Cell Phone Integrations and Your Network

Five years ago, it was primarily the large companies that integrated cell phones or dedicated devices with email to get the most out of their workdays. It required dedicated servers and expensive software and licensing and very specific phones. Blackberry dominated this arena.

Today, Blackberries are still the preferred device for large corporate networks. If you need to monitor emails and texts for compliance, nothing beats the logging capabilities of the Blackberry server software. Specialty software can be installed on your server to monitor what your employees are doing on a very granular level.

In order to capitalize on the popularity of their phones, Blackberry released a Professional version of their software for the small business market. No longer does your company need to buy a separate server and the licensing becomes much more affordable.

Microsoft is the next big heavy-hitter for cell phone integration. Microsoft integrated Activesync into their email server to allow Windows Mobile-based phones to sync email, calendar and contacts. Of course, Microsoft has also integrated a slimmed-down version of Office (Word, Excel & Outlook) to give users the programs they are used to. These features put the power of mobile devices within the realm of every sized business.

Unfortunately, the Microsoft connection would only sync the user’s mailbox. Corporate users often rely heavily on Public Folders, which cannot be synced. Third-party software, like Good Technologies Goodlink, resolved this issue. This went back to requiring expensive licensing and a separate server. Unlike the Blackberry solution, Goodlink operates on most phone platforms (except iPhone).

Apple’s introduction of the cool iPhone sent people scrambling to get the phones only to find them unable to integrate into their company’s email systems. After some teething issues and the release of the second edition of their software, the iPhone was finally able to reliably sync by licensing Microsoft’s Activesync .

So what does a company do if they do not want the large expense of a separate server and expensive licensing, but would still like to sync public folders? DidItBetter Software has come out with a great product that is both affordable and works very well. The software installs on the same server as Exchange, so it works with Small Business Servers. It syncs the public contacts and/or public calendars to a users local mailbox, which then sends it to the phone through the regular Activesync connection. The sync can be configured one way or as a two way sync. This can be configured on a per user basis. Configurations can be done individually or in groups. This solution lets public folders sync to all phones that connect to Activesync. No other solution I have found can do that.

Cost effective, mobile integrated solutions for businesses were once hard to establish for all business sizes and needs. They are now available solutions for almost every budget. Just another way to make sure you’re optimizing all of your technology resources.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top