May 25, 2010, 9:32 PM — Instead of treating corporate mobile devices as expense-account items and point problems, BoxTone's next generation of software plans to treat them as part of an IT-managed service.
The company announced Tuesday an early release of its next version of BoxTone, which is a set of software applications built around IT Information Library (ITIL) practices and policies, for systematizing and automating a range of tasks for mobility: incident management, mobile performance management, asset management and user self-service. It does this for mobile users and devices, multiple operating systems, applications and connectivity.
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There are two major changes in what BoxTone calls the early access release, both of which are intended to let enterprise IT groups treat mobility as a managed service, substantially automated. First are common dashboard-like consoles, one for overall user quality management, the second for help or service desk, that pull together data various data to create a high-level view of users' mobile experience. Second are connectors to third-party applications for specific mobile features, such as on-device encryption for a given mobile operating system.
"BoxTone is trying to bring all of these distinct separate elements [of mobile management] into one package,"says Brian Reed, vice president of products, BoxTone, Columbia, Maryland. "For IT managers, we give you everything to deliver the mobile service."
The new management dashboard can, for example, give an end-to-end overview through a combination of data and charts of a company's mobile e-mail systems. The dashboard can show metrics for servers such as BlackBerry Enterprise Server and Microsoft Exchange, e-mail application metrics, mobile carrier issues and user quality metrics.
The new service desk console gives a similar high-level view for help desk staff who can then drill down to uncover and identify mobile problems and fix them.