Mobile device management: Getting started

By Todd R. Weiss, Computerworld |  Consumerization of IT, Mobile Device Management

Two reasons Edelman prefers using corporate-owned BlackBerry devices: The firm can negotiate more competitive pricing through its relationship with its enterprise phone carrier and it can maintain tighter management and security compared to other devices. "It's much easier to get hold of and track your BlackBerries than it is [other types of] smartphones," Iatonna says. "We do have an Apple and Android population, but those devices weren't designed with an enterprise environment in mind."

"BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) is a much more developed and mature enterprise MDM system than the other smartphone MDM vendors," Iatonna said. And even though RIM has been losing market share to other vendors, its products and enterprise-level security capabilities still offer the best answers for Edelman's needs, he said.

For its part, SAP AG, the Germany-based software vendor, began its mobile workforce project in 2010, says global CIO Oliver Bussmann. At the time it included some 14,000 SAP-purchased Apple iPhones and iPads, and personal iPhones or iPads for another 500 users, who had to sign consent forms agreeing to SAP's terms of use, which vary from country to country depending on business requirements. The first employees to be brought into the mobile strategy were workers in the development organization, followed by executives and the entire global sales force, he said.

The reason for that specific order of rollout, Bussman explains: "We made the development teams that were building the apps test them as part of the process." Then, "executives demanded solutions quickly after that and then drove direction to focus on sales and other field resources."

Starting this past January, SAP expanded the program to also include more than 500 SAP-purchased Samsung Android Galaxy SII smartphones and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets, with more to be deployed by employees who request them based on a compelling business reason.

"Our strategy is to be device agnostic," Bussmann said, "The IT organization has to be in the driver's seat. If the CIO doesn't embrace the mobile trend, then the business organization bypasses the IT organization and that's not a good thing. Then it's being done without control and security and that can have an impact potentially on the company."

Centreville, Va.-based Carfax uses a blended approach, with some workers using company-issued iPhones and iPads and others using their own Android devices, says CIO Phil Matthews. "We allow other employees to use a BYOD (bring-your-own-device) approach where it works better for them or where they want to keep their device on their personal mobile plan."

Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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