The typical mobile user of Microsoft's collaboration tools -- Office 365, SharePoint, Yammer and OneDrive -- isn’t a social media maven, according to a survey of user habits. But he can't live without document access.

While that may not be much of a surprise (Microsoft is the platform for the serious office worker, after all) the following finding is: iOS is the dominant mobile browser by far for accessing documents and collaborating with Microsoft tools in the enterprise.

That's an eye-opening factoid given the number of Android phones in general in circulation and the only relatively recent inroads Apple has made in the enterprise, David Lavenda, VP of product strategy at harmon.ie, told CMSWire. 

1,500 Users Surveyed

These are among the findings in a report harmon.ie just released on "Microsoft Collaboration Usage."

The report was based on the activity of 1,500 business users from 800 companies in more than 75 countries. All of them are using harmon.ie Mobile, which offers Microsoft document sharing and social applications on iOS, Android and BlackBerry 10 platforms.

The study looked at such activities as document access, search and favoriting of content; people and sites; accessing colleague profiles on SharePoint; following activity stream updates; adding new SharePoint sites; and participating in Yammer discussions.

Perhaps the most notable finding from the report is that the adoption of mobile Office 365 is proceeding at a breakneck speed, Lavenda said.

The survey found that 24 percent of harmon.ie mobile users are now using mobile Office 365 in the cloud, compared to 18 percent six months ago. That is an adoption growth rate of 33 percent.

It's particularly notable because many companies are unable to move to the cloud, at least exclusively, due to such reasons as the need for customized software or compliance factors. But such challenges are apparently being overcome for Office 365.

All About Document Access

Another finding from the survey is that by an overwhelming majority of 81 percent, business users on mobile devices preferred online and office document access out of all the features.

Document access is far more popular, in fact, than Yammer discussions, which may well say something about the state of collaboration in the enterprise and small business. Business users opened documents 68 times more often than they participated in Yammer discussions, the survey found.

"Getting people to change habits and discuss things on Yammer is taking longer than expected," Lavenda said.

In a certain respect this makes sense, he added. Employees that require mobile access tend to be more senior or have a job profile that requires them to be able to access documents out of the office.

For the company, the takeaway is that even though right now the focus of "real work" still remains on document access and collaboration, enterprise-oriented social tools will inevitably start to shift people's work habits -- and the company needs to be prepared for this change.

Make sure the right tools are in place now, it advised.

Apple's Dominance

The company came to its conclusion about Apple's dominance by tracking the documents opened via the type of mobile device. It found that iOS was more popular by a factor of at least 10 over Android on a monthly basis.

The most used mobile device for document access is the iPad, followed by the iPhone and then the Android phones.

The most popular device manufacturers are, in order, Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony and Motorola.

This finding reflects Microsoft's -- now clearly wise -- decision to no longer require users to access Office 365 via Windows, the report said.

Rather the company's goal has become to get all mobile users on the Office 365 cloud, no matter by what device. It is a goal that Microsoft is looking increasingly likely it will achieve. 

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License Title image by Zach Dischner.