I live my life (at least when my laptop is open) in a browser. I write documents using a browser-based app, similarly my back office solutions, calendaring tools and, of course, email, all happen in the browser. I’ve long considered a move to a Chromebook, seeing a big operating system as overkill given that, for my use case, all it has to do is launch a browser.

but I realize that I’m not usual and the vast majority of individuals still use a bunch of desktop applications and, whereas the browser is my software interface layer, for these folks it is the core operating system that is their interface to everything else.

For these people, developments in the Windows operating system are very relevant (well, at least for those who live in the PC world). Cortana and deeper functionality built into the operating system is a useful change from the “dumb” operating system of old.

And so it is interesting to hear from Sapho who is rolling out some deep notification functionality for Windows 10 users. For those who haven’t come across them before, Sapho is a company that is all about helping enterprises create “micro apps” from their existing systems. It’s pretty simple, instead of trying to have users deal with the complexity and mind-numbing user-unfriendliness of your core Oracle or SAP system, you can instead build micro apps that talk back to these core systems.

For an organization that has a pressing need to mobile-enable its workforce, tools like Sapho can avoid two unpalatable options – one is to fail to enable employee access, while the other is having to consider replacing that huge enterprise system (or components of it) with a standalone, best of breed solution. For existing enterprises, neither of those options are really palatable. And so the idea of “wrapping” an existing application in a layer that allows bite-sized, contextual applications to be delivered to any device, is pretty compelling.

And so it is interesting to hear from Sapho today that they are deepening the level of notification integration they’re offering into Window 10. What this means is that for customers who are using Sapho, it is possible to access and act upon important tasks and data from existing enterprise systems, directly from Windows 10 without having to open a single application or log into any systems.

With the integration, Sapho can send notifications to users with the Windows Notification Service but beyond simply notifications, this is a two-way relationship and actions can be built directly into the notification pane. An example might be an employee leave request – it’s useful (kind of) to be notified of a new request without having to log into a new system, but it’s actually game-changing when the request can be actioned directly within the notification window.

sapho

The benefits in terms of not having to context switch are pointed out by Steve Teixeira, General Manager, Partner Application Experiences at Microsoft:

Windows 10 users in enterprises often switch between multiple applications to assemble the data they need to complete their work. Sapho on Windows 10 enables enterprise knowledge workers to do more by enabling them to securely complete high-priority tasks and view key insights from their legacy, on-premises, and SaaS applications.

MyPOV

Look, I get it, this isn’t a cure for cancer and probably won’t result in world peace. But all around the world, millions of enterprise workers waste lots of time every day with inefficient and unfriendly systems and processes. By allowing workers to receive notifications, and take actions based upon them, from within their dominant context, Sapho and Microsoft actually move the needle a little bit.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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