Companies need to get ready for Apple iPhone onslaught

“Apple plans to unveil the iPhone [on June 29]. According to a person close to Apple, the company is expected to fight for this market, currently dominated by players like BlackBerry’s RIM, Palm Inc. and, increasingly, Nokia Corp. and Motorola. If Apple comes up with an acceptable strategy for integrating with business software systems, many companies might change their tunes,” Nick Wingfield and Jessica E. Vascellaro report for The Wall Street Journal.

“Apple’s plan to go after the business market represents a shift for the company, which has never been a strong player in corporate technology. In recent years its focus on the consumer market has accelerated with its products like the iPod and its effort to open a broad network of retail stores,” Wingfield and Vascellaro report.

“The initial plans of many companies to snub the iPhone will likely come as a disappointment to many consumers who are eager to substitute the iPhone for the multiple devices they carry around for music, cellphone and both corporate and personal email services. These users may put pressure on business technology departments to support iPhones even if that means incurring additional expense and changing their policies,” Wingfield and Vascellaro report. “Incompatible technology has become an increasing problem for businesses as hand-held email and phone devices are evolving into minicomputers that can do such things as download music, take pictures and surf the Web.”

MacDailyNews Take: And one device, Apple’s iPhone, is far more evolved than anything else on the market today. The IT dinos will be — gasp! — forced to accommodate the employees; a rarity, we know, but watch and see.

Wingfield and Vascellaro report, “The public’s broad acceptance of the iPod, more than 100 million of which have been sold, has given Apple a hip currency among many professionals, including business travelers for whom iPods are ubiquitous gadgets on the go. That, in turn, could translate into strong demand for the iPhone among business users.”

“Troy Saxton-Getty, vice president of technical operations at St. Bernard Software Inc., a software company based in San Diego, says he currently wants to support only BlackBerrys. The system becomes less reliable when other devices are introduced, he says,” Wingfield and Vascellaro report.

MacDailyNews Take: Then, get a better system.

Wingfield and Vascellaro continue, “But Mr. Saxton-Getty says he is worried that ‘rogue’ employees may figure out ways to route their corporate emails to their iPhone. ‘I am getting a lot of push back, and people saying they are just going to go get it on their own,’ he says, adding that an employee asks him about the iPhone and whether the company will support it about every hour. Jonathan Anderson, who works for St. Bernard Software, says he plans to ditch his new BlackBerry for an iPhone as soon as he can get his hands on one and set it up on his own.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The IT guys are in for a rude awakening and the iPhone is only the beginning. They will have to accommodate the iPhone. Too many important employees will demand it and IT won’t be able to stem the tide. The fact is that business people will decide which device they want to carry and their businesses will adapt to it. Just as they did with “Microsoft-incompatible” Research In Motion’s Blackberry. Apple’s iPhone will be a success with business users whether the IT guy wants it or even whether AT&T and Apple tailor marketing to businesses or not.

Note to CEOs: Who runs the company, you or the IT guy? It’s your job to make the decisions and it’s the IT guy’s job to implement your decisions that relate to technology. Just as with Macs, you need to educate yourself instead of relying on someone with their own, possibly hidden, agendas to make extremely important technology decisions for your company. Most of you could be saving a LOT of money right now, but you aren’t because you’ve delegated an important part of your company’s decision-making to people who, frankly, in our experience, aren’t capable of making good, sound, strategic, long-term decisions. Most IT guys (and we know many) are not open-minded enough to be able to consider new, better, more efficient, more effective options that would benefit your company. In fact, most IT guys we’ve met will throw up road blocks and repeat myths until they’re blue in the face in order to avoid change. Especially change that might make their department less critical or smaller. Bottom line: most of you CEOs have given the IT guy way, way, way too much power. It’s time to take it back.

62 Comments

  1. Reality Check/PC Apologist needs to STFU and realize that everyone is tired of his/her constant astroturfing and handle hijacking. To have a functional and efficient MDN system this dork needs to focus on a few other web sites and nothing more. The job of a PC apologist needs to be handled by someone a bit more mature.

  2. @Peterson. Many thanks for your feedback – although I can’t accept the blame for anything “PC Apologist” writes. Anyway, I’ve admittedly been bold enough to dare suggest that the iPhone in it’s current incarnation has no place in the corporate workplace and that shareholders are unlikely to take kindly to a CEO that plays with an iPhone all day. But other than that, exactly why are you so offended by my comments?

  3. re: No company is going to have to make room for the iphone because it is a non-product. It is incompatible with everything except the Macintosh, which is never used in business.

    —-

    RUBBISH.

    I do business with 100s of companies that purely use only Macs – NOT windows PCs.

    And no – they are not design companies, they are lawyers, estate agencies etc.

    Now that macs use the same processors as windows pcs the mac is more widespread in general business than what you think.

    Businesses are using macs more because of the stability and security of the Mac OS and that macs can easily connect to windows pcs without any problems what so ever.

  4. Yawn!!! When will everyone realize that Apple has no, repeat NO interest in the enterprise market. The iPhone is not designed to be used in business and never will. The iPod, which has no legitimate business use has sold over 100 million units by courting just the consumer. I think we all have to get out of this mindset that in order for a product to be bought, it must satisfy the demands of corporations. Has Blackberry sold 100 million units yet? And if they did congratulations, but I dont think they have.

  5. I am a CEO. Obviously, I’m reading MDN. Your post indicates to me that MDN’s Take struck a little too close to home for your comfort. The truth hurts, deal with it.

    I believe everybody who says they’re a CEO on teh internets cuz it’s the smart thing to do.

  6. “I am a CEO.”

    Sure you are. I bet you also own 100,000 shares of Apple which you bought for $8 a share like everyone else here on MDN.

    The truth does indeed hurt, and your total lack of knowledge regarding business is glaring. It’s not important that you can open attachments or that users can sync their phones to corporate servers, what is HUGH is that you can play Super Mario Bros. on your iPhone….

    What is the average age here at MDN, 10?????????

    See ya later Mr. CEO…

  7. To: AP

    I disagree with your assertion that Apple has no interest in the enterprise market. That’s a huge potential source of revenue. We are pursed by Apple aggressively. Mac OS X is proof of that, just look at the technology and level of integration with corporate back ends (including Windows). Comparisons to the iPod are not applicable. Just how that interest applies to the iPhone remains to be seen, but unlike the iPod, the iPhone along with all other smartphones has a _solid_ business case. I consider the Mac and Mac OS X evolution to be a model of how Apple made a transition from consumer & design firms to mainstream business. I expect to see that process accelerated in the case of the iPhone. Time will tell.

    Respectfully,
    Sam

  8. “When will the fawning media figure out that software and security is important?”

    Exactly. That’s why Windows in its present form should be banned from the corporate world and MS should be sued in the largest ever class action lawsuit.

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