The explosion of mobile collaboration tools and video is shaking up the digital workplace

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The nature of work is changing – collaborative working, non-routine schedules, and a workforce that expects to work anytime, anywhere.  We call these workers GenMobile—tech savvy users who rely on cloud-based business apps for every aspect of their work and personal lives. It's not really surprising that this mobile workforce takes their devices everywhere—to work, school, or the airport—and they consume more imagery and video content than ever before. Let's face it, with Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other services fueling the fire, video is the leading digital content type we consume in our personal lives or at work.

The battle for mobile UC and video heats up

We all know video is huge, but not all video is created equal—some are critical for business success, and some mean a big waste of valuable airtime. That's where Aruba comes in. We can deliver preferential treatment to mobile apps based on priorities set by IT. Run any voice or video app you want on Android, iOS, Windows or initiate any set of app store updates in the background, and we'll find a way to identify and enforce policy. Do you want different policies between contractors, marketers, engineers, guests and executives on the same network? No problem. Do you want the policies to change per location? Done. So, Aruba solutions make sure that the network is programmed based on which app shows up in the network, and where and how it is classified per IT's policy.

What about the other guys?

You know mobile UC and video is big when some of the large vendors start making announcements. Last week, Cisco and Apple announced a new partnership to optimize Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps, providing collaboration on iPhone and iPad. Their mobile collaboration apps, when run on iOS devices, will start signaling QoS to the Cisco network infrastructure. Since Cisco Wi-Fi does not have a way to fingerprint and identify apps automatically, this becomes a bit of a challenge for highly crowded Cisco wireless networks.

Does this technology ensure that Wi-Fi calling, WhatsApp voice, FaceTime voice/video, Skype voice/video or any other multimedia enabled iOS apps perform better on a Cisco network? No it does not. This technology works with the Cisco mobile collaboration app in Cisco environments only. Being locked down with one vendor sort of defeats the purpose of "collaboration" tools.

What happens next?

One thing is for sure, mobile collaboration is only going to get bigger and more pervasive in the enterprise. Aruba will continue to lead ongoing technical collaboration and product testing with Apple, to ensure that Apple iPhones, iPads, MacBook, and portable and desktop computers continue to be fully interoperable with Aruba's enterprise and Suite B Wi-Fi solutions.

ps. In case you have not seen what else Aruba can do for Apple, check out one of my favorite videos:

Newsha Sharifzadeh is a global product marketing manager at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. She has an MBA in entrepreneurship and marketing from Santa Clara University and bachelors in Electrical Engineering from University of Toronto. She specializes in networking specifically wireless portfolio.