K2 releases 4.6.9

Here’s some highlights of the new release:

  • The K2 for SharePoint Online app has officially moved from preview mode to release status. Hurrah!!! The 4.6.9 app version (version 4.4120.5.1) is only compatible with K2 4.6.9. Be sure to upgrade your K2 environment before upgrading to the latest K2 for SharePoint Online app.
  • K2 smartforms 4.6.9 now includes Internet Explorer 11 support. BTW, Internet Explorer 8 is no longer supported. New Lithium theme gives a responsive design and is perfect for mobile devices. Offline forms are in preview in this release.
  • K2 smartforms controlpack 4.6.9 now includes new controls such as auto complete, tree view and timer
  • K2 blackpearl 4.6.9 adds comments and attachment SmartObjects into the framework. On top of the existing DateTime property type, two new Date and Time types for SmartObject properties are now made available.

Download the latest release from K2 customer portal. jEyLaBs will be releasing our PowerToolz for K2 version 2.2 to fully support all the new features of K2 4.6.9 shortly.

5 tips to thrive in a BYOA world

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Love it or hate it, users are bringing cloud based apps on phones, tablets and laptops to their workplaces every day.

When internet banking took off many years ago, employees used to spend time paying bills, etc on their work PCs. Now they are doing a lot more than banking with a ton of apps on their devices.

These apps cover areas such as communications, task management, photo/content editing, news, social media, travel, games, sports, and so on. Cloud apps are utilised by corporate users at work time to be efficient with their transactions.

Most mobile device users have data plans and they can utilise whatever apps they like whenever and where ever, regardless of the network they are connected to. Even if they are on a company provided device and network, they will continue using their favourite apps.

BYOA is the new norm and is now part of the popular work style. CIOs need to embrace it to continue to provide an effective technology environment to enhance productivity of users.

Leaving things in the hands of users is not an effective corporate strategy, so, how do you thrive in this brave new world?

1. Accept the reality

Change is hard when you have to give up any level of control. This is the major concern for IT control towers. When it comes to users, applications cannot be absolutely controlled anymore. Those days are over.

Controlling users like that always give rise to rouge application usage anyway. So, the best way to combat this is to accept the reality and work with it.

Once you accept the reality you become open for creative ideas to combat the problems. Ensure your team is onboard with this change of heart.

2. Setup an Apps registry

Allow users to enter and list their popular apps. Make sure you capture data as to why they like using them. This is the only way to know what apps are actually used by the user population. Not all apps can be detected by technology.

Periodically and Proactively survey your users. Frequently communicate the results of the survey and ensure their top 20 apps are tested and allowed in the network.

3. Setup a management layer

Ensure all devices have a management layer once they enter the corporate network. There are good choices for mobile device management systems in the market, so get one.

Ensure the relevant policies around using applications are understood by users and strictly enforced using technology. Anti-virus and Data Privacy are the top priorities here.

Auto Provisioning of corporate apps and remote wipe capabilities are great to have.

4. Monitor Apps usage

Ensure the apps usage is monitored so that your users are in compliant for licensing requirements. Ensure business editions of cloud apps are used where possible.

Patching and updating apps to latest versions is also a must.

The reason users love cloud apps is the freedom they have to pick and choose and to change their minds half way thorough. There will be new apps popping up and existing apps disappearing all the time.

Changes to mobile operating systems and new device releases do affect the Apps ecosystem. So, keep an ear out for these announcements.

Apps that drop out of popular usage needs to be migrated carefully to the next popular app. This is a dreaded challenge but cannot be ignored.

5. Give users a better way

Allow users to build their own applications. This is actually possible using platforms such as K2. Use the integration capabilities available across the popular cloud solutions to make these apps more appealing. You have full control over the platform and this is one way to give some and take some back.

Building apps and delivering unique capabilities that enhance productivity on the devices your users want to use is still a key responsibility of IT. This can be done in partnership with users and tech experts. Seek out and invest in these platforms.

jEyLaBs is a K2 specialist and we help organisations build and deploy better applications on modern platforms. Contact us at empower@jeylabs.com.au for further information.

Succeeding with BYOA

Will email be ever dead?

When I look back at the many years of working in IT, email has been the key communication tool for me. It was the defacto and default tool. Over the last 20 years I saw how portals, workspaces, chat apps, social media and other developments reducing the amount of emails being sent for work. Most of the incoming emails I get these days are marketing related (junk).

Email was the first killer app of the internet. The attraction of email is the ease of which we can send a message and not to worry about it afterwards. Compare this with most conference calls that start with “can you hear me ok?”. Email is simple and fast to send. It is also very convenient to receive, read or remove. It is passive and that is powerful.

The power of other collaboration tools including sms is that we can get an immediate response. Which is why we hear a lot about the success of the “post-email era” tools.

Don’t get me wrong, email is clunky as soon as you go pass a few people and a thread that is longer than a few scrolls on your iPhone 6 plus. It then starts to look very confusing like the good old news bulletin boards. You have to read the whole thing to really understand what is going on.

Given our busy and information overloaded work environments these days, simplification is a key to sanity. We all need accurate information fast so the we can digest it well and act upon. Unfortunately, Email is not the best for this in most cases.

Search, classification, summarisation, tagging and other innovations on new collaboration platforms we see, all came to solve the key problems email has created. Workflow solutions also look at streamlining processes and try to eliminate some of the traps email use has created.

I see email being heavily used by many solutions as a notification mechanism. The key way to resetting a password is still through emails on web applications. Some apps are using sms such as our Subject selections solution. Imagine losing access to an email account which you used as login or secondary address?

I used to think email will be dead soon. It is actually interesting to still see many investments on email by industry players to try to make it better.

I have some questions about the future around email collaboration:

1. Will the facebook generation use email when they go working for corporates?
2. How will the casual collaboration style practised by the users of popular consumer platforms translate to business world?
3. Would companies still budget for email client/cloud software licenses?

With all the work we do around collaboration projects, social media integration works, messaging apps and so on I see email slowly dying but will it ever become extinct? I doubt it.

What are your thoughts?

Test Planning and Execution

Testing is a crucial activity to ensure quality delivery. Test planning is equally important for proper execution of testing.

Using PowerToolz, K2 customers can ensure high quality of their applications consistently.

PowerToolz provides the ability to create test plans conveniently from the same interface used for test scritpting.

Here’s a video from our PowerToolz feature demo series on Test planning and execution.

Demo Video

Holidays are coming….

December is the great month of the year in my opinion as the year is winding down we all look forward to our traditional annual breaks. It also has its own chaos and troubles but the overall sense of achievement at work, home, school and community is usually high during this month of the year.

At jEyLaBs, We tend to work on a lot of support, migration, upgrades, health checks, training and envisioning projects during this time. jEyLaBs is offering end of year incentives to customers and partners to help close the quarter on a high for all.

If you need extended support cover over the holiday period from December onwards please get in touch with sales@jeylabs.com.au as we have special offerings to assist you. We can look after tasks for your staff on extended leave even up to February 2015.

Best wishes!!

Local Business Networking in Bundoora

jEyLaBs is running an Local Business Networking event within the City of Whittlesea.

Come and join us to:

  • Network amongst local businesses
  • Learn the latest techniques & tips to increase revenue, save time and reduce costs
  • Check out brand new technology demo
  • Meet like-minded people and create lasting connection
  • Enjoy some snacks and drinks

    Topic : Local Business Networking Event

    When : 27th November 2014
    Time : 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm

    Location : Level 1, University Hill Business Park
    240 Plenty Road, Bundoora
    Victoria 3083, Australia

    RSVP by : 21st November 2014 by emailing events@jeylabs.com.au

Cloud storage price cuts actually cut deeper than you think, they will cut everything and touch everyone….

We all love a bargain. Free offerings and heavily discounted pricing of cloud storage is the trend in town. The pricing war between AWS, Azure, Google, Rackspace, Apple, Box, DropBox and numerous other current and emerging cloud players is very intense. I think it is getting to a point that soon you could be paid cash to store your files on their platforms.

The race to zero as its called could get there sooner than we think. It may even go further into negative territory in the form of consumers earning money to store data. I would love that. User generated content is definitely valuable and worth the money.

The real deal is what companies are trying to get you to buy by offering storage for free. The race to zero has changed marketing, offerings and perception of value massively. Cloud is actually for the benefit of big players. The bigger youare the more you make and the huge you become.

Look at apple for an example. Their rise in terms of brand, stock price and influence is dramatic. How many apps and services offered by them for a fee are free now. Operating system, productivity tools and storage all have freemium pricing. Look at pebble, Apple watch, Microsoft watch and a few more out there. After iWatch’s announcement Pebble has changed their tag line recently to something sounds like the most affordable watch.

Microsoft released free office apps on all platforms recently and they were topping the charts in most app stores. Microsoft is seriously going cross platform, open source and giving away dev tools to attract more developers to .NET platform.

If we look at DropBox, which runs on AWS they are now rushing to innovate thanks to Amazon competing with its own customer by offering similar but much cheaper offering.

This pricing war is real and serious. Big players relying on winning big market share in Asia knows, In Asia, you haggle. Works like a charm when your buying power is big. This is going to change and challenge the value perceived in everything everywhere. The Race to Zero is going to impact everyone and Innovation is the currency in this Asian century.

Consolidating K2 databases is a MUST

Prior to K2 blackpearl 4.6, multiple databases on the same SQL instance were created during the installation of K2 blackpearl.

With clean installs of 4.6 and later, a single database is created. If previous versions are upgraded to 4.6 or later, the multiple databases are upgraded but not consolidated.

Maintaining a Single consolidated K2 database is much easy. We strongly recommend our clients to consolidate.

The K2 Database Consolidation Tool is used to consolidate multiple K2 databases into a single database.

Please contact K2 Support in order to receive the correct version of the K2 Database Consolidation Tool for your environment.

More information on the tool can be obtained here on this KB – http://help.k2.com/kb001628

More webinars announced

Join jEyLaBs on this short and sharp webinar to learn How to Accelerate K2 Project Success with PowerToolz.

Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5959588680316973314

Tue, Nov 11, 2014 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM PDT
Tue, Nov 11, 2014 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM EDT
Tue, Nov 11, 2014 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM CDT
Tue, Nov 11, 2014 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM US/CA
Tue, Nov 11, 2014 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM GMT/UK
Wed, Nov 12, 2014 3:00 AM – 4:00 AM Sydney
Wed, Nov 12, 2014 6:00 AM – 7:00 AM Wellington

More on PowerToolz at http://powertoolz.net.au