Mobile workers were ecstatic to find that Microsoft's 2013 version of SharePoint included more mobile features than previous versions. Setting up these applications to work effectively may require additional SharePoint training, as IT professionals will find that the new services are extremely useful at boosting productivity.
As CIO Magazine noted, in the past one of the few ways in which workers could access the collaborative software from a remote location was via a virtual private network. With such networks, employees can only access corporate servers through laptops. Despite tablets becoming more popular in the workplace, SharePoint users had trouble connecting such devices. However, SharePoint 2013 offers more useful mobile tools.
The latest version of the software now supports the commonly used mobile software language, HTML5. Most browsers that operate on tablets and smartphones are built on HTML5 platforms, meaning that SharePoint access is now possible on the go. Users no longer need their laptops, just their phones to access SharePoint sites.
Also, Microsoft specifically designed the new software to be able to function on touch screens. Now, it's easy to open documents, lists and other SharePoint applications with the 2013 edition of the software.
The bring-your-own-device movement has changed enterprise IT infrastructure setups. At a given company, IT professionals are forced to find security and compatibility solutions for a number of devices. Whether its an iPhone or an Android device, tech teams are challenged with finding a single solution to make different products operate effectively on a central system. However, Microsoft has made the task a little easier for IT professionals who have SharePoint certification.
New technology in SharePoint 2013 allows the program to auto render SharePoint sites compatible with different devices. Based on the unique requirements of an operating system and the screen size of a particular product, the software will offer instantly configured displays specific to every smartphone or tablet.
Useful mobile apps
CIO Magazine also reported that there are a number of useful mobile apps that come with SharePoint 2013. SharePoint sites will now include a service that sends out mobile alerts when a change has been made to files or sites. Another unique app modeled on the Facebook timeline is SharePoint Newsfeed. It provides an easy to navigate user interface that includes updates on the activity of accounts that a particular user follows. Currently, it is available for Windows Phone and iOS, while Microsoft plans to make it compatible with Windows 8 and Android in the near future.
Cloud collaboration is also easier with the SkyDrive Pro app. It allows mobile users to access data stored on cloud servers that can be opened in SharePoint. Also, these files can be sent to other users, making document sharing easier than ever.
Mobile market growing
The major task facing IT teams today is increasing enterprise mobility. Workers are demanding more access to mobile platforms as the workplace shifts from a confined office to a more loosely defined setting. More so than ever, employees are working from home and are accessing accounts on mobile devices.
At a recent SharePoint Summit in Quebec, Joel Oleson of Salient6 outlined why implementing mobile platforms is important for all companies. He cited data from IDC that found global PC shipments declined 13.9 percent in the first quarter of the year, compared to the first quarter of 2012.
Additionally, mobile web traffic is growing while desktop traffic is decreasing. The trends show that IT professionals need to invest in useful mobile enterprise technology such as SharePoint 2013.
Becoming proficient in using the software is possible with online Microsoft training courses. These convenient classes can be taken from any location and are provided by a number of certified and reputable vendors.