For SMB’s this week there were a number of new releases that should make it easier to work while mobile. Apart from a mobile Business By Design from SAP, Skype is now available to a limited extent on Android v2.1 and above. IBM has also been busy with online tax filing and hosted e-mail.
SAP Goes Mobile with Business ByDesign
It took SAP (news, site) almost three years to release the SaaS version of Business ByDesign, which it did in July. Now, less than two months later, it has released a mobile app available on the iTunes Store that puts it on the road. The new version -- Version 2.5 -- included three starter packs to encourage its deployment and appeal particularly to the SMB sector.
This new mobile version is for midsized companies and, SAP says, is easy to use and available for free to all the users of feature packs in v2.5.
SAP is not stopping there though. With the next version of SAP Business ByDesign, SAP plans to make additional functionality available and to support further mobile devices, including BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone 7. The company also aims to enable partners to create supplemental content, which can then become an incremental part of the application.
The application is available for the iPhone, with a minimal requirement of version 3.1.3 of the Mac-OS operating system. Access to the application is granted via a secure https connection.
IBM Offers Hosted E-mail
This new addition to the LotusLive family will provide e-mail, calendaring and instant messaging, while the entire package, which includes the previously released web conferencing, social networking and collaboration and is available for US$ 10 per user per month.
Worth noting is that only last year Microsoft (news, site) cut the price of its hosted services so that Exchange Online costs US$ 5 per user per month, and its integrated Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS) bundle to US$ 10 per user per month.
IBM says it aims to accelerate the adoption of cloud collaboration services to increase productivity, collaboration and innovation in today's global enterprises. All very noble, but with the pricing the way it is, it looks more like an attempt to eat into Microsoft’s Exchange services market.
Furthermore, it is also introducing a feature within LotusLive called Communities to help advance an organization's ability to work together both inside and outside their enterprise.
IBM, ADP Launch Cloud Tax Service For SMBs
Big Blue is also now offering SMBs a cloud-based tax filing system which can be integrated with SMB enterprise resource planning sources.
It’s not really IBM that is offering it, but providing ADP (Automatic Data Processing) the ability to offer it to its SMB clients using the connector software that IBM acquired when it bought Cast Iron in May.
While the amount of money paid wasn’t disclosed, the acquisition gave IBM Cast Iron’s OmniConnect, an application that enables users to tie their SaaS applications with their on-premise applications no matter where those applications are located.
By tying up with IBM in this partnership, ADP says it will be able to offer its clients online tax filing in the cloud and enable those clients to combine it with their online payroll systems.
Without this kind of hybrid solution, the deployment of ADP’s tax system was virtually out of the reach of SMBs as it required use of substantial IT expertise to connect ADP’s system to legacy systems. Want to know more?
Skype on Android
According to the recent announcement, Skype will be available to phones running Android v2.1 and up. However, US users take note of the fine print -- you won’t be able to make 3G calls just yet.
The new application can be downloaded from Skype itself or from the Android market place. Again there are a number of caveats that should be taken into account, particularly those concerning the kind of phone this service will be available on. Oh, and if you’re in Japan or China, just forget about it! Outside the US, it will work on both 3G and Wi-Fi.
SamePage Releases Community Edition
If you are looking for free enterprise wikis, this week also saw the release of SamePage Community Edition. The new CE is a full fledged edition of its v4.3 released earlier this summer that is free and contains the majority of the functionality of the enterprise edition.
SamePage 4.3 is simple environment for collaboration and document management that comes with plug ins geared to existing customers and new users who want to deploy the software as an enterprise knowledge management tool. If you want to download it check out the eTouch website.