This is a guest post by Stephen Bulfer from ionGrid, looking at their Nexus product. Stephen Bulfer is VP Business Development at ionGrid, a mobile content collaboration and security company.
The emergence of the iPad has made accessing documents “on-the-go” easier, faster, and more secure than ever before. However, current solutions still leave much to be desired. If you’re using Microsoft’s SharePoint, you’ve likely solved the problem of getting your documents organized in a centrally managed repository for enterprise collaboration – but how about access on the iPad? Or if you have attempted this, it is likely that your documents are not rendered correctly. In fact, I will go out on a limb and suggest that I know you have experienced this problem. Wrong font, poorly laid out graphics, and content in tables not displaying correctly, to name a few – not to mention any of the IT policy and compliance requirements that need to be addressed.
“I can’t believe my PowerPoint document looks so terrible.” – Fortune 500 Bank
“My sales team is not efficiently accessing content on their iPads.” – Global 2000 Biotech
“Our data policy is completely been transformed by the consumerization of the workforce. We can’t keep up with their demands and expectations.” – Fortune 50 Retailer
I frequently overhear comments such as these when speaking with our customers, “Why is it such a hard problem to make PowerPoint, Word, and other files look good on the iPad?” It’s a frustrating and very difficult problem to solve. Before I joined ionGrid, I found nothing on the market that could do what Nexus does. This scenario was clearly evidenced by sales teams, field operations, marketers, and executives that carry both an iPad and a laptop into customer meetings.
What a pain! Apps trying to solve this problem have the near impossible task of recreating Microsoft’s 20+ years of Office development on a mobile device. Those apps have to attempt to deliver on a feature-for-feature approach, and moreover a bug-for-bug reality, compatible with 20+ years of someone else’s software. Then once you’ve caught up with those 20+ years of Microsoft development, they need access to the fonts and other media that is used within all of the existing content, often with roots down into the OS. Let’s take a look at one example that illustrates the importance of rendering SharePoint files correctly.
You’re a high level executive from Defense Acquisition University (DAU) explaining emergency procedures. On the top-left is the original document; top-right is Nexus on iPad. The bottom-left is a popular iPad productivity app, and the bottom-right is the result of emailing a document to myself and viewing the attachment.
So which would you choose to open your SharePoint file? Would you take the risk of looking unprepared, unprofessional, behind the times, or worse have decision makers make a wrong turn based on poorly represented content?
At ionGrid, we believe “doing real work” on tablets should be simple; and that starts with accessing documents, both online and offline, from your computer, SharePoint, file shares, and content management systems on your iPad. Simplicity, native iOS UI, and pixel perfect document rending are just a few requirements to ensure your iPad users love you. Don’t believe us? Seeing is believing. Try it yourself by downloading Nexus from the App store, or go to portal.iongrid.com/signup/start