To stay productive, mobile users want continuous access to business data – including data stored in enterprise content management (ECM) systems such as Microsoft SharePoint – and they want to collaborate on and share that information with co-workers, business partners, vendors and customers.
When they discover how difficult it is to access SharePoint files on smartphones and tablets, they often resort to posting files to consumer cloud-based file-sharing services. Copies of SharePoint files then spread from device to device, unmonitored and uncontrolled by IT.
"By deploying a SharePoint-enabled secure mobility solution, IT can fully leverage the corporate investment in SharePoint while keeping mobile workers productive and focused on core business needs," says
To mobilise SharePoint securely, enterprises should ask the following questions:
* Who needs to access the data, staff, customers and or external consultants? * Which serves as the better requirement: SharePoint client access or SharePoint file synchronisation? * What devices need access to SharePoint, smartphones, tablets and or PCs? * What other systems do these users need to access, such as Exchange or Lotus, file shares, intranet content or other ECM type solutions? * Are multiple solutions required to satisfy the business demand?
"It's important to note that by mobilising SharePoint in the various ways described below, organisations do not need to expose SharePoint to the Internet, thereby reducing their risk of exposure," says Glansbeek.
The following solutions offer organisations the various options for delivering SharePoint content to mobile users securely. These solutions also extend their capabilities to other areas of the company and not just SharePoint.
SharePoint Client Access for Smartphones and Tablets – This is where the users need to access SharePoint as though they were attached to their corporate network. In this scenario we would recommend using a Mobile Container Security Solution that has the ability to manage HTML5 applications such as SharePoint. This will contain all SharePoint information and avoid data leakage into other applications on the device. This solution will also allow you to include Exchange or Lotus, file shares, secure intranet browsing and any other HTML5 type applications such as SAP. See www.excitor.com (http://www.excitor.com), their DME solution delivers the secure container.
SharePoint client access for remote PCs and laptops – Many companies are faced with either supplying VPN type solutions or exposing SharePoint to the internet so PCs can access SharePoint using their browser. VPN solutions have various risks such as data leakage at the endpoint and users roaming around the network. These risk can be mitigated, but at a very high cost and added network complexities. Excitor has a solution called G/On, which is a software solution that delivers managed access to corporate applications, giving users maximum mobility, flexibility, and security to work from anywhere using any machine based on Windows, Mac OS, or Linux. G/On does NOT connect the user PC directly to your network. G/On virtualises the connections between user devices and the company's application servers, ensuring all data stays within the company network and is not downloaded to the user's local PC. See www.excitor.com (http://www.excitor.com) for their G/On Remote Application Control solution.
SharePoint File Synchronisation for smartphones, tablets and PCs – With this requirement, users only need to synchronise SharePoint files on mobile devices and PCs and there is no need to have client access. This is more commonly known as Data Collaboration and users can select which files they need to view and download into a container installed on their smartphones and tablets. As this is a container, there is no data leakage between the container and other applications on the device. This solution will also synchronise files to PC and allow secure browser access. See www.accellion.com (http://www.accellion.com) for its Data Collaboration solution which also offers access to files shares and other ECM solutions such as iManage and
"Microsoft SharePoint provides rich collaborative work spaces and data storage solutions for enterprises. By mobilising SharePoint, enterprises can maximise productivity and fully leverage their existing enterprise investments while ensuring that business data is always safe." concludes Glansbeek.
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