Earlier this month TSG released information on our first Mobile Device Offering (HPI Mobile). We have spent the last few weeks demoing it to our clients and gathering their feedback. Below are some of their thoughts. Please share yours as well. You can view the demo in our Learning Zone.
Consumerization of IT – it is all about Mobile
Consumerization of IT means that users will bring in all sorts of devices (phone, tablet) to use at work. Whether officially supported or not, we have been in multiple client meetings where consumers/users are “surprising” IT with how innovative they can be at doing traditional PC activities on their mobile devices. Some of these user thoughts on our HPI for Mobile release included:
- HTML5 Architecture – HPI mobile was developed as a browser based mobile application in HTML5 (a browser-based framework) rather than as a native application. The issue with native application development is that there is not a common development environment that is used across all mobile devices. (Apple versus Android seems to be the main battle). For a native application, users need to go to an on-line store and download the application as well as update if there are changes. This process can further be delayed by Apple for a review. Clients liked that we chose to develop HPI Mobile using HTML5 to have a single code base across multiple devices that can be released quickly without requiring a download.
- Display of Properties and Content – When an entry is selected from the Search Results in the mobile application, first the user is displayed additional property information about the item prior to launching the content. Our clients thought that this additional display of property information was helpful since the limited real estate on a mobile device does not allow that much property information to be displayed in the search results listing.
- Single Configuration File – A single configuration file is used to drive both the mobile and the full-featured browser HPI application for a PC. The feedback was that this single source would reduce inconsistencies and maintenance of the applications.
As expected, our clients had a ton of great suggestions for next steps. Some items in our upcoming release could include:
- Approval – Users wanted both search and retrieval but also the ability to approve documents from their mobile device. Look for our next release to include similar simple-to-use interface where users can approve via their mobile devices.
- Delegate & Proxy – With approval will come the need to delegate tasks and set a proxy .
- Pick Lists / Toss Across / Date Controls – Currently the demo only allows you to type in a search term and not choose it from the list. Choosing search terms from a pick list, dates from a calendar widget would be nice ease-of-use enhancements.
- Cloud – Some clients would like to access the application from their mobile devices from both within the company wireless network as well as from outside. While this won’t necessarily change the application, it does require some network connectivity solutions.
- Last Accessed – Many times users are accessing the same documents from their PC that they would like to share on their mobile device without having to redo the search. An upcoming feature will allow mobile and PC users to see a list of the last 5 or 10 documents accessed from either the mobile app or on their desktop.
Overall, the biggest surprise for us was the demand our clients had for mobile apps in their user base. Even our more conservative clients are interested in ECM mobile applications. Current employees are probably already bringing mobile devices to work and finding out ways to access the network and current browser based applications. There is a good chance your employees are doing this as well. Our clients thought that it would be better to get ahead of the trend and establish the mobile infrastructure rather than have users struggle with PC interfaces from their mobile devices.
To see the HPI Mobile application in action, check out the demo in the TSG Learning Zone.
Let us know what you think or provide other mobile suggestions for the next release below.