Amazon unveiled a new service this week—Whispercast. Whispercast is 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.
How much paper do you think is wasted in your office by people printing out white papers, marketing collateral, or other materials to review? A team of people working on a new proposal together might each print out a hard copy to read while on the train, or sitting at home in their living room. A couple people will lose their copy, and one will get coffee spilled on it, and the same document will be printed off a few more times.
This is a situation where a Kindle comes in handy. Rather than printing the document, users can load it onto a Kindleand save a few trees. Kindle 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 comes in.
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.
Employees can be segregated into one or more groups—like the role, department, team, and other groups they’re part of—and Kindle content can be purchased for or distributed to specific Whispercast groups. Soon, Whispercast will also be able to manage and distribute apps from the Amazon App store to Kindle Fire devices.
For some businesses, Whispercast could be a significant opportunity. 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.
Signing up for Whispercast is free and easy. If you already have Kindle devices that are already registered under other Amazon accounts, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-369-5661 to connect them with the Whispercast account.
Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.