Windows Phone 8 in the Enterprise, A Good Fit?

Recently we reported that Google and Microsoft’s cold war had escalated to new levels with Google effectively cutting off support for Google Apps on the Windows Phone platform. The article mentioned this could have a major crippling effect on Windows Phone 8.

While this is partially true, that doesn’t mean total doom and gloom for the platform either. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 has come a long way and is only getting better each and every passing day. The Lumia 920 is a solid phone and so is the HTC 8X.

Windows fans love Windows Phone 8, many of these fans were only “okay” with Windows Phone 7. In this capacity, Windows Phone 8 will at least remain a popular choice for a niche group of everyday consumers. That doesn’t sound too promising does it?

Maybe not, but I truly believe that everyday consumers aren’t were Microsoft’s money is to be made. The future lies in the enterprise world. Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Phone 8 all have the new Start UI (Metro) in common and businesses often like unity. The idea of having all Microsoft products that are at least reasonably similar to use and learn could be a major drawing point for businesses.

It’s also worth mentioning that if you win business users over at their workplace, they might just end up buying your devices for their home, too.

Bringing Windows Phone 8 into the Enterprise World

You might be thinking that right now the enterprise world is resistant to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. This is true, but only because they’ve yet to see the bigger picture. Windows 8 IS different, it WILL require some new training. But once it is done? Microsoft is relying on a unified system going forward and switching now will make life easier.

Tablets and convertibles are becoming increasingly important to many types of businesses, and so either way a company is going to have to invest in a new OS. Isn’t it easy to stick to ALL Windows in your business than to have some Android, some iOS and some Windows PCs?

Okay, but what makes Windows Phone 8 worthy of your business’ consideration?

Office Integration. When it comes to MS Office, you won’t find better integration presence on any other mobile platform and you likely never will. Even if/when iOS and Android get their versions of Office, they will be quite a bit more limited in overall functionality.

App Development. Microsoft already has demonstrated that it is possible to create private enterprise apps using the new Metro/Start UI. If a company needs a custom solution and is willing to invest in Windows Start UI development, they will find life easier with Windows Phone because porting apps to and from Windows 8 is a pretty smooth experience from what we’ve heard.

Kids Corner. What does Kids Corner have to do with businesses? It might sound like it doesn’t, but think about it for a moment. With Kids Corner you can keep your data all protected while offering limited app and program access to others. Let’s say you are in a meeting where a phone needs to be passed around to quickly show off data or information. Having a locked down Kids Corner program running could make that easier. Have a private meeting with a client that wants to see your in-house app or solution? Let them play with your phone without worrying about private information getting released, etc.

Security. Windows Phone has excellent security and encryption options that could make it a perfect fit for many businesses. Despite desktop Windows reputation, Windows Phone is also very secure and is more than unlikely to have run-ins with malware.

We could go on, but you get the point. Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 offer an excellent opportunity for companies that want to make things easier. Sure, change is required first, but change isn’t always a bad thing.

Do you work for a business that currently uses Windows Phone 7 or Phone 8 as their standard platform? What do you think of its business potential?

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