Citrix has announed it has aquired an iPad document editing tool called Byte Squared, and the ability to edit Office documents will now be rolled into its ShareFile Enterprise system.
Share + Edit Digital Documents
Allowing customers to share documents in a relatively painless way is a huge part of project management and collaboration, something ShareFile clearly focuses in on. Having that ability on mobile devices is a more recent phenomenon, but because of the total lock down on Office apps by Microsoft, this is often a tricky proposition.
So just accessing Office docs on a mobile device is tricky enough, so when it comes to editing them, things quickly turn from difficult to more or less impossible. There's many reasons for this, and that is why companies like Byte Squared exist in the first place.
The company formed in 2009 to tackle the problem, and its suite of Office HD Squared, and related apps are still available as stand alone products. Having a tool that can scale the ability to edit Office documents via mobile devices was too good an opportunity for Citrix to pass up it seems, and the small Byte Squared team has now been integrated into the larger company.
iPad Office Document Editing
Not even Microsoft itself has adequately been able to provide a great Office editing experience on the iPad. Office Web Apps only came to the iPad in July 2013, and it requires a subscription to Office 365. The app itself is free. With Office HD Squared, a US$ 8 app, a bit more of an intuitive document editor is offerd, and it's compatible with Word, Excel and PowerPoint docs.
That power has now been extended to Citrix ShareFile Enterprise customers, and Citrix should be able to sway plenty of Office heavy users to upgrade to the Enterprise version from the Corporate and Pro versions. Office HD Squared offers a more visual approach to editing documents, we feel, so ShareFile users should be looking forward to the integration.
The Byte Squared acquisition comes just about two years after Citrix acquired ShareFile itself, so the company is obviously very serious about expanding in the collaboration space. Next up, we expect the company to roll the two companies' features into its GoToMeeting videoconferencing app. That's got to be the goal here. If it could offer an all in one video, document and mobile collaboration space in one place, it would really be onto something.
Indeed, that may even be where Microsoft eventually takes Skype, so Citrix is definitely being proactive here. These kinds of moves are exactly what makes the social business space such an exciting one today, and there will obviously be plenty more coming from both companies as far as integrations go
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