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Three apps come to mind if your goal is to help your business increase its knowledge agility; Box(.net) and BrainShark.  And combining them opens some new pathways to supercharging your mobile KM services for your employees. With the recent announcement of iPad 2 and its inherent ability to provide faster performance with increased processing power, iPad is ideally positioned to rapidly deliver answers to an increasingly mobile workforce.

Document Management and Collaboration

image Box, formerly Box.net, has never wavered from its core focus – mobile document sharing and secure management for enterprise workers. It’s security infrastructure and collaboration capabilities are unmatched. From the beginning, Box was designed for enterprises – none of that “security as an afterthought” remnants from multiple design and code overhauls.

As I reported previously, the latest version of Box’s iPad application includes a projection mode, which allows workers connect their iPads to a display and project Box-based resources which can be documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. Knowledge transfer and sharing is a fundamental tenet of progressive KM and I think this feature will move the needle in companies that care deeply about institutionalizing information to avoid corporate amnesia.

But more specifically, Box is a real-time knowledge delivery system; new artifacts can find their way to an immediate iPad notification via Boxcar, although circuitously via an email notification. More helpful is a real-time notification that an update to a document currently in view, is also made aware to users. At it’s core, Box represents a document type agnostic model for sharing and managing documents across the enterprise and specifically favors collaboration among teams that are comprised of mobile and not-so-mobile workers. Box also beats back the “My Documents” chaos and control discontinuity trap that iPad users can easily fall into.

Training and Educational Content

image Without question, iPad’s formidable video qualities with integrate battery-saving video processor, elevate video content as a key knowledge sharing and training platform for just-in-time learning.

If we were to rewind the clock to say, 1990, and envision a product that only did one thing –

Wirelessly transmit a video explanation and refresher course of a complex maintenance task for a Boeing 757, into a slate smaller than an unused pad of paper with exceptional color resolution.

… companies would do just about anything to apply this technology to all manner of training and field education tasks. Yet, today we have exactly this capability and iPad is able to deliver this type of learning experience without breaking an amperage sweat.

Envisioning an enterprise grade solution and actually achieving it, however, are two separate ideas; it requires enterprise-grade video production and delivery solution to pull it off with security, scalability and cross-platform performance.

BrainShark, a leader in on-demand presentations, makes it possible for business people to communicate more effectively with video with professional quality. With Brainshark you can transform static business content such as PowerPoint slides, documents and web pages into powerful and compelling multimedia presentations. Your mobile workforce, which includes your employees, but may also consist of sales and channel partners, can experience your engaging content when and where they want.

While the BrainShark app for iPad is clean and crisp, no enterprise CTO can set aside the likelihood that non-iOS devices are going to be present internally and of course, in the hands of sales and channel partners. Like Box, BrainShark is mobile-OS agnostic, providing unfettered access by everyone you hope to reach with just-in-time knowledge.

BrainShark has also been engineered with enterprise precision. The designers of this platform have wisely anticipated content approval workflow requirements as well as presentation expiry dates, and user permissions. These are just a few of the many key business requirements that this video framework provides that make it simple for enterprises to manage the quality and security of their content.

Real-time Notifications

image Real-time notifications are critical in just-in-time awareness which is not to be confused with other aspects of just-in-time solutions such as learning or knowledge. Boxcar is the most comprehensive app for creating a universal notification solution on iPad. Instead of relying on multiple notification systems based in each app and implemented differently, Boxcar provides a unified model that allows you to become aware of new information across all your apps and even RSS feeds. It provides a dashboard of notifications as well, making it very easy to find previous notifications and triage important things you need to be aware of even if time has passed wince the notification event has occurred.

This approach makes it possible to implement a common notification pathway that leads to greater just-in-time awareness across your social landscape as well as enterprise alerts. And you can even configure this app to perform certain tasks based on different types of notifications. For example, a notification about an email, open directly into Mobile Safari with the GMail interface.

The Boxcar service is also backed by a developers API which can be used to create custom notification integrations with enterprise information systems.

Over The Horizon?

As I mentioned in “Box Raises the Bar for iPad Enterprise Collaboration, Enhanced Security Tops the List”, the ability for Box to integrate different document types such dynamic XFA-embedded PDF forms, is a key requirement for enterprise KM solutions. Integrating video access is equally important. One might ask, can’t I use Box for all my video viewing and distribution needs? Well sure, Box provides video viewing, but as the folks at BrainShark will be quick to point out, video viewing is one very small slice of an overall solution and [scalable] video distribution should never be considered a trivial challenge.

Imagine proxy [BrainShark] documents flowing through Box, giving users the ability to extend the video viewing experience to include robust collaboration processes. Selecting a BrianShark proxy would allow users to launch the BrianShark viewing app through an open app protocol handler.

Box, meet BrianShark. Discuss.

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