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In terms of handling enterprise infrastructure, bulk pricing, and overall ease of use, which phone/plan would you recommend for a company wide (or division wide) phone plan?

I am somewhat familiar with how RIM's BlackBerry has an enterprise server but beyond that I am somewhat clueless.

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closed as too localized by Skyhawk, Mark Henderson Dec 1 '11 at 4:41

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Inappropriate (non sysadmin) question. Also "pricing" depends on what country you're in, USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan - the answer differs depending on where you live. –  saschabeaumont May 3 '09 at 10:30
    
I wouldn't say its not sysadmin related, sysadmins often deal with this kind of stuff (unpleasantly). It is however a tad of a silly question as its country specific. You may also wish to state that you're looking for mobile/cell phones rather than traditional office handsets as that's not obvious until you read the question and see your mention of a blackberry. –  Adam Gibbins May 6 '09 at 14:08
    
This question is far too broad to be answered objectively. If it was reworded so it was very specific to a company, set of requirements, location, usage, etc - then it might be answerable on Server Fault, but as-is, it's not a real question. –  Adam Davis May 6 '09 at 16:06

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As a sysadmin let me just tell you what we have and how it is going:

  • We have 25+ lines, 20 of which are "smartphones" with data, email, internet, etc, the remainder are traditional flip style phones

  • Our service provider is Sprint. We are not currently under contract, but we don't leave because none of the other carriers can beat their pricing. And in fact Sprint can't beat their pricing either which is why we haven't recontracted with them yet either.

  • Sprint has the worst customer service I have ever experienced. Fortunately for us we have enough lines (they keep lowering the number required) to qualify for a dedicated business rep so I don't have to call the normal service department. It took many months to get a decent rep though and now I won't let him go (they try to transfer me to a new rep, we threaten to leave)

  • Our phones are now a mix. Mostly UT Startcom PPC6700, 6800 and 6850. They are all more or less terrible (more terrible for the 6700, less so for the others). I've been happiest with the Palm Treo 800w, which I use personally.

  • Battery life on all Windows Mobile phones is terrible. Expect to have it plugged in and charging (in the wall or via usb) whenever you are not using it. Most of our phones won't last the night if they aren't plugged in.

  • We run an Exchange 2003 server. The sync with the phones is great. It is easy to setup and works well. I usually get my emails on my phone before they hit my Outlook inbox. No extra software to buy, no new system to learn. That's why we put up with the rest of the nonsense. I can also force policies onto the phones (like requiring an unlock code) directly from the Exchange management console as well as setting access policies easily. I can remotely wipe a phone as well.

  • Getting the iPhone to work with Exchange is also easy and you can pretty much do all the same control things mentioned above. People love them. Our IT director uses one instead of his PPC6800 as does the CEO.

  • On average the life expectancy of our Windows Mobile phones is about 10-14 months. They either die on their own or someone cracks the screen. We did the math and found the equipment protection plan to be a good investment on these phones. We replace batteries at our expense, more often, usually every 6 months.

  • Regardless of the carrier or hardware make all account changes in writing (via email is fine). Never over the phone. If you work with a rep on the phone insist on a email confirmation. Trust me. They'll say they did something and then won't have any record of it when you get charged $1000 for the text messages on the line you asked them to add the unlimited plan to.

  • Review your bill meticulously. It will be wrong. You will get charged for things that are supposed to be free or unlimited.

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Depends on your existing platform for communications. If you run Exchange for instance, anything that is server acthivesync compatible is great as you won't need any 3rd party server systems injected in your existing platform.

Most phones supporting it that is not running Windows Mobile might have some issues though, and even if you would standardize on WinMo there's a lot of models and as with desktops and laptops, a support organisation should only need to support a very limited amount of brands and models. You need to get to testing stuff out to see which feels best for your needs. Personally I've shunned Sony Ericsson and Nokia, adapted WinMo because the managability with existing Windows server systems, but I haven't tried Blackberry at all (not a big hit in Europe so far).

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