Google Apps for Business, Gmail, and Office 365 get the lion's share of market buzz for corporate and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) iPhone email support. In fact, it can be hard to remember there are other email options available for enterprise mobile users. I recently had a chance to check out IceWarp Messaging Server, a corporate email server offered in on-premise and cloud versions that challenge Microsoft Exchange. Most notably, IceWarp Messaging Server offers iOS 7 users a method for syncing their iOS 7 notes to their email account.
IceWarp recently got in touch with TechRepublic, offering to demo the new iOS 7 note-syncing features for iOS 7. I spent some time testing out IceWarp email and its notes syncing feature using a test account that IceWarp setup for me on one of their cloud servers.
IceWarp server features and mobile support
IceWarp Messaging Server includes the following mobile support features:
- Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync
- Open-standard SyncML
- PIM synchronization and Push
- Global Address List (GAL)
- Remote Wipe support
Further information about IceWarp Messaging Server features and purchase options are available on the IceWarp corporate web site. IceWarp takes a nice unified communications approach to enterprise communications with the following options:
- Email Server
- Instant Messaging Server
- VoIP / SIP Server
- SMS Server (text messaging)
It would be nice to see IceWarp bring more of their unified communications features to the iPhone and iOS 7. While IceWarp touts some impressive client numbers on their web site, they are still a bit of an unknown player in certain markets. However, their corporate goal to bridge the gap between cloud and on-premise email should appeal to enterprises.
Setup your IceWarp account on an iPhone
Setting up an IceWarp email account on an iPhone follows the standard process for setting up an Exchange email account in iOS 7.
To setup your IceWarp account on an iPhone or iPad:
- Tap Settings, and the Settings screen will appear (Figure A)
- Scroll down and tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars (Figure B)
- Tap Add Account, and the Add Account screen will appear (Figure C)
- Tap Exchange, and the Exchange screen will appear (Figure D)
- Enter the following information:
a. Email address in the Email field
b. Password in the Password field
c. A short description for the account in the Description field
- Tap Next, the
email client will verify the account, and a new screen will appear (Figure E)
- Enter in the following configuration information:
a. Server name in the Server field
b. User name in the username field
- Tap Save to save the account configuration, and a
new screen will appear (Figure F)
- Tap Save, and the Mail client will save the new account
Sync your notes with IceWarp
Evernote, Simplenote, Intellinote, and other iOS note-taking apps drown out the default iOS 7 Notes app for many iPhone users. The potential for IceWarp to lend some new functionality to a default (and underutilized) iOS 7 default app is a bonus in my book.
When I had a briefing from IceWarp's Chris Knott, director of technology, and Ian Marshall, director of marketing, they admitted to me that they came across the potential for note-syncing by chance.
To sync notes from iOS 7 to IceWarp:
- Tap Notes to open the Notes app, and the Notes
Accounts page will appear (Figure G)
- Select your mail account from the list
- Tap New, and a blank note will appear
- Enter in the text for your note, tap Done to
complete the note, and the note is
synchronized automatically with your IceWarp account. Figure H shows a view of
my test notes in the IceWarp user interface.
I give IceWarp credit for the simplicity of its notes synchronization feature through Microsoft ActiveSync. My only qualm is that it might be a little too late, as third-party note taking apps get all the attention in the iOS world. However, I challenge IceWarp to build out their Microsoft ActiveSync support and extend it to other enterprise functions.
One of the hidden benefits of writing for TechRepublic is finding companies like IceWarp who are rolling out interesting products but don't get the buzz like Google or Microsoft. IceWarp shows there's still some life outside of cloud-based email for enterprises with iOS users. If you have a mobile workforce using iOS 7, IceWarp is worth a look if you want to explore mobile email options outside of the major vendors.
Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management applications, Google Apps, Microsoft technologies, and online collaboration for TechRepublic and other sites. Will also works as a contract technical writer for clients in the Washington, DC area and nationwide. Follow Will on Twitter: @willkelly.