I’ve written several times before about using a third party email client as a solution for sandboxed email on a mobile device. It’s all well and good in theory, but a poor user experience could blow that idea out of the water.
To that end, I’m going to disconnect my iPhone’s built-in client and connect to TechTarget’s mail server exclusively from third-party client apps. (This is in the vein of Brian’s two months of VDI and Gabe’s Chromebook experiment). I still haven’t decided what apps I’m going to try, so I’m open to suggestions.
Why am I trying this? Here’s an excerpt from my other article today on ConsumerizeIT.com that explains the value of third-party email clients:
“Corporate email on personal devices is a particularly difficult issue because the built-in email clients allow other applications to access contacts and other information. While that’s convenient for users, it’s obviously a security concern for their employers.
In order to keep the built-in email client safe, IT has to know what apps are installed on the device. Mobile device management software can handle this, but MDM on personal devices can be a thorny issue, IT has to actually know about the device, and keeping up with which apps to blacklist is difficult. (Would you want to be the person that has to tell the users they can’t install the latest app on their personal devices? Yes, it may be part of the trade off that the users made to get work email on their own devices in the first place, but at the end of the day it’s no fun for either party.)
With a third party email client, however, corporate email can be just like any other app. It can be password protected, managed, selectively wiped, and sandboxed, all without disturbing the rest of the apps on the device. IT can then simply limit email connections to just that sandboxed client and block access for built-in clients.
Sure, a third-party email client won’t be smoothly integrated, but if in order to get work email on a personal device the choice was between that and having the device be managed, a lot of people would pick the third-party app.”
What do I hope to learn? Basically, I want to be sure that the experience is good enough that I can recommend it as a viable option. We’ll find out soon if I miss the integration or if it’s not that big of a deal.