Just a quick post to trumpet the virtues of the Exchange Wireless Connector and how it’s helped us at Cuyler Burk.
I chose my SmartPhone, a Treo 700w, because my previous PDA (a Dell Axim) was Windows Mobile based, and I was familiar with it. I also knew that Cuyler Burk, as an all Microsoft shop — sure, we have a few Linux boxes (this blog is sitting on one) — that Exchange 2003 would support my phone out of the box. I didn’t realize how cool it is.
Now, any calendar item I add at the office shows up on my phone automatically. Any contact I add to my phone pops up in Outlook and I don’t have to do anything. Mail just streams to the phone without me having to hit send/receive (like I do with my IMAP based mail accounts) and I can send to internal mailing lists, which is something I can’t do through our internet gateway…
Over the past year many of our attorneys have gotten Windows Mobile based phones. Deployment takes only a few minutes — copy and install the remote certificate and type in their username and password, and they’re off. They love that their secretaries can schedule calls and appointments and they just shows up on their home screen as upcoming events.
To sweeten the deal, this was all bundled with Microsoft Small Business Server 2003, so we didn’t have to spend an extra thousand bucks on the Blackberry Connector.
Plus — if the phone is broken — just get a new one… since everything is stored in Exchange, the new phone will automatically sync itself up and all your contacts, speed dials, appointments, etc. are right back to where you expect them. Gone are the days of losing your address book when you lost your phone.
So, if you’re running SBS2003, I would highly recommend taking a look at a Windows Mobile based device for your next phone — you might wonder how you lived without it. I know I do.
(This sounds a bit shill-y, but I can assure you I’m a big fan of this technology. Next time, I’ll rant a little bit about my Treo 700w.)