Apple yesterday summoned press and analysts alike to its Cupertino headquarters to discuss the upcoming software development kit (SDK) for its iPhone smartphone. Rumors and speculation abounded; would Apple only offer consumer applications? What about the enterprise features IT departments were yearning for?

While the announcement of the software development kit had goodies for consumers and gamers alike — accelerometer-based games, consumer apps pushed wirelessly to the device — some of the biggest news were the list of enterprise features which went beyond what most observers were expecting:

  • Push support for Microsoft Exchange Server email, contacts, and calendar 
  • Support for Cisco VPN secure connectivity 
  • WPA encryption support for (802.11) wireless connections 
  • Integration with enterprise 802.1x authentication 
  • Remote device wipe 

The list of enterprise features reads like a Mobile Operations wish list, which means that many more IT departments will, in turn, become iPhone friendly. We are expecting to see heightened interest from enterprise users and those that support them alike ahead of the June timeframe of the wide-scale release of these features.

This development will likely drive home the point for enterprise IT managers that it is no longer a question of “which device is right for my enterprise,” rather, “what tools allow me to manage all of the devices that can interoperate with my mobility infrastructure.” Expect, in the wake of enterprise iPhone adoption, to see a spate of tools boasting support for managing the sought-after device. Is your organization revising its policy on the iPhone as a result, and did you have one to begin with?

By Chris Silva

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