iPhone: How to Get Your Company to Buy You One: Page 2

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How to Get Your Company to Buy You an iPhone

Actually this will probably only work for one or two people in each IT shop. But saying no to someone, particularly an executive, is going to be very difficult if you haven’t actually tried to get the iPhone to work. In addition, people are likely to try to access internal and external web services with this phone and the browser isn’t exactly a poster child for IE compatibility. For instance support for things like Java and Flash are uncertain, which could create problems if say a VP of sales (you know your sales guys will likely buy these things) tries to do his or her expense report and it crashes the phone or doesn’t post, they are likely to blame you.

Also, if you have one or two in house you can demonstrate just what kinds of pain employees will experience and make it their problem. This is much easier to do before they buy the phone in the first place and, for most, once they see that the approved smart phone works much better they will likely pass and wait for something better. There is a new iPhone expected in October.

Finally, this gives you a test bed to run against internal and external web resources. I think it would be silly to count Apple out, particularly given the demand the generation one product has and with the rumored Active Sync announcement (if true). And by generation 3 of the phone, if you start looping in testing, you’ll likely have much of the support solved as applications naturally go through updates and improvements without incurring a substantial amount of additional testing and development cost. At the very least it will be a lot less disruptive and expensive than if you had to make fast forced changes in the generation 3 timeline when the phone could actually work.

Until then, however, you are going to want to say no to those wanting to expense and integrate the phone.

Saying No to the iPhone

We had a long podcast on this targeted at telephony administrators earlier this month. (If you click on the link excuse the sound quality I was in an airport when this was taped and the reception sucked).

There are three ways to try to talk an executive or employee out of trying to get you to support it.

1. It is a consumer device, focused on media and entertainment, and not appropriate for corporate use. This is the strongest argument but it won’t hold indefinitely, which is why I suggest you start getting familiar with the device. Since you likely can’t stop it anyway, you may want to say you will evaluate the 3rd generation product that should support Active Sync and likely support that version making this a soft, rather than a hard, no.

2. It is not designed to be compliant with the standards set in the organization. This is a quick way of saying you haven’t tested the device and believe it will have problems with resources that use Java or Flash. Once again this will likely be fixed by generation 3.

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