Tech Tank 2014: 6 Appy Winners Compete At NexGen Cloud Conference

Stepping Into The Tech Tank

Developers of the 2014 Enterprise App Award winners this year were invited to compete for Best of Show in Tech Tank 2014, an event on the exhibit-hall floor at NexGen Cloud Conference that was inspired by the hit TV show "Shark Tank." Of the 10 Appy winners this year, six companies came to compete. Here's a rundown of the competition.

Inside daVinci

CRN editors recognized daVinci Inside as a universally useful tool for providing instant access to visitor logs and managing, slicing and dicing those contacts. One of the inventors of the free digital registry app for iPad was the first to agree to travel to San Diego and compete for Best of Show. Unfortunately, a last-minute scheduling conflict caused the company to cancel its appearance. Instead, founders Greg Eoyang (l) and Rob Wyland (r) created and narrated a video to demonstrate their Appy-winning app. The demo showed a quick sign-in, which automatically emails the party being visited. Next they showed the ease of customizing login forms and signing in and out using QR codes. Visitor records are searchable by numerous criteria, including the visiting person or company and the person being visited.

Simple Syncplicity

After seeing the modern and intuitive UI of Syncplicity, the Dropbox-like app that drew a Productivity Appy for EMC's redesign, Tech Tank judge and CRN Senior Editor Joseph Kovar declared that EMC can "no longer be thought of as that stodgy, old-fashioned storage company; they really know the cloud." Pictured with Managing Editor, CRN Test Center Edward J. Correia (l) is Jeff Schultz, the company's head of marketing, who was on hand to provide a live demo of the free app's all-new, 3-D paneled interface for functions and folder navigation. It also tames cloud storage with enterprise-grade controls and security, has native Office document editing and PDF viewing, and implements predictive analytics to anticipate user behavior and present relevant content. It also automates tasks such as file sharing with groups via email.

A Financial Force

Presenting for FinancialForce was Jessica Treadwell, SCM product marketing manager, which took the Information Access/Management Appy for FinancialForce SCM, an app for Android and iOS that provides complete visibility into the company’s Salesforce-built supply-chain management system. Treadwell explained its automation capabilities for logistics and order fulfillment, which allows a company to acquire, manage and deliver inventory with realtime access to customer and supplier activity from anywhere. The app works with the company's billing, accounting, revenue recognition and PSA applications to provide access to shipment status, contract changes, reverse logistics information, invoices, payments, professional service project status, discrete margin analysis and general business profitability. FinancialForce SCM pricing starts at $99 per user per month.

Android Security

Sam Lugani, FireEye’s senior product marketing manager (center) and Raymond Wei (r), the company’s senior director of mobile development, demonstrated the new Android version of FireEye Mobile Security, which took this year’s Appy for Security. More interesting than its ability to scan and report malicious apps already on a device, the tool also incorporates knowledge of teams of FireEye workers that diligently explore apps and app libraries to find exploits. Citing two examples, Lugani spoke of a candy-related app that only begins dumping contacts on the host device after level 18 is reached, and a voice recorder that scans the user’s calendar and secretly streams audio during scheduled meetings. FireEye Mobile Security also identifies incoming malware, adware and other software vulnerabilities in realtime. Using behavioral analysis, it can block or halt malicious apps. A management add-on gives IT administrators an enterprisewide view of mobile threats on devices and their network.

Microsoft Harmony

Juggling half a dozen apps is hard enough on a laptop or desktop, but doing so on mobile devices can be close to impossible. Offering relief for Microsoft shops is Enterprise Mobile, this year's Appy winner for Enterprise Collaboration. The app for Android, Blackberry, iOS and Windows Mobile/Phone funnels documents, tasks and communications from Office 365, SharePoint, OneDrive and Yammer into a single window. For individuals, Mobile costs $19.95. In the enterprise, corporations can purchase the same functionality for $4 per user per month with no up-front charge.Implemented on the server side as a SharePoint add-on, the Enterprise Mobility Suite costs $19.95 plus $4 per user per month. Citing a finding by IDC that 50 percent of all information searches fail, technology strategist David Lavenda claims that the product improves this failure rate and can automatically synthesize enterprise communications into corporate knowledge.

Ruckus Hits The Spot

Having already won this year's Editors' Choice for Enterprise Applications, Ruckus Wireless was on hand to take a second bite at the apple as it explained why its Smart Positioning Technology (SPoT) should be awarded Best of Show. Steve Wimsatt, director of business development at Ruckus, explained how the far-reaching technology tracks mobile-device carriers using their Wi-Fi beacon, and is able to deliver pinpoint positioning and analytics based on the location and movements of people in any indoor or outdoor facility for myriad reasons, including crowd control, security and marketing. If those users log in through a Ruckus access point, the software for Android and iOS can deliver even more value to solution providers, including push notifications, product promotions, instant discounts, directions and infinite others.

Visit CRN's NexGen Cloud Conference coverage page for results of the 2014 Tech Tank.