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iPhone encroaching into corporate space

updated 11:50 am EST, Fri December 7, 2007

iPhone enters corp. space

The iPhone is gaining popularity with businessmen and corporations in spite of its focus, Reuters writes. The phone is nominally a combination of an iPod with typical smartphone applications, but its execution is such that major companies -- like SAP and Salesforce -- have allowed sales and finance teams to use it for work outside the office. SAP recently announced that it would release an iPhone version of its customer relationship management software, but more importantly, before new versions were available for traditional "business" phones such as the RIM BlackBerry or the Palm Treo. The cause of this was reportedly SAP's own salespeople, who were demanding the iPhone due to ease-of-use.

The major barrier to corporate adoption, cited analysts say, is that the iPhone still does not work well with corporate e-mail systems, which normally use technology such as Microsoft's Exchange Server and Outlook to deliver push mail. Similarly, users cannot have contacts and calendars updated via EDGE or Wi-Fi; this is taken for granted on Windows Mobile phones.

"What really made the iPod take off was when they made it compatible with Windows," says American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu. "So if they made the iPhone compatible with Windows e-mail, meaning Outlook, that would really make sales take off."

Some business clients are said to be holding out for the promised 3G iPhone, while others complain that typing out more than a quick e-mail is troublesome on the device's touchscreen.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is very true

    I was an Engineer that migrated to Sales, so I have always adapted well to tech tools. However, I know many in sales, who rely on their Palms and Blackberries, fret over the actual usage of the device. To the average, non technical person, it can be daunting.

    For basic usage, the iPhone is much easier for the average person to use. RIM is already addressing this by changing the interface of existing products and creating new, more user friendly phones.

  1. Hobeaux

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it does work with outlook

    my company uses Exchange server and it works just fine with the iPhone--via IMAP. is it real-time like a PC exchange client (outlook)? no, but then neither is the Mac exchange client (Entourage).

    The thing that could have been improved would have been calendar integration -- but Apple doesn't consider a calendar to be an integral part of email anyway. (grumble, complain)

  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No, that can't be!

    Didn't analysts say there is no way the iPhone would succeed in the business space??? No, wait, analysts said this...forget it.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Of course! There's no reason for mail to have a calendar integrated. No one ever gets mails regarding events, meetings, or other things like that. It makes perfect sense that Mail includes Mail support, Notes, To Do items, an RSS reader (?!?), but not a calendar.

    And I can't believe no one's pointed out that everyone knows separate applications are SO MUCH BETTER then integrated applications. Which is why you would never dream of adding Notes, To-Do items, and an RSS reader to something like a Mail program. Oh, wait....

    Just ignore that. Let's try another example. Say, you'd be stupid to want to have a cell phone hooked with mail capabilities, web browsing, music listening, and movie watching. That's just crazy talk!

  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You mean people would rather use something that is easy to learn and work with????

    Imagine anyone in a corporation having the nerve to even think that way!


  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    2 words...

    No s*** !

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    just a day or two ago someone on these boards was complaining how it was bad for using for work, and was responded to by saying it wasn't mean as a business device.

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969


    business phone

    Well. You can watch movie, play your favorite iTunes collection, and play games. If I am a sale's guy, I would try to find my best excuse to convince my company to switch over to iPhone.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What is the iPhone?

    There seems to be some confusion over the question if iPhone is a business tool, or a consumer product (as well as constant state of confusion by testudo). The answer is easy, as it is geared towards neither of the two in a specialized fashion.

    What it is, is a simple communications tool -- and it is exceedingly good at what it does. Is it any wonder, thus, that it appeals to both consumers and business *people* (not corporate IT departments, because they can't 'control' it)... of course!

    The only glaring oversight, currently, is the lack of dynamic calendar synchronisation, over the air, or via email, but I have no doubt this is being worked on (currently, on OS X, mail can hand off invites to Undoubtedly, this mechanism will be applied to iPhone as well).

    Apart from that, mail reception, especially corporate IMAP based mail, works well (even considering how broken Outlook is in that regard) - though corporate IT departments do struggle with the daunting concept of setting up simple IMAP server gateways).

    (that's sarcasm, by the way)

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: coffeetime

    Maybe they can do their job in half the time on the iPhone. Instead of lugging around a manual and follow instructions everything they want to access a feature or change a setting.

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