Lumia 950 – first reviews are coming online

lumia-950-xl-300x214Yesterday the first hands-on reviews of the Lumia 950 were published by thelarge’ American sites. I have read, viewed or listened to two; The Verge and WindowsCentral both have their reviews online.

What is striking is that The Verge, almost by tradition, is more negative about the Lumia in comparison to WindowsCentral. But in both cases the criticism is quite harsh;

There are many references to the simple design when compared to other high-end phones. It is described as cheap and plastic. Where the The Verge really does not recommend anything about the Lumia, WindowsCentral has found a few positive points in the specifications, the camera abilities and the Continuum addition, which is described as very special. WindowsCentral also makes clear, however, that they do not expect the average user to adopt Continuum.

As said, The Verge is not very positive, but WindowsCentral stresses that for users who choose the Microsoft ecosystem the Lumia 950 and 950 XL is the perfect phone. A phone that anyone who falls into that category certainly needs to buy.

Both sites are of course quite vocal at the sheer lack of applications. The Verge is the most negative and really says that almost nothing is available, while a somewhat more nuanced image is painted by WindowsCentral, but with the clear remark that there is a big gap between the quality and availability of applications for Android, IPhone and Windows Phone.

Is unclear, and no one dares to make any predictions, if Windows 10 will solve that problem.


The Verge – Lumia 950 review

WindowsCentral – Lumia 950 review

Test of Plantronics Voyager Legend bluetooth headset and Windows Phone

This is just a quick post to let you know that I recently tested the Plantronics Voyager Legend with my Lumia 930 Windows Phone (running Denim). I am glad to report all functions work out of the box:

  • Bluetooth pairing
  • Voice control
  • Full Cortana integration
  • Caller ID announcements when receiving a call

So all-in-all I am very happy with my choice. More test results after some road tests in the coming days.


Like Shopping? Prepare for something better.

shoppingThere are 3 reasons I never go shopping without my smart phone; first I need to be able to compare the price of what is on sale with the price I would pay elsewhere, secondly, I like to see a review of the product on-line and thirdly I need to be able to call my wife when I am in doubt about what kind of groceries, or some other unknown item written on her shopping list (female hygiene products are always challenging for me).

The shopping experience has suffered a dramatic change over the last decades. Offers are larger and more diversified than ever, globalization is a reality and e-commerce is growing exponentially. Buyers are more demanding, discerning and sophisticated while the traditional selling models are not good enough to secure a sustainable sales flow.”

This change in shopping, fueled by mobile technologies and a much deeper understanding of the customers behaviors and demands is the scope of a white paper download, called “The Future of In-Store Shopping”.

Physical shopkeepers, as explained in the paper, are increasingly under pressure to compete with the e-commerce world in order to provide an experience that has the same convenience of shopping on-line while at the same time offer the intimacy and customer satisfaction of getting to touch and discuss a product.

The answer lies in putting the customer at the center of the value chain through an enhanced shopping experience. Whenever customers interact with the commerce, a new opportunity arises to know them better and offer a more personalized service, which could extend up to negotiating prices on a one-to-one basis.”

New shopping models will be needed to capture the client and bring the value of being in the shop, while at the same time the convenience of electronic payment and delivery is combined with the physical shop experience. Possible scenario’s include personalization but also increase the experience through show casing of product ranges and providing expert support during the decision making process.

The reason for being in a store can be further enhanced by making it part of a full end-to-end experience that can even start before you go into the shop. Something we used to do by sending around leaflets of this week’s offerings, but can now become a much more sophisticated and personal experience through data analytics of previous purchases or engaging the customer in communities – this ‘value-flow’, that can even include a post-shopping experience, is explained in detail and allows you to understand how you can set this up yourself.

The better the retailers take care after a purchase, considering it the ‘purchase before the next purchase’, the more likely they are to have won happy and frequent customers.”

Technology will support this change. New payment methods, using mobile devices (we have talked about this before in my blogs and a white paper dedicated to mobile payments is also available) are increasingly available. But other technologies such as geo-location and in-store routing allow consumers to find stores and even navigate to specific locations inside the store. Big Data Analytics and all types of product identification through smart labelling, NFC or bar codes will help us track both the consumer and the products inside the store and beyond. Better and ‘always-on’ connectivity will support high enough bandwidth to enrich the physical product with lots of additional (meta-) data to give the customer even more information.

Initially consumers will start using basic functionalities (find a store, make a shopping list, get product information, etc.) and once they feel confident and see the value, they will access more complex functionalities (make a shopping basket, self-checkout, mobile payment, cloud tickets, etc.). It is important that all these functions are easy to use and they are designed with the consumer at the center, hiding the complexity of the technologies being used (NFC, image recognition, indoor location, etc.)”

And when we look further in the future we will see possibilities for consumers to get access to the full product life cycle – where was this chair made, what is the origin of this coffee, what are the ingredients of this pizza? The full ecological footprint will be available regarding the actual product you are touching and putting in your basket. On top of that, using augmented reality the shop can adapt itself to your mood, informing the staff that you are open for suggestions or want to be left alone.

Ultimately, what will make stores interesting in the future is the same thing that makes them interesting today: the physical experience of being there, talking to real people who know their products, touching such products and the unbeatable joy at leaving the store with the product in your hands.”

The paper gives you a comprehensive overview and is a good starting point to understand how customer expectations, technology and the way retailers like to organize their physical business comes together. And this is not far away in the future as I experienced recently when my favorite on-line retailer just now opened a physical store in my home town – interestingly the location of the store was the result of asking their on-line customers to find the best spot for them. I’m sure they saved a lot of money because they did not need to hire a specialist, locating the perfect location was outsourced to their customers – in my book, that is clever thinking.

This blog post was previously published at 

The consequences of a stolen phone

Your wallet is stolen. You wanted to pay for your tall latte and it is gone. You search all of your pockets and looked around, bewildered.

Maybe somebody found it and will hand it to you. No. It’s gone. The nice lady at the counter understands and gives you your coffee anyhow. That’s nice.


Cafe Latte (by amenic181 at doesn’t change the fact that your wallet is stolen. In your mind you create a list of everything that is in it. Some money, the tickets for the theater, your bank card and your credit card, some pictures of your children and a business card you got while you bumped into an old friend on your way to the coffee shop.

So now you reach for your phone, you have to call the bank to block your cards, you do not want some punk to get his dirty hands on your salary.

Oh wait and sh@#$%^&*, your phone is gone too…

In a recent white paper of the Atos Scientific Community the security aspects of mobile devices is addressed , as well as other aspects in the management of devices in the new bring-your-own-device concept that is being allowed by many companies and full heartedly embraced by employees.

The quotes below are from that white paper.

“Enterprise Mobile Management solutions currently available in the market address different aspects of BYO. Balancing those with network & access as well as data and applications usage will pave the way for a successful BYO implementation…”

Ok. It is gone, you do a quick mental inventory of what is on your phone.

Access to your personal and business email, Twitter and Facebook account. Your contact list of about 400 people with their email addresses, home addresses and telephone number included. On top of that access to your DropBox account with all the info on a recent bid and the complete cost break down of all products.

And because you have a new NFC enabled phone, your credit card is also in digital format on your phone. Now what?

“The key area to support BYO in 2016 will be tablets and their descendants (e.g. wearable computers), along with smartphones. We see these as the two key device segments.”

The white paper does not only cover this case of a stolen phone – it goes into all measures you can take if you adopt the bring-your-own-device scenario in your company.

What to do with applications, data and network access; all these aspects are clearly explained and some best practices are listed for any CxO that is looking into this.

“Security in such dynamic environments as BYO must be built on the assumption that anyone or any device may get access to the data, but that only authorized users should be able to use it for the intended and agreed purpose, and under a defined context.”

“Sir? Is this yours?” When you turn around you see a nice person holding up both your phone and wallet – you start breathing again.

At the same time you think about what you could do to avert the disaster that did not happen this time.



This blog post was previously published at

What did you pay for your corporate smartphone?

[This blog post is a repost of ]

I bought my own bed. I like it, it is a big bed with a proper mattress and pocket springs.

I also bought my own pillow and now that I think of it, I also bought my own milk and decided, by my own, that I really needed to eat a hamburger and chips last night (with a Heineken beer, at Silversant in Amstelveen, the hamburger wasn’t really what I hoped for, but that is a different topic).

The choice I made for my bed contributes to my good health, my choice for food does probably not.

The point is that nowhere in the process of purchasing furniture and food, I was guided by my employer. Most people will find that normal, but they are also happy that the employer provides them with a standard company laptop, standard (smart)phone and standard application suite.

Arguably there is a big difference between IT equipment and furniture but it opens up the discussion on the freedom of choice for these type of company supplies.

This topic is very much in-depth looked into in a Atos Scientific Community white paper called “Consumerization Technology. Is it really good for business?”.

“So why has the corporate world stood still and remained such a monolithic and homogeneous environment when the way of working is evolving, despite legacy foundations? Why shouldn’t organizations take advantage of the vast array of information, skills and consumer devices in the world today? This is the concept of consumerism. Devices, services or software that is intended for the mass consumer market can cross over and equally be used in a corporate environment.”

I firmly believe that the tools that I use for my work should fit my objectives and if the standard is not good enough, more flexible choices should be available. It helps me in my motivation and effectiveness.

”Positive feedback from employees and an attractive working environment for the workforce of tomorrow will have a significant positive impact. This, combined with the removal of the de-motivating factor of having to struggle with an IT department to be able to work efficiently and an increased level of trust, will be seen as reward enough by many. This could even be extended by offering supplementary benefits, such as insurance schemes, negotiated prices or other options…“

In general we see an increased interest in this ‘Bring-Your-Own’ (BYO) concept and it has unexpected valuable side-effects:

”Personal productivity can increase as a result of the user using a device that they are used to and that suits their style of working. Also, if an employee is using a device they choose or one with personal data on, then they are more likely to respect that device and as a result lose less time dealing with support issues or worse. Combine this with the fact that the new found flexibility is highly appreciated by employees and the result is typically more dedication and commitment.”

The whitepaper also addresses the fact that there are serious risks associated to a BYO strategy. Both in lack of productivity (Facebook versus Excel) and in security or confidentiality of information.

An approach to handle this as well as an explanation how this affects other parts of the IT landscape is addressed in the paper, with special attention to networks, information management and utilizing corporate applications.

But this is most of all about technology, is it not? Well as it turns out, it is not. A BYO strategy also needs to address non-IT related subjects such as HRM, TAX, privacy and compliancy. In the end, I like it. It creates a relationship between me and my employer that focuses on the delivering of objectives, not the provisioning of supplies.

It also leaves me at the helm and allows me freedom in the choice of stuff that helps me do my work. So why stop there?

“As consumer technology improves, and consumer IT proficiency increases, many organizations will consider consumer solutions to be ‘good enough’”

I am looking forward to a working environment that lets me choose my applications, my location and maybe even my own language.

(Blogs schrijven in het Nederlands die automatisch worden vertaald – dat zou mooi zijn)


The Atos Scientific Community whitepaper can be downloaded here

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