Headquarters: Sunnyvale, Calif.
Technology Sector: Hardware
Key Product: MobileIron Virtual Smartphone Platform
Year Founded: 2007
Number of Channel Partners: 6 in the U.S.
Ideal Channel Partner: Managed Service Provider
Why You Should Care: MobileIron is taking smartphone and mobility management to the cloud, giving a single-pane, real-time view of smartphone behaviors, costs and usage.
The Lowdown: Mobility costs can rack up. And with a fleet of smartphones in the field, most of those costs can go unnoticed until the bill arrives and it's too late.
But MobileIron, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based mobility startup, is looking to help rein in mobile costs while giving the channel the opportunity to take advantage of some of the mobile dollars out there.
|MobileIron Virtual Smartphone Platform|
"At the end of the day, there is a gigantic number of smartphones in the enterprise," said Bob Tinker, MobileIron CEO.
One recent study estimated that more than 44 million smartphones will reach the enterprise in 2009. And CIOs will struggle with operating system diversity, security, costs and determining which data to give users access to on a smartphone.
"Smartphones aren't phones, they're computers," Tinker said. And while Tinker admits that may sound pithy, he said that it's true, noting that phones are more difficult to manage than laptop PCs.
The Virtual Smartphone Platform puts security, device and application management in the cloud; creates an enterprise data boundary on employee-owned smartphones; gives mobility managers or MSPs real-time usage alerts for cost control and offers operator service quality monitoring. The box plugs into the network moving smartphone data to the cloud, using patent-pending mobile data virtualization technology.
Currently, MobileIron's Virtual Smartphone Platform can manage Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry smartphones, the Apple iPhone and Microsoft Windows Mobile devices. Support for Symbian-based devices and Google Android-powered smartphones is coming soon, Tinker said. Essentially, the platform gives a central view of smartphone content, activity and applications in the data center to give IT departments and users insight into usage and more control. It eliminates the feeling that "smartphones are a CIO blind spot," Tinker said.
For the channel, integrators can help their enterprise customers solve their mobility problems or manage their mobile deployments using the platform, giving them a recurring revenue stream and a piece of the growing IT budget allotted toward mobility. MobileIron partners can offer end-to-end mobile services including set-up and monitoring.
MobileIron will also offer lead generation, marketing, discounts and rebates, Tinker said. "There are a lot of opportunities for integrators to add value in mobility," he said.