Mobilizing the Enterprise

Thoughts on SharePoint, Smartphones, and the future of enterprise productivity

Present from SharePoint on Your iPad

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Does your company’s intranet live on SharePoint? Do you want to present from your iPad? It’s easier than you might think.

We’ve tested a few different presentation options across the internet such as converting your file to a .pdf, and have concluded that professional presentations can be best accomplished on the iPad using these six easy steps.

These instructions include a sneak preview of our upcoming app, Coaxion, which we’re releasing for the iPad in a few weeks. Coaxion will simplify the presentations by providing direct SharePoint access to your presentations (and other documents) when you need them.

To Present, You’ll Need:

  • Coaxion for the iPad to pull your presentation from SharePoint, releasing free soon in the App Store
  • Keynote for iPad to play the presentation, $9.99 in App Store, not free but looks much better than presenting pdf files and allows you to edit your presentations
  • Optionally, a VGA adaptor from the Apple Store to connect to most projectors, $29.00, it’s only compatible with some presentation programs including Keynote, otherwise you can present by placing your iPad on a desk or meeting table for viewing

Step One:  In Microsoft PowerPoint, save your presentation normally as a .ppt or .pptx file (alternatively, save your presentation normally in Keynote).

Step Two: Keep your presentation on your company’s intranet where you normally would.

Step Three: When ready, select your presentation from SharePoint using Coaxion for the iPad (an active wireless or 3G connection is needed at the time of pulling the file). 

Step Four: In the upper right corner, choose “Open In”, then “Keynote”, then in Keynote make any changes you need. 

Step Five: Set up for the presentation for viewing on a desk, table, or using the VGA adaptor for most projectors. 

Step Six: In Keynote, press play when you’re ready. 

What to Expect

You’ll preserve attractive slide transitions and the layout of your page for a slick, professional presentation. However, animations are slightly different if moving between PowerPoint and Keynote.

Keynote on the iPad allows one animation per object, and views text boxes as one object. If you’ve added multiple animations to text within a box, such as one-at-a-time list items, in Keynote they will arrive together on only one click. If this is an important issue for you, consider putting each list item into a separate text box and re-adding the separate animations.


By simply carrying your iPad with you and optionally, a cable, you can present from your iPad efficiently and professionally. Try it!

Written by beccastic

July 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Microsoft Q4 FY 11 Earnings and the Enterprise

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Microsoft’s press release on their earnings is here.  A link to the recorded conference call is also available from that page.

Overall, sales were up 12% and net profit was up 23% on record $17.37B in revenue for the quarter. But once again, we’re interested in how Microsoft is doing in the enterprise productivity space.

Business Division quarterly revenue was up 7% over last year and yearly revenue was $22B, a 16% increase over last years stellar numbers.  All the business servers had double digit growth - 20% on average. Business purchases of Microsoft Office and Office Servers such as SharePoint, Lync, and Dynamics grew 27%. Office 365 is early, having released last month, but is doing well focused on the small and medium business but no specific numbers were announced.  For larger enterprises, Office365 represents an option for making external collaboration easier.

Multiyear enterprise commitments grew to $17.1B in deferred revenue - supporting the stickiness of enterprise commitment to Microsoft technologies.

Windows Server & Tools business grew 12% vs last year. Windows Server & System Center revenues grew 20%. SQL Server Premium revenue grew almost 20%.

Business PC growth was 8%. Windows 7 enterprise deployments increased 50% since March. 27% of enterprise desktops have Windows 7 and 90% committed to deploying it.

Overall, this data shows Microsoft remains a core part of every enterprise and they are extending their lead into small and medium businesses with their cloud services.

Written by daviddsouza

July 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Posted in earnings, Microsoft

Apple’s Q3 2011 earnings and the Enterprise…

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Apple’s press release announcing their Q3 2011 earnings is here.
Apple’s recording of their executive conference call is here.

Apple released their latest earnings which once again blew everyone away driving their stock price to an all time high of $400 in after hours based on $28.57B in revenue, $7.31B in profit, 20.24M iPhones, and 9.25M iPads. All massive increases over previous quarter and previous year.

But for us, what’s happening in the enterprise is most important. Here are the enterprise numbers and the color from the press release and the conference call.

91% of the Fortune 500 is deploying or testing iPhone. Up from 88% last quarter.
57% of Global 500 companies testing or deplying iPhone fueled by employee demand and custom app development.
Some companies deploying iPhone onto their corporate network include Crédit Agricole, Nestle, Dow Chemical, GlaxoSmithKline, Comcast, and SuperValue.

86% of the Fortune 500 is deploying or testing iPad. Up from 75% last quarter.
47% of the Global 500 is deploying or testing iPad.

Corporate Scenarios:
Deploying to sales teams: Boston Scientific, XEROX, and SalesForce
Deploying in top hospitals: HCA and Cedars-Sinai
Using in retail stores: Nordstrom & Estee Lauder Clinique counters
Deploying custom apps: General Electric, SAP, and Standard Chartered deploying internal apps for training, currency tracking, business process management
Paperless cockpit: Alaska Airlines & American Airlines
Education: More iPads sold into K-12 schools than Macs

Apple has a dual pronged iPad/iPhone enterprise sales strategy. Apple’s primary channel is via the carrier sales force and Apple trains and provides best practices to the sales force. In some cases, Apple sells direct. Generally, they are still building out enterprise sales but doing it a bit better each quarter. Apple execs believe iPad penetration and adoption within the enterprise is phenomenal for a product only 15 months into its life cycle.

Moving forward, Apple’s attention is turning towards enterprise penetration (as opposed to trials) and is evident by the recent introduction of volume pricing for enterprise educational apps.  The volume purchase program for businesses is “coming soon”.

Written by daviddsouza

July 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Posted in Apple, earnings

‘Let’s meet’ doesn’t have to be death knell for productivity

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Two people sitting in a room is a conversation. Three is a meeting, and things start to deteriorate from there. As the number of participants grows, the odds increase that PowerPoint slides will be shown, meaningless “action items’’ distributed, pet projects trotted out, oratorical skills exhibited, and BlackBerrys checked.

Last week, we expanded into a new office in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood but we don’t yet have conference room furniture. I thought it would make our board meeting more difficult but Scott Kirsner’s timely advice on running a good meeting suggests it’s better we don’t get too comfortable:

1) Have an agenda and goal
2) Nix the chairs
3) Start at an odd time
4) Limit the size

As we have our meeting, we all use Coaxion for the iPad. This is a private meeting so social sharing doesn’t make sense. Coaxion makes it easy for private groups to share pre-reading, finalize the agenda, and refer to the data during our discussions. With Coaxion, I can share documents and product stats from our development team’s SharePoint site, opportunities from the Marketing Team’s SharePoint, and the board can bring in their ideas from Dropbox for the meeting pre-reading. A powerpoint-less and paperless meeting - what a concept!

During the meeting we can refer to the docs, updating them if needed, and track our decisions. Post the meeting, our decisions and follow up can be tracked within the Coaxion discussion thread. If someone had to call in via phone, they would have all the data they need to participate effectively.

No powerpoint (check), no paper (check), focused agenda (check), small team (check), no chairs (check), and start anytime (check)…

Written by daviddsouza

July 18, 2011 at 11:40 am

Will Office 365 change Microsoft’s position in mobile?

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One of Microsoft’s goals with Office 365, its new cloud-based office productivity suite, is to strengthen the company’s position in mobile, but it remains to be seen if the offer is compelling enough to attract new customers.

We’re thrilled Moprise was mentioned in this article.  But it also raises an interesting question - can Microsoft’s newest enterprise infrastructure drive adoption of Microsoft’s newest mobile devices?

Microsoft has a very focused “better together” strategy.  The “Office suite” was the first example of a set of productivity applications - Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook - working well together. Microsoft extended this with the Windows client, Office Suite, Windows Server, and even Windows Mobile/Phone. Customers were well served with leading edge PC technology by picking Microsoft as the default vendor. Things worked well together for users, IT was more consistent, and Microsoft even made licensing complementary technologies easier by checking a box at renewal time.

However, the mobile disruption is huge.  iPad, iPhone, and Android are leading this mobile revolution with mobile apps delivering new consumer scenarios with around entertainment, games, augmented reality, and location awareness.  Many of these scenarios were unimaginable on PCs.  Now these devices are flooding into the enterprise despite having significant friction points with enterprise infrastructure. In the near term, 3rd parties offer mobile apps that work with Microsoft Office formats, Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, or even remote into desktop PCs. But these are gap-fillers much like the first personal computers supported terminal emulators to connect to mainframes.

As phones & tablets increase in capability and versatility, we will re-imagine enterprise productivity with a mobile first perspective.  At first, these will be bite sized moments of productivity. Face scanning a crowd and getting lead & customer contact info on your phone in real time will be more valuable than desktop Outlook/CRM integration.  Real time push notifications of updates to documents, contracts, or sales closure will deliver more context and be immediately actionable instead of today’s email centric notifications that require filtering, multiple clicks, and browser login before action can be taken.  Background delivery of important documents and easy response mechanisms instead of VPN, browser login, download, view, switch to email & respond.   Real time team scheduling instead of high latency scheduling via email, SMS, and phone tag.

As we look forward, we believe mobility will change the way we work.  This will drive changes into IT infrastructure in a significant fashion.  Quite the opposite of Microsoft’s hope that IT infrastructure will change what mobile device we use.

Written by daviddsouza

June 29, 2011 at 4:10 am

Posted in iPad, Microsoft, Office365

Moprise Welcomes Office365

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We love Office365 and we’re excited to announce Moprise (SharePoint documents for iPad) & Coaxion (Business Documents & Discussions) have been upgraded to support Office 365.    As always, don’t hesitate to send us your feedback (feedback at moprise dot com).

Written by daviddsouza

June 27, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Office365

The Dropbox Blackbox Part 2

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Previously we wrote about the password-optional flaw in Dropbox.

Today, new information from Dropbox tells us that less than 100 accounts were accessed, the impacted Dropbox account users informed, and hopefully the single individual who discovered the hole and exploited the accounts will face some consequences.

Unless we’re one of the unfortunate 100, we can remove this worry from our list.

Written by daviddsouza

June 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Posted in security

Trialing iPads: Protect Corporate Data Using Free Microsoft Exchange Mobile Device Management

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We regularly work with IT leaders or users who are doing trials of iPhones and iPads within their corporations.  These devices come into the corporate in an ad hoc fashion as employees, CxOs, and departmental heads experiment with them as they formulate opinions around use cases and potential business productivity gains.

Experiments begin by connecting to the two enterprise staples: email & storage.  Using the Exchange support built into the iPhone/iPad email client, users connect to Microsoft Exchange for email and using our free Moprise for SharePoint product, they connect to SharePoint servers.

After a few minutes, visions of productivity improvements for field service teams getting remote access to repair manuals, customer appointment schedules, and tier 2 experts come into people’s heads. Or, by using Coaxion, the ability for the corporate board of directors to conduct paperless meetings using an iPad portfolio containing strategic documents from department heads, links to live performance indicators, and contact info in preparation for, during, and post a meeting.

Very quickly, a few hundred megabytes of email and documents find their way onto devices in these ad hoc trials. And now the pragmatic realities of what happens if this device is lost or stolen fall into people’s minds.

Luckily for us, Apple and Microsoft cooperated to put device management capabilities into Exchange server and iOS (iPad/iPhone) devices.  In a worst case scenario, a user or IT administrator would be able to remote wipe an iOS device using Microsoft Exchange’s device management capabilities.  A real world deployment may need more sophisticated device and application deployment and configuration capabilities, but for early trials, the built in support from Microsoft Exchange addresses many worst case nightmares.  This allows leaders and end users to evaluate the real productivity gains possible from enterprise apps without compromising corporate IP.

While Apple’s MobileMe offers similar “find my phone” and “remote wipe” capabilities, this is only available to the AppleID user.  Exchange Mobile Device Management capabilities can be accessed by both the end user and trusted IT professionals which allows for proactive protection of corporate assets.

To access the device management capabilities of Microsoft Exchange, you will need to log into Outlook Web Access.  After logging in, you will see an “options” menu item on the right side of the web page. Select “options” and the “see all options” setting to bring up the full list of Exchange/Device Management capabilities.


You should then select the “phone” tab to see the list of devices including the ability to wipe the full device. Statistics on the device including when it was last used are also available in case stronger precautions need to be taken.







This web page (click the image to enlarge) shows you all your individual phones and tablets that have connected to the Exchange server, the last time they sync’ed, and a button  to wipe the device.  Here you see the iPads, iPhones, and Android devices that have hooked up to my Exchange email account, all easily managed in case the worst happens.

Two urls from Microsoft provide background on the supported devices and the feature set for Exchange device management. You may want to share these with your IT team in case they have questions around the security of your experiments in mobile productivity.

An overview of cross platform mobile device management via Exchange:

A list of supported devices & management capabilities:

Written by daviddsouza

June 22, 2011 at 1:51 am

The Dropbox Blackbox

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Dropbox was password optional for four hours

With 25 million users and a gazillion files, from a consumer perspective, I and many others can’t live without Dropbox. Even Microsoft’s latest update to Skydrive doesn’t help because it isn’t cross platform like Dropbox. And even then, it isn’t 10x better than Dropbox and I already pay for Dropbox, meaning it is unlikely I would switch.  So when I heard about the latest Dropbox issue where passwords were inadvertently disabled for a four hour period, I was concerned about my files & documents and could make a decision on behalf of my family to stay or go somewhere else.  Note, we’re staying with Dropbox.

However the latest breech of Dropbox potentially exposed critical corporate data stored by individual users.  This could now be cached in search engines or accessed by hackers trolling for open shares and is now stored somewhere even after the bug has been fixed.  The implications of exposed corporate data really need to be understood and mitigated by senior IT and corporate leaders - customers, shareholders, and the corporation itself could be exposed.

Had this been a corporate storage system, logs would be used to inform corporations of files accessed during the window of vulnerability. This would allow corporations to take precautions including notifying customers of any information disclosure.  Unfortunately, being a consumer system, Dropbox doesn’t offer this service.  And if it did, employees would need to inform their IT departments independently.  Additionally, a careful IT Department has no idea what its employees have stored on Dropbox so precautions cannot be taken. All we can do is cross our fingers.

Dropbox is an IT blackbox.  This is why corporations invested in their own storage systems or they purchase enterprise grade cloud storage where precautions are taken and in case of failure, the value of timely notification is standard operating procedure.

Written by daviddsouza

June 21, 2011 at 1:43 am

Posted in Dropbox, security

GoogleDocs: Mobile, Security, and Offline

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The GoogleDoc’s team solicited feedback from their users and it’s no surprise to us that the most requested features for any document management system are offline & mobile access. The desktop web browser was great for Enterprise 2.0 but we believe Enterprise 3.0 is all about mobile productivity beyond email. And with intermittent connections and high latency networks, caching and offline access to data is a key piece of this.

In light of  the RSA and Citibank breeches, security will always be critical and was another requested feature. Sharing is good but it should stop when the the need ends. And despite the rise of the social enterprise, we feel private communication remains a critical piece of execution in the enterprise - product launches won’t remain secret if plans are broadcast on the corporate social network.

These are some of the reasons we created Coaxion. Currently supporting Dropbox and SharePoint but let us know (feedback at what other corporate data sources you need to work with.

Written by daviddsouza

June 16, 2011 at 10:32 pm


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