Enterprise software vendors ready Apple Watch apps

Microsoft and Good Technology are among the software vendors that have created business-focused apps for the smartwatch

Enterprise software vendors are betting the Apple Watch will find a use in the business world and this week announced apps for the smartwatch, which will become available to consumers on Friday.

While many of the initial Apple Watch business apps carry out the same functions of their iPhone counterparts, companies emphasized that glancing at your wrist to obtain information is easier than reaching for a smartphone.

Blue Jean Networks created an app that reminds people about upcoming meetings and shows them their meeting schedule. The app, which works in conjunction with the company's cloud-based video conferencing service, also has features that are designed specifically for the watch, like a function that counts down the time until a person's next meeting and the ability to access a meeting by pressing the watch's face. Like all Apple Watch apps, Blue Jeans' app, which was announced today, must be paired with an iPhone to work.

Mobile device management company Good Technology has an Apple Watch app that ties into its Good Work collaboration software. With the app, which was announced today, people can receive email and calendar notifications from Good Work while IT administrators can control what information the notification displays. For example, the watch app could be programmed to only display the sender and subject of an email.

Even Microsoft, which has its own wearables plan, is developing apps for the Apple Watch. On Tuesday, the company updated the iOS versions of a few of its enterprise software programs. The OneNote app allows Apple Watch users to create notes by dictation and view recent ones. The PowerPoint app lets people control slide presentations with the smartwatch. Microsoft also updated the OneDrive app to allow Apple Watch owners to view, delete and search the photos they have in the cloud storage service.

Other enterprise software vendors that have shown interest in the Apple's first wearable include Salesforce, which announced its Apple Watch development plans in March, making it an early supporter of the wearable. The company will have a Salesforce Analytics Cloud App and a Salesforce1 mobile app that will deliver notifications on sales goals and marketing campaigns, among other topics.

Business workers are receptive to using wearable devices in the office, according to a survey from mobile device management vendor MobileIron. The poll, released today, found that 94 percent of the 3,5000 professionals surveyed want to use a wearable device such as the Apple Watch for work functions. According to 58 percent of respondents, they would use wearables to read email and make phone calls. Other popular tasks included writing emails (46 percent), getting alerts like meeting reminders (43 percent), accessing calendars (39 percent) and reading documents (37 percent).

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

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Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
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