This past week the Dell ITEN application became a family, a software and web suite of premium hosted content for the Dell IT Executive Network. What is the Dell ITEN suite? Here’s a snippet that is in the description of the mobile apps:
The Dell IT Executive Network (ITEN) application puts in one place the greatest content in the world for IT Executives.
The Dell ITEN application is designed to provide access to a rich content selection using a simple, easy to use format. Get the latest content on topics and solutions critical to the Information Technology Executive.
Nearly a year ago RD2 partnered with Dell to take a huge step forward in how information can be collected from many sources around the globe and distributed through an Android application. What’s remarkable about this application is that it has been, from the beginning, completely powered by the world’s most popular blog platform, WordPress. Rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to retrofit a content application and interface as a content engine to power the ITEN Android application, why not reveal only the needed features and functions of WordPress and keep the best and most useful functionality to power ITEN? That’s exactly the solution that Dell and RD2 provided and it worked out very well.
Now, with the first annual Dell World Conference, Dell was able to work with RD2 to release a Dell ITEN Microsite to mirror all of the same content on a web browser. Additionally, applications were deployed for Android, Windows Mobile 7 (on the Dell Venue Pro), and Apple iPhone.
Why would Dell release an application for products that are not Dell products such as the iPhone? Dell knows that IT Executives enjoy the freedom to use whatever mobile technology they wish, and it does not favor Dell to limit their access to such content just because of the Executive’s decision to choose a non Dell technology. Releasing ITEN on multiple device platforms allows Dell to have a connection with Client/Executives by giving them this exclusive content and allowing them to be part of the conversation.
Following are links from the archives on the initial Dell ITEN Android application:
- Dell Streak: ITEN Application Overview (with video)
- Dell ITEN on Portfolio
- Andy Lark on: ITEN, Dell, and RD2
Dell ITEN Microsite
The Dell ITEN microsite is a beautiful mirror of the mini ITEN applications that are on the devices. Like on the mobile applications, the microsite segments content based on Videos, Podcasts, and Articles. All updates are also segmented based on solution type. The microsite sets the tone of the look and feel, and the family of solutions iconography establishes a consistent theme that is played across all devices for consistency. Furthermore, the Dell ITEN microsite is reflective of the Dell Corporate brand guidelines.
Windows Mobile 7
The Dell Venue Pro is an outstanding phone. It’s a slider and gives the user access to not only a full screen with a full touch screen keyboard, but also gives the user access to a full qwerty keyboard. The Venue Pro runs Windows Mobile 7 and the ITEN application runs very well on this phone (not to mention other phones we have tested). Additionally, we were able to load a Dell Venue Pro with the new Mango (the latest Windows Mobile 7 OS) and noticed significant performance improvements there.
Personally, what I love about the Windows Mobile interface is how the Metro UI acts like a large canvas and the phone simply provides a window to a section of that canvas. Moving through the Metro UI navigation simply moves the canvas behind the phone to review a new section of content that is already there. It’s truly brilliant and innovative. It’s apparent that Microsoft decided to incubate this UI and think differently about the problem rather than entering the UI battleground between iOS and Android. The result is a truly different, creative, and innovative UI approach that is refreshing. Overall we did find that the ITEN application worked well in the context of the Windows Metro UI. All content panes slide very smoothly across the screen and reveal content on the canvas in the following categories:
Additionally, the user on the Windows Mobile 7 phone can browse content based on solution type which gives the users another perspective on the content available. Users are not only limited to Read, Watch, Listen, but they can access solutions to focus on more relevant context to individual IT Executive challenges. Download now.
The Android application is also newly updated in the Dell ITEN suite. Previously, the Android application was optimized for the Dell Streak. This newest release has widened the net to allow a broader array of Android phones to support the ITEN application.
The Android application is available in the Android Marketplace. Download now.
Always with a little drama, the iPhone was another application that was to be part of the ITEN suite. What drama am I referring to? After submitting the application for approval, the iOS 5 platform became available and Apple mandated that all submissions must support the new iOS 5. With a matter of hours left to run the new optimization, we were also able to make way for an iPhone application that is also fully available and free in the iTunes store. Download now.
The Wrap Up
Like any launch, this one encompassed four applications. Each application is connected to a common content architecture and content can be edited in one website from unlimited geographic locations. Content can be introduced into an information architecture consistent with the Dell ITEN framework and then content can be downloaded either via the website (http://iten.dell.com) or via any of the mobile platforms. Dell is committed to giving their IT Executives, Partners, and Clients this information to help them with their challenges and to enlighten them into the trends, activities, and insights by industry leaders. What’s more, the application supports the key mobile operating systems of a wide user community and does not leave anyone out of the content pool. The Dell ITEN Suite debuted last week at the first annual Dell World Conference.