Mobile and Wireless Access to Collaboration Systems

I’ve been thinking about mobile and wireless access to collaboration systems, and how it has matured during the past three years. In terms of key themes, my top-of-mind sense is that:

  • It’s gotten a lot better. New collaboration systems — places where people work together — have better baseline mobile access options than they did three years ago.
  • New devices have improved the game. The Apple iPhone, in particular, has been game changing. It made mobile browsing feasible by the general populace. And the App Store has seen a way for vendors to deliver mobile clients for their services seamlessly.
  • Multi-platform and multi-device support appears to be considered earlier in the development lifecycle of new services. Eg, Evernote, SugarSync.
  • Applications that were considered “crazy and unnecessary” three years ago are now possible. Eg, mobile devices as web conferencing end points, eg WebEx on the iPhone, Fuze Meeting on the iPhone.
  • People expect wireless device access now, whereas three years ago it was a novel idea. Eg, witness the plethora of Twitter clients for mobile devices.

The more established enterprise collaboration platforms — Lotus Notes, Lotus Quickr, SharePoint — still seem to be on the back foot.

  • Lotus Notes Traveler is for email, calendaring, contacts, journal and to do, NOT Notes or Domino applications.
  • Lotus Quickr offers team spaces, and while Research In Motion are working on mobile integration, it’s not here yet.
  • SharePoint 2007 offers mobile view (/m). It’s okay (and functional to a degree), but not as rich as other services.

What’s your sense? What have I missed? What have I gotten wrong?

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