Accellion's approach, however, cuts out the need to switch between multiple apps for many business tasks -- and that isn't something that should be easily discounted. Users can browse available files, review them, make changes, comment, alert other users to those changes, and share files those users. All of these steps occur directly in the Accellion Mobile App. There's no need to launch a separate app or to send a document out of the secure Accellion container. That streamlines the entire process and makes it more convenient for the user. The user doesn't need to worry about if she can work with a document in another app and there's no concern that a file will be inadvertently synced to iCloud, Dropbox, or any other service.
Accellion also succeeded in adding the core features required by users in an Office-alternative app. The app includes support for track changes, in-document commenting, commenting on a document such that the file itself is tagged with metadata that other users can view without opening it, and supports the major Office file formats (DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX). The interface for editing offers the most commonly used text formatting options. The integration with Accellion's file manager, delivers a desktop-like experience to working with business documents.
There's also the integration of collaborative features, such as creating a document and then sending it others to review, comment, or edit . The sync capabilities give users overall access to a cloud-based workspace that feels very natural to use. The app even leverages the camera feature of a device to act as a quick way of capturing data and sharing documents securely, such as recording notes on a white board.
It's quite clear that the company achieved a mobile document management and editing system with all the security controls and auditing options that any IT department might need.
The question is whether or not it will be enough to sway users away from other tools and workflows. That challenge will likely be most prevalent in BYOD environments. On the one hand, Accellion's mobile solutions do represent a measure of control by IT. On the other hand, its tools and approach are well designed and extremely straightforward, which will appeal to many users. There's also the fact that it places work documents in a separate environment from personal apps and files, which should appeal to both users and IT.