Mobile devices are popular simply because they are always connected and completely wireless -- and they provide...
access to email wherever and whenever needed. Email access is the first time many companies address issues with mobility. The good news is that email access to network systems is easy to grant. Both Apple's iOS and Google's Android support multiple email formats but with a specific focus on:
The two older formats on the list, POP3/SMTP and IMAP4 provide access only to email. This works great for smaller companies but should be avoided in larger environments. In particular, POP3 downloads the email message and does not leave a copy on the server, which creates complications when syncing email between desktop and mobile devices.
The bottom three options, Microsoft Exchange, Office 365 and Google Apps provide richer experiences that provide more effective security and synchronization. Exchange has had support for mobile devices since 1999 through a service called ActiveSync. Apple has licensed and supported ActiveSync since introducing the first iPhone in 2007. ActiveSync provides a function for leveraging network security to synchronize email, contacts and calendar services.
A second function that Exchange offers is policy enforcement. Mobile policies are tools you can use for any device that is granted access to Exchange Personal Information Manager (PIM) data. The policies range from enforcing the length of a mailbox password, to permitting Bluetooth to be enabled on a device, to setting whether the device should be remotely wiped. The third option is useful for devices that have been stolen.
Microsoft Office 365 also supports similar policy and PIM functions, and is now extending what can be accomplished with mobile devices beyond email and calendar tools. Microsoft has made mobile a top priority for client-facing applications, and this is clearly demonstrated with Office 365. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook now all have dedicated mobile apps that run securely on Android, Apple and Windows devices.
Very much like Office 365, Google's equivalent enterprise tool, Google Apps, provides similar access to productivity tools. The goal from each company is to make it easy for enterprises to rapidly provide high-value apps while also maintaining a first-level set of security and policy enforcement features.
Providing secure email access
Authenticating email access
Dig Deeper on Software Project Tracking and Reports
Related Q&A from Matthew David
Many enterprises still rely heavily on consumer-grade mobile applications, but making your own may not be as complex as you think. Here are three ...continue reading
There are several platforms available for creating apps for improving the driving experience. Expert Matthew David discusses why it may be easier ...continue reading
As the mobile industry is maturing, so is the way apps are being designed. Learn about the latest tools and software updates to help support and ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.