Mobile management morphs

The software now goes way beyond controlling physical devices.

By , Computerworld |  Mobile & Wireless, MDM, Mobile Device Management

Ultimately, IT needs a product that takes an holistic view of all endpoints, says Shahin Pirooz, executive vice president, chief security officer and CTO. CenterBeam manages many different types of customer endpoint devices in 49 countries. "Unified endpoint management is the strategy. The ability for us to set custom policies consistently for fixed and mobile endpoints is huge for us. If you separate PC and mobile into silos you end up with gaps."

Most important features Which mobile device management technologies / features do you use or plan to use? Hardware-level device management - 78% Security and compliance - 68% Mobile app management - 59% Secure container/sandbox -35% Network management - 33% Content management - 27% Source: Computerworld survey, April 2013, base 82

Ultimately, the large asset management vendors will "own this market," agrees Jim Guinn, managing director at consultancy PwC.

But the best-of-breed tools in the market remain popular because they tend to be first to market with innovative features and because most IT organizations aren't ready for an integrated approach, says Phil Redmond, an analyst with Gartner. "The majority of organizations don't manage endpoints in the same place. Only 20% [of Gartner's clients] are interested in managing PCs and mobile from the same group."

At Skanska, the infrastructure group manages both, but Roman says he's fine using different tools to manage Windows PCs, BlackBerries and iOS devices. He's still using BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) but has added AirWatch for iPhones and iPads because, he says, it was much less expensive than other options he evaluated and BlackBerry's multiplatform MDM tool, BES 10, wasn't available at the time.

At Hillarys Blinds, Bond chose SAP's Afaria primarily because its support for Samsung's extended management APIs enables his staff to control the user's Wi-Fi, camera and Bluetooth, and to manage wireless printers. But the ability to manage both mobile and desktop apps from the same console is a checklist item for the future.

"We'd prefer one tool, definitely," says Scholastic's Abraham. But today, he adds, "You must focus on what is the best platform for what you want to do."

"We have two different support groups working alongside of each other. That causes a surprising amount of grief" at Hillarys, says Bond. For example, the internal sales management app has desktop and mobile versions, but users must talk to two different groups to get the issues addressed. "As we are starting to move enterprise apps onto mobile, I'm having to rethink how I support that."

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