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If a picture is worth a thousand words, wouldn't you want a mobile app like FoKo to do your job?

To: john@xyzcompany.com

Fr: barb@xyzcompany.com

Subject:  This display stand is a mess!

John,

Just visited the store at 51 findlay drive to see how our product is selling. The display stand is a mess. It's cracked on the side and tipping slightly. The product types are all messed up and the stand sits between the cookies and the crackers -- our product is for dieters! We need to clean this up asap. 

Barb

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This email represents a message a salesperson might send back to office after visiting a series of stores selling his products. A lot of words, trying to explain what seems like a simple situation. Still, try to visualize it and you might get the point? And you might not. Would a picture of what Barb is seeing make sense in this situation?

Eric Sauve, founder of a new photo service for the enterprise called FoKo.co, thinks so, and it's hard to disagree. What Sauve has created is a cloud-based service for enterprises that allows teams to easily share photos using their own mobile devices. 

Private Photo Sharing for the Enterprise

Everyone likes to take pictures with their smartphone and just about everyone has a smartphone and wants to use it for their work. With pictures, it's really quick and easy to show someone something. You don't have to try to describe it, take a picture and send it along.

But there's no really easy way to send that picture. Send it by email sure, to one person, to a number of people. Then wait for the email trail to begin and try to figure out who's doing what. Or, you could upload it to a DropBox somewhere or a public photo sharing site. In either case, there are either too many steps involved or it's not secure.

FoKo is designed to provide secure photo sharing for teams. You sign up your domain and add people from your company (or team) to share photos with. 

foko.co, images, instragram for the enterprise

With FoKo, you can edit and annotate those photos before you send them. People can comment on them or like them. If you want to share them with people outside your domain, you have the ability to extend that secure network to partners or customers.

FoKo is Freemium

FoKo is currently in a private beta with a number of companies across a wide array of verticals including financial, industrial manufacturing, education and more. It's an application that you can see used for a wide variety of purposes. Show clients your work, grabshots of whiteboard group discussions, show problems with a roadway, a product, a manufacturing plant layout... the ideas are endless.

Sauve told me that FoKo will have a freemium model. For a fee you get additional control and administration features such as the ability to:

  • Manage and delete content, including content that is marked inappropriate
  • Delete and suspend users including for those users on "legal hold" (for when someone gets sued in a company)

FoKo offers native apps (built with Javascript/HTML5) for both Apple and Android phones and tablets. These native apps have full integration with the phone's camera and all data is stored on Amazon.

Right now it's a standalone app, but Sauve says that they are investigating integration with Active Directory for authentication for down the road.

FoKo is coming out of private beta around mid-August, so you can sign up for the public beta and see if it's a service that your organization can benefit from using.

Enterprise Focused Means Secure, Yet Easy to Use

There are a lot of file sharing apps out there, but they are either document focused and require a number of steps to use them, or they aren't enterprise ready because they don't offer the security required.

FoKo is an interesting approach to sharing images within the organization in a secure manner. And I as indicated earlier, you only have to take a minute to think about the possibilities an app like this can provide. I like to write as much as the next person, but if I could explain something easier and faster by taking a picture and clicking a share link, I would so do it, and save the carpal tunnel syndrome for another day.

Integration with enterprise collaboration software would be a bonus here. Once the picture is taken and shared, someone might want to initiate a greater discussion, maybe do some innovation projects or start a workflow to fix a problem the image is showing. This would take this mobile app to the next level.

If you decide to check it out, come back and share your opinion on how it worked for you.