Will we see an enterprise version of the “Facebook Phone”

So it’s expected that Facebook will unveil a not very well kept secret at their event today; a Facebook ‘phone’ manufactured by HTC with deeper integration with Google’s Android OS. What it promises is more ‘ambient alerts’ and an accelerated social life. All well and good for the consumer market but it presents its own opportunities and headaches for the enterprise.

Look at the enterprise social landscape: TIBCO Tibbr, Salesforce Chatter, Jive Software to name a few seem to dominate but they are still firmly planted within the confines of an enterprise context. If you’ve read my previous Successful Workplace post about streams you’ll see there’s an increasing move towards an always-on/ constantly updating stream of ambient information for users to subscribe to. So my question to these vendors is: If Facebook can negotiate and develop with Google and HTC then why can’t you ?

Doesn’t it make sense to broker tighter integration with OEMs and support your drive for the enterprise ? You could certainly learn a thing or three from how the consumer market operates. Like I’ve said many times before, partnerships and collaboration will be king in business in these times.

An app is not an integrated enterprise experience.

But will a Facebook phone bring more BYOD headaches ?

In striking a deal with Google and HTC and creating a more integrated social experience for users will this be harder to control for the enterprise operating a BYOD policy ? How will MDM/ EMM/ MAM solution providers cope with something deeply integrated into the phone and forming part of a users ambient social intimacy ?

It’s something I’ve discussed before with others; why there isn’t a way to create different user profiles in a mobile OS natively to counter these issues.

The Facebook phone will be a watching brief for the consumer market, the HTC phone itself is nothing to write home about but then it’s not supposed to be. However the challenge is for how the enterprise market takes to creating opportunities and ideas of its own in the same way.

Who’s going to be the first enterprise vendor to take the lead and create a full experience for the organization that doesn’t stop at just an app ?

Sorry Blackberry but you just don’t cut the mustard anymore.


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