Deutsche Bank very positive on iPhone trial, 'no going back' to BlackBerry?

by Volker Weber

After a two month iPhone trial using Good Technology's secure email app, Deutsche Bank Equity Research reports an "overwhelmingly positive" experience that left it waving goodbye to RIM's BlackBerry.

A report by the firm's research analyst Chris Whitmore noted the company is using Good Technologies' third party iOS app in conjunction with Microsoft Exchange Server to deliver enterprise email and calendar data to mobile users with AES 192 encryption.

Some remarks: The bank does not have to go back to BlackBerry, because they still largely use BlackBerry. And Equity Research does not speak for "the bank". Actually, the bank will hardly announce any such decision.

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A little while ago, managers and bankers were part of the "it" crowd by publicly using a blackberry. Now, Android and iPhone users just smile when they become aware of a poor suit hacking away emails on the train. Email robots are so yesterday.

Yes, corporate IT have adopted the dark fruit-mail devices, they had to. And if corporate IT doesn't quickly embrace touchscreen smartphone and tablets and grab the opportunity to finally offer real apps and services for their employees, they will fight a defensive war against the invasion of privately purchased smart devices in the business context. Good luck with that.

Siemens famously lost the mobile phone market because their devices were designed for business use. No camera, no fancy stuff, bad interfaces, boring. Who wantet those if you don't have to. Right. Nobody. Who wants to use specialist devices for text communication if you can have those touchy screen smarties which can do so much more... and do text quite well too?

That's why RIM is panicking. That's why Nokia is very worried. That's why PC and netbook manufacturers get into tablets and smarties. That's why electronic entertainment companies have also woken up to the trend.

DB Equity Research is just an early bird. Corporate IT will undergo a change similar the time when LAN made it possible to connect PCs, only this time the switch will be lightening fast in comparison. RIM needs to make this corporate game console called playbook work, if not they are toast.

And the idea behind the playbook is good, basically a thin client tablet which tries to store as little data locally as possible. Problem is that RIM won't be able to leverage the existing RIM infrastructure without major upgrades. Of course this is a business opportunity for RIM.

But if their corporate customers need to decide on new investments to make it work, they can also switch suppliers. Like ChromeOS, Android and iOS corporate apps which are designed to keep as little data as possible and erase it when idling. Developing reasonably secure context aware apps through tunnels is probably a lot cheaper and you can test the stuff cheaply in trial and error pilots. And with smart mobile devices, we can finally explore more natural and secure authentication methods.

I guess you won't have a problem finding beta users for corporate apps if these lucky ones get a new iPad 2 or some new sexy Android / ChromeOS tablet. The IT departments will face totally new challenges, like managing waiting lists for trials.

Moritz Schroeder, 2011-01-26

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