Connecting Apple iPhone to corporate email servers

“Do you have that sexy new Apple iPhone in the palm of your hand? And yearning to connect to your corporate Exchange e-mail account, contacts and calendar? And grinding your teeth because Apple doesn’t yet support Exchange? UK-based Synchronica will let you do just that, without punching holes in your corporate firewall. All you need is access to Synchronica’s Mobile Gateway 3.0, formerly called SyncML Gateway,” John Cox reports for Network World.

“A slight change on Mobile Gateway was all that was needed to create a completely transparent connection between iPhone’s native e-mail client and Synchronica’s own corporate Exchange server,” Cox reports. “‘If I delete a spam [message] on my iPhone, it is deleted in Exchange,’ Brinkshulte says. ‘If I send an e-mail from the iPhone and then come back to office, it is shown in the ‘sent-items’ folder of my Outlook/Exchange [screen]. There’s no need of ‘copy to self’ workarounds,’ says Carston Brinkshulte, CEO.”

Full article here.

15 Comments

  1. This oughta scare the shit out of Windows-loving corporate IT Nazis. They have to hate it when someone figures out a practical way to let Apple products into the Enterprise – it weakens their grip on the rest of us.

    Blows against the Empire. Gotta love it.

  2. this might work for small or personally owned buisnesses, but lets see how I can get the 30k employee corporation that I work for do this. when all they have to say is : We support BES and Microsoft Activsync, buy a phone that does and you have over the air integration.

  3. I signed up for their info, but as near as I can tell, it will still require my IT department’s cooperation, which translated means “no.” Same problem with IceWeb. Don’t know about Visto but it’s not out until end of Q3 If I am wrong, I will be one happy camper.

  4. The IT guys where I work are fantastic. We talk about Zunes all the time. One time they let me download and install Acrobat Reader by myself so I could look at a technical manual, but I had to uninstall Reader when I was done reading the manual. I still can’t believe someone distributed the manual as PDF when there’s Microsoft Word’s .DOC format.

    Anyway, I’ll say it again: my IT guys are great guys. One of them has even heard of your namby-pamby iPod. Whatever.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  5. I with you, Poppycock. I need a solution that can be implemented solely on the user side.

    I’m no techie, but is it that hard to develop an iPhone web-app “front end” that can make outlook web access look presentable on the iPhone. That would be something short of an iPhone mail client, but it would be good enough for me!

  6. The absolute LAST thing I want to associate the iPhone with is work. I DREAD when my Blackberry goes off, it always means there’s a SEV 1 problem/outage. (I’m in IT)

    By contrast, I love getting calls & email on the iPhone as I know it’s either friends or family. My cowrokers/boss are NOT given the iPhone number. Work is Blackberry – Pleasure is iPhone.

  7. eMAx/Poppycock…

    I am but one of (many) rational IT pros who recognise that the provision of IT is simply a means to an end rather than the end in itself.

    When your IT department tells you that you cannot do something because it is against “corporate” policy, you need to remind them that the sharp end of the business is the bit which earns the money that pays for their salaries, training, medical and hardware investment.

    Then – presuming that this has no effect – you need to find as many like-minded individuals as you can and form an unofficial user group that is willing to send a group e-mail to your respective managers, the vice-presidents/directors of your divisions and the CIO to say that your individual efficiency and – by implication – the profitability of the company is being adversely affected by an IT function which is putting its own narrow interests ahead of those of the company.

    You should further point out which of your Key Performance Indicators (assuming you belong to an appraisal culture) is being adversely affected by the attitude of the IT function and how it is iniquitous that your job security ,salary, bonus and other factors are being jeopardised by people who are then , perversely, being rewarded for being obstructive.

    Trust me, “traditional” IT departments hate nothing more than users uniting over a common cause.

  8. MCCFR, I hear you and appreciate the suggestions. In reality, my IT guys are not bad guys. They’re smart, open to new ideas and also overwhelmed by the support they are required to give to users [many of whom are not the sharpest stick in the shed] and systems alike. They have even deployed a couple of Xserves because they understood the ROI on Apple’s hardware. We have a few Mac users, and there is a Mac for testing in the IT department. The answer is “no” right now, primarily because I do have a Crackberry, and like @No Way, I prefer to keep my iPhone for the pleasantry of personal use. But I would like the option of having just one phone with me at times. As an exec at my company, I could push hard for IMAP to be deployed so I could get corporate email, but I have to ask myself if it is worth it to me or the company. My own answer to that is probably “no.” The most compelling case is that documents are almost unreadable on the Crackberry, while they are gloriously legible on the iPhone. My guess is that within six months, the iPhone ecosystem will be huge, including accessories that work well [like quality headsets], and software additions at the enterprise level that are widely accepted by IT. I can wait, but would still love a user-side option. I mean, I can see my email on Safari, but it breaks down quickly as a useable solution. So, Outlook Web Access is accessible, but not optimal. Somehow, it should not be hard to make it work. After all, I can get my email with Entourage anywhere thanks to OWA. How hard should it really be?

  9. Hey, let’s stop knocking the IT people. Trends in your companies are your trends only. Usually, the reason you hate your IT department is because of something the other departments have forced them to do. IT molds with the business, not on a whim. Most IT people like cool gadgets and the iPhone is a cool gadget. Get over yourselves and stop making general statements about individuals based on biased and inaccurate views.

  10. <“Most IT people like cool gadgets and the iPhone is a cool gadget. Get over yourselves and stop making general statements about individuals based on biased and inaccurate views.”>

    Well said- Same here- I’ve “converted” a number of users to the Mac. I get the same questions every day- “What computer should I buy for my house?” I do my best to lead em to Steve. In fact- I use a MacBook w/ Parallels along with YouControl Desktops (i.e. Spaces for Tiger)- You should hear the comments when I switch from Safari to Mail to Pages and then yes- to XP. All seamlessly and I demo this to anybody that is sick of Ballmer & Company.

    Right now we’re working on an inventory control project in which the combination of the iPhone & Web 2.0 would be a perfect fit. Now I just have to convince a couple of higher ups and it could fly. I am one of the decision makers so this has a good chance.

    Anyway- like the earlier post- there are IT guys that get it.

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