Amazon Fire Phone – What’s In For Business Users?

by Sohini Bagchi    Jun 19, 2014

fire phone

Amazon, the corporate major, that started out with books and soon venture into music, video, cloud computing and Kindle e-readers, is set to chart a new course in the history of technology. The company has recently launched its new Fire smartphone which according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos “seamlessly integrates with the Amazon Prime ecosystem and comes with a range of new nifty apps.” While the company tried matching up its features with its rivals Apple and Samsung, in doing so, it certainly could not ignore a key consumer segment -  the business users.

Read: Can Amazon Shake Up The Teeming Smartphone Market?

Here are some features of the new Amazon phone which can be used in the workplace and lure enterprise IT professionals.

Microsoft Exchange email: The new phone links to a corporate Microsoft Exchange email system using Microsoft’s ActiveSync tool for users to access Microsoft Outlook email, calendar, contacts etc. Not only will that help professionals sync their data, but will also ensure the phone meets corporate security policies. The phone also includes an OfficeSuite Viewer app so that business users can look at View Microsoft Office files like spreadsheets or PowerPoints, even though it cannot create them.

Security and encryption: According to reports, Fire has been equipped to encryption features, so that if the phone gets lost, hacked or stolen, no one can read your files. At the same time, it offers support for enterprise security software or Mobile Device Management (MDM), which can help IT professionals locate phones, remotely wipe them, add corporate apps and enforce passwords. Users can access their corporate network on Fire phone through secured user name and password, said a company statement.

Extra security: As many companies require extra passwords and security to access files and apps, Amazon is soon coming up with a feature for secure corporate network or VPN (virtual private network). According to a Business Insider report, the company is working on baking this feature into Fire. In the meantime, it is offering a selection of VPN apps from its app store, it says. Meanwhile, Amazon is including a feature known as “single sign-on” where you use one password to access all things on the corporate network that requires a password, it says.

Enterprise app store: The Fire offers a new tool businesses can use to manage the Fire phone, which they can use this to add and remove books, files, and apps like a private app store. It is also working on getting popular business apps into its app store. This includes apps to take notes, scan documents, prepare invoices, and remote desktop from your tablet. It is already equipped with Free apps like Skype and GoToMeeting are available, too.

Despite these features, a Verge report states that In the first hour and a half of the launch presentation, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos spent very little time showing off features that might be useful at work.

Technology reviewer Nancy Gohring mentions in CiteWorld that The phone runs the Silk browser, which Amazon created for the Kindle Fire. But Silk offers a woefully poor experience, making it unreliable for accessing Web apps that users might want for work. She believes the app store for the new Fire phone is also likely to underrepresent, like the Kindle Fire app store, which sadly lacks many apps that uses want, particularly for work purposes. Amazon will similarly struggle to build up a big enough app store to compete with the giant Apple and Android stores.

As Amazon enters a crowded market that is dominated by Android and Apple, it has to offer something totally different to stand out, say experts. Where big names like Microsoft and BlackBerry have struggled to make much of a dent, it needs to be seen how Amazon ignites the smartphone market with its new Fire Phone.