HTML5 or Native mobile apps? That is the question.

We love this infographic table from Business Insider Magazine on how to make your mind up about whether to develop/purchase native or HTML5-based mobile applications:

HTML5 vs Native mobile apps infographic

 

Those of you who are familiar with Azurati, will undoubtedly know that our feet are firmly in the HTML5 camp.  We see a great future for HTML5 and enterprise mobile apps and mobile micro-apps.

Advertisements

Microsoft Office or Skydrive Pro unlikely to come to IOS (or Android) in the near future

apple vs microsoftThose of you who have been patiently putting up with the shortcomings of document editing on your iPads and Nexus tablets while you wait for Microsoft to release a mobile version of Microsoft Office®, will be sorely disappointed by the recent declarations of Steve Balmer and Kurt DelBene, the head of Microsoft’s Office division.

In short, you can forget about Microsoft Office on anything other than a Windows Phone or Windows 8 tablet.  The same goes for the confusingly branded Skydrive Pro, which was announced by Microsoft in 2012 as being the new mobile offline client for Microsoft SharePoint.

If you have not been keeping up to speed with what is becoming something of a saga, Microsoft and Apple are in the middle of a major dispute over the payment of royalty fees to Apple for upgrades or paid subscriptions within in apps that have been downloaded from the IOS App Store for free.  Essentially, Apple is saying that if a developer charges for an app or service relating to an app that was free at the time of download, they want their 30% royalty fee.  This is something that Microsoft has found hard to stomach and so they have (for the foreseeable future) decided to eschew the IOS platform.  [The lack of availability of Microsoft Apps on Google Play is due to other reasons].

Microsoft’s mobile SharePoint plans up in the air?
All of this means that Microsoft’s much lauded SharePoint 2013 mobile functionality with an offline mobile client, is unlikely to see the light of day.  Even Gartner seem to be frustrated by Microsoft’s inability to get their story straight on mobile and had this to say in a recent research note:

“Microsoft hasn’t given much attention to mobility on SharePoint, and there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency around it, which is bewildering”

Fear not however, because companies like Azurati have developed solutions that provide cross-platform mobile SharePoint with on and offline working options and the ability to use full Microsoft Office to edit documents, spreadsheets or presentations live on any mobile device.

Azurati doc live edit 2

Figure 1:  Users select ‘edit document’ in SharePoint2Go

Azurati doc live edit 4

Figure 2:  Editing a document in Microsoft Word via SharePoint2Go

Azurati has integrated Microsoft Office Web Apps® into its HTML5 SharePoint2Go® solution, allowing documents stored in Microsoft SharePoint to be edited live and saved back to SharePoint without having to download documents to third party editing applications and then having to upload them back to SharePoint (sometimes with document formatting issues) at a later time.  Its a really neat solution and gives users what they want:  to be able to edit documents in Microsoft Office.

To find out more about Azurati’s SharePoint2Go solution and to arrange a free trial, visit: www.azurati.com/products/sharepoint2go

 

Azurati webinar: Deploying secure HTML5 mobile applications to any mobile device

Friday, January 11, 2013

Register button

Are you considering deploying mobile versions of your enterprise applications, like Microsoft SharePoint or other line of business applications, to your users?

Gartner estimates that by the end of 2014, 70% of companies will have deployed an enterprise mobile or BYOD strategy.

Azurati is a leader in providing secure, cross-platform enterprise mobile applications.  Join this webinar to learn more about how we can help you to deliver on your enterprise mobility strategy.

During the webinar we will talk about:

1. Mobile user authentication and security
2. Mobile-enabling core enterprise systems, like Microsoft SharePoint
3. Developing new HTML5 cross-platform mobile apps faster with Azurati ASAP

Who should attend?
This webinar will appeal to IT professionals, business executives and systems integrators who are looking at deploying secure cross-platform mobile applications to enterprise users.

Title: Deploying secure HTML5 enterprise applications on any mobile device
Date: Wednesday, January 23 2013
Time:     08:00  Los Angeles

11:00  New York

16:00 London

17:00 Paris

Register button

Does your SharePoint implementation support mobile users?

Perhaps a good place to start answering this question may be to ask whether your SharePoint implementation supports and adds value to your staff in general?

The SharePoint story has been phenomenal.  It has become the de facto enterprise portal, ECM solution and collaboration platform of choice for over 65,000 corporate customers with 125 million users (according to Microsoft).  Some 65% of companies say that have deployed SharePoint enterprise-wide, yet a commonly reported issue is that SharePoint implementations fail to create an engaging and productive working environment for end users. So, what kind of functionality in SharePoint should you be looking for to help your staff become more productive with their time?  Here is a list of some of the more obvious features:

  • Access to document libraries and templates
  • Tasks and workflow
  • Forms
  • Custom views and WebParts (like Social Collaboration apps, corporate announcements, staff contact lists, BI reports and dashboards, CRM pipeline reports, etc).

If your SharePoint environment provides some or all of these functions, then you probably feel that SharePoint is going a good job in supporting your users. Your staff who work away from the office or who want to access SharePoint on mobile devices however, may well feel quite differently, since it is unlikely that they are going to be able to have access to the same rich supporting environment on their smartphone or tablet.

There are many issues to overcome in order to provide secure mobile access to SharePoint.  Firstly, the standard mobile templates that ship with SharePoint are basic, uninspiring and difficult to customize and any development work that is taken place will need to be repeated for each mobile platform and form factor. Then you have the issue of security and authentication.  Remembering that staff members who want to access corporate systems from their mobile devices, are essentially the same as external users; so firewalls, authentication procedures and mobile information security policies may need to be revised.

Whether you take the plunge and undertake custom development of SharePoint’s native mobile templates, or whether you purchase an off-the-shelf mobile SharePoint application from an App store, you will still only have access to standard out-of-the-box SharePoint functions. If your SharePoint system has been branded and customized with WebParts and other functionality that add value to your staff to boost collaboration and productivtiy, then unfortunately all of the current mobile SharePoint solutions on the market fail to provide mobile users with a corresponding mobile SharePoint experience as they all only provide assess to standard functionality, like tasks, calendars, lists items and document libraries.

That is, with the exception of Azurati.  Azurati’s SharePoint2Go solution provides a highly secure cross-platform mobile SharePoint experience that will work on any device from a Windows 8 Surface tablet, to IOS device and everything in between.  The big difference being that it also allows the mobile SharePoint UI to be branded and customized, so that it essentially becomes a mobile extension to the internal SharePoint environment and most importantly, it also allows custom developed WebParts, that provide the added value to SharePoint users, to be transformed into v-Parts® and made available to mobile users via SharePoint2Go.

So, from an end user’s perspective, SharePoint2Go provides a rich mobile SharePoint experience that will allow mobile users to maintain office-level productivity when working on any smartphone or tablet. From the IT department’s perspective, SharePoint2Go allows mobile SharePoint to be deployed as part of a multi-platform or BYOD mobile strategy, but allowing the Business to maintain control over security and authentication.

Why should you care about mobile users?  Well, because many organizations see enterprise mobility as being one of their top strategic priorities.   As new smartphones and tablets appear on the market and overtake the sales of laptops and desktops, the traditional definition of a mobile user will change.  In the very near future, we will all be mobile users, and for 65% of organisations who responded to a recent survey by Gartner, we will increasingly expect to be able to bring our own devices in to the workplace and to connect to enterprise systems.

If you are interested in providing secure access to mobile SharePoint as part of your enterprise mobility strategy, talk to Azurati or join other like-minded business and IT professionals by subscribing to the LinkedIn Group: Mobile SharePoint.  Azurati also offers a range of expert consulting services to help you if you have not yet fully defined an enterprise mobility or BYOD strategy for your business.

Does it still make sense to partner in a cloud and mobile world?

Adobe, along with several other enterprise software companies, have recently announced a policy of ‘mobile-first’ in product development.  This has largely been due to the dramatic take up of connected devices, like smart-phones and tablets, that are being used as privately-owned devices in the enterprise as part of BYOD initiatives, or as company purchased and approved devices in the enterprise.

The adoption of smart phones and tablet devices has also begun to change user behavior and expectations when it comes to using and interacting with enterprise applications on mobile devices.  We are beginning to see not just the consumerization of IT, but the consumerization of applications, where enterprise applications need to look, feel and behave like consumer app-store applications.

New cloud-based mobile enterprise apps, like SharePoint2Go™ can be used almost instantaneously from initial purchase; so where does that leave value-adding partners who have traditionally added value in enterprise software by setting up and configuring software products and technologies?

The good news for enterprise software resellers, consultants and systems integrators, is that in the new cloud-based and mobile world there are still plenty of opportunities to add value and to generate significant revenue.  The enterprise mobility space will present many new opportunities for services-based companies.

Although some cloud-based and mobile applications can be used with little set up or configuration work, there will invariably be a requirement to create a more custom user experience and secure environment, that will require consulting and development services to create.

IT industry analysts, Strategy Partners, make the bold statement that ‘Mobility will cause the replacement of every single corporate information system’ – this will either be achieved by converting legacy on-premise based systems into mobile and cloud-based applications, using development platforms like Azurati ASAP™, or by new entrants coming in to the market.

Cloud computing and mobility raise significant issues for CIOs, who desperately need guidance and assistance from trusted expert third parties.  Many organizations have not formally defined policies around BYOD, mobile security and cloud-based infrastructures, which all present consulting opportunities for professional services organizations.

Enterprise customers may also feel more comfortable transacting business with a trusted and established services partner, than a new-generation cloud or mobile software vendor.  Licensing models for cloud and mobile applications can also provide attractive new annuity-based revenue streams for the partner.

For companies like Azurati, partnerships are central to its business strategy. Partners provide the market reach, scope of service delivery and expertise and trusted relationships with customers that many young technology vendors do not have.

Azurati will be attending the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (#WPC12) in Toronto from the 8th to the 12th of July 2012.  If you are attending, please look us up.

Azurati launches SharePoint2Go – a new secure cross-platform mobile SharePoint experience

Earlier this week, Azurati launched SharePoint2Go, a new cross-platform mobile SharePoint solution that allows mobile enterprise users to access Microsoft SharePoint securely on any smartphone or tablet.

Here are some of the key features of SharePoint2Go:

BYOD-ready (Bring your own device) and cross-platform support
Business users increasingly have an expectation that they will be able to bring devices that they purchase and use in their private lives in to the workplace and expect to be able to connect with enterprise applications, like corporate email, CRM and their SharePoint environment.

Whether your business has a Bring your own Device policy or a multiple mobile platform and device policy, SharePoint2Go is ready to provide access to your corporate SharePoint environment on any mobile device (and Apple Mac computers).

Read more about how SharePoint2Go and BYOD here: http://www.azurati.com/solutions/cios-and-it-professionals/byod

Mobile security
Concern over mobile security is the number one concern cited by CIOs and the main factor that is preventing the deployment of mobile applications for enterprise use.  That is why Azurati has made mobile security a cornerstone of its enterprise mobile proposition.  SharePoint2Go offers multiple authentication options (from 2-factor and SAML tokens, to forms and basic authentication).  Additionally, the SharePoint2Go mobile environment is protected by 256-bit encryption and a zero footprint policy, meaning that no residual content or data is left on the mobile device, so that information security cannot be compromised if the device is misplaced or stolen.

For more information on Azurati’s mobile security options, click here:  http://www.azurati.com/solutions/cios-and-it-professionals/mobile-security

Mobile optimized user experience
SharePoint2Go automatically renders the user interface design so that it is optimized for the smartphone or tablet being used, making sure that the mobile SharePoint user experience is consistent across different platforms and form factors.

Branding and customization
SharePoint2Go enterprise edition customers are able to brand and customize the SharePoint2Go interface – a small feature that can have a big impact on brand communications, particularly for customer-facing staff.

V-Parts™: support for custom SharePoint Web Parts
Many SharePoint environments include custom developed WebParts, or apps that provide views or access to other information, data and content sources, like:

  • Company staff contact directory
  • weather
  • CRM pipleline
  • Management reports
  • ERP (SAP, Oracle or Dynamics) financial data

SharePoint2Go is unique in that it allows custom developed SharePoint WebParts to be converted in to mobile viewable V-Parts™ so that they can be accessed by mobile users via SharePoint2Go on any smartphone or tablet.

Central user management
Managing hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of users with SharePoint2Go is painless through the solution’s central user management and administration console.

Mobile user administrators can manage and administer user accounts from their mobile device or from a standard desktop browser.  Deploying SharePoint2Go can also be conducted easily by central admistrators.

Visit www.azurati.com for more information and to request a free 30 day trial of SharePoint2Go.

Here is what some others have to say about our news:

V3 http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2180349/azurati-aims-improve-sharepoint-ipad-smartphone-users
Computer Business Review http://cloudplatforms.cbronline.com/news/azurati-unveils-sharepoint2go-300512
SC Magazine http://www.scmagazineuk.com/sharepoint-on-your-mobile-courtesy-of-azurati/article/243144/
CMS Wire http://www.cmswire.com/cms/mobile/azurati-addresses-mobile-sharepoint-security-concerns-with-sharepoint2go-015816.php