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For corporate users, there are many apps within the iTunes App Store that enhance the default iPhone experience. Let’s take a look at the available options and see how you might be able to leverage these apps to improve the use of your iPhone within the Enterprise.
Email + Calendar
Microsoft (s msft) Exchange ActiveSync
Although this doesn’t fall into the standard “app” category, having this collaboration toolset is fundamental to most users within medium to large enterprises. In the iPhone 2.0 release, Apple (s aapl) added Exchange ActiveSync support, giving every user access to both their corporate email and calendar.
Unfortunately, a limitation of this support is that you can only accept meeting invitations; you cannot send them. Compared to the native Exchange support on Windows Mobile, BlackBerry Enterprise Server or Motorola’s Good Mobile Messaging, this is an oversight on Apple’s part.
For users in environments without Microsoft Exchange, other third-party Mac software vendors have stepped in to provide alternate ways to support ActiveSync. These include Communigate, Notify Technology and Google.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Having your customer data with you when you’re away from the office is pretty important. Thankfully, the major vendors in the CRM space have provided apps to connect to your corporate data.
Salesforce (s crm) Mobile (free, but requires a Salesforce license)
Oracle (s orcl) CRM On-Demand (free, but requires an Oracle license)
The team at Oracle released five applications for connecting with their on-demand CRM product.
- Business Approvals for Managers
- Business Approvals for Sales Managers
- Business Indicators
- Mobile Sales Assistant
- Mobile Sales Forecast
Daylite Touch ($49.99/year per user)
Search2GO for Salesforce CRM ($9.99)
The Search2GO app enables Salesforce.com users to search for leads, contacts, accounts and so-called “opportunities” within their account. The cool feature of Search2G0 is that users can access their Salesforce.com data without the additional Salesforce.com mobile license. There’s also a Lite (free) version that provides read-only searching.
Another important tool for business travel is being able to maintain your expenses. Here are some great choices.
Expense2Go for Salesforce (free)
Expense2GO lets folks manage their business expenses and synchronize the data with the online expense management application in Salesforce.
In terms of popularity, Silverware Software’s XpenseTracker is at the top of the iTunes Business Apps list for expense management. It’s rich feature set, combined with its pleasant UI, provides a complete solution for the corporate traveler.
File Management & Manipulation
As a corporate user, having your files with you is critical. Plus, being able to have PDFs of your boarding passes and itineraries is just plain helpful when you don’t always have access to a printer.
MobileFiles Pro ($9.99)
The folks at QuickOffice built MobileFiles Pro for the true mobile professional. This application makes it very easy to add your files to the iPhone via a simple web browser interface. You can read many different file types (Microsoft Office, iWork 08, PDF) as well as create/edit Microsoft Excel 2003 files (.xls) right within the application. Further, if you use MobileMe, you can access your iDisk files as well.
Documents-To-Go (price unknown)
Dataviz is the file management king of the SmartPhone world. They are currently at work on their version for the iPhone. Dataviz expects their iPhone version to ship sometime in the second quarter of 2009.
For corporate users, having your tasks with you on the road and being able to update/sync with them back at the office is crucial to “Getting Things Done.”
iMExchange enables you to sync your Outlook Notes, Tasks and Categories to your iPhone. It works with both Exchange Server 2003 (SP1) and 2007.
If you’re on the road, the best way to keep track of the flight and travel information on your iPhone is by using one of the following apps.
FlightTrack Pro ($9.99)
Using this app, as long as you have a TripIt account, you can synchronize your flight itinerary. FlightTrack Pro lets you see where planes are in-flight (only if you’re tracking other flights, as you can’t check your own flight status in-flight), and it has a fantastic UI.
TravelTracker uses more of the TripIt API to sync not just your flight information, but your notes and itineraries, including hotel and car reservations. Although this is more expensive, it’s also a more comprehensive application.
Cisco (s csco) WebEx Meeting Center (free)
Using the WebEx Meeting Center App, you can easily join an online/virtual meeting. The app sizes the information appropriately for the iPhone screen so you can view the meeting data accurately. The bonus to this application is that it’s free to join meetings. If you want to schedule meetings, you will need an iPhone-enabled WebEx account.
I’m sure that I haven’t included every potential corporate application available in the App Store. However, the purpose of this article is to expose you to which apps will best help you as a corporate user of the iPhone. Please comment below and provide additional suggestions/recommendations of apps you think are best for use within the Enterprise.