As if things weren’t already bad enough for Research in Motion…Last week, Deutsche Bank initiated a pilot program in order to allow its employees to access work email on their iPhones.
“It’s going well,” says an employee who was invited to be a part of the pilot. “One of my co-workers doesn’t even use his Blackberry anymore. He just leaves it plugged in and forwards the calls to his iPhone.”
If the pilot continues to go well, new hires might be able to ask Deutsche Bank to support an iPhone instead of a Blackberry. (Deutsche Bank hasn’t replied to our request for comment yet.)
The employees who are part of the pilot program are accessing their email through an app called “Good.” It allows users to access corporate email on iPhones or Androids and it seems to address one of the top concerns of companies weighing the switch from Blackberry: security. In the past when banks have considered the switch, security has been cited as a reason it won’t happen. Blackberry encrypts emails better than iPhone.
The Good app might solve that problem.
So far, Union Bank is the only bank that has officially implemented “Good.” And only a few companies allow their employees to access work emails on different types of phones. In addition to Union Bank, Patagonia and Activist Interest Media Group are the only companies we are able to confirm use Good regularly.
We emailed Credit Suisse, Goldman, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and UBS to see if they are considering implementing similar programs or have done so already. None of them got back to us yet. But if Good is working well for Deutsche Bank, it might mean that more banks make the switch soon. And if all corporations follow suit, RIMM is toast.
We took a look at how the pilot app works for Deutsche Bank employees yesterday. It works like this. You click on the app, a small red box that says “Good,” and as you’re signing in, it says, “Decrypting…” which implies that it should protect user’s confidential work emails with a level of security comparable to a Blackberry.
Once you’re in the app, your emails pop up in a list. It looks exactly like the Mail app that is currently on iPhones except that at the bottom, instead of a grey bar with the date and time, there are 5 internal apps built in. (The photo above shows you what it looks like.) On the app Deutsche Bank is using, one of them provides access to the company’s intranet.
See ya, RIMM!