iPhone's Enterprise Reach Falls Short | Cult of Mac

iPhone’s Enterprise Reach Falls Short

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Enterprise customers remain largely unimpressed with Apple’s efforts to promote the iPhone as a tool for business. While hordes of consumers worldwide are willing to stand in line for hours to buy one of the touch screen gadgets, business customers are proving a more wary audience. The disconnect could be a crucial indicator to the company’s future direction.

The shortcomings of Apple’s first generation configuration tool for the iPhone bear all the hallmarks of Apple’s long-standing lack of understanding for the needs of enterprise customers, according to eWeek. Problems with security and application delivery call into question the company’s ability to create an effective solution in-house that can serve the needs of its largest customers. As it stands, the iPhone might be effectively integrated into small business environments, but the tools as currently structured lack the security and remote reach large deployments require.

Apple is rumored to be coming out already – possibly this week – with fixes for Exchange support, which has been declared by some a complete mess. A whole host of features Windows Mobile users are used to seem to be missing or inadequate, according to a review in Mobility Today, and even Apple itself has backed away from its original claim that “”Push happens automatically, instantly, and continuously” via MobileMe, which Apple promotes as “Exchange for the rest of us.”

Apple’s simultaneous worldwide release of new hardware, a major firmware update, a complete overhaul of its web services product and a significant effort toward enterprise configuration must be applauded as a swing for the fences. And the fact that everything has not gone smoothly should come as no surprise. As ever, it will be interesting to watch where the company goes from here.

12 responses to “iPhone’s Enterprise Reach Falls Short”

  1. camel jockey says:

    They’ll fix it. Whatever happens, they will never be as bad as microsoft.

  2. schinckel says:

    Disconnect is a verb!

  3. Blad_Rnr says:

    I think you are confusing Apple’s services. Enterprise users already have Exchange support in iPhone 2.0. And it works. At least for us on a hosted Exchange server and 10+ iPhone users.

    MobileMe is not intended for the Enterprise. It’s just like Apple said…everyone else. Why are you lumping them together?

    Apple had some hiccups this weekend. I would also question why they pushed out so many updates while trying to activate phones while in the same week updating .Mac to MobileMe. But the reality is things have calmed down and outside of the MobileMe issues, iPhones are working by and large. At least that’s what my users say.

  4. Donovan says:

    It’s funny you mention that, we tried here to get some iPhones on our corporate plan and were told that the iPhone is not available to business users on Rogers here in Canada, on request of Apple… maybe in 90-120 days he said…

  5. AAPLWatcher says:

    Disappointing news about Exchange-do you have links to articles calling it a complete mess? Would like to read more.

  6. lonbud says:

    @MacBooker – see the Mobility Today piece for the author’s description of what he called a ‘complete mess.’

    @Blad_Rnr – 10+ users would qualify as small business, I think, and not ‘Enterprise,’ which in my experience refers to deployments in the hundreds. Glad to know iPhone is working for your shop and agree Apple will get it worked out in time. The piece was only intended as a snapshot of the early returns.