Taking Back IT

Sep 27 2011   1:27PM GMT

New VMware iPad apps: SlideRocket Player, Socialcast

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

The portfolio of VMware iPad apps is growing.

VMware today announced new iPad apps for SlideRocket and Socialcast, two services the company acquired earlier this year. SlideRocket is a hosted presentation application similar to Microsoft PowerPoint, and Socialcast is a collaboration platform designed to bring social aspects to enterprise computing.

The free SlideRocket Player iPad app lets you view and download SlideRocket and PowerPoint presentations, and it provides analytics about who else has viewed your shared presentations. With the Socialcast iPad app, which is not yet available, Socialcast users can update their status, send messages and share files even when they’re not at their desk. (VMware also plans to update the Socialcast Android app to include the same features.)

We typically think of the consumerization of IT as a bottom-up phenomenon: End users bring in all sorts of devices and services, and IT scrambles to deal with them. With SlideRocket, Socialcast and otherĀ application acquisitions, VMware is taking a top-down approach instead: If organizations give their employees social, mobile, cloud-based applications, the theory goes, those employees may be less likely to use rogue apps and cloud services for business tasks. And it follows that these enterprise-approved services will be easier for IT to manage and control, as well.

The big caveat here is that VMware’s offerings have to be better and easier to use than unsanctioned cloud services. IT’s blessing doesn’t matter to employees. They’re going to use whatever tools make them most efficient. And if VMware’s tools don’t do that, they’ll never get off the ground.

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