Choosing The Right Mobile Platform for Your Business
With powerful smartphone and tablet devices accessible to more people than ever before, the pressure on businesses to allow these items into the workplace is greater than ever. With the growing consumerization of the workplace, being able to provide workers with intuitive, easy-to-use solutions that are familiar from their personal lives, yet still offer enterprise-grade applications could be the key to success.
Apple and BlackBerry have both launched new versions of their operating systems this year, while adoption of Android Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean is growing and even Microsoft is seeking to improve its enterprise-oriented mobile tools, so there’s no shortage of options for business buyers and firms seeking to support a BYOD strategy.
Each of the offerings has its own strengths and it will be vital that business buyers assess these carefully before coming to a decision.
Apple’s mobile operating system recently underwent a major overhaul with the introduction of iOS 7, described by the firm as the biggest change since the original. It brings with it a range of features tailored to the enterprise, such as better security and simpler mobile device management tools.
The firm claims the new MDM protocol provides new commands, queries and configuration options to make third-party solutions more powerful that on previous versions. It also includes an enterprise single sign on tool that enables individuals to use the same verified credentials across multiple business apps.
When it comes to communication and collaboration, an improved Notification Center can alert users to updates or changes instantly, while improved multi-tasking makes it easier to chat with colleagues and refer to essential documents at the same time.
The Canadian firm has had a tough time of it recently and it is hoping the latest BlackBerry 10 update can turn the tide. This is said by BlackBerry to have been built with business in mind and includes Documents To Go functionality that enables workers to create and share documents in a variety of common formats, including Word and Excel.
BlackBerry Hub also brings multiple communications solutions into a single solution, including email, instant messaging, social feeds and personal information management tools.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of Google’s mobile operating system is the sheer range of devices that use it. For instance, if you need to videoconference on the move, a device such as Huawei’s new Ascend P6 could be useful, as this has one of the highest-resolution front-facing cameras ever fitted to a smartphone, at 5MP.
Like iOS, it also boasts a huge range of applications so users can be confident there will always be a solution for their needs available.
New and updated features in the latest 4.2 Jelly Bean version of the OS that should make collaboration easier include improved networking capabilities that ensure user’s always have the best available connection, support for group MMS messaging and a greatly improved keyboard that makes composing emails and documents faster and more intuitive.
The newest of the four main smartphone systems, Windows Phone 8 has the advantage of close integration with the desktop Windows 8 system, so users should be able to enjoy a consistent experience on their PC and mobile.
Its app store isn’t as extensive as that of iOS or Android, but Microsoft’s Office Hub promises to offer workers simple collaboration, with tools including Office 365, Sharepoint and SkyDrive in one place that synchronize automatically. This allows users to share, edit and comment on documents including Word, Excel and Powerpoint files.
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