Things have changed in the enterprise, where the traditional Windows-only monoculture is collapsing in favor of fresh fields of heterogeneous platforms. Egnyte Mobile for Apple Watch, iPhone and iPad and other platforms illustrates this multi-platform future.
Founded in 2007 to become the leading firm in adaptive enterprise file services, Egnyte this morning announced Egnyte Mobile, a mobile solution (available for all platforms) that enable enterprise users to seamlessly access, manage and share online and offline data from both cloud and on-premises storage – including through an Apple Watch.
On Apple Watch, Egnyte Mobile lets users:
- Manage offline folders on their iPhone.
- Monitor status of uploads/downloads (useful when exchanging large files).
- Receive event notifications (get told when files are received, commented on or edited by your team).
“As we reinforce our mobile-first enterprise file services approach, it will be vital for organizations to provide employees with a full suite of enterprise-grade applications for secure access to any content in the cloud and on premises,” said Egnyte co-founder, Rajesh Ram.
I spoke with Ram to discuss the impact of this digital disruption on the enterprise: “Apple has found a way to remain an extremely successful consumer brand while making a very sizable impact in the enterprise,” he said. (A Dimension Research report conducted for JAMF Software last year claims 78 percent of IT leaders said user preference was the biggest reason their organizations were supporting Apple and 98 percent expect to see Apple solutions proliferate in the coming years.)
Pointing to the BYOD-driven iOS invasion of enterprise shops he confirms that heteronomy is the new enterprise orthodoxy: “[Apple] made their devices so user-friendly that enterprise consumption was simply a foregone conclusion. They also do a great job of continuously updating their product, steering clear of viruses that became so common with traditional PC/Windows environments, and they have a great third party developer community to create top of the line applications.” If Apple has a weakness it is in the lack of IT Admin security tools:
“By offering a more robust set of controls to IT admin they may be able to experience more success with courting a larger segment of the enterprise market,” he notes. We’ll see if Apple plans any immediate response to this common criticism at WWDC next month.
Then there’s the wearable revolution. Apple Watch opens a new chapter in the enterprise. “Some part of me feels like it [Apple Watch] could end up being as commonplace as the iPad,” said Ram, noting that in some industries, for example construction, employees could benefit from hands-free access to vital information.
Apple’s impact is already being felt in the field service industry, where ServiceMax last year noted around 95 percent of its customers already use Apple devices. "
The field service market alone is a $15 billion market," said ServiceMax' then chief marketing officer, Stacey Epstein in an earlier interview. "One of our accounts may have thousands of field service technicians. It's a huge market opportunity for Apple."
It is signs of success like these that means, “We we have learned from the success of devices like the iPad that we cannot afford to not be in the Apple Watch game,” Ram said (emphasis his own).
Cloud and mobile solutions and their wearable companions are becoming omnipresent to enterprise users and the quantity of data being exchanged is growing faster than the number of data scientists required to make sense of all this information (though IBM and Apple may help there).
Ram sees a data driven future:
“The next wave, in my opinion, will be the development of predictive technologies. With all the data and content being created today we will be able to leverage that information and use it to get smarter, eventually opening the door for automation.
“I believe we will improve on enterprise workflow exponentially in the next 5 years, creating more efficiency and cutting down latency all together.”
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