My “big” technology update is now complete and I have now moved completely to a “Google” technology environment. The big strategic choice is whether to go Apple, Microsoft or Google – I have decided to go Google because I like their open approach and innovation trajectory.
So I have moved my business over to Google Apps for Business in a native Chrome and Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) environment. It terms of hardware this means:
– A Google Nexus 7 tablet with “Face Recognition” unlocking and built in Near Field Contactless (NFC). The Tablet has WiFi but no 3G
– An O2 MiFi which I keep in my briefcase enables the Nexus 7 to be continually connected to 3G when I am travelling or out and about. The Tablet will automatically default to trusted WiFi hotspots rather than 3G so that mobile data charges to a minimum. The O2 MiFi is great as it can support 3-4 users at a time – so I can share the WEP code with people that I am meeting.
– With the new technology you need to understand which devices are good for “content creation” and “content access”
– My Home Office environment comprises a “Google Box” from Samsung, a large screen Sony Bravia Smart TV, a Logitech Camera and Speakers and a HP Photosmart 7510 printer. Also a Wireless Keyboard and Mouse from Logitech. All the kit is wirelessly connected and the printer has a remote ePrint facility so I can email documents to print. If I choose to ePrint a photograph the printer will select the photo paper tray by default. The Chrome Box is connected to the Smart TV with an HD lead (1080p) but I can also run digital feeds direct from the Internet WiFi into screen windows.
– Using the Chrome Box is fantastic. Instant on provides a 5 second boot up to the point you were at when you switched off. The whole native Chrome interface is very intuitive and very much simpler than the Windows that I used to use. I am having to unlearn a lot of the more complicated things that I don’t need any more.
– One of the major changes is the use of Google Drive and the understanding that most of my IT infrastructure is now in the cloud. What I had not understood about cloud computing was that I can still work even when I am not connected. The trick is “persistence” and the fact that I was still able to work on my Nexus in Flight mode !!
– A big issue for me is the vastly improved communication that Google Talk, Google+, Hangouts and Hangouts on Air provides. Conference calls have changed from being formal and difficult to everyday. I can conference call on my Nexus on the train or in HD on my Smart TV – completely ad-hoc and on demand.
– Like most innovative businesses I am a significant Social Media user. Google+, Linkedin and Twitter are my platforms of choice and YouTube is becoming increasingly important.
– Google Apps for business provides superb integrated applications for less than £3.00 per seat per month with no limits on numbers of employees
I still have a great deal of learning ahead of me but I have successfully made the switch to a completely new technology environment. Not nearly as difficult as I had thought. The feeling is very similar to when my parents upgraded from a Black and White Television to Colour in the 1970s. I think it is a Quantum leap.
I will be presenting on this topic at Camjelly at the Hauser Forum in Cambridge on Friday 30th Nov 12