Thursday, August 09, 2012

Interview with Mike Sommer, Digital Backpack, Innovators in E-Learning Series

The beauty of mobile learning is that it allows you to access content any time, anywhere. However, there can be a few bumps in the road. It can be very tedious to download content in a way that allows you to listen or view the material, even if you're not online. In addition, downloading can be cumbersome if you have to go through several different apps and portals. If you're enrolled in an online program, your downloads may take quite a bit or time, and you could probably benefit from a streamlined way to access your course materials. Further, you may wish to take courses from several universities at the same time for a complete list of online accredited colleges, many of them requiring multiple apps and digital content.

Welcome to an interview with Mike Sommer, who, with the team at Digital Backpack, has developed an integrated function / Mobile Application Management (MAM) for downloading, access, storage.

1. What is your name and company affiliation?
 Mike Sommer, CEO of Digital Backpack.

2.  What is Digital Backpack?  How does it work?
Digital Backpack helps your organization capitalize on mobile freedom by providing you with an efficient and secure way to share, manage, and upload company-branded private apps and digital content on to your audience’s devices. We do this by focusing on managing content and not the device through a super app called the Backpack.

Designed to be easy to use, scalable, and efficient, we connect businesses with employees and school administrators with students through a Mobile Application Management (MAM) platform called the Backpack.

The Backpack is a secure “super app” that sits on a mobile device – whether it’s a smartphone or tablet, and powered by iOS or Android. Through an online, cloud-based Dashboard, an administrator can upload, manage, and share apps and digital content right to the Backpack using push technology. You’ll even get detailed analytics that will show you how the content you’re publishing is being used.

3.  What can Digital Backpack be used for ? what kinds of files?  Does it interface with iTunes and other digital repositories such as Amazon?
Within the client Dashboard we are able to manage, push, remove Audio, Video, Flash, and PDF documents.

Instead of integrating with third party stores like iTunes and Amazon for digital resources like audio, video and other documents we provide your own private network that you have full control over.

4.  How can Digital Backpack be used in conjunction with e-learning?
Coming from an Online Learning background we understand the importance of SCROM based courses for tracking student results. Since Android allows for the use of Flash we are not only able to leverage content within LMS systems yet we can also allow e-learning experts to push flash based lessons right into a students Backpack.

5.  I have a Windows phone and an iPhone.  Will Digital Backpack work with them?
Our infrastructure is designed to roll out to a variety of devices as the market evolves and matures. Our next release will include iOS and as Windows 8 gains market share we will look to build a Backpack for these devices also.

6.  What do you think is the future of mobile content?  Will there be more or less?
I believe that the future of mobile will be more of a concierge service. Instead of 200 apps on each device and a one size fits all to corporate app deployment I see focused and user specific material being delivered as it is needed.

With the ability to push and then remove digital content the end user can have relevant and timely information available at the right time vs all the information all the time.  As digital technology evolves we are able to store more and more information in the palm of our hands and in essence our digital devices are cluttered. We believe that when you have a managed Backpack that holds relevant information at the time you need it you are more likely to use it.

To use the analogy of a hiker. You do not carry a full loaded suitcase with you that has everything in it when you are going for an afternoon day hike. The same is with mobile content. Take what you need and leave the rest behind. You can always access it if you need to but it should not be the focus of your day.

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