AgreeYa Mobility, a Mountain View, Calif.-based enterprise and telecom mobility specialist, has rolled out a software platform and app called Onvelop that allows businesses to link their Microsoft productivity environments to mobile devices without the high costs of hiring integration specialists or investing in mobile device and application management suites (MDM and MAM).
Onvelop is "a unified communications and collaboration platform that brings Microsoft technology to mobile devices," said Maxence Cacheux, vice president of sales and business development, of North America and Europe. Considering that Microsoft has been making a big push to deliver its software to smartphones and tablets over the cloud, it seems like an odd time to release a potentially competitive product.
So why now?
Cacheux notes that despite Microsoft's progress on the mobile front, its collaboration and communications platforms -- SharePoint and Lync, specifically -- haven't quite gelled together as seamlessly as possible. Users essentially can't get their jobs done without jumping between apps, sites and digging through options.
Onvelop changes that by delivering one-stop access to Lync's enterprise communications capabilities and SharePoint's document sharing and collaboration features in one app. Office 365 support means that small and midsized businesses that are using Microsoft's cloud-enabled business software suite can also leverage the unified offering.
The software works natively with SharePoint and Lync servers. "We get access to the protocols that allow us to connect to the enterprise backend," informed Cacheux. There are no connectors or additional software to install, which can cause instability or place a bigger burden on administrators.
The result is simplified administration, policy enforcement and mobile device management for shops that are already well-versed in Microsoft's management ecosystem. "Data is completely encrypted," added Cacheux, as he explained that the product also offers end-to-end encryption that encompasses data that resides on the device and data in transport so that docs are always wrapped in tight security.
Finally, it's the mobile user that gains the most from Onvelop's approach to Office collaboration, said Cacheux. With Onvelop, a worker in the field can access documents from SharePoint and instantly touch base with a colleague, without switching apps, jumping through hoops or straying from a familiar software environment, he explained.
Early customers "appreciate the fact that we brought the collaboration and communication pieces together," said Cacheux.
Onvelop works on iOS, Android and Windows 8 devices. The company is currently leveraging its close ties with Microsoft and recently inked a deal with Samsung, furthering the company's big push into the business and enterprise mobility markets via its KNOX Android security initiative.
On March 7, AgreeYa CEO Krish Kupathil noted that businesses haven't quite bridged the worlds of desktop and mobile collaboration. "Today's companies spend exorbitant amounts of time, money and resources on the software and infrastructure that help employees work and collaborate efficiently and effectively," he said in a company statement.
Onvelop remedies that, added Kupathil. "Thanks in part to monumental agreements with Microsoft and Samsung, we’re able to provide that access while maintaining the high level of data security that companies require—even on employees' personal mobile devices," he said.
Onvelop is available now.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.