July 5, 2007
Hello, and welcome to CIOs Uncensored. Here you'll find a forum for the concerns of the CIO community, voiced by the CIO community.For this initial foray into the blogosphere, I contacted an old friend, Dan Drawbaugh. Dan is the CIO of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and last year's InformationWeek Chief of the Year. Dan is a gadget geek, and I had a hunch that he couldn't wait to try out the new Apple iPhone. I approached him about a freelance writing assignment for InformationWeek: Give us your thoughts about the new Apple device and we'll run them as you put them down-uncensored.
Here's what Dan sent me. John, This has been an adventure! As I indicated, we were finally able to secure an iPhone after visiting three AT&T stores. Once we attempted to activate the iPhone, however, previous information we learned stating that it could not be activated on an AT&T corporate account proved to be true. We then contacted our local AT&T account representative to create a personal account using the business billing address. We had hopes that we could create this account for the specific use of testing the iPhone and any new releases that arise in the future. We had no success, despite working closely with AT&T to create such an account. The resolution was that an individual account was created. The saga continued from there... Once the account was created, we attempted to move to the testing stages, which would involve access to corporate e-mail on the device. Before testing could begin, issues surfaced with connecting to the Internet. The AT&T business representative was contacted, and although trying to be helpful, was not appropriately trained through AT&T corporate accounts on the iPhone. The technologist who was working on registering the iPhone for me was on hold for 1 hour and 45 minutes due to high-call volumes regarding the iPhone. After finally hanging up without being connected to anyone, he then went to a local AT&T store for assistance. After an hour working with an AT&T technician, the Internet access issue was resolved. The next step was to examine using Microsoft Outlook on the iPhone. We realized that the iPhone was designed more for a consumer than the business user and security issues existed. Currently, as you are aware, the iPhone does not support Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes, so forwarding an e-mail to an Internet Service Provider would be required. Due to the security issues this causes, though, we do not allow that function on servers. The iPhone does have the ability to connect using IMAP; however, there are security issues and network limitations. We have concluded that this is not a safe, secure, or feasible solution. There are rumors that iPhone will soon support Activesync; however we have not been able to confirm this rumor. John, I am disappointed that the iPhone has these business limitations. At this point, it just is not worthwhile for me to pursue the iPhone in the business environment. As well, I have no desire to carry two devices (Blackberry and iPhone). I hope this is helpful. I am disappointed that my iPhone freelance writing opportunity is so limited! Sincerely, Dan Don't worry, Dan. This was perfect. If a CIO of Dan's caliber can't make the iPhone work in a business environment, then it's just not a business tool. What have your experiences been with the iPhone? Have you been able to make it work in a business environment? Let me know. John Soat
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