Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8, which launched with much fanfare to the consumer market late last year, is busy making a strong play for the heart and mind of the business market with a host of enterprise-level features that the company says will slot in seamlessly with most business IT infrastructures.
The launch of the new Office recently makes Windows Phone an even more attractive proposition for businesses. The company is also positioning itself strongly with corporate IT departments by providing strong device management capabilities and additional capabilities to meet the security needs of many organisations, such as full device encryption, says Microsoft South Africa’s Anthony Doherty.
“We’ve deliberately made Windows Phone 8 easy to deploy and manage in a Windows infrastructure, so employees can communicate and contribute right out of the box. It integrates seamlessly with a wide range of Microsoft servers and services such as Exchange Server, SharePoint, Lync as well as Office 365 and Windows Azure. Window Phone 8 fits well with what you already have and know,” says Doherty.
Windows Phone is the only phone on the market with Office Mobile and Outlook Mobile built in, and the cloud-based functionality of Office 365 means that any changes made to documents – like last-minute additions to that crucial PowerPoint presentation, for example – are automatically synced with existing versions on other devices.
So if users are busy editing a document and need to leave the office, they can pick up exactly where they left off on their phones.
Security remains a major issue for corporate IT departments – and here, Windows Phone 8 is stepping up to the plate with robust security that protects both information and privacy, says Doherty.
This includes secured boot, which allows only validated software components to execute, full device encryption, information rights management (IRM) to prevent intellectual property from unauthorised disclosure and remote wipe.
Microsoft has also considered the app needs of business users by providing what it calls “controlled access” to line-of-business (LOB) information.
Windows Phone 8 facilitates full enterprise LOB support by allowing companies to develop and distribute their own apps and manage their own private software. It also offers custom hubs, which allow businesses to host their own curated app content to deliver all the business apps and information employees need to be productive on the go.
“With the number of devices already in the local market, we’re now at a point where we are delivering smartphones that users want – with the capabilities that organisations need,” concludes Doherty.