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iPhone Gets High Marks For Accessing On-Demand Software

The Apple iPhone is not sold as a business device, yet some small companies have found it useful in accessing customer, sales and financial data on at least one software-as-a-service vendor.

NetSuite has worked with Apple for several years in getting the latter company's Safari Web browser to work well with NetSuite's on-demand customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning and e-commerce software, Sean Rollings, senior director of product marketing for NetSuite, told InformationWeek Thursday.

While Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer have fully supported NetSuite, Safari has lagged behind, primarily because it has not always supported the latest technologies, such as DHTML, advanced JavaScript, cascading style sheets, and Ajax, Rollings said. With the latest version of Safari, which ships with the iPhone, all that has changed.

The browser today is capable of giving NetSuite customers, who tend to be small and medium-sized businesses with 50 to 500 employees, full access to their vendor's services. Because the iPhone has a large screen for a small device, it makes a good mobile computer for NetSuite customers. "The thing that really sets it apart is the large size screen, and the large, crisp browser," Rollings said.

Mort O'Sullivan, president of privately held ArcaTech Systems in Mebane, N.C., is the first, and only, person, in his 45-employee company to use the iPhone with NetSuite. "It wasn't intended as a business device, but it seems to work better than other phones in using NetSuite," O'Sullivan said. "It's like years better."

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