Respected readers we need your help. Give us two minutes of your time and push forward the sum of human knowledge. Doesn't sound too bad does it? Just answer the questions below. Thanking you in advance. This survey is now closed. What would you regard as your strategic platform for mobile email moving forwards? RIM …
Email is NOT guaranteed to be delivered.
Read the RFCs.
Look at the protocols involved.
Any business which thinks email is somehow vital to it's business plan needs to have it's COO and/or CTO's head examined ... but then they have probably bought into the whole Windows philosophy of "if it doesn't work, try again in five minutes after a reboot."
Use the phone. Use your FAX machine. Even TELEX is more reliable than email.
jaded old email admin
deep under Bryant Street in Palo Alto
The "Blackberry Response"
What's the business benefit of a Blackberry?
- You get a reply immediately, but it's been composed while the author was talking to someone else, walking down the street or driving.
- It's horribly composed and usually misses the point
- Next time you meet them they've forgotten that they ever sent it
But hey, it does make you look "important" and gives you something to to instead of listen to the people you're actually with.
That said, better a Blackberry than Windows CE (sorry Mobile).
Take a little bit of mobile at a time...
Use the FAX machine...er yeah right, welcome to the 21st century. And how much is that costing a year? And don't talk about reliability, a piece of paper sat in an in-tray is not securely or reliably delivered. And then there's cost: toner, maintenance contracts, paper, phone line rental. Most organisations haven't a clue how much they're spending on fax and when they do calculate it (as I've done on many an occasion) they are shocked at the amount of money they're wasting.
So, mobile email - no, of course it isn't essential. Just like a company website isn't essential, or e-commerce, or business cards, or headed stationery or marketing campaigns... Of course eventually there'll be no business left. Mobile email and mobile working is simply another part of the puzzle. A business can use mobile email to gain (a little) competitive advantage. I use it to make me more efficient, not much, but a little. And every little helps.
And once you have a population of mobile devices with email, you can look to leverage that investment by tacking on other little bits of mobile software that help. Mobile timesheets perhaps? Or mobile access to the company intranet.
Don't go mad. Don't over invest. Bite off a little piece of mobile technology at a time and see how it goes.
The results will speak for themselves.
Know its limitations, use appropriately
We use mobile devices to allow engineers to access engineering call details on our internal systems in order to streamline the call process. It works.
Blackberries are, IMHO, potentially useful when you need to be alerted of something requiring your attention, but delicate business is probably best off being given the recipient's full attention with a device that is suitable to compose a considered response.
I have used my HTC Wizard to sync with IMAP directories when I'm in a technology backwater (such as visiting my parents) and I know something is needing my attention that won't need wordy input, but I can't see me using it for business at the moment: I'd use it as a USB modem for my laptop that I carry on business...
Horses for courses, right tools for the job, etc.
Business advantages of Mobile communication
Whilst mobile E-mail is without doubt advantageous. It is debatable as to whether it creates a business advantage any longer. To create a business advantage you have to be doing something that no one else is doing, thus putting you in a better position. Since it is difficult now to find a business that doesn't embrace mobile E-mail, using the service simply maintains the Status Quo, not offering any advantage over the next person, but ensuring a level playing field with that of your competitors.
Blackberry gone off
In general terms, I have to admit that mobile email makes my life considerably easier and used correctly it is a very powerful tool. Yes, there is the chance that the emails will look more like informal sms messages than the formal business email that we are used to but that is a user issue rather than a drawback of the technology.
As for the specific solutions, in my opinion Blackberry is past its sell by date, the Windows Mobile alternative has better devices and a much wider choice and an email solution that is at least as good as the RIM option. The infrastructure requirements for an Exchange house are easier and cheaper to deploy and maintain. RIM has realised far too late that even business users want attractive converged devices and are now desparately trying to tart up the range to try and compete with the Redmond mafia, too little too late.
Email is NOT guaranteed to be delivered - no, a lot of it is automatically deleted instead !
As the first poster points out, email delivery has no guarantees.
Even worse, there are now thousands of clueless f***wits around the world setting up software to automatically throw your emails in the digital bin instead of delivering them - they call it "dealing with spam", I call it "being a clueless fu**wit and deleting your emails" !
I know that NONE of my emails reach certain people. Once you get to the point of sending an email, then contacting the person by another means to find out if it was delivered (or just binned automatically by clueless spam software installed by some cluless fu**wit admin at their ISP) then it rather defeats the whole point of email !