Market-research firm Forrester has found increasing interest among enterprises to use the iPhone as a business tool.
Based on interviews with IT executives from Kraft Foods, Oracle, and Amylin Pharmaceutical, the report explores how the iPhone made it on the list of approved devices for each company.
Todd Stewart, IT senior director at Amylin Pharmaceutical, says the iPhone has become the company's "enterprise netbook," and said the iPhone is easier to support than other mobile platforms. "It took all of three days to get the systems running to support iPhone. We also saw significant costs savings for our voice and data plans by moving to iPhones," said Stewart.
Dave Diedrich, vice president of information systems at Kraft, said he used the iPhone to demonstrate that IT is serious about supporting culture change. The company has about 100,000 employees and Diedrich said that as of January 2009, almost half of the company's mobile users have iPhones. Kraft orders about 400 new iPhones each month.
And Oracle has about 4,000 employees using the iPhone globally, according to IT Vice President Campbell Webb.
While the companies reported positive results overall, they did have some problems. The biggest problem is support for Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007, which didn't always work as expected. A lack of management tools and full support for VPNs were also mentioned as drawbacks.
iPhone OS 3.0 should resolve most, if not all, of these concerns when it is released sometime this summer, helping Apple continue making inroads into the enterprise market.
"Apple is redefining its third industry: first the computer industry, next the music industry, and now the mobile industry," said Ted Schadler, the Forrester analyst who wrote the report. "With iPhone, Apple has breached walled gardens that have long slowed innovation and kept advanced applications from reaching the US mobile market."