Getting Android Ready for Microsoft Exchange Server and Sales ManagementBy Leah Gabriel Nurik | Print
Are you ready for Android-based devices like smartphones and tablets to invade your enterprise and small business? Do you know how to integrate Android with Microsoft Exchange? The Android OS has outsold Apple's iPhone in the first quarter, so it's time to get ready. Here's a quick look at the state of business apps for Android.Google (GOOG) Android devices have outsold Apple’s iPhone (AAPL) in the first quarter, according to a new market research report. That was quick, huh? We wonder if Steve Jobs unleashed another expletive-filled diatribe (albeit private this time) when he heard that news.
Even though Google says it "is focused on the consumer market right now," Google Android will affect the enterprise mobile market. Take a look inside and find out how technology heavyweights like Microsoft (MSFT), Salesforce.com (CRM) and others work on Android phones like those recently released on AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile.
Android and Microsoft Exchange pose a potential headacheIf you want complete exchange email and Microsoft Exchange functionality on your Android phone without a headache, stick to the newer Android versions available on the likes of HTC Droid Incredible and the Nexus One (or dare we say, opt for an iPhone with robust native Exchange functionality?). Previous OS versions made users manually synch folders and provided limited access to calendars and contacts, although third-party apps are available via the Android Market.
Security Issues with Android Enterprise UseAlthough the new Incredible offers native Exchange support, analysts say Android still lacks the necessary security for enterprises-like device management capabilities that provide an enhanced layer for locking it down and wiping the device if it’s lost or stolen.
Android Enterprise Applications beyond ExchangeWhen it comes to applications beyond unified communications, like CRM apps from Oracle or Salesforce.com, there is limited functionality available from the app vendors themselves. RIM (RIMM) continues to win in this market because of the native business processes available through its open development platform and its native business process available. Android has an up-hill battle.
MintFly offers Android Support for Salesforce.comThe new Droid Incredible by HTC offers native support for Salesforce.com. If not a Droid Incredible user, you can access third-party apps from Salesforce.com’s developer community like the one newly available from MintFly in March 2010.
Salesforce Mobile Lite Leaves Android OutSalesforce left Android out of the mix last year when it debuted its "Mobile Lite" version, but said it was working "closely" with Google. What’s the deal with that? Industry watchers say it goes one way or the other: 1. SF.com sees Google Apps and its developer-fueled solutions as a major threat and distances itself from the search giant, or 2.) maybe there’s an acquisition in the works. Time will tell. In the meantime, buy the third-party app from MintFly.