Choosing the Right Mobile Platform

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Enhancing Enterprise Mobility

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There are so many smartphones available in the market that it becomes difficult to choose the right one for your business needs. Some might believe that BlackBerry owns the enterprise space for mobile phones, but rivals like the iPhone, Windows Mobile, etc. are giving it tough competition. People shouldn't actually select based on the features of the platform but on the availability of the right application which can give you the desired functionality and at the same time gets along with your corporate IT infrastructure. You might want to buy or advise your users to buy a Windows mobile if your organization is a strictly Windows-based setup. This helps in making sure that your phone apps can sync out of the box with your business apps and infrastructure. But that's not the only deciding factor.

What you need to check is how compatible is the platform with the applications running in your organizations. While taking a buying decision we also need to use a phone which is a truly business phone with great multimedia apps. Let's look at the popular smartphone platforms.

Windows Mobile
So, what does Microsoft has to offer to an enterprise? You get an improvement in the productivity and efficiency as you stay connected to clients and colleagues with emails, voice mails, IMs etc. With Windows you can sync information with most of the tools that you already have. For instance, MS Exchange Server and Office Outlook. This could be a key reason for you to choose this platform for your mobile business needs.

The current stable version for Windows mobile is 6.5, with the next version expected to be released in 2010, Windows Mobile 7.0.

Common apps for the Windows Mobile based smart phones are the mobile versions of the well know Microsoft apps which are available for the desktops such as, the Mobile Office, Mobile Outlook, Mobile IE, etc. These give a familiar feeling to the users of these phones who have already worked on the Windows based desktops. At the same time the synchronization of documents, mails, contact and calendar is available out of the box. Some key applications which make Windows Mobile worthwhile for the enterprises are:

MS System Center Mobile Device Manager: Windows Mobile 6.1, combined with MS System Center Mobile Device Manager helps critical data and systems, simplify management and helps in lowering costs. The software enables strong passwords policies such as password expiration, enhanced password history and some password reset requirements. Remote Device management feature allows administrators to wipe or lock on-device data, verify passwords.

Collaboration capabilities for Windows phones: With an MS Exchange server infrastructure, mobile teams can get the added advantage of accessing email inbox and thus get a scalable, secure, mobile messaging, contact solutions for Windows phones. The direct integration with Exchange Active Sync and the Direct Push technology keeps Windows phones up to date over a network connection.

In addition to this, the MS Exchange server 2010, offers advanced collaboration capabilities such as SMS Sync that let you reply to SMS message in Outlook Mobile and Outlook Web Access.

MS Communicator: Office Communicator 2007 R2 offers features that include presence information, IM, VoIP, video and desktop sharing. Some of the new features that are included in office Communicator 2007, include ability to add more people to an existing audio-video conferencing session and the sharing of desktop with a single colleague or a whole team. No matter where you are, it provides all capabilities across locations and there is no need for a secure tunnel to the corporate network.

Customer Relationship management solutions: Mobile CRM solution such as MS Dynamics CRM Mobile for Windows Mobile, gives the power to access the latest and up-to-date sales, marketing and customer service information no matter wherever you are.

The benefits include improving the productivity and reduced costs while delivering better services and thus enhancing customer experience.

Blackberry OS
Blackberry doesn't need an introduction for the enterprise mobile users. And it has become popular because of the renowned Blackberry push mail services. This service comes in different flavors. For instance, you can get this service as a Value Added service from your Mobile Service Provider. Or your organization can deploy its own BlackBerry server in house on top of either MS Exchange, Lotus Domino or Novel GroupWise.

The client for this service is available for both BlackBerry handhelds and desktop computers. Not only this, there are lot of other software apps which are available for BlackBerry. Most popular mobile apps come for this mobile platform. The ones which you should look out for are:

Upvise: Upvise is a mobile cloud computing platform for businesses. It is a complete business siute that includes: projects, tasks, sales and lightweight CRM. It also gives the users power to access the same application on their PC with the help of any web browser.

Wireless Database Viewer Plus: With the help of Wireless Database Viewer Plus, you can easily sychronize, view and update any desktop side database wirelessly. Any changes made to desktop database will be reflected to your BlackBerry phone and vice-versa, so you will always be aware of the updated changes and information. Synchronization with MS Access, FileMaker Pro, Oracle, SQL Server, and any ODBC is allowed.

iPhone OS X
The iPhone 2.0 software that allows you to wirelessly push company emails, calendar events, etc to iPhone over a 128-bit encrypted SSL connection, for the organizations that use MS Exchange Server 2003 or 2007. IT administrators can securely manage any iPhone containing company's confidential information with the help of enforced security and password policies. Thus it allows IT departments to quickly deploy iPhone on the basis of the device configuration and remote management capabilities. To ensure the highest level of IP-based encryption for the transmission of confidential and sensitive data, the iPhone 2.0 software supports Cisco IPSec VPN. IT administrators can easily create Configuration Profiles by enforcing corporate passcode policies and settings.

In addition to this, another useful feature of Configuration profiles is that they can be used to remotely configure company's VPN, email, etc, thus making each iPhone secure and ready for business.

Apple iPhone has been given the Oracle business indicator which means the phone is the first to deliver Oracle business information. Through the use of this application, the mobile users are provided with secure access to business performance information. Users can view and interact with some of the Oracle Business Intelligence applications that includes financial, human resources, CRM analytics, etc.

A tool for IT administrators called Network Ping allows IT administrators to ping a single IP address, a subnet, Traceroute, etc. Another app capable of providing SSH and Telnet, is based on the PuTTY desktop client. It includes features such as RSA/DSA key generation and authentication, HTTP and works over Edge, 3G or Wi-Fi.

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