harmon.ie says BYOD strategies are failing. This is how it helps resolve that challenge.

It’s a simple idea, but one that is bound to be popular with Android users. Harmon.ie has just announced the release of a new app that will enable Android devices users work in Office 365 and SharePoint from anywhere.

While there are many different kinds of content in enterprise-based Office 365 and SharePoint online deployments, this app is for those that have a tendency to bring corporate documents with them on their mobile devices.

BYOD Strategies Are Failing

It is also a response to the use of unmonitored cloud and file share services that many office workers now subscribe to. While enterprises can do the best they can to stop the use of such apps, most companies don’t have the time or the resources to stop it completely.

This release is a response to that. Harmon.ie has taken the position that, one way or the other, workers are going to want to access documents off-premises and that the best way to deal with that is by making sure that those documents are secure.

It is also releasing this app, it says, because ultimately, Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) strategies have failed as a result of the necessary restrictions enterprises have placed on user's access to information.

Most users, it says, are only allowed access email and calendaring functions from the outside. This is because the security infrastructure needed to manage enterprise-grade external collaboration activities, is absent in many enterprises. Until secure infrastructures are developed, introducing BYOD strategies is pointless.

One other consideration that harmon.ie rises is the fact that Android devices account for around 50% of all phones sold and, according to a US Homeland Security survey cited by harmon.ie, Android is particularly vulnerable from a security perspective.

For enterprises, this release is not just about another cool app for Android. This is about maximizing the productive hours of the day and the ability for workers to collaborate and work with each other.

harmon.ie, Office 365 and SharePoint

It is hardly a surprise, then, that harmon.ie has hit on an app for Office 365, which Microsoft is pushing as the collaboration suite par excellence, among other things. We asked harmon.ie what the thinking behind this was.

Document List.png

Paraphrasing Napoleon’s famous “an army marches on its stomach” aphorism, harmon.ie points out that “an enterprise travels on its documents.” Secure access to both Office 365 and SharePoint was the starting point behind the app given the traction that both have in the enterprise.

However, mobile access to SharePoint is not enough. Users need to be able to access and use its social capabilities as well as find documents, follow them and collaborate on them. This requires access to the documents' metadata and, above all, effective search.

Document metadata.png

harmon.ie Sharepoint Office 365 Android app metadata list

The new app, harmon.ie says, provides all that. However, this is not just an access app, it is a collaboration app, so integration with email and social media and communications is also provided.

In fact, in this version users can access documents, Yammer, Search, People, Profiles and Lists among other things, with tasks calendar, contacts and Lync all coming soon.

Future Plans?

Harmon.ie also told us that in the future to avoid a situation where it is obliged to create an app to access every different enterprise application, it intends to provide an aggregated activity stream across all apps and services with information filtering according to context.

The new app is just the latest in a long list of apps that haromon.ie has developed to put workers in touch with their content through Outlook and Notes on the desktop, on iOS and BlackBerry mobile devices, and Outlook Web App in the cloud.

Harmon.ie has also announced a number of new partnerships with Mobile Device Management (MDM) vendors like Citrix and Samsung and is likely to add more in the future as its portfolio and reach evolves.