How to integrate your iPad into a Windows environment
If your business is like many, you may use Windows as your main OS. And, like many, you may be hearing from your users that they need access to the corporate network through iPads and iPhones. Last week I got an inquery for FileSpirit from one of these users.
We had a long talk about the problem of mobile data access in its business. He told me the whole story about finding the best mobile access tool for his needs. This story was such a good overview of today's problem of secure and fast mobile file access that I would like to share it with you. This is what he told me:
Why not use the iPad for work?
I love using my iPad for watching my private documents and emails. One day I said to myself. "Why not use this great device for my daily work?"
So, the next day I brought my iPad to work and started to set up everything. Quickly I was able to configure my email account and installed my messenger. Next I thought about the important files, so I decided to send them from my Windows PC via email to the iPad. Great, now everything should work.
After coming home in the evening I read an email from an important client which needed quickly some documents. Good that I have sent my office files to my iPad. I searched for them in the emails, but the needed one wasn't there. In the office no one was working anymore, so I couldn't phone somebody to send me the file. I came to the conclusion that I need access to all company files.
Why not use a VPN?
So, the next day I decided to visit our IT department. They told me to use a remote desktop client for accessing our server. With this I would be able to see all files of our network share when I'm in the company network. To access from outside the office, they had to set up a VPN, which would take a few days, but would be quite slow.
I decided to give it a try. Installing and setting up were a little bit tricky, but I got everything up and running. Have you ever used a remote desktop client on your iPad? It's brutal! Instead of saving time, I wasted it by wrong clicking on this small screen.
Why not use a cloud provider?
I went back to the IT and asked if it's possible to use Dropbox or Google Drive to access all the company files. With a smile the IT staff explained to me, that he won't upload 2TB of data only for mobile access to them. Far to expensive and a big incision into our company infrastructure. Not to mention the security threads this would imply.
This answer didn't pleased me, so I decided to talk to my boss about it. After a short explanation of my problem he said: "I like the idea of mobile file access, but no cloud storage. I don't want my files to be stored on a server somewhere."
What I really need!
So I stand there, searching for a tool which was able to give me direct access to all data on our company server, needs no cloud storage, is effortable, won't change our current IT infrastucture and won't need a VPN.
This is where I found FileSpirit. I downloaded the Connector to my home Windows PC and installed it in minutes. Another minute later, I had full data access to all files and folders on it.
The next day I presented it to the IT department which installed it on our company server and now many employees in our company use their iPads for working at home or on the road and in meetings.