Lunchtime Links: Tech Tools to Help You Work Smarter

A new app provides improved access to Office productivity tools in the web browser. Also: Is your association considering a move to BYOD? Consider this first.

There’s no shortage of technologies out there that promise to make our lives easier. Consider the benefits, and potential drawbacks, of some of the most appealing options for association professionals in today’s Lunchtime Links.

Virtual office: If your association works in a PC or a Mac environment, many of your employees probably use tools from Microsoft’s popular Office suite (think Excel, Word, and PowerPoint). But the applications that employees might be familiar with at work aren’t always available on the go. It’s no secret that Microsoft software doesn’t play nice with some of the more recent mobile operating systems, such as iOS and Android. A company called CloudOn has attempted to address these gaps by providing downloadable apps that provide virtualized copies of Microsoft’s Office products for use on mobile devices. Now, according to a recent article in PCWorld by technology writer Mark Hachman, the company has gone a step further: The same virtualized technology will now also run as an app inside Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome web browsers, essentially giving workers access to a virtualized copy of Microsoft’s Office suite, wherever they are.

Cool tools: Anybody who’s ever presented at a live conference or event, either as a keynote speaker or as part of a breakout session, will attest to just how stressful and sometimes frustrating the process can be. It’s not easy to create a presentation (that, you hope, people will like) and then stand up in front of a crowd of your peers and pray that your voice—or worse, your technology—doesn’t fail you at the worst possible moment. Writing for the Event Manager Blog, editor Julius Solaris rounds up the latest tools presenters can use to ensure a more engaging and, hopefully, less stressful experience. His list of gadgets includes a 4G LTE WiFi device for increased wireless access and speed, a portable charging pack for mobile devices, and portable projector and thermal printer. For more cool presenter tools, check out Solaris’ full list.

Bring your own—or not? As mobile devices continue to play a more prominent role in life and work, organizations have begun to consider ways to save by encouraging employees and other stakeholders to bring their own devices to work. The so-called BYOD trend has become a popular topic of conversation among executives and IT leaders. (Our own Ernie Smith posted about this topic just yesterday.) But do the benefits of increased access and lower hardware costs make up for the challenges that installing a BYOD network may pose for your organization’s infrastructure? Not to mention the unforeseen expenses? These are just a few of the questions technology provider EMC considers in a recent post for Forbes‘ Brand Voice column.

Is your association considering a move to BYOD? Tell us in the comments.

Corey Murray

By Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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