Local app helps companies manage workplace BYOD trend
by Alan Zisman (c) 2012
published in Business in
Vancouver September 4, 2012 Issue #1193 High Tech
this single app installed on employees’ personal devices, companies can
securely push a suite of work-related apps, documents and more onto
smartphones and tablets
The bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon is causing consternation across the business world.
But Mike Sommer, CEO of year-old Vancouver software developer Digital
Backpack, thinks his firm’s new product – Digital Backpack – offers a
solution to what he calls “the chaos that has resulted from BYOD.”
With this single app installed on employees’ personal devices,
companies can securely push a suite of work-related apps, documents,
training materials, audio and video files and more onto smartphones and
When employees tap on the Digital Backpack icon, they see the set of
apps sent to their device by the company. In addition, a second tab
displays documents or media files sent from the employer.
The company uses dashboard controller software that lets designated
users manage the apps, documents and other files; different content can
be sent to different groups of employees. For example, sales staff
might need different apps and media files than IT support staff.
This enables the employer to make sure staff – despite using a wide
variety of devices – have the apps and content needed for their jobs
while separating work-related and personal apps and content. New
versions of apps or critical documents can be quickly distributed as
they become available.
According to Sommer, Digital Backpack can “reconnect mobile users with
the company, restoring the ability of the company to manage assets
without invading users’ privacy.”
In effect, companies deploying Digital Backpack get their own private
app stores. In addition, the dashboard provides feedback on what’s
being used and how well it’s working.
Surrey’s Real Smart Training Centre (realsmart.ca)
has been helping students pass BC real estate and mortgage broker exams
for12 years, both with five-week classroom-based courses and more
recently with online classes. Their students increasingly want access
to their training materials online from their smartphones. To help with
this, they’ve been using Digital Backpack to distribute tutorial videos
to students together with selected Android apps.
Real Smart president Sandy Brown considers Digital Backpack “well
thought out. It does a lot but is simple to use.” She liked that,
despite its power, it “didn’t take a lot of training.”
Digital Backpack for Android 2.3 or later is newly released; a version
for Apple iOS devices is expected in 2013. Pricing is per user/per
month. Trial versions are at digital-backpack.com.