iPhone: 'Not a business tool, but a nice to have'

Summary:CIOs gathered at SAP's New York dinged Apple's iPhone as an enterprise tool. Vinnie Mirchandani asked SAP's customer panel about iPhone adoption and other key technologies such as cloud computing and software as a service.

CIOs gathered at SAP's New York dinged Apple's iPhone as an enterprise tool. 

Vinnie Mirchandani asked SAP's customer panel about iPhone adoption and other key technologies such as cloud computing and software as a service. The iPhone comments were the most interesting. The takeaway: Research in Motion's BlackBerry juggernaut still rules. 

Jennifer Allerton, CIO of pharma giant Roche, said there are enterprise users that have iPhones. And as a result, Roche has connected its corporate email system to the iPhone. The problem: Roche's email intensive culture can't type fast enough on the iPhone.  She said:

"We have email on iPhone, but it has a soft keypad and we are an email intensive culture. We can't get good enough on it. iPhone is not a business tool, but a nice to have. The backbone is the BlackBerry."

Colgate Palmolive global IT head Ed Toben agreed. "We're the same way with the iPhone," he said.

IBM vice president of enterprise business transformation Jeannette Horan took the diplomatic route, noting that "we have one of everything."

SAP co-CEO Leo Apotheker duly noted that the company's CRM application is available on the BlackBerry and iPhone. However, demand for SAP CRM on the BlackBerry is much stronger than for the iPhone. And don't expect any long emails from Apotheker on an iPhone. "I'm totally unable to complete a sentence on the iPhone," said Apotheker. "Perhaps I'm clumsy."

Also see: Is SAP really done with ’scary upgrades’ and ’sleepless night’ projects?

Topics: SAP, Collaboration, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility

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Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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