Microsoft made a pretty big announcement today. After years of rumors and speculation, they’ve finally introduced a solution business users have been eagerly awaiting – Office on the iPad! Nine months after the release of Office Mobile for the iPhone, the iPad version appears to have similar features, including creation, editing and viewing capabilities for Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. The bigger form factor of the iPad, though, should mean greater adoption and popularity for this version. But like the iPhone version, users are required to purchase an Office 365 subscription in order to have document editing and creation capabilities.
Brainshark is very pleased about the news, because now our users have the ability to create and edit the PowerPoints they present, share and manage with SlideShark. When we launched the SlideShark app in 2011, we filled a critical need in the market – enabling mobile professionals like sales reps to show PowerPoints properly and reliably on the iPad. Since then, we’ve had more than 2.5 million app downloads by users from over 150 countries, who have delivered presentations 20 million times using the app. SlideShark also has a 4.5 star App Store rating and has garnered over 40 industry awards.
While there is some overlap between SlideShark and Office for iPad when it comes to viewing PowerPoints, our users rely on SlideShark for its many free and premium features – such as presentation sharing, tracking and live broadcasting – that go beyond what PowerPoint offers. SlideShark is a presentation delivery and management solution, not a creation or editing tool. As such, it is complementary to PowerPoint, not a substitute for it, and we are actively investigating how to best integrate SlideShark with Office on the iPad to serve our users even better.
The benefits SlideShark provides to individual presenters will ensure its place right alongside Office for iPad. Some of the key features that make SlideShark a “presenter’s best friend,” as many of our users refer to it, include:
Content Access. There are multiple ways to upload PowerPoints into SlideShark including the Web browser interface, using “Open in” from email or an app on the device, or importing files directly from cloud storage service providers like Box, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and others.
Offline Use. Presentations are downloaded to the iOS device with SlideShark, ensuring they are there when you need them, even when you don’t have an internet connection at the time of your presentation.
Plus premium (SlideShark Pro) features like:
Sharing & Tracking. Share a link to your slides online that your audience can view anytime, anywhere, from any device. You can then track their viewing behavior (which slides did they view? in what order? for how long? when?) so you can follow up effectively.
Broadcasting. Show your slides over the Web to remote (or in-person) audiences. These attendees can follow along through their Web browser from any device, and you can track who participates and for how long, so you can follow up effectively.
For businesses, the differentiation is even greater, as SlideShark Team Edition provides a powerful cloud-based presentation distribution, management, control and reporting system. It is used not only by presenters in the field for all the powerful presentation delivery features, but it’s also used by marketing and sales management to distribute PowerPoint content, provide permission-based access, ensure version control, and gather valuable insight and analytics on how the content is being used. And SlideShark Team Edition offers even more with:
SlideShark Anywhere. This capability, just announced last week, lets Team Edition users access, present and even broadcast approved slide decks right from their Web browser on a PC, Mac or Windows 8 tablet (in addition to iOS devices). This addresses the need for content control and monitoring in organizations with presenters using multiple devices.
Single Sign-On. This enables centralized user management and a secure, streamlined login process for end-users.
Plus numerous other enterprise-level security controls, a service level agreement and phone-based support.
At Brainshark, we will continue our rapid pace of innovation, enhancing both the presentation delivery and presentation management capabilities of the SlideShark solution. And check this out… support for additional document types like PDFs and additional device platforms like Android is on the roadmap, so stay tuned – it just keeps getting better!
What do you think about the Microsoft Office for iPad news? Please post your comments below!