, mobile, custom and desktop apps they need to do their jobs anytime, anywhere from any device. Designed for smartphones, tablets and desktops, BMC AppZone ensures corporate policies and procedures are met while giving employees the user friendly experience found in consumer-style application stores.

With the rate at which people tend to upgrade, change or add new devices to their collection, eliminating device level monitoring complications is a huge breath of fresh air for both IT departments and users.




IT professionals don’t want to be the Kevin Bacon role in Animal House. Remember him?  He was the one standing in front of the enraged mob saying “remain calm – all is well”. 

IT wants to provide a simple way to give users what they want within the rules and regulations that they are bound by.




I am excited and encouraged to see businesses seeking and adopting ways to bridge the gap and am eager to see IT become a no brainer on the party guest list.