Harmon.ie Offers Native Office 365, Sharepoint to BlackBerry 10

Harmon.ie now offers Office 365 productivity in a native BlackBerry 10 app, changing "bring your own device" to "use your own device."

BlackBerry Z10

Software solutions provider Harmon.ie now offers a native Office experience for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices, including the BlackBerry 10-running Z10 and Q10.

It's the first native mobile app to bundle Office Web Apps for editing, collaborating and sharing documents with colleagues on iPads and other mobile devices, the company wrote in a May 13 blog post, adding that "the prayers of millions of mobile workers have been answered."

Those prayers are no small thing to Harmon.ie CEO and co-founder Yaacov Cohen.

"Humanizing enterprise technology has been a goal for us, in a market that has instead been technologizing humanity," Cohen told eWEEK. "Technology is supposed to help us communicate, not disable our ability to connect face-to-face."

Harmon.ie is all about user experience and platform independence, and the addition of Office 365 and SharePoint to the Z10 and Q10 "changes bring your own device" to "use your own device," Cohen said.

Harmon.ie offers an environment from which users can collaborate with colleagues—emailing (from a number of supported back ends), searching for colleagues in SharePoint, and collaborating on documents that are stored in the cloud. Users can also follow a document, seeing who opened it and when, or follow a colleague, seeing which documents they've interacted with.

The user interface is the same, whether on a desktop or a mobile device, and moving between tasks, the user stays within the Harmon.ie environment, versus moving between applications.

"Context switches are very expensive for the brain," said Cohen. "You lose your train of thought."

When a user shares a link to a document with colleagues, it's a short, "elegant" link, said Cohen.

"Every detail is humanizing," Cohen smiled.

However, currently, the elegant links are not yet possible for BlackBerry users—who instead must share longer, more unruly links. Yet they alone currently have the option to tap-to-cancel an operation, instead of suffering a slow-moving operation, stalled by a weak mobile connection.

Cohen says that while some solutions adapt the desktop experience to mobile, "We believe in mobile first, because that is where the world is going."

Microsoft purchased Yammer last summer in an effort to gain a foothold in the enterprise social-networking market. That investment has paid off. Microsoft announced May 10 that Yammer sales have grown 259 percent year-over-year and that March was its best month yet in terms of user engagement.

In April, Harmon.ie announced that it had worked with Microsoft to bring Office 365 and Yammer to BlackBerry and iOS devices, and Yammer and SharePoint 2013 to the Outlook 2013 interface for the Web application and rich client.

Harmon.ie charges $4 per person per month for access to its email solution, another $4 per person per month for mobile support, or a total of $6 per person per month for everything.

"Even the pricing is human-driven," said Cohen. It's not about how many devices, it's about people."

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