It doesn't provide the full access to the SharePoint server that users can get behind the firewall or via remote laptops with VPN, but it provides enough features to allow, for example, traveling executives to pack only their tablet if all they need is provided by Mobile Entrée.
He also likes that the tool works with a variety of mobile devices and operating systems, since AAA Mid-Atlantic gives its employees and executives choices for tablets and smartphones that include iOS, Android, BlackBerry and, soon, Windows Phone 8 devices.
AAA Mid-Atlantic has also taken advantage of the Mobile Entrée development tools to add custom features to the core product and has plans to build a point-of-sale mobile application for employees at its stores.
Klichinsky is also happy with the VPN-less security layer he and his team have layered on top of Mobile Entrée--a Web application firewall.
Joe Herres, executive vice president of products at H3 Solutions, says that while Mobile Entrée works only on SharePoint servers installed on customer premises, the vendor is prepping a slightly different version to run on SharePoint Online.
The version for SharePoint Online will be more geared towards end users, and will be licensed on a per user basis, unlike its main product which is priced per server. The new product will also have a much smaller app development component.
"It's about purchasing the app, running through a wizard and having a premium mobile experience in about five minutes to your SharePoint Online tenancy," Herres says.
More SharePoint mobile access applications enterprises can turn to
According to Gartner's Gilbert, other popular makers of SharePoint mobile access applications include Colligo, Filamente and Infragistics, whose product is called SharePlus.
These applications are designed to improve in particular the document management experience of using SharePoint via various mobile devices.
"SharePoint isn't really built for gestures and swiping on a touch screen. It's not designed for that. Typically SharePoint users are browsing a nested file structure and that's not a lot of fun to do on a mobile device," Gilbert says.
These applications make the experience better, more responsive, in general closer to the expectations of mobile users, he says.
Colligo's Email Manager provides access to SharePoint from Outlook on the desktop, while its Briefcase for iOS product gives access from iPads and iPhones, including the ability to view files, edit files, lists and metadata and syncing capabilities. The Administrator module gives IT professionals management and security controls.
Meanwhile, Infragistic's SharePlus has mobile clients for iOS, Android and BlackBerry Playbook, which offer features like file sync, editing, PDF annotation, managed metadata, and local file structure. A product called SharePlus Enterprise gives IT departments management tools for centralized configuration, deployment and security, among other things.
Filamente has an iOS mobile client for SharePoint and a product called Filamente Enterprise for IT management and control functions.
Another option with broader scope is Harmon.ie, whose mobile applications provide access to SharePoint on premises and to Office 365, Yammer and Office Web Apps. Harmon.ie replicates the mobile user experience on the desktop via its plug ins for Outlook and Notes that link SharePoint with email.
"Our approach is to provide access anytime, anywhere, with the same user experience on the desktop, mobile and the cloud," says David Lavenda, Harmon.ie's vice president of marketing and product strategy.
Beyond these options, there are products whose focus isn't primarily to provide mobile access to SharePoint, but that do it as part of a broader mission.
That's the case of document storage and file sharing vendors, whose applications integrate with SharePoint and feature mobile access. These would include Box and Accellion.
Likewise, enterprise social networking (ESN) suites that connect with SharePoint can also offer mobile access to it, including NewsGator's and Jive Software's. Naturally, this mobile access would be heavily slanted towards social collaboration capabilities.
Read more about applications in CIO's Applications Drilldown.