Where we left off a few months ago, our discussion had turned to a “site specific browser,” or a browser that is restricted to a specific set of web apps or websites. Our thinking was that by taking away the free-form navigation parts of the browser and locking it down to particular sites, it could act as a secure container for business web apps. We believed that separating business web use from personal browsing would be the starting point of a new business web paradigm. Once the web apps were contained, layering in authentication and policy controls would put IT back in front of web apps.
We had already built much of the infrastructure - if you've been reading you know we've been working on the "disposable browser” concept for a while - so the effort required to prototype and test would be minimal. In order to convey the concept of putting sensitive web apps in their own container, we called this product Silo.
The first responses were encouraging. The focused nature of Silo, combined with IT provisioning tools, made immediate sense to people. We didn't get sidetracked by native browser versus remote browser issues. As expected with an early version, feedback also highlighted some gaps in the product. Rather than the traditional navigation aspects of the browser, Silo's UX needed to be more focused on selecting apps and accessing pre-defined services. If admins are to be chartered with setting up web apps and managing users credentials, we needed to build admin controls to support those workflows.
Based on this feedback, we've been iterating. We refined the initial concept quite a lot, and we're honing the description to convey the value simply. It goes something like this…
Meet Silo. Silo lets you contain and control your web apps, regardless of where your users are or which computer they use.
Silo lives in the cloud, insulating your business web apps from users' personal activity. Silo manages logins to your sensitive web apps and keeps your security and data use policies intact, regardless of what device users use.
Silo is right for a variety of use cases:
- Where the data in web apps is sensitive and needs to be controlled
- Where mobile workers are connecting over insecure networks
- Where web app provisioning is a challenge, like in work pool or shared account situations
- For publishers that want to deliver their web app to their customers securely
We'll be saying more about Silo, our customers, and additional use cases in the coming months. Stay tuned.