Helpdesk and support products that implement the ITIL best practice guidelines can now be managed remotely from an iPhone, in an unexpected convergence of two technology cults.

While some IT staff are having to integrate iPhones whether they like it or not, LiveTime Software expects network managers to ignore Gartner's advice and rush out to buy the Apple phones for their own use.

The service management software maker has enabled its helpdesk and support products, based on the ITIL library of IT best practice, to be operated remotely via iPhone.

LiveTime Service Manager and Help Desk, both Web 2.0 AJAX-based applications, install on a server within the customer organisation, and network managers access the applications via Web browsers ranging from Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer to Firefox and Safari. That means network managers can manage support and change requests remotely using Apple's latest consumer device.

The vendor added capabilities to its two software products to let field technicians customise the LiveTime applications with specific column views and gain access to real-time statistics and reporting features. Also PDFs can be viewed via the iPhone by clicking the PDF button from any page on the device. The handheld devices can also access LiveTime's built-in search engine to give network managers access to existing incident notes, attachments and other data, according to the vendor.

The iPhone-supported software is available in a few versions: LiveTime Service Manager, LiveTime Help Desk and LiveTime Express.

Service Manager offers customers software to support five ITIL processes: incident, configuration, problem, change and service-level management. Help Desk is synced up with ITIL's incident, configuration and service-level management processes, and LiveTime Express addresses incident and configuration-management software and processes for small businesses.

LiveTime for the iPhone features are available now in Versions 4.0 and 5.0 of the vendor's software suite.