Sunday, August 17, 2008

Grumpy old business for iPhone

iPhone 3G is still no success in the deep core of business market, despite with it has managed to snatched the most Sexiest Gadget Alive 2008 title. Apple’s intention to grow an exclusive branch for business and corporate, hasn’t exactly going to show its green (read: money) yet.

With growing supports of business apps for iPhone 2.0 platform like Microsoft’s Exchange Server, MobileMe & few other apps you can find in the App Store; I have not heard any news that say a big enterprise company has adopted iPhone for its main smartphone.

The only last one, is that HSBC might buy 200,000 iPhones to be used by its employees worldwide; but this is still only a rumor. And unnamed senior IT official at a large U.S. business who, after evaluating the iPhone 3G, said this about it: "It's a great product but has a ways to go. A year after Apple comes out with a consumer device, these kinds of enterprise things are not going to happen magically."

Security would be the most important issue for enterprise and corporate users, since the data and informations stored inside their humongous servers are very valuable to competitors. So data/information theft and leakage are the IT managers’ first concern when it comes to replace the existing smartphones with the shiny new iPhone 3G.

There are already some solutions came from the 3rd party software developers such as SplashData & 1Password, but as David Gewirtz, an e-mail security expert, put it: "everybody prefers stuff from the manufacturer."

The lack of native encryption is the iPhone's "one failing," said Glenn Edens, an independent mobile consultant, who is otherwise bullish on the iPhone 3G. "Remote wipe helps but is not good enough."

But another big push is coming from one of the oldest and leading in computer tech: IBM, who is planning to launch iNotes for iPhone later this year. IBM hopes to bring its widely used Lotus Domino service like email, calendar & contacts into iPhone’s good looking UI. The iNotes is acting as client app and will be using web access to use these available features:
  • Easy viewing of Lotus inbox
  • Read e-mail with details either hidden or shown
  • The ability to quickly compose or reply to e-mail
  • The ability to attach and send files
  • View day-at-a-glance calendar
  • View details on meetings, all day events, reminders, and anniversaries
  • View an organized view of your contacts
  • View information on contacts and groups
  • Quickly create new contact entries

Head on to IBM web page to see more screenshots gallery, and find out if you can convince your company’s IT admins to switch into iPhone. ~LOL~

The business market, especially for mobile device, is as old as monarchy tradition itself. Not to mention it’s filled with inexplicable must be fulfilled technical demands. But there are code ethics & unwritten rules that Apple needs to address, before gunning for the technical issues such as security and integrated managements. This has proven on how old-styled devices & technologies are more easily accepted, than the new ones.

Can Apple rely on iPhone’s sexiness to woo business users rather than “the beauty inside”? For ‘common’ users, it’s has been a huge success. I can’t wait to see how it goes with the ‘sovereigns’ (read: enterprise & corporate users). ;-D

Sources are from:

IPhone 3G: Still Not Ready for the Enterprise (PC World)
  • HSBC Might Buy 200,000 iPhones (Brighthand)
  • Lotus iNotes Aims for iPhone 3G (PCW Business Center)
  • Lotus Domino Web Access (IBM)
  • [blogged with my Treo 750v]

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