Flipboard has transformed the way people consume information on the iPad, allowing readers to quickly scan headlines and photos in a beautiful and easy-to-read interface. Moprise co-founder David D’Souza now wants to bring that same type of functionality to business documents through a new iPad application they’re dubbing “Flipboard for the Enterprise.”
D’Souza and his team previewed the new application at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco last week. We caught up with the ex-Microsoftie to learn more about what they are up to.
In fact, it was an experience at Microsoft that helped shape the concept of the new product, which is known as Coaxion for iPad.
During his last role at Microsoft, D’Souza was traveling to India every six weeks and while he could keep up with colleagues at the home base in Redmond and elsewhere through his phone, that just wasn’t enough.
“…There was so much more information within the corporation that was out of reach of the phone that would empower me to accomplish my goals,” he says.
With the new iPad application — which is set to launch in the coming weeks — D’Souza said that workers can access critical documents securely while on the go. The app will integrate with both Sharepoint and DropBox, allowing users to access documents when they want them on the touch-screen of the iPad.
“We break down today’s mobile information silos by connecting people to each other and all the information in the corporation,” D’Souza explains.
Seattle-based Moprise raised $500,000 in July, which included participation from the Alliance of Angels. In addition to to D’Souza, the company is led by Charles Stevens and Russell Williams.
D’Souza, for one, thinks they are on to something rather big. After all, he said many folks are frustrated with the current state of mobile productivity.
At most organizations, documents are scattered across various storage systems and cloud-based offerings like Office 365, Salesforce.com or Box.net.
“It’s very important that the ‘truth’ remain on these enterprise systems because lots of downstream business processes depend on it – simply moving everything to a single cloud storage system doesn’t work,” said D’Souza. “If someone in the sales team wants to share a document with the marketing team, it doesn’t make sense to pay for Salesforce licenses for all the marketing folks so they can access the documents, they end up sharing via email. Or even worse, often people resort to printing their documents to take home or share.”
With many of these documents hidden in email or printed out, D’Souza thinks there’s an opportunity to help workers get better access to them via the iPad. While collaboration services such as Yammer, Chatter and Bellevue’s MangoSpring are potential rivals, D’Souza says the biggest competition comes from the old way of sharing documents via email. With the new iPad app, D’Souza thinks they can help workers access documents more easily.
“In corporations, Office documents play a big role and everyone who has an iPad has received Word documents that don’t display tables properly or PowerPoints that are missing all the charts and graphs when viewed on the iPad,” D’Souza tells GeekWire. “This basic desire for digitally accessing and sharing business documents on an iPad is massively broken and we’re fixing this at Moprise.”