A first look at Citrix Byte Squared

This week Citrix announced the acquisition of Byte Squared a.k.a. Byte². Another (big?) step forward in their mobile communication strategy. Citrix and Byte Squared, powering mobile productivity, as they stated on their Blog. I decided to check out their website to see if I could find out some more detailed information, which I did.

 

What do they do?

Byte Squared, or Byte² in short as advertised on their website, primarily focuses on creating, viewing, editing and saving Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on Apple iOS devices; iPad & iPhone. Their portfolio consists of several mobile applications with the Office² all-in-one, office document editing suite for iPads and iPhones being their main ‘top notch’ product. It includes three applications: Doc² (Word), Sheet² (Excel) and Slide² (PowerPoint), which are also available as separate products.

bytesquared

When purchased separately, the features per product differ slightly from the all-in-one Office² suite solution. For example, the Doc² application offers Word 97-2010 (.doc & .docx) compatibility, while the Office² suite offers Word 97-2013 (.doc & .docx) compatibility. Although the differences are small, you might want to check them out, have a look onwww.bytesquared.com for some more details. Make sure to check out the ‘More Info’ and ‘Features’ sections. When these products are used on the iPad they’re all offered in HD quality.

The all-in-one suite

They also offer the Office² Pro for Good, although not as separate products. It’s only available from Apple’s B2B App Store. I’ll let them do the explaining on this one: Office² Pro for Good provides the main features and functionality of the Office² product, but with enterprise-level security provided by the Good Dynamics platform, ensuring that all files in the app are secured via Good’s encryption technology. Office² Pro for Good conforms to Good’s Data Leakage Policy (DLP), enabling administrators to prevent users from copying potentially sensitive data out of the app (via copy/paste or Open In) or from printing documents (via application policy settings).

Sounds like Citrix XenMobile MDM, MAM and the MDX container technology doesn’t it? Check out www.good.com They offer several secure mobility solutions and services just as Citrix XenMobile does, to name one🙂 Other than that the Office² Pro for Good suite offers the same functionality as the ‘normal’ Office² suite and/or the separate mobile apps available.

ShareFile vs Office² 

So where does Citrix’s product line comes into play? Well.. we all know ShareFile right? Today, if we want to view, edit or save a Word document on one of our mobile devices, managed by XenMobile MDM or MAM for example, we would use ShareFile. When the (.doc or .docx) document is opened, a published application is launched from XenApp (Microsoft Word). This is accomplished by using the ‘Open with…’ dialog that pops up when a user opens the document using ShareFile, which is securely offered through XenMobile. This way, Word, and thus the document, will be opened within the secure MDX container on the mobile device. Here is comes…

They’re now working on the Office² for Citrix Worx all-in-one application suite! And there you have it, so long Good! Well, not really, but you get my drift right? If you are not familiar with XenMobile or the MDX technology that goes with it, have a look here or here. Once they’re ready, it will offer similar functionality as the products mentioned above, so nothing new there. It will make life easier for IT when it comes to provision Microsoft Office like capabilities on iOS devices, although I wonder how many of you like to use their iPhone for document editing purposes. I guess viewing documents works fine in most cases. The downside? No Android for now, they’ll have to keep using ShareFile, as described above, for now.

Conclusion

A great add-on and again a step in right direction as far as putting their competition out of play as well (Good). I doubt if it’s a big step though, since we are already able to use ShareFile, enabling us to use the Microsoft Office suite running on XenApp in the background. On the other hand, not needing XenApp, or ShareFile for that matter, think license costs etc… does save us money, time and effort when setting up and configuring these kind of environments. But then again, XenApp will already be there in most cases anyway, so that just leaves ShareFile to be cut out. Anyway, yes… I like it!

Bas van Kaam ©

Reference materials used: Citrix.blogs.com and Bytesquared.com

http://basvankaam.com/2013/09/04/a-first-look-at-citrix-byte-squared/

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