At Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2009, I spoke with James Brown, Senior Manager for Security at Talecris, about the company's decision to make Apple's iPhone THE mobile device for employees. Talecris Biotherapeutics is a "global biotherapeutic and biotechnology company".
Brown described the iPhone as a "game changer" for end users. According to Brown, the mobile device provides a significant improvement in people's ability to do work, but also makes people happier with the services provided by IT. Brown's department was proactive in its decision to deploy the iPhone. "I think it was a way for us to show the business that we are, that we understand needs and wants and want to be able to be leading them in some of the newer, more whiz-bang type of technology," Brown said.
In the video, Brown explains how Talecris started their deployment with executives and the sales staff, where they are in the rollout, and how they effectively managed security and support concerns. For example, they required users to install iTunes on their home machines, not corporate PCs. The benefits just outweighed the hazards.
I've heard lots of arguments for the iPhone but Brown is the first IT pro I've spoken with who saw the iPhone as a way to build "goodwill" with users. And, I think the idea has merit. As Brown said, "it's a good thing" when IT is rolling out a new technology and users are coming in asking "when can I get mine." What do you think?
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.