AT&T Introduces IT-Friendly iPhone Tools
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AT&T is responding to enterprise IT criticisms of the iPhone by providing an app that beefs up the device's security and makes it easier to manage.
AT&T today took a major step forward in resolving IT issues pertaining to the iPhone in the enterprise with the introduction of a native application offering authentication and encryption to allow businesses to more securely deploy and manage Web applications. The new offering, AT&T WorkBench, builds on the AT&T Mobile Enterprise Applications Platform (AT&T MEAP) by providing features that will address some formerly lacking security measures related to use of the iPhone in the enterprise. While the iPhone faithful have been clamoring to use the iconic device in the workplace more and more over the past year, mobile IT staff have been reluctant to embrace it. Key features of WorkBench show a concerted effort to resolve that. WorkBench allows for role-based deployment of Web applications. It also equips mobile IT with stronger controls for policy management, mobile VPN, over-the-air updates and remote data lock/wipe. Additionally, it provides certificate-based authentication using SCEP (Simple Certificate Enrollment Protocol), which works with iPhone's over-the-air enrollment and configuration process. AT&T WorkBench also lets users run multiple enterprise Web applications simultaneously and toggle between active Web applications. Another benefit is that it enables employees to work with their data and applications offline and automatically update when they reconnect to the network.
"AT&T WorkBench is a new solution for iPhone, which enables an organization to 'get down to business,'" Ron Spears, CEO of AT&T Business Solutions, said in a statement. "We're seeing increased interest and demand for iPhone applications from our business customers across industries and applications. In addition, more customers are requesting to use their personal iPhones in the workplace. With AT&T WorkBench, we're able to bring an organization's key enterprise applications, such as ERP or CRM software, to iPhone users with advanced control and security features that corporate IT requires -- including authentication and encryption -- to enable more secure collaboration and productivity for businesses."