From “Hawaiian” to barbecue to the exotic, today’s pizza toppings yield myriad options for what began as a humble round of Neapolitan flatbread, topped only with tomatoes. VMC expert Keith Prunella says that the native mobile capabilities of SharePoint, like pizza, can also be embellished and built upon.
Out of the box, SharePoint 2010 does give you mobile access to documents, list contents, calendar information, and some other things – I actually use it on my phone for my development team – but it’s a limited subset of features. But, by creating custom solutions within SharePoint using other Microsoft technologies, we can greatly expand on its capabilities as a mobile solution.
For instance, if one of our clients wanted to capture photos and videos from their smartphones and upload them into SharePoint, we could construct a solution using Windows Azure storage, which is part of Windows’ cloud computing platform. We’d first create a simple mobile application that allows the client to select a photo or video capture and push the data to storage in the Cloud. Then, we’d secure the cloud application using group claims as well as providing an SSL certificate – I strongly recommend doing a security and privacy assessment with this type of solution to make sure the devices and the client’s company information is protected. Finally, within SharePoint, we’d create a Web part that would display the cloud application. This sort of thing is what people are currently interested in. Not too long ago, we constructed a similar solution for a project that involved large offline file storage.
According to Forrester, a research company, 350 million workers will use smartphones by 2016, 200 million of whom will use their devices in the workplace. As work processes change, how could you top off your mobile solutions with more features to enhance employee performance?