This year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona saw its usual share of product innovations, and the App Planet exhibit featured more than 200 app developers showing off their latest, including some great tools for helping businesses streamline their operations.
In particular, eight business apps stood out. While some of these are specific to a particular industry, their design innovation could well translate to other businesses:
BlackBerry Experience Suite: BlackBerry is still primarily known as a hardware provider, but at MWC, the company announced the expansion of its security, collaboration and communication packages for Android, iOS, and Windows devices in addition to the native BlackBerry platform. The packages include three areas of enterprise applications: Productivity for messaging, Communication and Collaboration for cloud-based sharing and video conferences, and Security for anti-spam/malware protection, privacy settings, and encryption.
MS Office on Android (Samsung Knox): Outlook, Word, Excel, and all of the other key components of Microsoft Office are staples of just about every business. While Android users have had to find workaround solutions for Office integration, MWC saw the joint announcement of Office for Android by way of the Samsung Knox secure workspace. For both IT managers and staff, life on Android is going to get much easier.
TunnelBear: For companies that need remote access to internal networks, VPNs are a necessary evil — difficult to set up, but effective in sharing data and information. TunnelBear helps simplify this process, and the TunnelBear app is an easy and secure solution that connects Android and iOS devices to an independent network. TunnelBear comes in free and premium versions, allowing businesses to scale as needed based on their VPN needs.
Passenger Care: This innovative app represents a huge step forward in customer care for the airline industry. Flight delays and changes are hugely frustrating for passengers, but Passenger Care provides staff with a tablet-friendly tool to offer one on one service rather than problem solving at the front of a long and endless line.
Dynamic Buy-buyer: Retail inventory management gets easier with Dynamic Buy-buyer, an app that combines both purchasing and stocking into one streamlined solution. With Dynamic Buy-buyer, buyers are given the tools to maximize cost-per unit and restocking of high-revenue items; the app is also designed to let buyers know when they are getting a good deal on purchases done outside of the standard buying cycle.
Advisor Alert: Financial advisors base their business on a combination of numbers and hunches. The new Advisor Alert app gives the industry an app that supports both. Featuring a wide range of analytics-based data, financial advisors can use Advisor Alert to make decisions and quantify gut feelings for the best of both worlds.
AMIDuOS: Business users have appreciated the fact that Windows phones and tablets connect with with Office, Outlook, and other Windows standards, but they haven’t been so happy about the small selection of other apps available on the platform. However, American Megatrends’ AMIDuOS app will allow Windows phones to emulate the Android OS, opening the door to countless apps for both work and play.
Advances in infrastructure
Besides these apps, two proven companies made announcements at MWC that will have a positive impact on the app world. Good Technology, used by many leading corporations to securely extend networks to mobile devices, unveiled plans for expanding its mobility management capabilities. Good’s goal is to allow for protected business data on the newest generation of smart devices such as cars, wearables, and non-traditional connected devices. And Hypori, a leader in virtual mobile infrastructure, demonstrated its Android Cloud Environment. The platform, developed in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Defense, focuses on security and privacy in BYOD environments by delineating between a mobile device from its shared application.
These innovations from the recent 2015 Mobile World Congress App Planet event show us how far the smartphone revolution has taken us: better customer service, stronger security, a more flexible workday, and much more. Innovation always begets innovation, and when the 2016 MWC rolls around, these apps may already be industry standard, but what’s beyond the horizon is just as exciting.
Dippak Khurana is CEO of Vserv.