While much of the draw to the 2012 DEMO Conference in Santa Clara surrounds consumer technology, such as the fantasy politics game or the electric skateboard, the conference still has plenty to offer those with a mind toward work productivity (see the slideshow for a closer look at the show's hottest products).
DEMO isn't what many would consider a security-focused event, but two companies will showcase their offerings for the burgeoning mobile security market.
First, there's zImperium's zDefender, which sets up automatic traffic filters and a remote management console to help reduce smartphone threats. The company also offers a suite of security services, such as its "ethical hacking exploit-as-a-service," which enables enterprise security administrators to find vulnerabilities in the network from their smartphones.
Separately, TrustGo Antivirus & Mobile Security focuses on mobile app stores, offering a scanning service to identify which apps may be dangerous.
Cloud communications and collaboration
A handful of exhibitors are looking to turn more people onto the cloud, be it for sharing information and collaborating on work documents or reducing costs of communications systems.
CollateBox allows users to store, share and modify data lists, while DocSync and rollApp's OpenOffice integrated with DropBox do the same for iPad users looking to access their own data on the fly. ProjectFootage, meanwhile, focuses on sharing video projects over the cloud and can be customized as an add-on to current websites.
Hoiio Live offers a handful of cloud-based communications options, namely Internet phone for conference and long-distance calls and a mobile chat service, and provides the management tools to store and update contacts or keep track of use across the enterprise. Similarly, RingCentral Office provides support for both in-office and mobile cloud PBX systems.
For email, there's ZigMail, which doesn't necessarily enable cloud-based collaboration or communications itself, but simply makes them easier to deal with. ZigMail is a separate email inbox that connects to the user's individual account solely for the purpose of collecting junk and other non-urgent mail. So, for those whose important messages get drowned out by alerts from social media accounts or deals sites, ZigMail may be the perfect solution to help weed out the unnecessary. The separate ZigMail account also sends one daily update showing the subject lines of the forwarded emails, so the user can get an idea of what else may need to be addressed.
Mobile apps and HTML5
As more businesses look to interact with customers via mobile formats, a couple of exhibitors aim to make the process easier.
UppSite claims its offering for turning a content-based website into a cross-platform mobile app takes just two minutes. Seeing as it's also free, it may be worth a shot.
Small- and midsized businesses
A handful of options for the small- and midsized business market will also be displayed, most of which have the common intent of offering cloud-based management tools.
Agiliron caters to product-based small businesses and helps keep track of sales channels and business intelligence as well as front- and back-office management. In its software-as-a-service (SaaS) format, it aims to satisfy those running SMBs who may also be on the move.
Tabillo offers an online collaboration and file-sharing service that allows users to organize their own workspaces or create custom applications, while the SaaS-based BizSlate ERP aims to fill the gap between ERP offerings and the SMB. According to last year's Aberdeen Group study, in which 55% of responding SMBs said they would consider SaaS for their ERP tools, that gap may be closing.
Other innovations to be displayed at DEMO address a few of the less common issues encountered in the workplace.
Paperhater - a website and an iPhone app - aims to further reduce the amount of paper used in the workplace, and scans everything from typed print to handwritten notes and multiple choice answers on surveys. The information is then forwarded to the appropriate applications, such as Outlook or Quickbooks.
For those with intensive data management tasks ahead of them, Hazelcast is an open-source in-memory data grid that reorganizes some of the data management tasks that can cause latency while trying to develop cloud applications. Similarly, the Fusion-io ioMemory platform is a NAND-based virtual storage layer software that aims to reduce latency on enterprise applications that are already in use.
Finally, there's Tradesparq.com, which filters through the wide base of social media contacts surrounding businesses to help find relevant sales leads. With the aim of facilitating access to relevant contacts, Tradesparq offers the service through Facebook, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Hotmail, and Chinese social networks QQ and Sina Weibo.
Colin Neagle covers Microsoft security and network management for Network World. Keep up with his blog: Rated Critical, follow him on Twitter: @ntwrkwrldneagle. Colin's email is email@example.com.
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