The Rise of the Mobile Device

I maintain two blogs.  There is, of course, the SIP blog you are reading at this very moment.  I also have one that is as far from SIP and IP technology as you can possibly get.

They draw very different audiences, but over the past few years I’ve seen the same change in how those blogs are accessed.  If I look back at 2010, I find that most of my readers came in on Windows PCs and Internet Explorer.  As the months go by, I see a few more Macintosh users.  I also see IE being replaced by Firefox and Chrome.  However, the biggest change is that I see less access via computer-type devices and more people reading my blogs on smart phones and tablets.  The view counts for IOS and Android have skyrocketed.  In fact, if I lump Windows and Macintosh together, their numbers are now smaller than the combined totals of the other devices.

Perhaps this is anecdotal, but I don’t think so.  The way that I personally access digital data mirrors my blog statistics.   While I still find it significantly easier to type blog posts such as this one on my Lenovo Twist, I turn to my iPhone for most everything else.  I read and write emails, browse the web, run specialized applications, watch videos, play music, and access maps and navigation all day long on my iPhone.  My PC has become the machine with the big keyboard, mouse, and two monitors.

Anyone who has been following this blog knows that I also run a number of SIP clients on my iPhone.  It has gotten to the point where it is now my go-to device for enterprise communications.  My Avaya 9641 SIP phone is great, but my job requires me to be mobile and an Ethernet cable only reaches so far.

Speaking of distance, I am writing this blog from Terminal 3 at the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona.  While getting away from the cold of my Minnesota home should be reason enough, I came out here to work with a major hospital chain on upgrading their aging communications infrastructure.  A good deal of my time was spent talking about line cards, gateways, and trunks, but mobility was also a major agenda item.  I expect that moving communications away from traditional black and gray wired telephones is on the minds of every health care institution.  Doctors come into the hospital carrying tablets and smart phones.  Nurses are on their feet all day long moving from one patient to the next.  They all need to communicate and they all need to do so on the run.

Healthcare providers have the responsibility of protecting their patient’s privacy and personal medical data.  Any communications device, protocol, and process must have security built in from the ground up.  Transport Layer Security (TLS), Secure Real-Time Protocol (SRTP), Session Border Controllers, SIP authentication, and encrypted data storage all work together to provide that secure foundation for even the most stringent of hospitals.

If I am lucky I will be back here in Phoenix before the end of winter and I am certain that these conversations will continue.  Better yet, I hope that the migration from their older TDM equipment begins in earnest.  There will be growing pains, but the rewards are significant.

Okay, my plane is at the gate and I need to start packing up if I want to get on-board before all the overhead bins are filled.  FAA regulations require me to power down and store my PC, but my iPhone will stay on and connected until they close the cabin doors.  One more reason why this little mobile device of mine has become my closest technology friend.

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