Unified Communications: Click to talk

Oct 28 2009   4:21AM GMT

Unified Communications? There Is No App for That

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

OK. To be fair, there are iPhone apps related to unified communications, and even an iPhone app which provides rudimentary integration with Microsoft Office Communicator. The point, however, is that as popular and as functional as the iPhone is it still has some catching up to do in order to be a viable platform for enterprise mobile and unified communications.

I had an iPhone for a few months. I enjoyed it, and I felt like it had a lot of really cool features, but in the end I found the fact that there is ‘an app for that’ for so many things to be more of a distraction and a time-suck than a value. I also missed Office Communicator Mobile and my Office Mobile applications so I eventually traded my iPhone for the AT&T (HTC) Tilt– a Windows Mobile 6.0 device.

New phones are emerging with the potential to challenge the iPhone for rock star status among mobile devices. The HTC Pure isn’t really one of them, but it is the crown jewel of the Windows Mobile 6.5 devices which recently hit the streets. I’m debating holding my breath to see if the HTC HD2 comes to AT&T when Windows Mobile 7 is unleashed, but that seems like a long time to wait for a rumored device on a vaporware OS that may not even be offered through my wireless provider if/when it does arrive.

Back to the iPhone though. The iPhone is the #2 smart phone in America. It is lower on the global totem pole, but as it begins to be offered through multiple providers in China that could quickly change. However, there is a reason that Nokia and RIM have so much of the smart phone market share and it has a lot to do with the ability to integrate with enterprise networks and applications. Until Apple gets an app for that it is going to have a tough time being a serious threat in the enterprise.

The flip side of that point though is that Microsoft could do itself a favor and extend its reach by working with Apple to make that happen. The iPhone is a formidable mobile device and it is hugely popular. Microsoft should develop Office Communicator Mobile and Office Mobile apps for the iPhone to promote the use of Microsoft products no matter what mobile platform is being used.

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  • OCUser
    There is an iPhone client for OCS now. http://www.modalitysystems.com/idialog/
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