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When thinking about the need for mobile solutions, a gritty road warrior running from conference to sales calls often comes to the fore of our minds. However, mobility is also about working (or playing) wherever we are, whenever we desire. It’s as much about reading at the dentist as crunching numbers while on a plane. It also should enable impromptu meetings and work within the workplace. Mobility is really all about always having access to your content and your tools with you, with all of the good and bad that entails (we need to intentionally set aside down time). So, mobility essentially breaks down into portability, accessibility and enable collaboration.  In a previous post, I provided an example of a mobile office which focused on portability. Let’s see how changes in technology improve access to your content and enable collaboration within the context of doing research. We’ll also see what it looks like on different platforms. Everything used here can (and has been) used on a Starbucks table, so it meets the portability criteria as well.

Let’s supposed you are documenting an IT architectural roadmap for your company and you’re researching Service-Oriented Architecture. You are working to recall some of the typical language and arguments used in discussing that subject. You pull out your Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design by Thomas Erl, do some reading, take some notes and, when you’re writing the paper, you need to include a quote. Fair enough. This doesn’t typically happen in one sitting and, typically these days, doesn’t happen just in your office.

Accessibility

So, you have some time while you’re son is at swimming practice; time to poke your head into Starbucks for the lovely Tall Skinny Peppermint Mocha latte and get to work. Reading on your Kindle Paperwhite, you see some promising paragraphs to include, so you highlight them and add a note.
Since you’re connected through ATT’s Wi-Fi, the note and highlighted quote goes to the cloud, accessible at kindle.amazon.com (as do all of your highlights and notes).

Figure 2 kindle.amazon.com

Your notes are available in chronological order, so if you’re focused on researching a topic, they’ll be together:

Figure 3 Notes and Highlights – Chronological

Now you can cut and paste your notes into your paper. One side benefit is that if you copy the quote from the Windows-based Kindle reader, it will automatically paste the citation as well.
To make it easy to get to a comment in question, simply select to access your notes.

Figure 4 Notes and bookmarks

Alternatively, the Windows reader will synch to the last page read on your Kindle device:

Figure 5 Windows 8 App Synch Message
So if it’s the last thing you’ve read includes the quote, you’ll go to the paragraph in question,
Figure 6 Cloud Reader

Now cut and paste – the paragraph citation is pasted into the document with the quote; simply cut the citation and paste into an end note.  Of course, you may have to modify  the format based on your citation requirements such as Chicago- style citation.
Application logic is an automated implementation of business logic organized into various technology solutions. Application logic expresses business process workflows through purchased or custom-developed systems within the confines of an organization’s IT infrastructure, security constraints, technical capabilities, and vendor dependencies.
Erl, Thomas (2005-08-02). Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design (Kindle Locations 5357-5359). Pearson Education (USA). Kindle Edition.
So, you read and made notations at Starbucks. While there you can cut and paste into your document, say in Word used on Windows Surface or do the job when you’re back at your desktop/laptop.  Mobile solutions will always include compromise; nothing beats a desktop-replacement laptop with dual large screen monitor back at the farm:

Figure 7 The Old Homestead

Amazon really gets this micro-travel, work everywhere idea. I can read on my Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Windows Phone 8 app, Windows 8 application or in the cloud. Each time I take up a new device, it will ask me if I wish to synch to the last place read and I’m off to the races.
Synching & reading:

Kindle Paperwhite
Windows Phone 8
Windows 8

With Whispersync for Voice, if you were listening to a book, it would ask to pick up in the same spot on your Kindle. All of this means we can work how, when and where are best for us and we can play and learn in places more practically than ever before.

Collaborate and Listen

This micro-mobility also feeds into enabling greater collaboration as well. So the same thing that allows you to access your work anywhere, the cloud, allows you to share anywhere as well. For example, document collaboration as well as video – conferencing and sharing desktops makes it easier than ever to virtually collaborate, especially for individuals and small companies.
If you’re working on a document in Word notifications occur every step of the way.  So, multiple people may update the document and see each other’s updates while talking them through via Skype or just on your mobile.<.

So, whether using web-based Word or the full Windows version, it’s clear when someone else is working on your document:

Figure 8 Editor Notification

Editing notifications are given:

Figure 9 Display of Paragraph Under Edit

Updates are highlighted as you accept them.

Figure 10 Highlighted Updates from Collaborators

Similar notifications are provided if you use the Word Web-App:
Two-people editing:

Figure 11: Web Notification of Editors
Figure 12: Web Notification of Updates
as well as highlighted updates and notifications.
We similar access and notifications on the Windows Phone 8:
Figure 13 Office on Windows Phone 8
Figure 14 Update Notification
Figure 15 Updated Document

So not only can you access your content work where and when you need, but you can collaborate with whomever you need. You have tools available on multiple platforms such as Kindle applications (more on Kindle Paperwhite and Whispersync for Voice here)and Microsoft office (especially elegantly portable and accessible on the Windows Surface RT, more details available on this post).
There are other types of tools for collaboration within the context of more robust infrastructure; e;g;, Citrix’s GoToMeeting desktop sharing, Techsmith’s Camtasia for sophisticated recording of the desktop (and a camera) or Remote Desktop but these are best exercised within a network with good bandwidth and more damped sound. One note for special mention – while I prefer Microsoft’s more robust Office suite and Office web-apps, Google docs (now Drive) is especially good at real-time collaboration. Updates are dynamic and displayed  almost like a chat. Hence, if your use of document editors is fairly basic without much sophisticated formatting, it might represent a nice option.

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