Box's new OneCloud partnerships make it a powerful business platform for iOS
Cloud storage provider Box today announced its new Box OneCloud initiative. With OneCloud the company is looking to create a one-stop work environment on the iPhone and iPad that’s centered around Box’s cloud storage and collaboration features. The aim is to make the Box app the hub of a range of additional iOS apps in the business and productivity space. While many apps in that space allow you to access Box storage (along with several other cloud providers like Dropbox, Google Docs, and Sugar Sync), they often have limited file management capabilities and can only access specific types of files.
Box aims to fix that by partnering with developers that offer access to Box storage and giving users that ability to launch those apps from with the Box app, which will serve as a central file management solution. The approach is a creative way to make up for the lack of a user-accessible file system in iOS. In some ways, you can consider OneCloud to be a business or enterprise version of iCloud.
Apple Configurator - Is it right for your school or business?
One of the first things most IT folks will think about Apple Configurator is that it’s pretty limited compared to some of the mobile device management suites on the market (including Apple’s Profile Manager in Lion Server). MDM suites are designed to make device management as easy, automatic, and wireless as possible. Most include robust monitoring and reporting features – virtually all can use Apple’s push notification system to update a managed device at any time.
Configurator, on the other hand, requires connecting each iOS device to a Mac using a USB cable to perform any administrative tasks like configuring device settings, assigning a device to a user, installing apps, or updating iOS. That means that Configurator isn’t appropriate for a lot of businesses or workplace situations. Yet, for some organizations, Configurator is a more ideal tool than most MDM suites because of its hands-on approach.
So, what kinds of environments is Apple Configurator suited to?
Quickoffice for iPad (now available with business security features)
Quickoffice is launching an enterprise version of its signature Microsoft Office-like iPad app that includes several noteworthy enterprise features, including data encryption and the ability to disable some consumer-oriented features that could lead to confidential business data being copied off of a user’s iPad. The update also incorporates volume licensing through Apple’s volume purchase plan as well as a year of premium maintenance and support.
While there are a number of solutions out there that offer iPad users the ability to view, create, and edit Office files, including Apple’s iWork apps, they tend to fall short of some enterprise needs. While it’s possible to meet these security and management needs by using a combination of mobile management products and native apps, those combinations really don’t integrate well into a single solution. The new Quickoffice ProSelect HD app is designed to address the security needs of IT and the productivity needs of users with a single app.