Tuesday, November 25, 2008

iPhone best for business


As reported on cnbc.com, JD Powers have awarded the iPhone the prize as the best for business. Link here: http://www.cnbc.com/id/27575986

Read it once, then read it a 2nd time and look for the word "security". Don't see it? Me neither. Amazing!

It's merely question of time before the bad news hits the press about someone losing an iPhone that had critical personally identifiable information on it, with no way of wiping it, recovering the data or doing anything but waiting for bohica to hit. IMNSHO, that's when it's really going to hit the fan.

and thanks to my colleague, Chris de Herrera for passing these 2 links through to me on why the iPhone isn't going to be 'business ready' any time soon:

Why iPhone 2.0 won't yet rule the roost in the enterprise The 13 key omissions Apple must fix before it can really compete with BlackBerry and Treo - http://www.infoworld.com/article/08/07/24/30TC-iphone-enterprise-flaws_1.html?source=fssr

Reports are that these items are still not fixed.

iPhone 2.2 update doesn't fix key business flaws - http://www.macworld.com/article/137070/2008/11/iphone_business.html?lsrc=rss_main

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another resounding SPLAT!

Interesting article in this week's Business Week entitled "The Only True SmartPhones" by Stephen H. Wildstrom.

Link here: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_47/b4109000821845.htm?chan=technology_tech+maven+page+-+new_this+week%27s+column

Coming from his perspective - that of user and consumer - I'd agree with him. He makes a number of points, which when viewed solely from the user perspective do indeed possess a high degree of validity and merit.

I just did a quick search on his article looking for the word "business". Didn't find it. Hmm. Isn't this Business Week?

Tried the same thing with "Enterprise". Nope. Struck out.

Because of this he has entirely missed the point of WM (+SCMDM). It's an enterprise product aimed at the business user, period. Everything he points out as being detrimental to the user experience is addressed by a properly managed device (for example, you only want your users to have Opera? Great! You control whether it's there or not - not the OEM's and not the Carriers).

The only way for a SmartPhone to be accepted as a business-class device and as the wonderful business tool that it is, is for it to be treated as such. This means having the capability to manage it exactly as you would a laptop or desktop - exactly as MS have done through SCMDM.

It also means that a SmartPhone must be trusted to the same degree as a laptop or desktop. Without having the mechanism for secure access to mission critical resources beyond just email, a SmartPhone is merely another useful gadget. Given trusted access to, say, a CRM or Sales-Force Automation-type application, however, and it suddenly becomes an immensely powerful tool which also permits the enterprise to save significant $'s - which, given the current climate, is of paramount importance.

As for the huge weaknesses in both the iPhone and Blackberry, well, again this is completely overlooked because of being viewed from the wrong perspective.

iPhone's are beautiful consumer devices. No security (to speak of) therefore unusable in the enterprise. I'd go as far as saying that any mention of the iPhone is simply inappropriate and mis-placed in a business-targeted article such as this. It's not a business tool and any attempt at making it so is going to be as successful as every other attempt to put a round nail in a square hole. On the other hand, SCMDM was built with security baked in therefore there's no need to to try add it on later.

And as for BlackBerry, Business Continuity is one of the key drivers for the enterprise and in addition to failing to scale to the enterprise, introduces 2 horrible single points of failure, the 1st being the NOC itself, which has a tendency to go down every time MS makes another announcement on Mobility, plus the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) themselves which have no failover or redundancy capability. SCMDM has neither of these weaknesses meaning that it is now viable to consider the SmartPhone an enterprise-class device.

I hope that as the paradigm continues to shift - as it must, given that the domestic (US) market is effectively saturated with little room for differentiation between the various consumer products - that authors such as Mr Wildstrom come to recognize that mobile phone can only truly become enterprise-class devices when they are treated as such. This is exactly what Microsoft have done with Windows Mobile 6.1 and SCMDM.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New words entering the English language

Bought a phone recently?

There's a lot of stuff on it that you don't want, isn't there? Especially the stuff that the carriers want you to click on and maybe sign up for (can we say "Cha Ching"?).

True, there's some useful stuff (like AT&T's GPS service. If you want to throw away $9.99 a month then knock yourself out, but it's easily hacked - hint do a search on BlackJack II Hacks. You'll find it) but it's all aimed at the consumer and is an inconvenience to the enterprise. Or ringtones - everyone should spend $3-$5 on a happy little tune instead of uploading the .mp3 of your choice. Yes, I'm being sarcastic.

Hence the creation of two new words. Credit goes entirely to Scott Bedrick of Pfizer.

(Noun): Crapware. Everything that's put out there purely for generating revenue for the carriers.
(Verb): Decrappify. The process (ideally automated) of removing all the crapware that really shouldn't be there in the first place.

We're living in interesting times, folks. Either they're enterprise devices or they're not - and I emphatically come down on the side that says they are.

It would be no more acceptable to get laptops sourced with a whole bunch of crapware on them (OK, so the manufacturers do this with the consumer market, but they know better than to try that with enterprises).

The paradigm is shifting. This is a very cool place to be!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Quantum Cryptography is here!

Very, very, very cool!


Free Exchange2007 Book

Thanks to Michael Francis from simple-talk.com for letting me know about the free Exchange book they're giving away, Sybex’s Best of Exchange Server 2007. Link here: http://www.simple-talk.com/exchange/

Did I mention 'free'? . OK, there's no free lunch. You sub to their monthly newsletter in return for getting the book, but from what I've seen the articles are well worth reading, so it's win-win.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Webcast w/AT&T

I'll be doing a Microsoft Webcast on Nov 18th with AT&T. This ties into their SCMDM service offering that was announced back in August.

· Title: Microsoft Webcast: How to Take Advantage of Windows Mobile to Enhance Productivity in Your Organization (Level 100)
· Presenter: Patrick Salmon
· Webcast Length: 60 minutes
· Date/Time: 11/18/2008 1:00:00 PM PACIFIC

Attendee Registration URL: