iPhone: The Device IT Managers Will Love to Hate

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Practical?

Plotkin and other IT managers said there will be plenty of iPhone allure for their workers, even though the multifunction device doesn't support Lotus Notes or Windows Outlook e-mail, which are popular in corporate settings. Instead, iPhone will provide a Web access client for e-mail access, analysts noted.

"After it is out and the price point comes down, more people here might set up a business case for it, saying it could do this or that," Plotkin added. "I can see our policy changing eventually."

Also, the iPhone will pose a nightmare for IT because it requires an iTunes music directory account for each user, IT managers said, putting IT in the position potentially of providing song storage capacity and justifying that the copyrights for the songs were not violated or that the songs were properly paid for.

"How many enterprises want iTunes software running around in the enterprise?" asked Dulaney.

Meanwhile, corporate policy at Marriott already prohibits iTunes registration on Marriott's systems by its workers, said Arnaldo Impelizieri, director of hotel technology for the Grande Lakes Orlando resort, which is run by Marriott. "We're worried about the size of iTunes files, and also who is buying songs or not, and the huge concern about potential copyright infringements," he said.

However, Impelizieri said the hotel chain faces a dilemma because it will want to support the iPhone, and iTunes, for its hotel guests.

"If a customer has one, we'll do our best to support it, but that will require some sorting out. We have to get our hands on the iPhone and see if it's all that it's beefed up to be. When BlackBerry first came out, there was a wave of uncertainty at first."

Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates in Northboro, Mass., said he doesn't consider the iPhone as currently envisioned suitable for business users unless they limit their use to functions such as the phone.

"IPhone doesn't have push e-mail," he noted. Early reviews from February that the iPhone's voice quality was not good have raised questions as well, he said.

"Everybody assumes that because Apple makes it, the iPhone will be great, but it's hard to make a good phone, let alone pass data," Gold said. "Still, executives are going to come back from the store and tell IT to make it work."

This story, "iPhone: The Device IT Managers Will Love to Hate" was originally published by Computerworld.

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