Deploying the iPhone 3G for business, part 2

Getting iPhones to connect and sync with Exchange servers can be tricky. Here's how to make it all work smoothly.

Deploying the iPhone 3G for business, part 2.

Deploying the iPhone 3G for business, part 2.

Apple's iPhone configuration profiles include the same options plus some stricter ones, such as the number off passcode attempts before the iPhone must be resynced with iTunes to re-establish access. Passcode policies configured via Exchange are automatically pushed to the device over the air and enforced as long as the iPhone is associated with an Exchange account. (IPhone configuration profiles, on the other hand, must be e-mailed or hosted on a Web server, and users must choose to install them and can delete them at any time.) If both a configuration profile and Exchange passcode policy are in place on an iPhone, the strictest options will be enforced.

Remote wipe

The ability to remotely wipe confidential data from a smart phone is one of the most important features in a business device. In the event that an iPhone associated with an Exchange account is lost or stolen, administrators can remotely wipe it from within the Exchange ActiveSync Mobile Administration Web Tool or the Exchange Management Console. If Outlook Web Access is enabled, as it is in most environments, users can also initiate a remote wipe of an iPhone using the mobile device management features available in Outlook Web Access.

When a remote wipe command is issued, the iPhone will revert to an Apple-logo screen and remove all user data and settings. This includes user account information (both Exchange accounts and other e-mail accounts) and associated e-mails, contacts and calendar items. It also includes all media (music, photos and videos), applications and Web browser bookmarks.

Because a remote wipe of an entire iPhone may take considerable time and battery power, an iPhone may power down before completely erasing if its battery becomes depleted. If this happens, the iPhone will continue erasing data when (or if) it is connected to a power supply. Once an iPhone has been wiped, it will need to be activated in iTunes again before use. To ensure successful future use, you may need to remove any residual association between the phone and a user in Exchange if the phone is recovered and reactivated within your network.

Connecting the iPhone to Exchange

Associating an iPhone with an Exchange account is designed to be a relatively simple process. As indicated by Apple's instructions, users simply need to create a new e-mail account on the iPhone, select Exchange as the account type and enter their account information (e-mail address, server address, username and password, and an optional account description). You can also automatically configure either all or just the server-specific components of these settings using configuration profiles.

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Ryan Faas

Computerworld
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