Of course, everyone uses their mobile phones at office to make and receive calls. But smart phones allow you to do many more things than just that. In this article, we will explore the enterprise (office) applications of one such popular smart phone – The iphone!
1. Make and receive phone calls: This is what mobile phones are made for, and this will be the most common application for iphones in any office!
2. Make and receive Landline calls: Yes, you read that right. You can download a SIP Client to an iphone and register it with an IP PBX to get a landline extension number for your iphone. So, you can use the corporate Wi-Fi network to make and receive your land-line calls from your iphone! If the Wi-Fi network supports roaming (using a wireless controller), you can even go around your office while attending to a land line call on your iphone.
3. Connect to the Internet with a 3G/Wi-Fi Network: If you are on the shop floor/ customer place and want to refer to some important specifications for one of your products (for example), you can just connect the iphone to the Internet using 3G / Wi-Fi network and browse any website. Many websites are optimized for mobile access.
4. Send and Receive your emails from anywhere: Active-Sync with MS Exchange or any standards based email server can enable push mail, mail search, calender access, address book lookup, etc right from your iphone.
5. Remote Access: There are many situations (on tour/ customer visit) where you might need to access that important file stored in the server. A lot of VPN solution vendors (Like Juniper Networks, Cisco, F5, etc) offer SSL/ IPSec VPN connections from your iphone, back to your corporate network. Or if you just want to access your desktop from a remote location, you can do that with the iphone apps available from Teamviewer, Logmein, etc.
6. Corporate Policies: It is possible to enforce uniform corporate policies for all iphone users like disabling itunes access, disabling the camera etc. In fact, centralized configuration profiles can be applied to all iphones used inside an office premises in order to comply with corporate policies.
7. Video Calls: iphone4 allows you to make video calls with users of other iphones over the enterprise Wi-Fi network.
8. Print files on a printer: Hp eprint, for example allows users to print emails, documents or presentations directly from their iphone to any networked Hp printer that supports this feature.
9. Virtual Meeting: Both Web-ex and GoToMeeting have iphone apps that allow users from remote locations to log in to virtual meetings/ presentations/ training sessions right from their iphone, over the Internet. So, being out of station is no more an excuse for missing an important meeting!
10. CRM/ ERP Access: Among the applications used by companies, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) are two of the most important ones. Many vendors like salesforce.com , SugarCRM etc allow users to access their CRM dashboard right from their iphone! Vendors like Oracle allow users to access their ERP applications too from their iphone!
11. Remote Video Surveillance: Many IP Surveillance camera vendors (like Axis Communications, for example) enable their IP surveillance camera video stream to be viewed from an iphone from anywhere, over the Internet. So it becomes easy to keep an eye on what is going on in the office, even when you are not there!
12. Virtualized Desktops: Desktop Virtualization is a concept where the desktop sessions are processed on a server and only the output is streamed to the desktop. Since the bulk of the processing work takes place in the server, clients with low-processing capacity like iphones can utilize this concept to run resource intensive applications. Some desktop virtualization vendors like Citrix support this concept.
So it should be clear by now that iphone is not only for gaming and social networking, but some serious enterprise applications can be enabled using the iphone. Its time for you to show this article to your top management to get an iphone sanctioned for you and your colleagues 🙂
Also, if you are a fan of iphone, you could keep track of the latest news, guides and even rumors about iphone from Next iphone News, which is a blog maintained by a friend of mine.
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