IoT Ecosystem > Mobile Workforce Blog

Good expands support, usability of Microsoft apps for enterprises

by Gina Luk | May 25, 2015


Good Technology last week announced deepened support for Microsoft applications on the Good Work. The move reflects Good’s awareness of enterprises worker productivity preferences and trends on mobile devices, as well as Microsoft’s growing influence in mobile enterprise in general.

Thinking about some of the highlights of Good Technology’s recent announcement, some features seem almost laughably simplistic (the following from the Good press release):

  • Open Microsoft Office documents from within an email
  • Share content with colleagues, partners or customers in an email
  • Save as a PDF

Yet, as many mobile workers know, executing these rudimentary tasks from the desktop-computing world on a smartphone can be maddening. The icon jungle of “Open In” suggested apps is familiar to many workers trying to open or work with files form one app to another. The sandboxed nature of mobile operating systems like iOS is a blessing and curse here; its isolation architecture protects apps from each other, but can be difficult to navigate for trickier tasks which cross app boundaries. 
This becomes even more stymieing with enterprise mobility management (EMM) controls in the mix. Containerization of apps and mobile workspaces on a smartphone or tablet can make cross-app functions nearly impossible — again, as a security measure, but tipping the usability/security seesaw more towards the latter.

Good Work is a suite of mobile apps — a mobile e-mail client, browser, calendar, etc. — tied to the company’s back-end EMM system, allowing companies to containerize the work environment of employee’s mobile devices, and control how apps and data are used and accessed in this containerized environment. The Microsoft/Good Work integration aims to move many of these productivity barriers associated with document viewing and creation on mobile devices, especially among enterprises with EMM platforms deployed. The Good/Microsoft integration allows users to open Microsoft documents from the Good Work secure email program directly in Office-based cloud applications, such as Microsoft Office Web Apps. Files can also be saved and accessed from Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint repository. 

Good’s mobile productivity support addresses the top use case for mobile devices in the enterprise: e-mail and document viewing/creation. According to Strategy Analytics' 2014 Enterprise Survey, document viewing (such as spreadsheets, presentations and written documents), is the number one business application used on tablets devices, with nearly half of enterprises that use tablets saying this is the top use case (even ahead of e-mail usage, which is number two). Additionally more than a third of enterprises with tablets deployed say that their employees are creating documents and spreadsheets on these devices. And while e-mail is still the dominant app on smartphones (65% say it is their top business app on the device) nearly 30% of enterprises say document editing/viewing is a top app on smartphones. 


Microsoft’s recent push into mobile productivity, and enterprise mobility in particular, will challenge MDM and EMM vendors that don’t play well apps such as Microsoft Office, and/or offer features easily supplanted by built-in Microsoft mobility controls. Good appears ready to play nice with Microsoft while remaining relevant to enterprises as an underlying mobility infrastructure provider. 

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