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:

  1. Tap Settings, and the Settings screen will appear (Figure A)
    Figure A
  2. Scroll down and tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars (Figure B)
    Figure B
  3. Tap Add Account, and the Add Account screen will appear (Figure C)
    Figure C
  4. Tap Exchange, and the Exchange screen will appear (Figure D)
    Figure D
  5. 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
  6. Tap Next, the
    email client will verify the account, and a new screen will appear (Figure E)
    Figure E
  7. Enter in the following configuration information:
    a. 
    Server name in the Server field
    b. 
    User name in the username field
  8. Tap Save to save the account configuration, and a
    new screen will appear (Figure F)
    Figure F
  9. 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:

  1. Tap Notes to open the Notes app, and the Notes
    Accounts page will appear (Figure G)
    Figure G
  2. Select your mail account from the list
  3. Tap New, and a blank note will appear
  4. 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.
    Figure H

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.

Conclusion

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.