There have been many questions concerning the best way for a business to utilize the new Apple iPad. As a stand-alone device, it is unable to run any Windows applications. It can't access file shares on your company's network. You can't even download a song at the same time you are checking e-mail. How can you use it to run all of your business applications then?
The answer is desktop virtualization. With desktop virtualization, your "personal computer" isn't actually a computer at all. It is a virtual instance on a large central server, along with many other instances. You can think of it like television station. The television station has all kinds of resources and information, and that information is beamed to your TV when you turn it to that station. With desktop virtualization, your iPad is the television, and that large central server is the television station. Your "personal computer" can then be accessed anywhere in the world by almost any device.
Technology grows by leaps and bounds ever year, but because of the recent recession, many companies have been forced to "make due" with what they already had. They spent time "Preparing for the Worst" by reducing costs and settling for old and outdated technology. However, brighter days appear to be upon us. The companies and partners I work with on a daily basis have been showing many signs that the storm clouds are clearing. At INTRUST, projects with existing clients and interest from new clients is up dramatically from just a few months ago.
I participate in a nationwide business peer group consisting of twelve companies located across the country. On our monthly conference call in March, every single company in my group reported increased sales activity. This overwhelming trend sparked my optimism so I decided to look deeper into it.
Last month I described how a trip on Megabus resulted in the company following me on Twitter. After reading that, you might be asking yourself how Megabus knew I was mentioning the company on the Internet, as big as the Internet is. The answer is search.
Megabus probably used a free tool like Tweetdeck (http://www.tweetdeck.com) to monitor Twitter for the word "Megabus". Anytime anyone uses that term, they are notified and can choose to respond to the post. If your company has any interaction with consumers you should be watching Twitter for any mention of your company or products. Doing that gives you an amazing view of what people are saying about your product or company in real-time. And you aren't limited to just passively viewing what is going on. You can respond to posts. For good mentions you can thank people for using your product. For upset customers you can offer assistance to resolve the issue. It can be a very powerful tool. Many large organizations are doing this on a daily basis. The best thing is you can get started for free! Just download Tweetdeck and get started.
Over the past several months I have had the need to travel to Chicago on a regular basis to attend to all of the new challenges of our merger. In that time I have driven, flown, and been a passenger with many different drivers. Always one to be on the lookout for a better way to do things, I heard about a logistical option called the Megabus. It is a bus service that runs between many Midwestern cities, and it happens to provide service between Cincinnati and Chicago with a brief stop in Indianapolis. Just like anything new, I had to do some Internet research before trying it myself. The reviews I found online immediately had me rethinking this as an option. There were tales of late departures, late arrivals, rude bus drivers, smelly passengers, and bad truck stops. But after further thought, I realized that every travel option out there has its share of travel nightmares. I started to compare the bus stories to those I had heard from fellow air travelers and they really weren't all that different. In spite of all of the issues I have had with air travel, including a night stranded in the Charlotte airport, I continue to fly on an almost monthly basis because the ability to travel by air easily outweighs those issues. So I decided it was something worth trying out.