Deutsche Bank has been testing out corporate email on Apple's iPhone and one guinea pig reckons that it's going to be goodbye BlackBerry for many users.
We have been testing iPhone 4 and 3GS hardware running a Good Technologies application for the past 2-3 months to trial enterprise email on iPhone for DB. Our experience has been overwhelmingly positive. Email is served using Microsoft exchange through a Good Technologies interface which looks and feels like accessing a Gmail account on the iPhone. We found enterprise email on iPhone was a fantastic experience as it was easier/faster to access data (touch UI) than on the Blackberry. It was also great to only have to carry one device for personal and corporate email access. There were two drawbacks to the enterprise App on iPhone using Good: 1) ‘pull email’ was limiting as it doesn’t fetch emails in the background (other UIs like MobileIron allow ‘push email’), and 2) the hardware could use a blinking light or some other discreet way to notify user of fresh email. In aggregate, the ability to carry a single device with a great UI and have access to multiple apps (like Bloomberg, for example) far outweighed these issues.
He added that some colleagues would rather have a physical keyboard instead of a touch interface, but generally speaking the iPhone won the corporate email bake-off against Research in Motion's BlackBerry. "After testing corporate email on iPhone for the past few months, there is no going back. We expect a lot of users will feel the same way when iPhones are offered at their workplaces," said Whitmore. "Based on our experience using the iPhone for corporate purposes, we expect these trials to translate into large deployments and we expect Apple will gain tremendous traction in the enterprise market going forward."
The dynamic Whitmore highlights illustrates why iPad pilots are going on in 80 percent of Fortune 100 companies. The iPhone's trek into the enterprise over the last four years has smoothed the path for the iPad.