Akumina Tries to Make SharePoint Less Intimidating
Akumina Inc. has announced the release of Version 3.0, the InterChange platform which is designed to increase productivity for internal business users and empower developers to deliver and drive cloud technology adoption in a more intuitive way. This release includes important new enhancements to the platform which will make the InterChange platform the only development platform that can be used to create applications that leverage enterprise content and is manageable in Office365 or SharePoint on premises, for multichannel web and mobile delivery.
Once consumers have purchased the Office 365 package, SharePoint comes free with purchase. The trick here is that the use of SharePoint is extremely difficult and requires technical knowledge and study. That’s where, the Nashua-based SharePoint web solutions company, Akumina, comes into play to make SharePoint easier for content creators, developers, and designers to work with.
In this regard Ed Rogers, Akumina's CEO, believes that there's a gap between the platform and the business users, so they’re delivering a solutions which will bridge this gap.
InterChange connects with Office 365 or SharePoint on-premises environment to optimize content management and the delivery experience for SharePoint across public-facing websites, intranets, extranets, portals, native mobile apps or any other business applications.
For those developers and designers aligning with Microsoft’s approach, Akumina’s InterChange platform provides more development options that ensure their existing server-side skillset remains relevant. The Akumina approach allows developers to provide a client-side solution, a server-side application or a combination of both. This means they are now able to align with Microsoft’s best practices for deploying on-premises, hybrid or Office 365.
For those content creators intimated by the use of SharePoint, Akumina’s InterChange platform provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface in which authors can see only the choices and capabilities that they need to accomplish the task at hand. In this way, users can accomplish specific tasks without any exposure to the SharePoint user interface.
"By abstracting the development layer from cloud services applications like SharePoint and Office 365, InterChange provides a tremendous degree of flexibility, centered on the user experiences which drive business application success," stated Ed Rogers. "This is a key concept when moving from on-premises SharePoint, to hybrid and ultimately, Office 365. The InterChange platform allows our clients to maximize their investment in Microsoft Cloud Services while delivering customized solutions that are cloud-ready."
The Two Key Problems for Organizations
The InterChange AppManager
This provides a user-interface experience that is easy for business users to understand, keeping them focused on executing their job rather than learning how to work in multiple backend business systems. Therefore not having to manage content the way they do in SharePoint.
The InterChange DevFramework
In addition, the new release includes a Software Developer Kit (SDK) that can be used by Akumina's partners and client developers to create their own custom content management apps and present them to internal business users as an app inside of the InterChange AppManager UI.
Akumina’s Core Focus
Based on my conversation with Eric Darbe, VP of Marketing at Akumina, the company’s focus is broader than simply SharePoint. They are looking to enhance the core user experience, as this is what drives success of any website and host through the Microsoft Cloud with Office 365 and SharePoint.
The organization targets to empower users to easily manage information using SharePoint, the Office Video Portal, or other Microsoft cloud systems like Microsoft Dynamics. Darbe tells CMS-Connected: “Ultimately we want to sit on the top of all these systems and provide a better experience for the folks who have to manage the information that comes with any of those systems.”
The other main focus is how developers and designers can build world-class applications using the content from Office 365, which the platform provides a broader solution in this regard. DevFramework allows developers to write applications for any front-end delivery platform with an Office 365 backend.
He also commented on the main direction of the company’s roadmap: “Our offering will continue to look for further experience enhancements through additional functionality, as well as looking into bringing in other cloud technologies, beyond just Microsoft.”
Akumina wants to enable users to look across all cloud data and build applications that consumes the data and can be delivered through any channel, as they are focused on looking beyond just simply public-facing websites. According to Eric Darbe, any delivery channel should be supported whether it is a mobile application, a wearable gadget or even an IoT display, which is potentially where the organization is headed.
When it comes to the Akumina’s position in the product landscape, although they are not hundred percent attached to SharePoint and Office 365, they share the same Web CMS product position relevancy. Their current strength is to enhance the experience for users and result in a better interaction with systems like Office 365 and SharePoint.
For those who want to learn more on the capabilities of Akumina’s latest release, InterChange Version 3.0, tune into the upcoming webinar with Microsoft's Chris McNulty on April 21st.