Browsing Posts tagged iPhone

This week, mobilEcho’s Product Manager, Brian Ulmer, takes over the blog. Thanks, Brian! – Anders

At GroupLogic, we are constantly working to enhance mobilEcho’s ability to provide simple, secure, and managed access to your essential files and documents. We have received lots of feedback and have many great features and enhancements coming soon. A few of these were made available last week with the release of mobilEcho 3.6. This latest version of mobilEcho adds a number of powerful features:

- Bookmarking of frequently used folders for quick ‘shortcut’ access.
- Quickoffice® “Save Back” of edited documents directly to the mobilEcho location they were opened from, either on the device or the server.
- Server-based folders can now be selected for 1-way or 2-way syncing to the device, from within the mobilEcho app. (Don’t worry, IT is still in control. User-creation of sync folders can be disabled using mobilEcho client management policies.)
- iPad Retina display optimized graphics.

The free mobilEcho 3.6 app is available in the App Store and will appear in the App Store app on your iOS device as an update if you already have mobilEcho installed. The mobilEcho 3.6 server software is available as a free trial and as a free update for existing customers with current maintenance & support contracts.

We look forward to hearing more feedback. Please let us know what you think at mobilEcho@grouplogic.com.

Last week we introduced activEcho our new Enterprise File Sharing solution. We got a great response some of which you can see here. I also wanted to give some early feedback that we are hearing from our customer conversations in the last week which are really an extension of the comments we were hearing during our 3+ month long beta program. Today, I will focus on the on-premise deployment capabilities for activEcho customers. Customers keep telling us this is one of the biggest advantages of activEcho.

To start we can just take a look at what one of our customers, Ron Kuykendall, Chief Information Officer of Bank of the Ozarks, said (emphasis is mine) in our press release:

“Our users – including executives with iPads – are in need of a simple solution for sharing and collaborating on files and synchronizing those files across their desktops, laptops and tablets. Before we found GroupLogic, we looked at various cloud-based solutions – but they were very consumer-oriented and didn’t address our security and compliance needs. In particular, we just don’t want our data off-site where we can’t control it,” “GroupLogic’s activEcho provides the simple sharing and synchronization to make our users more productive – both internally and working with customers and partners outside the firm. And it supports iPad and other mobile devices. But, unlike consumer-oriented solutions that are out of our control, we can run activEcho on our own infrastructure, and we get the security, visibility and compliance capabilities that we need.”

For regulated industries, such as financial services, and anyone in a security or compliance sensitive organization, the ability to maximize their control is a key decision factor. The on-premise capabilities of activEcho provide customers the freedom to choose the most appropriate model for their organization. They can run it on-premise or in the cloud, in their own instance in Amazon, for example.

The reason why on-premise is so popular with these organizations is because it allows enterprises to have the right security and management in place. Said more simply, the enterprise remains in control.

This gives enterprises several things they are looking for:

1. Control – many organizations want to remain in control of their files. There are concerns about cloud from a security perspective (for example, Dropbox has had many publicized security issues in the last year), performance, and just a general concern about the stability of some of these cloud players. Many of them are new companies that have been around for less than 5 years and in some cases less than 2-3 years. So customers have to ask themselves, what happens to my files if this company disappears?

2. Security – with an on-premise solution many of the company’s existing security policies and infrastructure can be extended to activEcho. Customers tell us this is very appealing as they have invested substantial time and money to create the policies and infrastructure, so it’s ideal to leverage that investment for their activEcho deployment. In addition, activEcho adds a number of key security capabilities such as Active Directory integration, encryption, user whitelists/blacklists, remote wipe of activEcho on mobile devices, etc. that are independent of whether its run on-premise or in the cloud. You can get more details in this white paper.

3. Management – on-premise gives the enterprise control of the solution, including control of the servers, storage and the backup/recovery.

4. Leveraging Existing Storage Investments – Customers tell us they prefer to leverage their existing storage infrastructure which they have already acquired. This gives them better insight into usage but they also sleep better knowing that their files are on storage infrastructure of their choosing.

As I have pointed out in other blogs, we want to give customers the flexibility to choose the model that is right for them. For many organizations, on-premise is that right choice.

Last week we introduced mobilEcho 3.5, the latest version of our Mobile File Management solution. In this version we introduced a number of new features including:

• Two-way syncing of files;
• HTTPS Reverse Proxy password and certificate authentication;
• Streamlined device enrollment process;
• Integration with Quickoffice’s “Save Back” feature; and
• Whitelisting or blacklisting of third party apps allowed to “Open In.”

One of the things we continue to hear from our customers loud and clear is the need for security. Many of the features that we have introduced with 3.5 have their origins in requests from customers that were security-related. HTTPS Reverse Proxy password and certificate authentication enables requiring two-factor authentication which is a frequent request, especially from financial services companies. Integration with Quickoffice and their “Save Back” feature allows a user to access a document in mobilEcho, use “Open In” to open the doc in Quickoffice, edit it, and then save it back to mobilEcho. This also sets the stage for some other cool things we will be able to do in the future. The whitelisting and blacklisting was yet another request by customers, many in regulated industries. The IT and Security departments want the ability to limit the apps that can be used to open a file from mobilEcho. Again, the demand from the enterprise is to ensure that mobile users are not employing non-sanctioned tools so that they can limit their security and compliance exposure.

This is not to minimize the introduction of two-way syncing or the improved enrollment process. For example, the one-way syncing feature we’ve had since last year has been extremely well received by our customers. One hailed as the feature that made mobilEcho a true “business platform.” With the introduction of two-way syncing the ability to collaborate on files is even greater with mobilEcho.

As I have noted in past posts, this is a continuing theme for mobilEcho and it will continue to be a theme for a long time. We have many more exciting features we will be rolling out in the next few months so stay tuned…

Today we announced a new partnership with Salesforce.com and are pleased to report that mobilEcho is now listed on the Salesforce AppExchange Mobile. Over the past few months we have been working on an integration with Salesforce.com which will allow companies to empower their field sales force to take full advantage of their iPads and iPhones. mobilEcho users already have access to all the documents and content they need to do their jobs. This new Salesforce.com feature will allow mobilEcho to optionally require a user to log an activity in an Account or Lead when showing a customer a specific file using mobilEcho. So for example, a salesperson could be showing a presentation or data sheet and that activity can then be directly logged into Salesforce.com. This helps with productivity and it also helps enterprises get more accurate, up to date client activities.

This is especially relevant for regulated industries, such as finance, healthcare, pharma, biotech, insurance, energy, government and others, who want to be able to provide secure mobile file access for their field forces utilizing Salesforce.com. And it fits nicely into one of the mobile use cases we still see constantly: the remote sales force or service personnel.

Today we announced mobilEcho 3.0. This new release, which is available immediately from the Apple App Store (client) and our website (server), adds several critical components to mobilEcho. These components are a direct result of the feedback we have received from customers since the May launch of the initial mobilEcho product. This release not only greatly expands the number of devices we can run on; it also significantly expands the flexibility and the use of the product.

Let’s review a few of the key features:
• Now supports iPad and iPhone
o This has been something that has been requested by a number of our customers. mobilEcho can now be run on your iPhone. And we are not charging anything extra for this as we now license by user. So a user can have an iPad and iPhone and it’s one price.
• Comprehensive PDF preview and annotation providing users a completely secure method to review, comment, and annotate documents while meeting corporate security, compliance and governance standards (available on iPad only)
o This is a great feature for those security and compliance-aware organizations that do not want docs floating out of the security of the sandbox. This allows users to preview, annotate and provide commentary on PDFs and then put them back on the server.
• Direct access to the employee’s unique Active Directory assigned home directory.
o This makes the use of home directories much easier for IT and users. Enhances access to desktop documents.
• Support for automatic one-way sync from the server to the employee device, for easy access to the latest document changes when offline.
o This is a great feature for those one-to-many file distribution situations. The best examples are for a remote sales force where they need to access documents that are frequently changed. With the syncing capability, organizations can ensure that their mobile sales force, their service personnel or other similar groups, always have access to the most up to date information from their mobile devices.
• Centrally managed simplified device enrollment.
o With the larger installations (1000s of devices) this feature is imperative so that IT is not spending tons of time on deployment and implementation.
• Enhanced management features that include per-device status tracking, remote wipe and password reset.
o Again, functionality that will greatly simplify the management tasks for IT but also given them the tools that give them greater flexibility in their mobilEcho deployments.

There is more than this but I thought I’d just highlight some of the features that I think are most noteworthy.

And we are already working on our next release so we are very interested in hearing any feedback you may have. As I have mentioned before, our roadmap is guided by our customers and we are in constant discussions to prioritize the right feature/functions.

You can learn more about mobilEcho 3.0 at our webcast next week which is on Wednesday Nov 2 at 11 am EDT. You can register here.

As always, we look forward to hearing any feedback or comments.

Today we announced a new development and marketing partnership with Good Technology where GroupLogic’s secure Mobile File Management (MFM) solution mobilEcho™ will support integration with the Good Dynamics™ platform. Joint customers will be able to deploy mobilEcho within the Good Dynamics environment. This follows Good Technology’s announcement of their early ISV partners for their Good Dynamics platform.  Good Dynamics is a new security platform for mobile application development targeting developers of both enterprise and consumer applications. We are one of the early adopters of the plaform, and are already working closely with them to ensure that mobilEcho runs simply and securely within the Good Dynamics environment.

There are several reasons why this relationship, and others like it, is important for enterprises. First, this announcement, and others, show that what has appeared to me to be a fairly fragmented market with many, many vendors is further embracing the notion of the ecosystem and its importance. Enterprises do not want 10s (or even 100s) of disparate pieces of mobility software running in their enterprise and on their mobile clients. They want integration which simplifies management and maintains security. Second, it reinforces the idea that Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile File Management (MFM) are complementary and the foundation of any enterprise mobility strategy. This is what we are hearing from customers every day especially those enterprises that are starting to take a long term view of what they want to do with mobility and the significant impact that will have on how their employees use mobility in their every day worklife. Said more simply, we are only at the beginning.

If you are interested in seeing more on what we are doing with Good Technology and Good Dynamics, we also did a video showing how mobilEcho works within the Good Dynamics platform. This was shown last at the CTIA show in San Diego at an event that Good was hosting. It can also be seen here on our website.

You can also read our press release on our web site at http://www.grouplogic.com/about/press/

Also, if you want to learn more about mobilEcho we are doing our monthly live demo and chat tomorrow (wednesday October 12) at 11 am. You can register here.

I asked T. Reid Lewis, our President and Founder, to provide a few words about the passing of Steve Jobs. Well said, Reid – Anders

All of us will miss Steve Jobs and the panache that he brought to the evolution of our (now digital) culture and lifestyle.

We can honor his life and achievements by striving to learn from and emulate his style in our own lives and careers. Each one of us has contributions to make and challenges to overcome, and many of the lessons we can learn from Steve can be applied by all us. Here are a few that you can start applying today:

Never settle for “good enough” – always strive for the insanely great outcome and fight to overcome any obstacles

Delight your audience – look for innovations that inspire smiles of gratitude from your customers, clients, friends and families

Move forward – constantly replace the old stuff (starting with your ideas) with better ones and battle the naysayer laggards

Simplify – become the master of less is more and work to hide the complexity so that you can delight your audience and confound your competitors

Go further – once you’ve accomplished your goal, add one more thing to seal your achievement

Yes, I know it might be hard to imagine acting like Steve Jobs but I think that, if he had the chance, Steve Jobs would demand it of you! Now, you’ll have to demand it of yourself. So get going. Which brings us to a final lesson we can learn from Steve Jobs: our time will end.

Thanks, Steve Jobs, for teaching us so much about creating and living!

There is no doubt that security is one of the key topics raised by customers when discussing their enterprise mobility strategies. One of the first things I would say about mobile security is that good mobile security starts with good overall security. What I mean by that is that mobile security has to be viewed in the greater context of an overall security infrastructure within an enterprise. Why? There are several reasons, but scaling and streamlining management is one, setting a universal set of policies is another (although there needs to be flexibility here), and to address the notion that a security plan is only as good as its weakest link. So you can’t view mobile security in isolation, especially given the current and projected proliferation of these devices and their increasing usage.

From a mobility perspective, many of these discussions start with Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions such as those from Mobile Iron, Good Technology, Sybase, AirWatch, Absolute, JAMF, and others. However, there is also a need to provide secure Mobile File Management (MFM). Just like enterprises need to provide simple and secure file access to their desktop and laptop users, they also need to do that on mobile devices. This means an MFM solution requires several things:

1. Providing encryption in-transit as well as on the device
2. Integrating with existing security infrastructure, such as Active Directory
3. Giving IT the management capabilities to turn functions on/off to meet corporate security policies. For example, the ability to turn on/off the “open in” function.
4. Remote wipe so that the application and its data can be permanently deleted if the device is lost, stolen or compromised.
5. Having control of the file servers/storage resources themselves.
6. Ability to audit both management and user activities.

And there is much more of course but those are some of the basics to think about. If you are interested in hearing more about mobilEcho, we are holding a live demo/webinar/chat on October 12 at 11am Eastern (4pm GMT). The registration is here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/523964858 . This is a general overview of mobilEcho but highlights many of the enterprise security features as well.

We have been holding monthly webinars and live demos on mobilEcho for a few months now, and we have received a tremendous response (even for what would be considered down months in July and August). One of the things we learned pretty early on is that there is no substitute for seeing the product in action and that is why we these live demo sessions have been so popular (and why we do the 21-day free trial). Our mobilEcho Product Manager, Brian Ulmer, runs through a few quick slides then spends the majority of the time demo’ing the client and management capabilities of mobilEcho. And we answer questions via chat. Hope you can join us.

You can follow me on Twiitter @andersgl and you can follow GroupLogic @grouplogic.

With the increased usage of mobile devices has also come a host of new needs and new capabilities. Certainly the emergence of Apple’s App Store and all its applications has changed the way people, both consumers and enterprise users, utilize and interact with applications. However, as much as things change, things also stay the same. Most users, be they consumer or enterprise, have a need for email. It is a core function that you expect from a computing device. Web access through a web browser is another. And if you have email you probably need some kind of address book/contact manager, and you may as well throw in a calendar in there as well so you can keep track of your appointments and meetings. I would call these core functions of any computing platform. And lo and behold, the mobile computing devices so popular today offer this functionality.

But there is one core function that has been completely under-served, and perhaps said more strongly, completely missed. And that is file access. How do mobile devices access files that you created that sit on laptops, desktops, corporate file servers or even NAS (network attached storage) devices? That is where Mobile File Management (MFM) solutions step in. Essentially, MFM solutions allow users to get access to files. For us this is an enterprise focus and we address it with our mobilEcho solution. What makes mobilEcho an enterprise MFM solution is that it not only provides the simplicity for the end-user but more importantly, provides the security and management need by IT organizations.

So why is MFM important? Whether we like it or not we still live in a world of files. And for decades we have been producing files – and spent plenty of money doing it. Now we have a wave of new mobility devices – the iPad being the best example of all. So the question is, “how do you access all those files, all that content, which you work with on a daily basis on your laptop or desktop, from your iPad?” In other words, how do we get mobile file access to files sitting on corporate servers, just like I have access to the file servers from my laptop or desktop? Now, we are an enterprise company (for over 20 years now) so we are obviously not just concerned about the access but also about providing safe, secure, and managed access to files – whether they be documents, spreadsheets, presentations or other formats.

For us, this is what Mobile File Management is all about. The ability to access and manage files from a mobile device.

I watch CNBC just about every morning. Either at the gym, at home or on the road in the hotel. I always find something interesting to take away from it (or at least pass the time on the treadmill). Yesterday they had a gentleman on from Comscore talking about web traffic and where it comes from. The discussion was about US connected device traffic. This is non-computer devices, so smartphones and tablets. 36% of the traffic goes to Android Phones, 24% goes to iPhone, and 22% and iPad. The remainder is a hodge-podge of smartphones and tablets. He also stated that about 97% of all tablet traffic comes from iPads. I am not surprised by these numbers but it astounding to see how much iPad has grown and the market power it as.

The real question is when will other tablets emerge as a viable competitor to iPad? I am no expert on this but it seems to me that the competition has emerged already (RIM Playbook, several Android tablets, and others) and so far seem to be having minimal impact on iPad sales. iPad keeps chugging along and I expect this to continue for some time. I am mostly speaking from an enterprise perspective here where all the conversations we have with customers is about iPad, at least on the tablet side. I keep waiting for a new generation of Android tablets that may perhaps change this dynamic. On the smartphone the dynamic is certainly different. Clearly there is a fair share of Blackberry users still out there. But our discussions are mostly around iPhone and Android. Now admittedly since we are initially targeting iOS devices it’s natural that those are the discussions we get involved in. But we talk to organizations, from the very large to small, and iPad is top of mind in enterprises.

These situations change and certainly competition for iPad will emerge. It just may take a bit longer than many expect. From our point of view, choice is good for customers and our objective is to support customer with whatever device they choose. mobilEcho, and more broadly, Mobile File Management (MFM), is not just about supporting one device but about cross-platform support of heterogeneous device environments.

Anders Lofgren, VP Product Management