Amazon unveiled a new service—Whispercast—a tool for schools and businesses that allows them to centrally manage and deploy content for Kindle devices and Kindle apps. Whispercast could make the Kindle much more attractive as a legitimate business tool. Even in an environment where the use of paper is discouraged, people continue to print white papers, marketing brochures, or other materials to review.
The Kindle is a useful device for sharing and consuming written business content. Rather than printing the document, users can load it onto a Kindle and save a few trees. Kindle devices can handle .doc, .docx, PDF, and a variety of other file formats. The problem, though, is that the process of getting those files onto a Kindle is convoluted, and the service offered by Amazon isn’t free. That’s where Whispercast might help.
Whispercast gives businesses the tools to manage and deploy Kindles as business tools, and to easily distribute content to Kindles and Kindle apps. Company-owned or issued Kindle devices can be registered and managed through Whispercast, including the ability to pre-configure wireless settings or block access to features like surfing the Web, or purchasing new content.
Many businesses are either evaluating or deploying tablets like the Apple iPad to fill a similar role. If the primary need is the ability to provide employees with access to product marketing, training materials, or other documents while they’re away from their desk, Kindle devices are substantially cheaper than more full-featured tablets. The fact that Amazon offers free Kindle apps for virtually every platform in use also means they may not need to invest in actual Kindle devices at all.