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IT Outsourcing

After three months with iPhones…


Beginning in January 2010, we decided, after consultation with telecom operators to call upon Orange to establish our fleet of mobile telephones in France. We took advantage of this new contract to deploy a fleet of iPhones for our managers. We now have 13 3Gs iPhones.The choice of the iPhone for business use has not always had good press. I wanted to give you our assessment after 3 months use.As a little reminder, I would like to give you the context of its use… The iPhone, for Pentalog, is considered a professional tool under the control of the ISD. Users cannot install applications. This requires approval for the purchase (even for the free applications). The “Profile” is enabled on the terminal, and it allows us to limit access to certain features without disrupting the operation of the terminal.The main applications that have been added are as follows:- Skype: I will not present it- BFM TV: it remains connected to the visual information H24. Our nomadic personnel have need of it.- Cityvox restaurants: normal, it was developed by Pentalog- DropBox: Sync with an online file repository (presentation, various files…)- RSS reader: a must-have feature for tracking information- GeoTaxi: find a taxi in Paris- Travel-SNCF: Hourly transportation- La Tribune, Le Monde, LePoint: additional information- IDICT: online dictionary- ISIP: SIP client to connect us to our private Centrex- P5Dial: tool for home use and access to our voice VPN via the GSM network. Savings assured- OneTeam: chat client to access our private chat.- Yellow Pages: online directory- RATP: again for travelers- Rotaxi: list of Taxi companies in Romania. Very useful.- TripIt: monitoring our movements. TripIt will soon be directly connected to our system of internal travel- Travelers: contents published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on practical information concerning different countries- Google Analytics for those who follow the activity of websites- Cacti & Nagios for those who follow the network infrastructure- Facebook & Twitter for those who can justify a presence on social networks.Initially, users were a bit frustrated with the limitations set on the installation of applications. When an application is professionally justified, it is not denied. No one has shown signs of resistance to this change and the adhesion was practically immediate. It must be said that we have been able to increase the use that these managers were able to obtain with their previous smartphones.Everyone has now taken the measure of the interest and the inevitable functions of this type of device: direct communication, usability… The major defect and it is so well known is autonomy. To address this problem, we have acquired external batteries that are recharged through the USB port. Autonomy is thus multiplied by 3 to 5 times with minimal amount of additional space.Although not a cell phone for an adventurer, it is very suitable for use by our nomads. For the moment, none of the terminals have been broken. Several have been customized (hull, protection …). A user employs it even as an access badge.We also have a stake in security issues with the terminal. Yes, this is the second weakness of the iPhone. The initial responses to guarantee a level of security were to systematically use the unlock code, to activate the boot after 10 failed access attempts. In addition, personal iPhones do not have access to the company messaging service. The iPhone is not a USB key; thus it limits the amount of uploaded files onto the terminal. It uses a VPN to access sensitive corporate resources. We will be very attentive to the features of the new version 4.0 of the OS for security and for the management of our fleet (remote control, application deployment “over-the-air”,…).It is still too early to assess the impact of the new uses on the cost (data) abroad. I will wait see over a significant period of four received invoices. But everyone has been made aware that the mode “Data abroad” should be activated only when needed.For the record, you may have read in a previous post that the managers were meeting last weekend in Brasov. It is the first time that the large family of French, Romanian and Moldovan iPhones were brought together. Some extra cell phones (personal iPhones) were even invited for this beautiful family photo. iphoneIn conclusion, we have no regrets after three months of using iPhones in our enterprise. The planned evolution of the iPhone is going in the right direction.

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