Active Endpoints Launches Software for Simple Enterprise Mobile Access

8/6/12Follow @xconomy

You could say that Active Endpoints’ latest product release takes a bare essentials approach to enterprise mobility.

The Waltham, MA-based company was founded in 2003 and developed collaboration and workflow software for IT and business departments within companies. Last year it introduced its Cloud Extend software, based around the idea that the average user only needs a small fraction of the features and menus in a given enterprise software program. So, the Cloud Extend software allows users to create “wizards” to determine exactly which functions and screens they want to see, and filter the rest out.

“No matter how creative a development team is in terms of graphics, there’s just too much data to know what’s relevant and what’s not to generalize navigation or automate the routine stuff you do,” says CEO Mark Taber.

Cloud Extend functions as a “do it yourself Web-based customization tool,” says Taber. Now the startup has branched into the mobile sphere, with the release of the mobile version of its Cloud Extend software late last month.

Users still use the Web tool to create the exact screens they want for a given software program, but the resulting “wizard” can be accessed as iPhone or Android apps, with the boiled down set of features the user has selected. iPhone users can take advantage of Siri to use voice commands to operate the wizards and navigate the different menus, Taber says. The do-it-yourself approach to mobile and enterprise software experiences puts Active Endpoints in an increasingly crowded field with other local players like Verivo Software and Mendix. Active’s strategy entails building mobile interfaces of existing software programs, instead of entirely new apps, though.

The big user focus for Active Endpoints for now is integration with Salesforce.com software. “Sales people are notoriously bad at updating information in Salesforce,” Taber says.

So, after a sales meeting, users can talk into their phone to record notes into the wizard, and use touch screens for managing other items like calendar appointments and yes/no follow up questions within the customer relationship management (CRM) system. It’s a similar strategy that’s being chased by Cambridge, MA-based Yesware, which is hoping to use mobile and e-mail interfaces to report information on sales leads in CRM software like Salesforce.

Ultimately, though, it could extend to many more types of enterprise software programs and business users. “The vision is for everybody,” Taber says.

He says the mobile software could be especially useful for doctors as they interact with patients. They could use the voice-to-text features for recording notes in electronic medical records, as well as ordering labs tests.

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