Japanese iPhone carrier Softbank Mobile recently closed a deal with management and technology consultancy BearingPoint that will be one of the first major corporate contracts for the iPhone 3G. BearingPoint is putting 1000 iPhone 3G's into their employee's hands across the country.
One of the most requested features from business users is Lotus Notes support on the iPhone, so it was pretty exciting when " target="_blank">it was announced that they were working on a solution. Now, after a long delay, they're launching IBM Lotus iNotes 'Ultralite', a Lotus Domino email client in the form of a web application for the iPhone and iPod touch.
Apple released iPhone Configuration Utility 1.0.1 for Mac OS X today. For those who aren't familiar, the iPhone Configuration Utility allows IT personnel to “create, maintain, and sign configuration profiles, and track and install provisioning profiles and authorized applications”, letting one person manage several iPhone 3Gs for business users. The new version is available at Apple.com.
FreedomVOICE has just announced the opening of their beta program for their app and cellular service called Newber. The app allows iPhone users to add a second phone number to their iPhone, giving them the ability to have a completely separate "business" line on their iPhone. It's also location-aware, and can forward calls to other devices when in specific locations.
One of the big benefits of the first iPhone launch was the ability to buy it online, but so far that's been a luxury we don't have with the '3G (though that's not surprising with the crazy demand they've had through just physical retail stores). However, if you happen to be a business user looking for an iPhone 3G for work, you can now order one online through AT&T.
Worldwide bank HSBC's employees have long used BlackBerries as the handset of choice, but rumor has it that they are considering replacing all 200,000 of them with iPhones. Their Australia CIO Brenton Hush says the company has been reviewing the new iPhone for a while, and it looks like they like what they've seen so far.
One of the criticisms with the iPhone as a business device is it's lack of support for Lotus Notes, but that's about to change. IBM has offered a sneak peak of Lotus iNotes, a specially designed web client for it's Lotus Domino messaging server. The new interface will offer email, calendar, and contacts support, which they say will "bring the enterprise to your Apple iPhone".
Businesses asked Apple to make changes to the iPhone and it's software, and they answered. Now, Gartner Inc. analyst Ken Dulaney has taken three weeks to test the iPhone 3G and iPhone 2.0 Software and review it for it's ability to deliver what large businesses are looking for in a handset, and published his results in a nine-page research note, titled: iPhone 2.0 Is Ready for the Enterprise, but Caveats Apply.
As you might remember, Sybase announced some time ago that they were working on porting their Information Anywhere Suite for letting IT organizations manage enterprise email to be iPhone compatible. They announced in April of this year that the iPhone was now supported by their iAnywhere suite, bringing Lotus Domino and Microsoft Exchange enterprise email to iPhone users. Now they are adding the iPhone 3G to that list as well.
Apple has released three new utilities to help users deploy and manage large numbers of iPhones at the same time for enterprise users. They are the iPhone Configuration Web Utility 1.0 for Mac, the iPhone Configuration Web Utility 1.0 for Windows, and the iPhone Configuration Utility 1.0 for Mac OS X. These tools allow one person to create a single configuration file that can be downloaded from a website or email that can be downloaded onto multiple iPhones.