He said he wouldn’t go so far as to tell Echoworx customers to stay away from Android. But for clients who say they want to explore the OS, “I would ask why... And I usually know the answer: ‘My users demand it.’... But then I ask what the security profile needs to look like. Are you concerned about rogue applications? Many people I talk to don’t realize there are app stores other than the marketplace on Android where apps can be distributed.”
That said, iOS and BlackBerry aren’t perfect. Gulri explained the pros and cons of both.
Apple has ramped up the security capabilities in iOS over the last five years, transforming the decidedly consumer-oriented operating system into something that businesses can consider for their purposes. However, consumer-focused aspects remain.
“I connect to the app store and I have something called iTunes, which makes no sense to distribute actual applications on the device” for businesses, Gulri said. “There’s still that consumer flavour to the iPhone solution.”
That could be an issue for the end-user organization, depending on the customer’s point of view.
“If you talk to the security and IT guys responsible for compliance and data security, they’ll tell you absolutely, this is a major concern. ‘You want me to allow my users to download Angry Birds and yet use that same phone to send and receive secure messages?’... For the marketing, business and sales people, they don’t care. They use iPhones in their personal lives. It’s fun, it’s usable, the interface is amazing... It’s a completely different perspective.”
The BlackBerry ecosystem relies on centralized servers to shuttle messages from user to user. While this makes for a secure platform, it also wrecks havoc on business continuity. Witness the message-service outages BlackBerry users suffered a few weeks ago. They followed a message bottleneck problem that started in RIM’s European data centre and spread to the company’s other regional systems, including North America, Gulri explained.