It’s no big secret that I am very passionate about mobility management. It may not be as sexy as talking about the new features in iPhone 4 (assuming you are not using it with your left hand), but there’s no question – especially if you are visiting this site – that mobility management is an increasingly important issue for your workplace. Certainly, one of the hottest topics – one that I call the lightning rod – is the whole notion of individual vs. corporate liability of the device. While there’s no question that this is an important issue, it really is just the tip of the iceberg of enterprise mobility management…and as we know from the Titanic, icebergs can be a bad thing to collide with. Today I’d like to talk about email…multiple email accounts.
Here’s a question for you. How many email accounts do you have? I’m willing to guess you have at least two: one personal and one professional. How many are able to be pushed to your device? I’m guessing all of them. The question of course is whether you choose or are allowed to connect your personal email account to your corporate liable device. That’s just one example. But what about consultants who work for one organization and are consulting at another organization. It is not atypical for the consultant to have two corporate email accounts…and there’s of course a high probability that the two accounts are on Microsoft Exchange servers. So how do you manage multiple inboxes?
Well lucky for us, webOS, iOS 4 and Windows Mobile can now support multiple exchange accounts (I can’t remember how the BES supports this) through direct ActiveSync connections. You could also, of course, use 3rd party messaging platforms such as Good or Sybase for the 2nd mobile email account. Thankfully, you work at a company with a very strong IT department that leverages the ActiveSync policies in Exchange…and so does the company you work for. Heck, you may even be using ActiveSync to sync up your Gmail or Hotmail accounts. Multiple Exchange accounts and/or multiple ActiveSync connections with multiple policy setups.
Which one manages the device?
And here’s the conundrum. Which Exchange server is the one that can lock down the email account? Will it lock down the other account? If you leave the consulting job and they decide to wipe your account, will that wipe your ENTIRE device? What about password enforcement? Which one rules?
So this is not a knock against Microsoft. This is just another reality of how the added conveniences that smartphone platform manufacturers are providing actually creates (unintended) negative externalities. Heck, this could still occur if you are using a sandbox email solution.
So what are we to do? I don’t actually have an answer for you on this one but I did want to do two things:
- Bring this issue to your attention; and
- Get your thoughts and feedback on how your company is (planning on) addressing this issue.
Let’s get the discussion going….