The Nine Killer Enterprise Features of iOS 7

I came across a great SlideShare deck over the weekend entitled, “The iOS 7 Apple Event for the Enterprise – that Never Happened.” Created by San Francisco mobile design software vendor Moovweb, it imagines a presentation by Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiling iOS 7′s enterprise features in front of an audience of CIOs. Here is that list.

(Are you, like me, vacillating between upgrading to an iPhone 5S and jumping over to a larger Android phone like the LG G2 or HTC One? Then check out the 5 things I love and HATE about the iPhone 5S.)

- TouchID fingerprint authentication. Employees with weak passwords are the bane of security-conscious companies. Fingerprint-based authentication is a big boost.

- Free iWork mobile apps and in the cloud. Apple has made its Microsoft Office killer free and cloud-accessible, just like Google Docs. While big companies wedded to Microsoft’s enterprise licensing program are unlikely to drop Office anytime soon, this could help smaller firms standardized on Apple hardware to dump Office once and for all.

- App Store Volume Purchase Program. Enterprises can now buy apps and books for their iPhone and iPad-using employees, keeping the rights to those apps and books if the employees leave, so that they can transfer them to other workers. This may not seem like a big deal for $0.99 apps, but it’s a big deal for pricier B2B apps, especially when we’re talking about tens of thousands of employees. Previously, companies had to go through a process of buying redemption codes that it would hand out to employees for them to go out and download the apps on their own. That was complicated and left open a number of uncertainties (did the employee ever get the app? for one).

- Managed Open In. A cryptic phrase meaning that companies can force employees to open email attachments in specific, corporate-managed applications, rather than some possibly-insecure or overly-sharing app of their own choosing. This improves security for the company.

- Enterprise Single-Sign-On. This smooths the process of granting iPhone-wielding users access your company’s back-end applications.

- Per-App VPN (Virtual Private Network). This allows companies to boost security for select iOS apps and their data as they are transmitted through the Internet.

- Easier Deployment of Mobile Device Management (MDM) Software (SAP Afaria, Airwatch, Good Technology, etc.). ‘Nuff said.

- Improved Data Security for App Store apps. ‘Nuff said.

- Location iBeacons allow the locations of Apple device users to found with much greater precision than GPS or Wi-Fi. This is useful for retail stores, which may want to beam coupons to users but vary them depending on what aisle they are in and what merchandise they are browsing.

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