Scone Mobile: IGLOO's Play Towards BYOD
Igloo, a cloud-based enterprise social and knowledge management intranet, announced yesterday the new version of their platform will be free to download on August 31st. The new version, like other large version upgrades (such as the Android’s Jellybean or Ice Cream Sandwich), has a tasty title: Scone.
Since the explosion of BYOD, project teams have developed a need to access material from multiple screens. Igloo designed Scone to cater to this need. Scone’s new features are fit for those who are always switching devices and accessing data from a variety of screens.
Scone’s Key Features
One of the largest changes to come with the Scone upgrade is its ability to preview documents using a hybrid HTML-Flash technology. This is a mobile-minded shift that helps those who may not want to download work documents from an iPhone every time they want to glance at a document with one hand while retrieving, say, a latte from the Starbucks counter in the other.
The document preview option fixes this issue and automatically scales the interface to the size of the screen. In addition, the preview is viewable in-line. This means you can leave comments or notes on the same screen.
For quick-glance information, Igloo gave icons a small touch-up as well, improving the color-coded icons so that they better display the type of documents being uploaded onto the activity stream. This helps improve accessibility, intuitively communicating with the team the exact type of work they’re getting into as they half-mindedly scroll through their feed.
Scone addresses an additional compatibility problem: previously projects that required specific software could be opened on all devices. There were potential cases in which a project has reached completion and a format conflict could have forbidden a team member from downloading it onto a tablet device. Scone patches this issue away by allowing all documents to be downloadable as a platform-agnostic PDF. It’s a useful way to store documents of projects anywhere without worrying about the software installed on each device.
Similar to the preview feature, Scone also offers HTML5 video playback. This robust new feature is equipped with intelligent device detection and easy embedding both in- and outside of Igloo’s intranet. This includes blog posts or personal websites. Igloo accepts video uploads in a wide array of formats including asf, avi, flv, m4v, mkv, mov, movie, mp4, mpe, mpeg, mpg, ogv, viv, and wmv. Even with the array of specific file times, the video’s display is always the same — and viewable for anyone.
The user interface wasn’t the only thing to get an upgrade this time around. Scone gives administrators a boost in social insights with a new analytics dashboard that measures ‘community health’ through categories including membership, networking, content, and collaboration. This is built on top of Igloo’s already existing social analytics engine from MicroStrategy. The redesigned dashboard is intuitive, sleek and, if the preview images are anything to go by, pleasant to look at.
In addition, Igloo gives everyone the power to build slideshows. This widget is a slideshow builder made of not just pictures. It allows you to pull news by pulling content from blogs, forum posts, or events. The slideshow builder automatically pulls images from the blog posts and articles you link to.
Scone’s Additional Features
While the updates above seem like a mouthful, we still have not explored the whole scone. Here is some of the smaller features on offer:
- Calendar Widget – This new layout allows you to view everything that has happened in one day. This feature is useful for sharing an agenda, tracking milestones, or highlighting deadlines.
- Calendar Notifications – You now have additional options when modifying events, allowing you to notify particular people when changes are made, including cancellation notices.
- Updated Add Button – The prettified add button enables you to quickly add content on a blog, calendar, folder or forum.
- Space Cloning – A simple improvement to the way team and project spaces are cloned. This includes a fix to keep group subscription settings.
- Personal Notifications – Email notifications are now prompted by the person’s name (rather than email), making inbox searches easier.
- Search Widget – The search box now shows results from both people and content. It also now has context-specific results based on the space you’re in.
- System Emails – Updated design for consistency.
- Site Manager – All app types allow you to “hide from navigation”.
- Social Analytics Filters – You can now filter reports in real-time by specific categories such as date range, space, channel, and group.
- Resizable Comment Boxes – This allows you to adjust the size of your comments, microblogs, and more so you have more mindspace while you type.
Our Takeaway on the Scone
This update allows Igloo to continue its reign as a solution that puts social tools and collaboration first. The features included in Scone are familiar: Google Docs is capable of document previews; social media embeds videos and allows you to expand your comment box. But Igloo has identified the need for a BYOD-friendly environment and is bound to deliver. While Igloo is not creating something totally new, it’s one step in a larger movement for social enterprise.
“Today’s workforce is changing the concept of where work gets done,” said Andrew Dixon, Igloo’s Senior Vice President of Marketing & Operations in yesterday’s press release. “We work everywhere, using the device we have with us – whether it’s a laptop, a tablet, or a phone.” Because of the exploding change in the office due to BYOD and powerful mobile platforms, Igloo has prepared to take a plunge into the workforce future. This is an update focused on what will soon become the new office.
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