Software // Information Management
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1/30/2008
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HyperOffice Links Business Software To iPhone

The company's collaboration tools are meant to serve as an alternative to Microsoft Exchange, which the iPhone doesn't support at the moment.

HyperOffice, a provider of enterprise collaboration software, on Wednesday unveiled a beta of tools that enable enterprise e-mail, contacts, calendars, tasks, and notes on Apple's iPhone.

The tools are meant to serve as an alternative to Microsoft Exchange, which the iPhone doesn't support at the moment, said HyperOffice. The company's software performs a similar function by synchronizing the iPhone e-mail client with Microsoft Outlook, allowing business professionals to wirelessly access the necessary collaboration services.

These services include updating and sharing personal and group calendars, contacts, tasks, and notes; managing projects; viewing and editing personal and shared documents; sending and receiving e-mail; and managing teams, company intranets, and extranets.

"First, it is difficult for the large enterprise to deploy the iPhone to corporate road warriors without native support for Microsoft Exchange. Second, if you are using Outlook to run and grow your business, how do you begin sharing calendars, contacts, documents and tasks -- not just e-mail -- without Exchange, especially when the iPhone does not work with Exchange? These are the two stumbling blocks that HyperOffice removes," said Farzin Arsanjani, the company's president, in a statement.

HyperOffice falls in the category of Web ware, so it doesn't require installation or configuration. It's provided as software a as a service.

HyperOffice contains a gateway tool called HyperShare that lets professionals use Outlook on the iPhone with and without Microsoft Exchange. HyperShare is downloaded to the desktop. It then synchronizes Outlook contacts and calendars with the iPhone and automatically transfers e-mail to the iPhone's built-in e-mail client. New messages are transmitted back to Outlook or to an Exchange server, according to HyperOffice.

The beta of HyperOffice for the iPhone is open to the public starting this week.

Earlier this month, IBM confirmed that it was close to releasing a version of its Lotus Notes e-mail client for the iPhone, which is what many enterprise users have been waiting for. But it's unclear when this enterprise push will happen, since IBM later said that it's not ready to introduce Lotus Notes for the iPhone to the mass market just yet.

In the meantime, iPhone users must rely on Web-based applications that HyperOffice and many others have developed for the popular device.

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