Thoughts from the desk of MATHIAS EICHLER

The Future of Enterprise Apps

‘Belated’ Notes from SF:
On our first night in SF at last month’s Docusign MOMENTUM Shad and I had dinner at Le Colonial with John Hoye and Kevin Neal. John is the Director for Partnerships at Evernote and is responsible for such collaboration as the Snapscan scanner and the new M3 partnership.
Over a terrific bottle of wine, a Pinot Noir from California, which is always surprising, we discussed technology and cultural adoption.
I had previously used Evernote for meeting notes and general scrap note taking, but because of some sync issues, which had been widely reported, and a certain amount of interface quirks I had lost interest.

John, as a good product evangelist highly encouraged us to reconsider and made a good case for why Evernote needs to be considered as serious contender in the ‘platform for all your files everywhere’ space.
Box, Dropbox and Evernote are taking very different approaches on a similar issue. As a user I wants access to all my files, all the time, on all devices. Perfectly in sync. And as a next step I want to collaborate, comment, share, revision-controlled with my team, with clients and the rest of the world.
One of the questions I raised with John in regards to Evernote was the issue around the next phase for all those companies and their apps.
At one point do those business consider their apps as operation system replacement?
Dropbox is taking that route. Adding more and more apps to their portfolio and targeting the consumer space. Even commenting a collaboration feature found on Box was just introduced.

Box is clearly an Enterprise tool. A monster of an application with great power and lots of features. Very Microsoft like. Offer everything for everyone and hope that this satisfies the largest amount of people. Box is probably the team that’s furthest ahead when it comes to enterprise adoption.

Evernote started off as a personal journaling and document syncing tool and only recently is approaching the enterprise space. Which is clearly a sign that they must be doing something right. Users adopt the tool for personal use and in typical today’s fashion where anyone ‘BYOC’ Brings their own computer and software. The product gets adopted for business use as employees infiltrate the enterprise with useful, lightweight, and inexpensive tools.

Other apps in that space include the fantastic project focused Basecamp. Salesforce and Sharepoint supposedly as well, but who know what those apps do and who actually uses them successfully.

Now it’s becoming more and more evident that social collaboration tools like commenting, version control-abilities, and sharing features are becoming the new ‘operating system’ on the enterprise platform.

Apps are cheap, easy to use, and increasingly lightweight. Hardware is fluid, easy to replace and customized for each user.

It’s the collaboration features among all of these that are the ‘killer feature’ for the enterprise.

Eventually we will stop emailing us Word documents and we will stop creating PowerPoints to communicate bulleted list of agenda items.

But today is not the day.