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?

How mobile app technology can be used to overcome operational challenges in the housing sector

Mobile Housing Apps

Mobile technology has always lent itself well to working practices in the housing sector. Due to the remote nature of staff such as housing officers, neighbourhood officers and maintenance staff, being connected to the office is a valuable capability.


Data is a big driver for housing, and also a big administrative challenge. Remote workers need the capability to capture data, and also access it: A housing officer, for example, may need to pull details about a particular tenant from the housing management system before they visit them. Checking for any rent in arrears, or whether there any  reported issues or repairs are common examples of the types of data remote workers need access to.


Mobile technology is a great enabler for data capture and information access, and there are several other benefits: for the individual, the ability to stay visible and connected can boost efficiency, . . . → Read More: How mobile app technology can be used to overcome operational challenges in the housing sector

How to improve Health and Safety strategy through the use of mobile technology

The majority of organisations will already have a mature Health and Safety strategy. It will set responsibilities, identify clear reporting and escalation processes, select and nominate H&S champions in various departments. The ultimate aim of the strategy is to empower colleagues to look at H&S as part of their everyday life, to be part of their culture, if you like.

Having a clear Health and Safety strategy is vital, but can it be more effective?

Can we take advantage of another culture which is ever present in a high percentage of our daily lives – mobile.  The majority of people in the UK now own a Smartphone or tablet and it is not uncommon for an individual to actually own more than one mobile device. Moreover, by 2016 it is predicted that mobile workers will easily outnumber their office based colleagues, according to IDC research. So can this . . . → Read More: How to improve Health and Safety strategy through the use of mobile technology

CommonTime Are Taking Part in the Derby 10k Run

Derby 10k 2014

Our running team are training hard for the Derby 10k Business Team Challenge

CommonTime have rounded up a team of 10 runners, and will be taking part in the Derby 10k race, as part of the PKF Cooper Parry Business Team Challenge. As a company based on Pride Park, we’re looking forward to getting involved with an event that’s not only right on our doorstep but also involves so many of the local community.

With just a few weeks to go until race day on 6th April, our 10 runners are training as hard as they can – in their favour, the CommonTime office is situated right on the 10k route, which makes for some good opportunities to practice on lunch-breaks. However, having seen some of the incredible race results . . . → Read More: CommonTime Are Taking Part in the Derby 10k Run

Seasons Greetings From CommonTime – A Round-Up Of Our News From 2013

Merry Christmas from CommonTime

With Christmas only 7 sleeps away and 2014 looming in less than a fortnight, we wanted to take the opportunity to wish all of our followers and readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

It’s been a great year for us here at CommonTime and we hope 2013 has been a successful one for you too. We wanted to share some of our latest news as well as our upcoming plans for the new year.

 mDesign 7.0 – Coming Soon The latest release of our mDesign mobile app development platform will be available soon. mDesign 7 boasts a fresh new look and feel, as well as a host of new and exciting features.

Look out for a major announcement in the new year where we’ll be unveiling mDesign 7, and what benefits its new features could deliver . . . → Read More: Seasons Greetings From CommonTime – A Round-Up Of Our News From 2013

How to Quantify ROI for Mobile Solutions

ROI for Mobile Solutions

Top 8 efficiency savings to justify including mobile working in your 2014 budget

It’s getting to that time of where budgets need to be planned and allocated for 2014. Many companies we’ve spoken to are planning mobile projects to drive efficiency savings, but in spite of mobile projects becoming a strategic focus for a large proportion of organisations, ROI for mobile  is still proving to be a bit of a grey area to predict or calculate.

We’ve put together a list of areas where efficiency savings can be measured to provide a more tangible ROI for  mobile solutions.

1. Elimination of duplicated work:

For many organisations with mobile workers, current practice means staff capture data on paper forms and then input this into PC/back office systems upon their return to the office.

Using a mobile solution would allow data captured to be integrated to back office systems, thereby . . . → Read More: How to Quantify ROI for Mobile Solutions

The CommonTime Technology in Social Housing Survey 2013

Technology in housing survey

How mobile is the social housing sector?

Having spent a few years now developing mobile apps for housing associations, we’re well aware of the ‘mobile’ nature of the work carried out by housing sector staff – the likes of housing officers and maintenance staff undertake numerous tasks and processes out in the field every day.

The Housing Survey:

We were interested to know how many of these mobile workers were using technology to help with their daily activities: We interviewed a cross section of maintenance and housing officers to identify what a day in their life would look like, what processes they undertake on a day to day basis, how they carry these out, and what technology (if any) they use to help them with these tasks.

The results were interesting:  take a look at the infographic >>

The Results: . . . → Read More: The CommonTime Technology in Social Housing Survey 2013

The Nursing Technology Fund

Nursing Technology Fund

Finally.. Following the announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012, NHS England expects the bidding process to start on Wednesday for the £100m Nursing Technology Fund.

The fund is designed as an enabler to all NHS trusts and foundation trusts who want to improve nursing technology.

It’s been a long time coming, and to be honest the timescales for the first round of £30million is tight. Bids are to be awarded before Christmas so NHS trusts will really need to get their act together if they are going to implement before 31/3/2014 ! A further £70 million will be released and a second round of bidding is expected after April 2014.

To qualify for this lump of cash (which by NHS standards is minuet) the use case is for greater implementation of technology for the nurse process. Anything from recording obs to vital signs, accessing the patient . . . → Read More: The Nursing Technology Fund

Clinical Research and Mobile Technology

mobile clinical research solutions

Taking the ‘trial’ out of clinical trials

Why go mobile

Clinical trials are an extremely expensive part of pharmaceutical development, in fact, they are often the single most expensive part of the entire cycle. The reason for this – clinical trial operations are one of the most resource-intensive areas within a pharmaceutical company and often involve extremely labour intensive, manual processes for collecting, aggregating and rationalising data.

By its very nature, collecting this data is a mobile process. Whether it’s a clinician moving from bed-to-bed or room-to-room to interview patients, a representative meeting patients in their own home or patients themselves who use everyday mobile devices, this is not a data capture process that can sensibly be tied to a non-mobile device.

As a result, clinical research studies traditionally rely on data being collected from clinicians or patient using paper questionnaires and forms. This collected data is . . . → Read More: Clinical Research and Mobile Technology

Welfare Reform: Using Mobile Technology To Help Housing Officers and Their Tenants

Housing officers and welfare reform

Addressing rent arrears collection and the housing welfare reform with mobile apps for housing officers 

Since the recent welfare reform in housing, social housing providers and their housing officers have had to adjust how they operate.  Changes to the benefits system mean that housing providers are finding increasing emphasis being placed on helping tenants to maximise their income and looking closely into personal finances. With these requirements on top of their usual tasks, housing officers have got their work cut out for them.

The key to success for any social landlord is keeping rent arrears consistently low: According to the Guardian Housing Network, most social landlords will meet a target collection rate of between 95-97%.However, issues such as payment of housing benefit directly to tenants poses a threat to housing providers to maintain these collection rates. According to recent research:

“Reports from the recent pilot project on payments of housing benefit . . . → Read More: Welfare Reform: Using Mobile Technology To Help Housing Officers and Their Tenants