iPhone gets business help from NetSuite

Summary:With a new version of NetSuite, 2007.0, announced last month, the company has now announced compatibility for their application with the Apple Safari browser, making it work with the recently released Apple iPhone.

With a new version of NetSuite, 2007.0, announced last month, the company has now announced compatibility for their application with the Apple Safari browser, making it work with the recently released Apple iPhone.

This capability is called SuitePhone. Although the iPhone is yet to appear outside the US, it is expected to be released in Australia sometime early next year.

The iPhone is one of the most heavily hyped gadgets to date. Although it has caused the greatest stir in the consumer sector, many businesses have begun considering its applications in the enterprise sector.

NetSuite has made use of the fact that Apple has integrated support for Ajax Web development standards into the iPhone. Apple claims that developers can create Web applications using Web 2.0 standards that will work just as well as applications that have been written natively for the iPhone.

The NetSuite services that will become usable through the SuitePhone application include enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce functionality. NetSuite 2007.0 is currently being rolled out to existing customers and will be made available to new customers in August.

"Apple has traditionally lacked the software applications required to address the needs of running a sophisticated business," said NetSuite chief executive Zach Nelson on Thursday. "Our new SuitePhone capability addresses this need and makes the iPhone, in combination with NetSuite, one of the more useful and effective tools currently available to manage small- and medium-sized businesses."

NetSuite is not the only enterprise application company to have started targeting iPhone users -- Zimbra, makers of a messaging and collaboration suite, recently announced iZimbra, a version of their client which can run on Apple's mobile handset.

However, some experts have complained about Apple's decision not to open up the phone to third-party native software developers for the creation of software that works directly on its OS X operating system rather than via a browser.

Earlier this month, Anne Baker, vice president of marketing at Action Engine, a mobile-application platform developer, noted that, if useability is the top priority, Apple should realise that the limitations of the mobile Web make on-device applications a much better alternative for consumers.

"The wait times and dropped connections found when using browser-based mobile applications make the experience of searching for content simply unacceptable for today's busy consumer. This is especially true for iPhone owners, considering that the device is running over the slower Edge network rather than 3G."

Analysts at Gartner recently advised businesses to ban use of the iPhone due to its lack of support from major mobile device management suites, as well as the fact that the handset is not proven as an enterprise-class device.

ZDNet Asia's Aaron Tan contributed to this report

Topics: Apple, Enterprise Software, iPhone

About

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't be paying many bills. His early journalistic career was spent in general news, working behind the scenes for BBC radio and on-air as a newsreader for independent stations. David's main focus is on communications, of both... Full Bio

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