Partnering for Strategic Breakthroughs

I thought I’d give this one a dry title – it’s really about the iPhone again. But I thought people would be pretty tired of iPhone posts by now.

So, for those of you who don’t follow the iPhone (both of you perhaps), Apple released the iPhone SDK. But they did something else that will end up driving many more iPhone sales than allowing you to download games – they added ENTERPRISE support. Yes, ENTERPRISE. It’s just that important. (I’m sure you know by now that your products are nothing if they’re not ready for the ENTERPRISE.)

You can now connect your iPhone directly to Exchange and get all your corporate email in one sleek, beautiful Apple-branded package. All the cool of Apple and all the IT-approvability of the Blackberry. And how did Apple do it? Did they hire dozens of developers to copy RIM’s BES gateway technology? Nope. They licensed ActiveSync. The trouble is that, as anyone who has ever owned a Windows Mobile device can attest, ActiveSync stinks. It just doesn’t work reliably. But you know what – no one cares. In one fell swoop Apple just did more damage to RIM then a dozen NTP lawsuits.

When you’re looking to take your product to the next level and add in the “killer” functionality that every single prospect asks for during demos you need to look long and hard at how you can buy or license that technology instead of building it yourself. RIM had nothing to license when the Blackberry first came out – ActiveSync was even worse back then anyway – so they had to do it themselves. But Apple went to the source and did in just a few months what RIM has spent millions of dollars building. So Apple knows what to do. What technology have you licensed for your product lately?


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