Regular readers will know I’m keeping an eye on Apple’s growing enterprise credentials, and it looks like iPad Pro has taken these a few steps higher with the serendipitous introduction of a third party solution that brings better SharePoint support for iOS.
Apple in the enterprise
Colligo is an award-winning Microsoft Gold Application Development partner and its solutions are already used by key Global 500 enterprises, including the US Department of Energy. The company’s iOS apps are among the 50 top purchased apps for business on the App Store. In other words, Colligo is a highly-ranked enterprise software developer and its move to broaden its embrace of Apple’s mobile platform is significant.
The new solution is designed to help secure business class communications by integrating Exchange, SharePoint, Office 365 and OneDrive for Business within the email app.
The app supports the “creation, classification and storage of emails, attachments and documents as records in SharePoint.”
That’s important as enterprises are under regulatory pressure to make sure their information is protected, leading to a need for data compliance.
80 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft SharePoint, and 83 percent of companies using Microsoft SharePoint use it for document management with email and SharePoint being the top two ways employees share information according to Osterman Research.
Colligo on Apple
I caught up with Coligo CEO, Barry Jinks, to find out more.
“Apple continues to innovate around features that enterprises are looking for and they will continue to be strong because of the their focus on security and scalability,” he explained, noting the recent Good Technology report which shows iOS in a leadership position in the segment, particularly in more heavily regulated industries.
“The continued strength of iOS in regulated industries and corporate departments with high need for governance (like legal and compliance departments) is the reason we developed Colligo Email Manager for iOS and the Colligo Engage platform,” he explains.
“These applications have high concentration of mobile workers who need to stay productive, but at the same time have a high need for reliable information governance solutions.”
He thinks ease-of-use is critical to the solution. “Often governance policies set by their employers and old school security solutions can put roadblocks…” in the way of productivity, he explains. “Employees are looking to mobile devices to improve their productivity and make their work day more enjoyable.”
With this in mind Colligo’s solutions add minimal amounts of friction when people use them – it’s easy to copy emails to SharePoint in order to tag them with metadata or attach files to emails. The system leaves a clear audit trail data CIOs can follow in order to ensure compliance with any active governance rules.
“We’ve designed the user experience of Colligo Email Manager for iOS to be highly engaging so employees will want to use it as their primary business email app, as well as ensuring that they keep their personal emails separate,” says Jinks, claiming the app “encourages employees to adhere to policies.”
For its part, Apple continues to improve its enterprise offering – which now includes iPad Pro – and is looking to extend its iOS ecosystem to support enterprise-specific needs, usually in partnership with company’s expert in those segments, such as IBM.
This is a sea change in enterprise IT, and the old excuses of technological or application incompatibility are losing significance as systems, software and enterprise IT wakes to the new call.
Apple’s looming battle with repressive government demands for surveillance and device insecurity will underline how Apple is the company for business, while others more open to such abuse of business confidence are not.
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