VMware extends social, cloud-based apps to iPad and Android


The ne SlideRocket app for iPad

VMware says it is advancing its vision for the future of applications in the post-PC era with new iPad and updated Android applications from SlideRocket and Socialcast that are designed to help businesses empower a more agile, productive and connected enterprise.

Announced at GigaOM’s Mobilize 2011 conference in San Francisco recently, VMware officials said business users are looking for more effective ways to connect to their applications and share information with their co-workers, partners and customers on mobile platforms.

It’s not a secret that enterprises are increasingly embracing the iPad and other mobile devices and treating them as crucial business tools.

VMware officials, citing Apple’s latest earnings report, noted 86 per cent of the Fortune 500 are deploying or testing iPads, up from 75 per cent last quarter. Regardless of tablet device deployed, SlideRocket and Socialcast mobile apps are designed to address an essential need to equip the connected enterprise with user-centric communication and collaboration tools that enhance business outcomes.

The SlideRocket app would allow users to take PowerPoint presentations (and other formats) mobile. Socialcast for the iPad is a tool that allows the Socialcast community to communicate with one another while on the road. Socialcast supports secure login using OAuth 2.0, a key component for enterprises ensuring the security of their employees’ personal information. Both apps are available as a free download.

“A trend we are calling the ‘consumerization of IT’ is increasingly driving consumer focused products purchased by employees and executives into enterprises and forcing IT managers to treat them as legitimate tools,” remarked Rob Enderle, principal, The Enderle Group. “Enterprise vendors have increasingly found tablets uniquely useful for control panels and information resources for field and support people and they are used to keep employees connected increasingly as well.”

Whatever one refers to it as, the emphasis on enterprise mobility can’t be denied.

VMware’s strategy with this announcement is to cover Apple and Android coming into enterprise through end users, opined Warren Shiau, director of research, technology and consumer insight, Leger Marketing in Toronto.

“That’s an undeniable trend and no joke. Every single IT research firm that has data on this is showing that Apple and Android are coming into enterprise this way,” he said.

The bigger part of VMware’s story is that they’re proposing splitting end-user mobile devices like smartphones and tablets into two machines: A personal machine (your phone) versus a work machine; the work machine being served up through virtualization as a completely segregated entity from the personal machine.

“What that will do is allow consumerization of IT without the headaches of losing IT control, management and security,” Shiau continued. “This will increase the width of available road for Apple and Android to come into enterprise and it will address a dramatic chunk of enterprise concerns around consumerization of IT.  When it rolls out, it’ll be big.”

Meanwhile, a recent blog post by former Novell partner marketing manager Raul Castanon-Martinez concurs with that view, “unlike cloud computing, which can be described as a top-down trend where IT is in full control, enterprise mobility is a bottom-up trend driven by end users.”