How To Improve The Accuracy Of Property Repair Estimates

Managing the maintenance of properties within your stock is a challenge for any RSL. Particularly Local Authorities, who have a significant stock of properties to maintain.

RSL’s are now facing new directives, limiting the amount they can charge for property repairs, maintenance or improvements. The Social Landlords Discretionary Reduction of Service Charges (England) Directions 2014 (or Florrie’s Law) has been brought in by Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles, after a 93-year-old constituent, Florence Bourne, was landed with a £50,000 bill by her local authority for roof repairs.

The problem arose because a local council had not conducted a survey prior to sending their repair quotation. It later transpired that the roof repair would not have been needed for another 40 years. More about Florrie’s Law can be found here. 

The Solution    . . . → Read More: How To Improve The Accuracy Of Property Repair Estimates

CommonTime Mobile Projects Update – August 2014

With the Summer well and truly in full flow, we thought it would be great idea to keep you updated on some of the mobile app projects that we’re currently working on here at CommonTime. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but does provide a brief overview of the range and variety of mobility projects that we’re bringing to market.

Shepherd Group –Construction

CommonTime is delighted to add Shepherd Group to our growing list of ‘platform’ customers. We’ve been working with the Shepherd Group for over a year now and we’ve successfully delivered a range of bespoke mobile apps for distinct processes such as:- Snagging and Defect Notification.

Shepherd Group now feel that the time is right to bring their app development program in-house. They are currently using the CommonTime mDesign platform to develop a cross-departmental app for Health and Safety . . . → Read More: CommonTime Mobile Projects Update – August 2014

Apple and IBM’s Enterprise Mobility Partnership

Apple IBM Partnership

Yesterday saw the announcement of a strategic partnership between two tech giants, IBM and Apple, with the goal of creating a portfolio of enterprise mobile solutions.

Both companies have a strong foothold in the enterprise market: Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices are used in over 98% of Fortune 500 companies, and 92% of the Global 500 today. IBM are a well renowned expert in enterprise solutions and mobile, with their MobileFirst solutions made up of over 4,500 patents in mobile, social and security.

This wouldn’t be the first time a partnership like this has happened, IBM have previously engaged in similar relationships with BlackBerry and Palm in the past to provide enterprise mobile solutions. It seems however, like a move in the right direction for Apple, who in spite of a large enterprise user base, have not really positioned themselves as an enterprise orientated company. The partnership provides . . . → Read More: Apple and IBM’s Enterprise Mobility Partnership

Microsoft rumoured to release a Nokia device running on Android

microsoft nokia lumia android rumours

Over the last week there have been a number of rumours circulating about Microsoft working on an Android version of their Nokia Lumia device. These rumours must be taken with a pinch of salt, particularly as Microsoft have remained quiet, but I found myself wondering why Microsoft would allow one of its major brands to run on rival software?

Since Microsoft acquired the mobile giant Nokia last year, their focus has been to gain some market share for its Windows Phone platform and become a viable third player in the mobile marketplace, following Android and Apple.

Using the strength of brand associated with Nokia devices, Microsoft appeared well placed: according to ABI Research‘s figures, shipments for Windows Phone devices has boomed by 199% in 2014 compared to the previous year, but this only reflects a 3% market share in . . . → Read More: Microsoft rumoured to release a Nokia device running on Android

How To Approach Enterprise Mobile App Development

Mobile app development

In the era of mobile working, more and more employees are working out of the office and using mobile devices, such as tablets, smartphones and cloud services to perform corporate tasks.

When deciding on mobile app development strategy (as part of a broader mobile strategy), organisations have a number of approaches that could be considered:

Make It Yourself

For those organisations that require bespoke mobile software solutions, the most obvious choice for mobile app development would be a ‘do it yourself’ approach. This would be achieved by using native development methods.

For organisations with a multi-platform hardware strategy (for example, a mixture of iPads, Android smartphones and some Windows devices), this approach would require the software to be re-developed for each target platform. This would require development skills in a range of native development languages, which means investing in  development expertise for each target platform: Objective-C for Apple iOS, C# for Windows Phone 8, or . . . → Read More: How To Approach Enterprise Mobile App Development

Transportation Companies – How to save £500k per year on unaccounted damage to vehicles…

Transportation apps

Each year in the Transport & Logistics sector, companies find that approximately half a million pounds worth of vehicle damage is repaired that cannot be attributed to a cause.

Why?

Well although organisations within the transportation sector could identify when and where this damage occurred, it can be problematic because of the amount of paperwork they would have to trawl through. Imagine sifting through piles of vehicle condition reports when you’ve got 100s or 1000s of vehicles on your books.

As a result of this paperwork headache, and the admin time involved, the vehicle damage often ends up being absorbed by the company as an unexpected cost. This obviously impacts on whoever foots the bill and ultimately the company’s bottom line.

So what’s the solution?

Can this £500,000 be saved through better processes or filing? Or is the problem something that can only be addressed by a wider . . . → Read More: Transportation Companies – How to save £500k per year on unaccounted damage to vehicles…

What does Apple’s iOS 8 mean for the enterprise?

iOS 8

At the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco yesterday, the absence of new hardware announcements was substituted by information about new iOS and OSX software, in the name of iOS 8 and Mac OS 10.10, Yosemite.

The new iOS release, now cited on the Apple website as ‘the biggest release yet’ will boast a whole host of consumer friendly features such as improved photo management and an all singing all dancing iMessage app which sends self-expiring snippets of voice and video (seemingly embracing the Snapchat phenomenon).

The release will also feature a new health dashboard app, allowing users to integrate their fitness apps, manage weight, sleep and heat rate. This could be a sign that a smart watch is on the way soon, as the new app relies entirely on old hardware. However it . . . → Read More: What does Apple’s iOS 8 mean for the enterprise?

Implementing a mobile working strategy in your organisation – how to identify and overcome key challenges – Part 2

mobile strategy

In part one we highlighted 7 key challenges your organisation may face when implementing a mobile working strategy. In part 2 we’re exploring 7 more. This is by no means an exhaustive list, it’s more a collection of considerations that you’d be likely to encounter. Recap with part one here >>

8. Adequate Skilled Resource

Effective mobile apps require significant technical resource to develop, and this can either be managed in-house or outsourced.

Outsourcing development requires less corporate commitment but allows less control. In-house development provides more control but it can be costly, and the right developers can be hard to find.

9. Seamless Integration

Enterprise mobile applications are most useful when they integrate directly into the organisation’s business systems and data infrastructure.

Data captured on mobile devices may need to be fed to a number of back-end . . . → Read More: Implementing a mobile working strategy in your organisation – how to identify and overcome key challenges – Part 2

Implementing a mobile strategy in your organisation – how to identify and overcome key challenges.

mobile strategy

With the trend towards a more flexible approach to work habits, more employees are working out of the office and using mobile devices and cloud services to perform corporate tasks.

The benefits of a mobile working strategy are clear – mobile workers are more efficient, they can perform tasks faster and if they aren’t travelling miles every day to the office, there is a huge reduction in downtime.

What constitutes a good mobile strategy: 

An effective mobile strategy will allow mobile workers to access corporate data from any location, raise any issues and actions direct from the field and receive tasks and instructions from the office. However, ticking all of these boxes can present a major challenge.

If you were to make a list of all the potential hurdles you may come across during your mobile journey, the list would be endless. We’ve put together a list of what we . . . → Read More: Implementing a mobile strategy in your organisation – how to identify and overcome key challenges.

Microsoft release a version of Office for iPad – but what does this mean for devices like the Surface?

Microsoft Office for iPad

Ahead of their Build Developer conference next week, Microsoft announced today that they will be releasing a version of Office for the Apple iPad. This will be available to download from the app store as of today.

The iPad release requires an Office 365 subscription to edit documents, but the app can be used to read or view files. This differs from the versions available from the Windows Store, and from the iPhone and Android versions. Until today, both the iPhone and Android required a subscription to edit documents. Now both versions allow anyone with a Onedrive account to edit and access documents.

The significance of version of Office for iPad is clear when you consider Microsoft’s current focus: cloud, and mobile. On the one hand, the Office 365 cloud based subscription offering lends itself well to mobile working trends and . . . → Read More: Microsoft release a version of Office for iPad – but what does this mean for devices like the Surface?