Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Tablet and Smartphone Explosion -The Challenge of Unified Communications

As we move into the second half of 2012, The proliferation of Apple IOS smartphones and iPads, Android smartphones and Tablets has accelerated at a dizzying pace. New product innovation can be found on these new devices with an array of different models to suit most any budget or multimedia and business requirement. Verizon has accelerated the pace of putting new smartphones into the hands of consumers by offering early upgrades and rebates for inducing their longtime customers to upgrade to the latest and greatest smartphones. AT&T and Sprint are following suit. New Android tablet product introductions from Asus, Samsung and Toshiba are also pushing the price-performance envelope as the Android operating system is reaching critical mass with the introduction of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) which is shipping on the newest Samsung Galaxy Tabs and the latest Asus Transformer Tablets. These tablets are shipping with 16 or 32GB of Internal Storage memory and have SD expansion card slots so SD-XC memory cards of up to 128 GB can be easily added for additional storage of files. The new Asus Transformer retails for $399.99 for the 32 GB model and has the Android 4.0 OS installed with a very bright IPS 1268 x 800 10.1" LED Touch Display. The IPS (In Plane Switching) LED panel has an ultra-wide viewing angle of 170 degrees off viewing axis and a brighness of almost 300 NITS. Battery life is rated at an incredible 8 hours. The optional keyboard dock ($150.00) which adds USB slots and extended battery capability converts this tablet to a notebook and adds another 6 hours of extended battery life. It effectively converts this tablet into a fully functional notebook computer. Built in WiFi and Bluetooth make the Asus Transformer a very capable home and business tablet as it has a very powerful  and energy efficient Tegra Dual Core processor and a very fast graphics chip built-in. It offers very snappy performance, instant on capability and a growing library of Android productivity and Entertainment applications. It is also perfectly suited for multimedia applications as it has 2 built in cameras. 1.3 MP for the front camera an 8 MP for the rear. Watching videos or using Skype is easily accomplished with this tablet all at a list price of about $550.00 including the keyboard dock battery accessory.

The price performance available on Android Smart Phones and Tablets allows consumers to buy state of the art hardware with an operating system that costs way lower than Apple's IOS and Microsoft Windows. The software functionality of these operating systems is close to reaching parity with Apple IOS and Microsoft Windows 7 and 8 tablet editions. The Asus Transformer Tablet even ships with a special version of Polaris software Office suite that allows you to create edit and open Microsoft Word documents like Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. The Web Browser capability with support for Adobe Flash ensures that all web based applications will run on their tablet.

What we are seeing is a perfect storm of advanced easy to use computing devices hitting the marketplace with consumers scrambling to buy the latest and greatest smartphones or tablets to supplement their corporate issued or home based notebook or desktop computers. As millions of these devices get sold through to consumer and business users the appetite for mature business enabled applications will increase at an exponential rate. Instant on access to WiFi and 3G and 4G networks make these devices powerful and effective productivity tools right out of the box.

 In many cases the older notebooks and desktops are being supplanted or even replaced as these new smartphones and tablets are more powerful and offer superb battery life and are more suited for mobile computing. All of the major retail channels are discounting this devices including Costco, Walmart, Target, Verizon, BestBuy, Office Max, Staples, Office Depot, Fry's Electronics, J&R Computers, and Radio Shack to name a few. The hardware is out there but the problem of tying all of these devices together remains a huge problem and challenge to companies that want to leverage multimedia services and applications on these devices as employees bring them into work. security, data access charges, connection to WiFi and a host of other associated software feature requirements to unify all of the legacy and new devices remain a herculean challenge. Unified Communications meets the challenge of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). How can companies leverage their existing communications infrastructure by delivering multimedia communications services rapidly while avoiding forklift hardware upgrades?

The answer is quite simple. Thrupoint. Thrupoint is the only company that can deliver on the promise of Unified Communications with their Fusion Software Suite running on their Ubiquity Software platform.

Check out their web-site at