Maybe I'm being a bit of a masochist this morning (can't wait to see what google hits are sent this way by my use of that word...)....

Others had more strategic reasons for being disappointed with the iPhone's enteprise support.

"They're missing 50 percent of the e-mail population," complained John Beck, a product manager in IBM's Lotus division, referring to users of Notes/Domino e-mail servers. While iPhone 2.0 supports Microsoft Exchange mail servers, it lacks any kind of direct connection with Notes.

"The Exchange integration is deep," Beck noted, stating that the iPhone SDK would permit IBM to integrate Notes with the iPhone to some extent, but not as completely as Apple has done with Exchange.
I wanted to pick up a couple of things from the comments on yesterday's group gripe.

First, there was an assertion made around comment 47 that IBM must not have fully explored the SDK, since the SDK is great and does everything.  Well, it doesn't.  See comments 48 and 51 for why John Beck says what he says in the Wired blog entry.

Second, I've taken a huge amount of flack online and offline for suggesting that people contact Apple about this.  I want to be really clear -- this is not an attempt to brush off IBM's responsibility.  I wrote an internal memo today, highlighting the blog entries, the petition, and other feedback.  We at IBM have a responsibility to pursue integration with the iPhone, and have been doing so for six months.  We felt like Domino Web Access would be a good first step.  Some of you have said no, though I point out that many many others have said "ok for now".  We also said that we would do more when we were able to do so.  That meant the SDK.  

The SDK didn't do it.  Now we have to work with Apple to figure out both the technical and the market solution, and that is where I need your help.  As a product/platform type of vendor ourselves, we certainly know the power of hearing from a customer versus from an ISV.  The customer's voice is almost always stronger than that of partners trying to build solutions, especially in a space where the platform vendor may already be maxed out doing something with a different ISV.

Interestingly, one customer I spoke with in the past couple of weeks did in fact have a conversation with Apple on this topic, and was told some very favorable things from Apple's field people.  It seems to me that there is intent and interest on both sides of this to do the right thing, but ultimately, it takes two to tango.  If you haven't communicated with Apple, you need to do that... and then report back here, if you can.  IBM has heard you already, though you should feel free to continue to voice your concerns.  Apple, on the other hand, hasn't said anything about Notes/Domino integration, period.

There's been a lot of speculation as to whether Apple has an exclusive deal or whether they just believed that Exchange == e-mail or whatever.  I honestly don't know any of that.  I know that John Beck and others have been working with Apple for many months.  It probably is a mistake for me to even blog about it -- Apple's culture is notorious about being tight-lipped -- but our market has succeeded by being open.  I'm trying my best to share what I can, what I know, and yet not want to slam the laptop closed out of frustration.

Link: Developers at WWDC Looking Forward to iPhone 3G Platform >

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