Apple iOS 6: What's Your Advice to Customers?

Apple iOS 6: What's Your Advice to Customers?

Apple iOS 6 for iPads and iPhones is set to debut on Wednesday, Sept. 19. Chances are your customers' employees will race to download and install the new mobile operating system. Some of those folks could wind up calling your help desk with technical questions, while business owners may just check in with you to hear what you've heard about the new operating system. Are you prepared to engage in the iOS 6 discussion?

Of course, I'll state the obvious: iOS 6's anticipated debut -- plus swift iPhone 5' sales -- are prime opportunities for MSPs to have a broader, higher-level discussion with customers about a range of topics -- including:

  • Mobile-to-corporate application access goals, policies and strategies
  • Information protection and security
  • The blending of consumer devices with corporate data
  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, budget allotments, management
  • Overall business data protection
  • Mobile device and mobile applications management
  • Side note: A growing number of remote monitoring and management (RMM) software platforms are developing mobile device management capabilities.
Basically, you want to discover a few things:
  • Which employees are your customers seeking to mobilize, and why?
  • Which employees are your customers merely seeking to manage in a mobile world, without necessarily extending specialized applications out to those employees?
  • Ultimately, what are your customers' short- and long-term business needs; which applications fulfill those needs; and what type of impact will mobility and cloud computing have on those needs?

What's In iOS 6?

Yes, iOS 6 has a few new nifty features but they're not necessarily business-centric. Among the enhancements that most consumers are discussing:
  • Siri (spoken search) no extends from the iPhone to third-generation iPads and fifth-generation iPod Touch. Frankly, I've been underwhelmed by Siri. Yes, Apple has labeled it a beta product. But I think Siri's poor performance -- in some cases -- has harmed Apple's reputation for delivering a great end-user experience.
  • Facebook integration is generating some buzz, but here again I'm somewhat underwhelmed. I value Facebook but I'm not really a huge fan of the social network these days. I find that I'm spending more and more "business" time on LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • iCloud Tabs on Safari, which basically allows users to leap more easily from one Apple device to another while web surfing. But Safari has never really been my cup of tea.

My Own Considerations

Short term I'm holding fast to my current iPhone 4 -- I haven't even purchased the iPhone 4S yet. And I'm not ready to go to iOS 6 just yet. Instead, I'm taking a close look at the new generation of Android smartphones and even Windows Phone 8 devices, which are set to debut in a few weeks. I've got plenty of questions about all those platforms. And I'm not alone.

Your customers have questions, too. Get beyond the speeds and feeds chatter and engage in a deeper conversation about how your customers want to use and manage mobile devices to their fullest. iOS 6's arrival is the perfect opportunity to begin or renew that conversation.
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