You see them everywhere you go: businesspeople with their heads down and as focused as a five year old ripping into their first package on Christmas morning. Somehow, they traverse busy hallways and squeeze into crowded elevators without collision, while grabbing their email, heave a contract cross country and correct a spreadsheet for their bosses on the other side of town.
Simultaneously, you are witnessing the genius of technology and, yet another distinct advantage of the opposable thumb. It’s the smartphone. Thanks to blossoming consumer demand, inexorable technological advancement, and the glorious power of competition, smartphone sales are pointed skyward.
Palm, maker of the popular Treo line, said its sales jumped 85 percent from 2005 to 2006, and Microsoft claims the number of Windows Mobile licensees sold jumped by 90 percent during the same period. About 1.7 million smartphones were sold in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2006, according to the research firm IDC.
It doesn’t require too much thinking get the point of all this and you don’t have to have a master’s degree in business on your mom’s dresser to immediately recognize the benefits these wonderful hand held tools can bring to your company.
They can easily plug into Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes, while accessing VPNs at breakneck speeds, not to mention their ability to communicate with most CRM and back office applications. In addition, they still offer the ability to run Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PIMs, MP3 players, voice notes, eBooks, and Podcasts as they always have.
Many IT managers, particularly in small to medium-sized enterprises, have come to understand the benefits that mobile devices with email and enterprise applications can bring to their day-to-day operations. In the past, they’ve been prevented from adopting them (or rolling them out beyond the executive suite) by a few significant hurdles, biggest of which has been price. Now, even if you’re a sole entrepreneur, an independent contractor, or a small-business owner, the benefits clearly outweigh downsides.
Security has also been a tough problem to solve with regard to mobile devices. Some of the largest companies are balking at their use because of the problematic security issues that crop up when they send their employees out the door with data that may end up forgotten in the back seat of a taxi. Security will always be an issue with each new advance in this wonderful digital world and it must be managed. There are many ways to approach and mediate the security issues.
Despite the precautions that must be taken to keep your data safe, you just can’t ignore the amazing benefits of having access to your company’s server in your pocket. It’s as if you are back in the office, minus your nice chair and access to the coffee machine.
These are some features of the Microsoft software version of the smart phone (pulled from their web site):
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Add to this list the ability to access to all of your applications, and you can confidently call yourself a road warrior. With so much access to data, you’ll need a good way to enter, edit, and delete it, which makes a cellphone or PDA’s keyboard (or lack thereof) crucial. BlackBerrys are hailed for their excellent keyboards, but they’re far from alone. Palm’s Treo line of smartphones have on-device keyboards, as well. Also, don’t forget about on-screen text entry (which includes small and full-screen tap keyboards), different ‘graffiti’ systems and full-fledged handwriting recognition.
Need to know more? Well, coincidently, that’s why we are here. Call us.
Reprinted with permission from DLP Technologies