In September, the iPhone 7 and new Apple Watch were the talk of the town after Apple’s big event, but what didn’t get enough attention was Apple’s new enterprise collaboration system for iWork. Apple’s iWork applications include Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, and they now enable real-time collaboration.
As with any collaboration system, there is the concern of integration; Whether a product will integrate nicely with systems businesses already have in place. This is especially important to businesses that use a collaboration tool to interact with their customers/clients, such as in legal. A firm won’t be too keen on switching to a system that will upset their clients or partners. In the past, Apple has been known for their incompatibility with external systems (i.e. Adobe Flash.) Recently, though, Apple has partnered with IBM and Cisco to pull themselves out of the rut of incompatibility with other systems.
On the bright side, iWork has already shown that it is ready to play with others. You can use iWork on either PC or Mac through iCloud. Similar to SharePoint Online, there is seamless collaboration and you can access your content through a mobile device and most internet browsers. iWork also allows users to save documents as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files if users need to collaborate with someone who is using Microsoft applications. It also allows for the import and edit of those Microsoft files. This enables users to work on the same project, even if they are working on separate applications. This might be a key differentiator for Apple iWork.
In the ECM world, iWork could enable collaboration between employees by allowing for that real-time collaboration. It can eliminate the back and forth, and passing of documents between users for and is useful for quick and simple editing of documents. iWork also has the capability to publish documents to specific subsets of people to collaborate with, or you can choose to publish it to everyone internally. It doesn’t matter if you are connected to iWork through iCloud online or using a Mac or iOS device, you can collaborate from wherever. Imagine if you could integrate this with other ECMs… Oh, wait you can! For more information, read here!
Since Apple is new to the enterprise collaboration market, we can only speculate on how well this system will do. As long as Apple is ready and willing to integrate with other systems, iWork should do just fine. iWork is meant to compete with the likes of Google G Suite, Box, and Dropbox as an internal and external collaboration tool.