From Visual Studio to Enterprise Mobility
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy chatting with customers and partners at our Collective events. It’s always fun to hear how our products are being used, and it’s even more fun to hear about the next opportunities customers see to really add value to their business. I think the most common conversation centered around enterprise mobility. Many of the attendees got to see our Sitrion ONE solution for the first time, and it inspired a lot of great ideas about unlocking powerful use cases.
ONE is an enterprise mobile development platform with tons of cool capabilities. But sometimes the greatest value comes from the simplest things. If your company has developers who use Microsoft Visual Studio, you can have enterprise mobile apps that work on iOS, Android and Windows Phone right now. You don’t need to learn Objective C or Java. You don’t need to understand all the unique problems of doing mobile development. That’s a really big deal because we have many customers and partners who are strong in the .Net ecosystem and who have opportunities to develop powerful mobile solutions.
We know there are options like Xamarin for developers who know Visual Studio. But when asked to dig deeper on what sets Sitrion ONE apart, I like to highlight the following.
- With ONE, developers really don’t need to have any mobile development knowledge. When you’re building apps with other approaches, you need to know all of the arcane issues that can come up in mobile development. Using Sitrion ONE, you won’t run into issues with layout sizes, power conservation, managing memory, etc.
- In enterprise development, you often need to work with Mobile Device Management or Mobile Application Management systems. This, in turn, often requires compiling in specific libraries into the client. This can be a problem if you are not doing a standard native compilation. Sitrion has extensive experience working with leading MDM/MAM vendors like MobileIron, AirWatch, Good and Citrix.
- In an enterprise use case, you need to integrate with enterprise systems, you need to allow secure access, and you need a way to easily update the functionality. When you get into the hundreds or thousands of clients that analysts project enterprise companies will have, the effort to maintain and update clients becomes huge especially as you consider operating system and form factor updates. The difference here is that Sitrion ONE only ever has a single native client that gets distributed to your users.
What about HTML5 as an option? This is definitely a tempting approach because it suggests that you can develop once and use the solution on all devices. HTML5 works well for some cases. However, in many cases, issues with mobile browsers, authentication, performance, offline data storage, and integration with phone hardware mean that native applications are the only viable option.
So how does Sitrion ONE solve all of this? With ONE, we build the native client. Sitrion takes responsibility for making a client that works well on all the different types of phones and tablets and fits in with your environment. Your developers work in Visual Studio creating the screens and user interaction that power your apps. They can use ONE’s connectors to access data from SAP, SharePoint and other platforms. Your developers can even write web services that can integrate with ONE to work with any other system. But your developers won’t need to know anything about mobile development. They simply define the user experience and the business logic, and we take care of the rest.
When it’s time to get this functionality out to your users, you simply decide which groups get which capabilities. So if everyone gets the time off request app but only field sales people get inventory lookup, you just make those decisions. That also means that whenever you want to update those capabilities, your users don’t need to download a new app or update an existing app. The Sitrion ONE platform takes care of all of that.
And there’s my problem. Once again, I’m listing the many cool advantages of the ONE platform. But at the end of the day, for many companies, the single most compelling thing about ONE is that it lets you deliver enterprise mobility via your .Net developers without ever needing to train anyone on mobile development. Going from Visual Studio to enterprise mobility in one quick step is very cool journey.