I am thrilled to announce the Exchange ActiveSync Logo Program that helps IT Professionals manage mobile devices more effectively. Many of you rely on Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) to provide security and policy control to smartphones and slates that access your Exchange Server. Today, the Microsoft Exchange team is announcing a program in which handset manufacturers agree to implement Exchange ActiveSync to a predefined standard or better. We are delighted to welcome Apple, Nokia, and Windows Phone to the Exchange ActiveSync Logo Program. (And, they are just the beginning – stay tuned!)

Customers consistently tell us that the increasing array of mobile devices employees use to access their company network is a top concern. While most smartphones use Exchange ActiveSync, an industry standard for mobile email, Exchange ActiveSync policies are not consistently implemented by the mobile device manufacturers. The lack of a consistent implementation makes it challenging to know which Exchange ActiveSync policies are supported by any particular device.

Nokia hears the same thing from its customers.

“With the Exchange ActiveSync Logo Program, IT managers have assurance that the smartphones which employees bring into the network environment are certified and trusted. Nokia enables Exchange ActiveSync on a wide range of smartphones, giving IT managers and employees a large device portfolio to choose from. However, with this program, they can rest assured that any of these Nokia smartphones which they choose to use within their organization meet the relevant Exchange ActiveSync policies required for secure mobile working.” – Rauno Toivonen, Director, Business Solutions, Nokia

In the Exchange ActiveSync Logo program, participants agree to implement a predefined set of EAS policies (or more). You can get a full detailed list of the defined features here. Two of the key features required by the Exchange ActiveSync program are remote wipe and support for Allow/Block/Quarantine (ABQ) strings. Remote wipe gives IT administrators the ability to erase data on a device that has been compromised or lost, so company and personal information isn’t at risk. ABQ strings enable IT admins to identify the mobile device type and model trying to connect with Exchange 2010 in order to validate and enforce appropriate access policies. This means no more worrying about rogue or unsupported devices accessing the network.

IT professionals can now be assured that devices that bear the Exchange ActiveSync logo meet a consistent set of mobile device requirements. Currently, all Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile 6.5 phones meet the program requirements. Nokia devices with the Mail for Exchange 3.0.05 client adhere to the program guidelines, including the recently launched Nokia E7. Apple devices with iOS 4.X, including the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPad are also compliant.

Microsoft customer Subaru Canada has always relied on Exchange ActiveSync features to help manage mobile devices connected to the company network. George Hamin, Director of eBusiness and Information Systems, personally experienced the value of the Exchange ActiveSync features when he recently left his smartphone in a taxi during a business trip. Like most people, George had his contacts, email, and personal information on his phone. Thanks to the remote wipe capabilities of Exchange ActiveSync, he logged onto his Exchange account and immediately erased the important data from his Windows Phone. His phone was returned a week later and he was reassured to find that his phone was cleared of data. And, with just a few, short steps, George re-synchronized his phone with his Exchange Server 2010 account and restored all of his contacts, calendar and company email.

“Exchange ActiveSync is an important tool in managing our mobile devices. Many of our employees like to have the latest technology gadgets. I only allow Exchange ActiveSync devices that I have verified to access company resources, and up to now, it has been Windows Phones and the iPhone. A program like this really helps me to get a better sense of which smartphones meet my security guidelines.” - George Hamin, Subaru Canada

To learn more about the Exchange ActiveSync Logo Program, go here. There is also a technical post today on the EHLO blog. And Microsoft partners can get more information on the Exchange ActiveSync program on the Exchange Partner Blog. Stay tuned in the coming months as we have a strong pipeline of handset manufacturers and wireless phone carrier partners to add to the program. 

Julia White
Senior Director, Exchange Product Management