One of the most interesting things about last year’s releases of SharePoint 2013 and Office 365 was their demonstration of a shift in Microsoft strategy - specifically the move to be a ‘Services’ company.
SharePoint 2013 fits the ‘Services’ concept, by offering both Office 365 and SharePoint Online as ‘Software as a Service’. Both products are also built on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, which plays to the concept of ‘Infrastructure as a Service’.
With Microsoft's new leadership, under Satya Nadella, corporate strategy is being broadened out to offer services across a host of mobile platforms. As such, Microsoft offers a number of SharePoint-related apps, including options for every major platform (Apple, Windows, and Android). These include the following:
Enabling employees to stay connected to their organization wherever they go, the SharePoint Newsfeed App connects mobile devices to the social features of SharePoint 2013 (either the ‘on premise’ instances or Office 365). This app makes it easy to access functionality such as conversations, tagging and the following of documents. More information.
OneDrive for Business
Formally known as SkyDrive Pro, OneDrive for Business is the name given to the personal file component of Office 365 (it is also available as part of SharePoint ‘on premise’). Similar in concept to Dropbox or Box, but secure, more powerful, and part of the Microsoft Office suite, it offers the ability to upload, browse, share and edit files across devices. The mobile apps also support offline access. More information.
Outlook Web App
A replacement for the Outlook Web interface, or the simplified email interface provided on your phone, the Outlook Web App provides a rich email interface for your email interactions. Offered on Apple devices since last year, it arrived on Android in 2014.
The social network Yammer also has a raft of mobile applications, though expect these to be rolled into more official ‘Microsoft Apps’ as Yammer increases its own integration into Office 365 and SharePoint. More information.
Disparate apps or a connected experience?
All the aforementioned apps, provide robust functionality and Microsoft is sure to offer further extensions in the future - an Android app for OneDrive is on the way, for example. Yet one of the biggest challenges with the use of apps on mobile and tablet devices is their isolated nature. You access OneDrive through one app, email through another app, and social features via a third. The interfaces for these apps across devices and desktops are all different, making it challenging to get the adopt the technology.
This is where harmon.ie steps in; we have created solutions that offer a consistent end-user experience on the desktop, mobile and cloud. The idea behind our mobile suite is to take popular Microsoft applications for document management, social, and collaboration and bring them together into a single screen experience.
Instead of navigating between different apps to achieve an objective, one single application can be used. Instead of having one experience on your desktop, and a totally different one on your tablet, a consistent user interface is adopted across applications and devices.
We understand that users work in different ways, and therefore, harmon.ie products provides the flexibility to work in context across key Microsoft products. You can find out more about our mobile products, and their support for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry 10, on our website.