According the CIONet Mobility Survey over 80% of organisations consider mobility to be in their top 10 business strategy objectives, however 28% of organisations have no mobility solution in place. Whether an organisation chooses an off the shelf or custom app solution, implementing mobility to enhance business processes is paramount.

There are thousands of off the shelf apps on the market which help companies and their employees to achieve a variety of objectives, such as scheduling, filling in timesheets, submitting expenses, note taking, content management, as well as providing collaboration tools. Whilst off the shelf apps can meet up to 75% of business needs across different verticals, there are often undeniable advantages to creating custom apps. Integrated custom apps can be designed for processes specific to an organisation and provide competitive advantages around backend or cloud based systems.

The decision on whether to adopt a custom or off the shelf approach generally depends on what is expected from the app and how it can help to improve employee productivity.

In this post, we thought we would highlight four of the our favourite current off-the-shelf apps for productivity in the workplace:

Microsoft Outlook
Though Android and iOS feature native email clients, there are thousands of off-the-shelf apps that offer enhanced functionality, targeted to making email management that bit easier. Following Microsoft’s acquisition of email app Acompli, the company has relaunched it as its native iOS and Android version of Outlook. The new app makes sending emails, organising your calendar and sharing files even easier. With a variety of integrated features, this app embodies the functionality of numerous apps all in one place.

  • It supports not only Microsoft Exchange and Outlook mail accounts, but Google, iCloud, and Yahoo as well. Making it easier to manage emails through a singular app
  • Save files directly to Cloud services such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Box and attach files stored in these cloud services directly to an email
  • Focus lists smartly moves emails into a separate inbox that Outlook thinks are important to you, to help to get through your inbox faster
  • Share times – send available times to schedule meetings with ease

Microsoft Office calendar

Sarah Weller, Mubaloo’s managing director (London) recently started using Outlook in place of the native Mail app on her iPhone, “I was very hesitant to install Outlook on my phone as I loved the Mail app. Seeing that you could easily look at your calendar and see a list of attachments you’ve received has changed the way I manage my email. The filtering functionality on the app is just amazing too. I’m guilty of not deleting emails that don’t need my attention so having a focused inbox, with emails from people I’ve responded to, is a game changer. It’s the kind of app that can help any employee be more efficient with their time.”

Built with clever UI and a variety of outstanding features, this app is one of the most thought-through online services for ensuring you never forget another thing. What started off as a simple note taking tool has evolved into a well rounded productivity workstation.

  • Make notes and access them on any device, wherever you are
  • Transform your notes into a presentation with the ability to sync with AirDrop
  • Gather and store business card information by just taking a photo

Mubaloo’s PR manager, Robert Haslam who has been using Evernote since 2010 said, “Initially, I was using the Notes app on my iPad but saw Evernote and decided to try it out. Instantly I fell in love with the apps ability to filter notes, group them together and see the locations you wrote notes. The fact that it had more formatting options made it my go-to app for notes, especially as they sync across any device. I’ve tried the premium features before and can see how they provide employees with loads of really useful tools.”

Evernote screenshots

Scannable is a recently launched app by Evernote that enables people to scan any document with their phone or tablet. The app is able to recognise documents and take scans of them making it easy to use and intuitive.

  • Automatically rotates, crops and adjusts the images taken on your camera so that is becomes easy to read
  • Attach your image directly onto a meeting so there’s no need to spend time typing up your notes

Mubaloo’s consultancy director, JP Luchetti recently started using the app and has been impressed by what it does, “As much as you can try to move away from paper, it’s still useful for jotting down notes and planning out your ideas. If I wanted to capture it digitally, I could either use a scanner, which meant being near one, or taking a photo of it. This is a seriously clever app that can just capture and convert any page to a digital document.”

Evernote Scannable

For thousands of sales reps working primarily out of the office, getting access to information about existing clients or prospective clients is vital in closing a sale. SalesMesh 2.0, is a next generation personal sales platform developed specifically for the salesperson and designed to support the entire sales process.

  • Seamless integration with the calendar, contacts, email and phone helps you organise your day-to-day to maximise your sales performance
  • Automatically collecting and managing CRM data with the goal of saving time for the sales rep
  • A full automated feature makes it easy for salespeople to decide what and when information gets shared back to the corporate CRM system

Salesmesh app

Companies including GoogleMicrosoft and Dropbox are continually updating their off the shelf offerings to ensure that they integrate with the right third party apps and include features that enhance business processes without the investment in custom built apps. Ultimately, it all boils down to what you are looking to achieve. With lower initial cost and the ability for quicker deployment, off the shelf app can offer a valuable and, at times, a smarter solution to improve commodity business processes.

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