While RIM Rested On Its Laurels the iPhone Took the Enterprise Market By Storm


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A new report from IDC reveals something that we’ve all suspected for some time—the iPhone (and iPad) are taking over the enterprise world. Why? Not just because iPhones are cooler, but they are also secure. Things that businesses deem essential to devices in the enterprise.

Okay, maybe the “cool factor” isn’t that important, but the rich developer environment and selection of apps certainly is. Not to mention Apple’s push that started earlier this year wooing enterprise customers with a section on their site devoted to deploying iPhones and iPads in the enterprise. All of this leads to the increase in “corporate liable” (owned by the company) and “employee liable” (BYOD) iPhones at work:

IDC projects that by year-end 2012, consumer Android smartphone shipments will reach 351.8 million, with 87.7 million corporate liable devices and 15.1 million employee liable devices shipped. One-quarter of the devices are being snapped up by enterprises directly, with a separate 4.3 percent falling directly in the hands of BYOD business users.

But it’s the iPhone that businesses want to look out for.

Looking ahead to 2016, the iPhone will reign over the business space with around 68.9 million shipments, while Android will dwindle due to its fragmented ecosystem, leaving “more gaps in security than many organizations are comfortable with,” the report notes.

By contrast, Apple is forecast to ship 78.6 million iPhones to end consumers, with 37.1 million shipping to business workers and 31.1 million directly to companies.

From: ZDNet

Yes, Android is shipping units, but it’s Apple’s closed ecosystem, government-certified security, and apple deployment/management tools that are winning over IT managers.

And iPhones are just cooler.

While “BlackBerry continues to be the gold standard for security,” said the report, its lack of appeal progress in the consumer and developer market “hinders its viability going forward.”  (via ZDNet)

RIM based a lot of its business marketing on the fact that Blackberries were solid, secure, mass-deployable, and utterly, freakin’ boring. At least they are now. Sure, 4-5 years ago the Blackberry was a hot device. I had one back then and the apps were okay, email and texts were fast and easy, okay the browser sucked, but so did most of the mobile web. Today, despite remaining that “gold standard for security”, people just don’t want a device that isn’t as capable for the mobile world as an iPhone or Android phone is.

Android’s Achilles heel is, ironically, it’s openness and choice. Companies don’t want choice and open, they want closed and secure. I don’t think it’s gone unnoticed in the enterprise world that there hasn’t been a jailbreak for iOS 6 yet (Correction, no jailbreak for newer devices). No jailbreak means fewer gaps in security. That means their devices (and the data on them) are safer.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in the enterprise deployment world, however. Starting December 1st Microsoft is going to start charging more for its user client access licenses (CALs) than device CALs (via another ZDNet article):

With the User CAL, customers buy a CAL for every user who accesses the server to use services such as file storage or printing, regardless of the number of devices they use for that access. With a Device CAL, they purchase a CAL for every device that accesses a server, regardless of the number of users who use that device to access the server.

Wise to the fact that companies are letting more employees connect to the corporate network, Microsoft is trying to make hay while the sun shines. So people with a smartphone, tablet, and laptop/desktop  cost more than people who are using shared resources. It’s a subtle difference, but important when you’re a company trying to buy the right numbers and kinds of licenses for your needs. You want to make sure you don’t have either too many or too few licenses so you balance money with need.

Smart move on Microsoft’s part though, instead of the same price for fixed workstations that lots of people use versus the folks who need lots of devices at once, you get to charge for the convenience factor of people having lots of devices on the network.

Now, will it eventually backfire on Microsoft? Not likely, no way large companies will switch the massive infrastructure based on Microsoft software too willingly.

Good thing iOS devices play nicely with Exchange and other Microsoft tech now isn’t it?


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