Choosing a Smartphone to fit your needs can be a difficult challenge. What makes it difficult is the assortment of mail servers on the internet that corporations are using for their e-mail.
By far the most common business e-mail platform is Microsoft Exchange which can be expensive to set up and administer. Recently, Hosted Microsoft Exchange has been becoming a popular alternative for smaller companies who do not have the necessity or capability to run their own server.
Other common e-mail platforms we see on a daily basis are Gmail for Business, Zimbra (now part of Yahoo!) and other hosted POP3/SMTP solutions.
If you’re company is already settled on an e-mail solutions then it would be to your advantage to choose a Smartphone that will work well with that system and we’ll tell you how to do that.
Just about any Smartphone on the market today will be able to send and receive e-mail through a standard POP3/SMTP e-mail service. This type of setup is very basic and allows for pull-only e-mail distribution. That means that each device you have set up to receive e-mail will each receive a fresh copy of the message from the server when it checks for new mail. This can become a problem when you’re switching between multiple PCs or between a PC and a phone. You’ll have to delete messages on each device. That’s no fun for anybody.
These days your need your e-mail, contact and calendar to wirelessly and instantly synchronize between multiple devices to be part of the cool crowd. To do this you’ll need a phone that supports Microsoft Activesync, a Blackberry, or a phone that comes with a synchronization application for your mail server.
For organizations running Microsoft Exchange, the easiest and most economical solutions would be to get a phone that supports Microsoft Activesync. Some of these phones include the iPhone, Droid, and Windows based Smartphones. With only a little extra server configuration these phones are able to fully synchronize your mailbox, contact and calendar with your phone. Messages you read on your phone are marked as read on the server as you read it. And, there’s nothing easier than having new contact you input into Outlook or Outlook Web Access show up on your phone a few seconds later.
Services such as Zimbra and some other mail server packages can emulate Exchange Activesync on the server side so they can be used to synchronize any Exchange Activesync enabled phone.
The next best solution would be to have your company install a Blackberry Enterprise Server which can support Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Notes and Novell GroupWise mail systems. This provides the same synchronization capability of the last configuration but requires some software installation, server configuration, and generally, to use this service it will cost you an extra $10 per month from your service provider. However, if you love your Blackberry, and most that have them do, then this is the ideal solution for you.
An added feature of wireless synchronization that will work on a Microsoft Exchange Server or a Blackberry Enterprise Server is that you can enforce corporate security policies on your phone and even have the phone erase its personal data if it were lost or stolen.
If you don’t think you need your phone’s inbox to synchronize with your desktop inbox than almost any Smartphone will allow you to configure it to receive e-mail. In that case, pick a phone that you can easily type on or that has a nice screen for viewing e-mail messages and attachments.
If you have any questions about these solutions we would be happy to explain them to you. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 630-595-5200 for more information.