Mirvac dumps BlackBerry for iPhone; and a few thoughts about the model


blog The nation’s number two telco Optus and its subsidiary Alphawest has revealed that they recently helped shopping centre giant Mirvac ditch its fleet of BlackBerry mobile phones for an Apple iPhone replacement. You can check out a brief video published by Optus above with Mirvac chief information officer Shane Martin. Optus business industry manager of enterprise sales (NSW) Chris Kennett has also published a brief and somewhat thought-provoking blog entry on the blog of Optus’ business division. In it, Kennett argues (probably somewhat predictably) that telcos like Optus are better placed to do much of the work in such deployments than the in-house IT departments of end user clients. He writes:

“Normally, IT departments find this kind of enterprise-wide device shift a painful and expensive process, requiring extensive training and bridging solutions for data capture, document sharing and security. It is entirely understandable that they resist any kind of enterprise-wide change in device use, because the financial and time costs for implementation of an enterprise device solution can be huge, particularly if the IT department itself has to solve all of the security and interconnection issues, not to mention the training required with any new system.

But it really shouldn’t be the IT department that has to do all the heavy lifting. Traditional management consultancies can help, but frankly, any device or strategic technology shift for a medium-large enterprise should leverage the expertise of their business communication and technology suppliers. Most telecommunications companies today will have a range of partner suppliers in their network that can arrange training in new technology, as well as inform businesses of emergent tech that have the potential to improve profitability, boost operational agility or solve business problems. And because they work in partnership, they tend to be aware of integration issues, as well as potential solutions.

Yet firms are still not widely tapping into the expertise offered by communications network providers on such matters. There is still a sense among C-level executives and other management that telecommunications companies are merely carrier service suppliers and network operators, rather than technology consultancies in their own right.”

I’m in two minds about Kennett’s comments. On the one hand, I think there is a strong benefit to end user companies getting telcos such as Optus to conduct this kind of work. These kinds of telcos have the benefits of having seen quite a few deployments and often have a better idea of industry-wide best practice than can be found in-house. On the other hand, it always pays to be wary of vendors spruiking their solution as the only solution; one size does not normally fit all customers. Still, this is one of the more informed commentaries I’ve seen from Optus’ Business division recently, and it does raise some interesting issues.


  1. My company recently changed from Blackberry to Iphone.
    Our Total cost of management has increased substantially.


    To configure a BB took about 5 minutes, and the only user involvement was when the phone was handed to them with a password.

    Iphone takes about 15-20 minutes, with the user needing to be involved with an “AppleID” which is required so that we can install the management software, which then requires the user to log into with their network password.

    Further since the advent of IOS 7 now we have to educate users NOT to connect there device to “find my iphone” as once added it can only be removed by them.

    Apple simply have no corporate mentality. They do everything the “apple” way, and that way is decidedly retail.

    The silly thing is they could easily fix this by creating some form of “Management” AppleID’s, but that would be.. Useful.

    Oh and I haven’t even started on the activesync issues with Calendars and multi users etc.

    As soon as someone comes along with a product with as low a management overhead as the BB’s Apple’s market in the corporate world will dry up.

    • I’ve been hoping one of Android vendors would step into this space. I liked the management of BES but hated the server resource overhead. We switched to iPhones a few years back they had some rudimentary management tools that at-least allowed me to send an email to the user with instructions followed by a text message with a link to download the configuration file. I had been hoping Apple would improve over the years but it seems to have gotten worst.

      I haven’t looked at WIMO in while, Microsoft at least do keep business in mind however they don’t have the same user acceptance as Android or iOS.

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