For many workers, the ability to access data on the road is vital—so vital, in fact, that virtually every IT vendor on the planet seems to have adapted their core products for mobile devices.
IBM is no different. If you’re a road-warrior with an iOS device, it’s a matter of a few seconds to download a Big Blue app capable of surfacing workaday data. But the burgeoning nature of the mobile market has driven the company to take things one step further: the newly announced IBM Content Navigator, which leverages the cloud to give employees mobile access to documents, records, images and other content. (It also relies on open standards such as HTML5.)
There’s also a heavy sharing component, with other workers able to view content uploaded from one individual’s mobile device. Workers can self-provision documents and collaborate without needing IT to provide some sort of customization.
For companies, the value of the platform lies in the ability to make tons of documents and other data accessible to a broad group of employees without needing to set up individual interfaces for each worker; instead, in conjunction with other IBM software such as Enterprise Content Management, those workers (both on the road and in the office) can simply access and share content. Access to certain content could also be restricted based on an individual’s job position.
On top of that, Content Navigator offers an integrated layer of content analytics and enterprise-search capabilities, which workers can use to scour IBM and third-party repositories for information. National language processing, semantic search, and sentiment analysis are all deployed in the name of mining data from documents, Web content, applications, and reports.
“Today we are enabling clients to make content available in any context to help them deal with the information sprawl of big data,” IBM Enterprise Content Management Leader Doug Hunt wrote in a June 20 statement. “It’s key that clients can now drive business insights from enterprise content and share collaboration content with others who need it.”
Enterprise functionality on a mobile device isn’t exactly a revolutionary thing, of course. For example, SAP’s Sybase acquisition gave it the foundation of a robust mobile platform. Offerings from other IT vendors such as Oracle also include a significant mobile component. It’s a market that any software builder needs to be in, and IBM likely hopes it can appeal to its extensive base of enterprise clients who might otherwise consider another solution (or a platform of cobbled-together software from different vendors).