iPhone’s enterprise march gets nice looking help

Apple’s made clear it would love to see the iPhone make [headway in the enterprise](/stats/article.php/3815316/iPhone+Finding+Success+in+the+Enterprise.htm), but hasn’t made anywhere near the commitment in resources and support the more established RIM (BlackBerry) and Microsoft has. Much to the relief of IT staffers charged with supporting the iPhone, Apple did do a deal with Microsoft allowing the iPhone to work with Microsoft Exchange corporate e-mail servers.

And many other big enterprise software players, including Salesforce and Oracle, have come out with apps for the iPhone. Even Microsoft, which has to be flummoxed by the iPhone’s out of left field, runaway success, has shipped [apps for the device](/dev-news/article.php/3791301).

The latest to join the party is the oddly-named [meLLmo](http://www.mellmo.com). This week, the company launched its first application, RoamBi, for the iPhone. RoamBi, a free download at the iPhone App Store, is designed to make spreadsheets, tables and other data from popular business apps, easier to view on the iPhone’s small screen — or as the company says — transform the data “into stunning interactive visualizations” that can be viewed, analyzed and shared with others.


meLLmo’s founders aren’t newbies to the enterprise space having sold previous companies to Oracle and Business Objects. “We’re developing software to enable the iPhone to consume and display information in a compelling enough way that you can leave your laptop at home,” MeLLmo’s chairman and co-founder Santiago Becerra said during a demo. “This is directly targeted at the enterprise.”

Rather than shrink PC spreadsheets and reports to fit portable screens, RoamBi restructures the data from Excel, Crystal Reports, Salesforce CRM reports and several other applications, to be more accessible on the iPhone.

RoamBi uses Amazon’s cloud service to operate as a software as a service (SaaS) application. The report files need to be uploaded using a separate browser-based RoamBi Publisher application before they can be transformed for viewing on the iPhone.

**Fingertip control**

You can see a video demonstration of how it works, [here](http://www.roambi.com/iphone-features.html). I don’t know about leaving the notebook behind quite yet, but the way the software lets you, for example, flip through contact information with your fingertips in a familiar card file format and manage spreadsheets on the tiny screen is pretty cool.

RoamBi includes a series of “dynamic user interface templates” formatted specifically for the iPhone. These include: SuperList for publishing tabular data, CataList for publishing information in a catalog format, Cardex for publishing content in a file cabinet format and PieView for publishing content in a pie chart format

An enterprise version with more features that operates behind the firewall is in the works for release in a few months and will cost $99 per user, per year.

**UPDATE**: meLLO contacted me with this clarification on pricing:

“The enterprise version that sits behind a company’s firewall is available now, starting at $10,000 per server license for 50+ users. Later this year, MeLLmo will introduce a premium SaaS offering with additional features for business users, for $99/user. The RoamBi iPhone app and basic SaaS offering (the RoamBi Publisher) are free.”

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