My IT Department's response to the iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jersey10, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. jersey10 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #1
    Here is my IT Department's verbatim response to the question of whether the company would be supporting push email once the new iPhone software comes out on July 11th. Any thoughts on how I can show them that they are misguided? Let me know. Thanks.

    "The Apple iPhone has become very popular since it hit stores last June. Many iPhone owners have been requesting their corporate IT departments to support it since then. The iPhone requires ActiveSync technology to communicate with our Exchange servers. ActiveSync is a complex set of services which requires extensive testing and development prior to deployment and support in our environment. Consequently, the IT Department is not planning to support the iPhone in the short term (2008) due to competing priorities. The company has invested many resources in and provides support for a variety of Blackberry devices. Currently, Blackberry support questions and technical issues alone represent nearly 10% of our call volume."
     
  2. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

    Ours is Blackberry also. It's cheaper per user compared to Exchange Mobile.

    I did overhear an SVP that he's getting an iPhone so I assume the company will get the few higher-ups Exchange Mobile licenses.
     
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    The problem clearly is that the Blackberry is costing them a lot of call volume, what you want to do is to get them to let you use the iPhone without having to do any (or substantial) work.

    I suggest waiting until after July 11th, Apple will probably have a setup video/support article to go through, which is definitely worth forwarding to them.

    Blackberry may also release an application for the iPhone...
     
  4. Cyclotrode macrumors regular

    Cyclotrode

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    Virginia
    #4
    Either they have an older version of Exchange Server, they don't want to deal with or configure ActiveSync (which seems apparent in their reply since they would have to buy a license for it), or they just love BlackBerry so much that they don't want to change.

    You should tell them if they love the BlackBerry so much that you want a BB Thunder when they're available.

    http://www.engadget.com/2008/06/08/blackberry-thunder-touchscreen-phone-in-live-shot/
     
  5. FSUSem1noles macrumors 68000

    FSUSem1noles

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    #5
    You'll run into and hear about all sorts of problems incorporating IPhones into enterprises, fact is, many IT departments are fearful of it because they're just starting to get the grasp of dealing with Blackberries, treo's, etc, etc.. and they're more than overwhelmed with fielding questions and dealing with problems with these particular devices, incorporating IPhones is just a tad bit too much to add onto the workload.. The Iphone would probably need it's own IT team within the company to field it's problems.. and let's face it, not many companies are going to go to that length..
     
  6. Moose408 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    #6
    I don't see that as misguided. Developing and testing ActiveSync is not trivial and it sounds like they have other projects on their plate currently. Sounds like they are being very pragmatic.
     
  7. rjohnstone macrumors 68030

    rjohnstone

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    PHX, AZ.
    #7
    The main reason my company will not use iPhones...
    1.) No proven security track record. The fact that they are "hackable" at the core of it's OS scares IT security types.
    2.) Reliability factor, the devices are still too "buggy" by corporate standards. (1st gen iPhone still plagued with random freezes and such, the 3G is a complete unknown)
    3.) The big one... Restructuring the corporate email systems and help desk to handle them.

    We were told that it will be late next year at the earliest before they would even look into them and to don't bother asking.
     
  8. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Location:
    UK
    #8
    What? The iPhone just uses Exchange...
     
  9. Nykwil macrumors 65816

    Nykwil

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    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #9
    I think one of the drawbacks is having to distribute apps through itunes.
    Don't think a lot of companies want employees using itunes especially since it runs so sluggish on pcs.
     
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #10
    Or through the iPhone itself..

    Its really not that bad, it ran fine on my 1200Mhz Athlon with 512MB RAM.
     
  11. BongoBanger macrumors 68000

    BongoBanger

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    #11
    I think it's more the proprietary nature of iTunes than the speed, plus Apple have a veto on applications which makes iPhone SDK a walled garden. That and the other issues discussed make it a non-starter for large corporations at the moment.
     
  12. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

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    Virginia
    #12
    I am also pretty sure you have to have a device license for each iPhone (or active sync device). This is in addition to each user/mailbox license. Or at least I am pretty sure that is the case with Exchange 2007.
     
  13. 2002cbr600f4i macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    #13
    couple points here...

    The whole "walled garden, enterprise app" arguement is BS... A corporate developer's license allows the company to build and sign any app they want for the $199 digital signature license key thing. At that point, any "corporate signed" iPhone can run ANY corporate signed app.

    Yeah I got pretty much the same response from my company. They're concerned about security (justifiably so), support hassles, and potentially having to deal with an even more complex server environment/config than they have now... Thing is, I don't see how it's any more complicated or less secure than the Blackberry solution is!

    At this point, I've given up on using it to access the corporate e-mail or corporate calendar system... which is fine since I do 90% of my calendaring through my personal Macbook's iCal app (I bring my personal laptop to work with me and hook to the net through my 3G LG CU500 cell phone... gotta find a replacement option once I get the iPhone 3G...) Likewise, I don't WANT to be that tethered to my corporate email because then they'll expect instant answers no matter where I am... No thanks! I like leaving work at work!
     
  14. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #14
    Sorry, but I'd have to agree with your IT Department. Enabling ActiveSync on an Enterprise Exchange installation is not a trivial task because of the vast amount of testing, both regression and security, that would need to be done as a result of enabling the service.
     
  15. agirton macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #15
    Exchange Mobile Access

    It is a fairly easy setup with Exchange server 2003. There are a number of sites online with the walkthrough for admins. I have personally set it up for 3 or 4 of my clients to access using their windows mobile client devices using active sync. Once setup properly you just put the server address in and the username and password and voila! There is no additional cost or licensing. No additional ports to open either. It might take a half hour tops to configure on the server, then 5 mins on each device. Easy Cheesy.
     
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #16
    To be honest, the Blackberry solution today is more secure than the 2.0 firmware environment will be when it comes out, from everything I've seen. As just an example, while 2.0 finally brings a remote disable/wipe to the iPhone, BB has storage encryption now, and not only wipes but scrubs the device (either remotely or in person). It also has the option to lobotomize the device based on excessive password failures, and it lets you use more sophisticated passwords than just four numeric digits. This is a big issue in the area of security for organizations that have to deal with PHI -- what the iPhone does, even with 2.0, just doesn't seem consistent with general best practice for devices that carry something like patient information.

    I think, in fairness, many enterprises have IT departments that do overstate their need for security, and use elephant gun security systems for employees who have flyswatter-level access to sensitive info. But in other sectors, there are a lot of question marks. And these things aren't really a comparison of the iPhone to the Blackberry OS. They're even evident in a comparison of the iPhone to OS X. OS X -- at least Tiger and Leopard, but I think Panther also -- provides the basic things that are generally accepted as making a notebook secure for storing sensitive information. When you compare the iPhone with an OS X notebook, you find it wanting, even though the iPhone is fairly likely to also be carrying sensitive info if the user's notebook were to be carrying sensitive info.
     
  17. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #17
    Technically, it's straightforward for small Exchange installations. However, if you have large sites with 20 or more Exchange servers with load balanced front end servers sat between them and the Internet things get a bit more complex. Add in to that the requirement to open ports to the servers and you'll get a lot of very worried admins. I know of large Exchange installations (100,000+ users), where the Exchange servers have no direct physical access to the internet: All incoming and outgoing mail is routed through separate SMTP servers in the DMZ and that's the only mail service that's enabled: No POP, IMAP, HTTP Mail, etc, etc. Installations like this would need vast amounts of money to justify, plan and engineer a solution to get ActiveSync working.
     
  18. sgarringer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #18
    You need an outlook CAL to be using that, technically. Each user needs an outlook CAL, if they have outlook on their PC than it is fine they can use webmail (which is all that is) but they still need a CAL somewhere. That is what I was told, at least, by Microsoft.
     
  19. FSUSem1noles macrumors 68000

    FSUSem1noles

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    #19
    I'm in the IT dept. for a school board and that's very similar to what we're dealing with.. and opening up ports IS NOT an option for various security reasons...
     
  20. tritonj macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #20
    2 words Sarbanes-Oxley. there are strict rules in place that must be followed now you can't simply make a major change to the IT infrastructure on a whim anymore, if the auditors come and they ask to see the paper trail and you don't have it you risk failing an audit and getting fined. and there is personal liability here for certain executives, so those executives will be really upset with you if you caused them to get fined.

    so while the setup itself may be a few steps, there is a lot of stuff that has to happen in the background to even do those steps. depending on how many policies and procedures they have for something like this.

    and then also keep in mind, if they install it they have to support it and they just may not have enough staff to do that. some will argue that it is easy and no support will be needed, it will just work, but be realistic, everything requires support at some point. and they are just being cautious be they know they probably won't have the resources to provide that support when the time comes, and then you get made cuz you're not getting you're e-mails.
     
  21. scotty96LSC macrumors 65816

    scotty96LSC

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    Oct 24, 2007
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #21
    In our IT Dept. if it has a :apple: on the box they don't touch it.
     
  22. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    Illinois
    #22
    Darn those hackers. If the first person who figured out jailbreak and the first person who figured out unlocking kept to themselves, maybe this wouldn't be a problem. :D

    I lol'd.

    Too bad it's the same for our IT department.
     
  23. mb2008 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    #23
    It was really easy for me to get my IT department to configure my MB (Entourage) and iphone (IMAP) to work with Exchange - I reminded them who does payroll. ;) I even have the Remote Desktop beta up and running (so I could do payroll on vacation :mad:).

    I won't bother them for ActiveSync, though. I'm connected enough without getting email every second. I can't imagine they will let anyone else have it, either. Poor guys do spend a crazy amount of time supporting laptops and Windows Mobile devices, and Exchange administration is a PITA.
     
  24. surferfromuk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    #24
    Not quite sure if you'll get away with this but I reckon plenty of people will do just this and be very happy.

    Basically, just set an auto-forward to a mobile me account and it'll get pushed to your iphone automatically together with your calendar and contacts.

    Set your reply address to be your company email address and nobody will ever know!!!

    You can email all day long on your iphone then.
     
  25. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    Although a lot of good points have been made I think the best thing to do is to wait until the 11th July and see whether the position becomes clearer.
     

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