How 3 Next-Gen VARs Mastered Mobility


BrightPlanIT: Securing The Mobile Workforce

Wireless use is increasing -- and its rise will likely continue for the next several years. According to figures from research firm NPD Group, the number of on-the-go broadband users is expected to grow from 6 million (the figure at the end of 2010), to 77 million by the close of 2015. That’s music to the ears of IT solution providers such as BrightPlanIT.

Buffalo, N.Y.-born BrightPlanIT was established in 2004. The IT solution provider is one of Microsoft’s most highly rated partners worldwide. BrightPlanIT builds security designs, designs and deploys e-commerce solutions and implements enterprise data centers in addition to providing training services. Because of the breadth of its offerings, the integrator hasn’t really seen a sales slowdown, said Skip Gould, BrightPlanIT president. As has been the case in the recent past, companies seem to favor hiring outside consultants rather than increasing -- or even maintaining -- staff.

For example, Gould has seen customers cut 20 members of their own development teams and then turn around and hire BrightPlanIT.

“They may need something perhaps less than full-time employees,” he said, noting that systems integration is only one competency his firm brings to the job.

“We’re integrators, but we’re also trainers. We provide training classes, along with real-world experience,” said Gould.

The ability to teach and integrate is central to BrightPlanIT’s success.

“We have the ability to look at a situation holistically,” said Gould. That expertise came into play at a law firm with two SharePoint systems on the same Dell platform. The firm was having difficulty with the public network going slower than the private one, something counterintuitive to the normal course of events. Despite what the customer believed were thorough investigations, no one could determine what was slowing down the public network.

“We looked at it and saw it was the network interface setting. A mismatch between two pieces of hardware.”

As mobility becomes a larger piece of the corporate IT landscape, IT management of mobile devices, such as iPads, other tablets and Android-powered smartphones, is becoming a greater share of business.

“We are moving from people saying, ‘I have a BlackBerry and I’m happy that’s secure,’ to their realization that the IT department has to support iPads, Windows Mobile, iPhones, etc. They want to know, ‘How can I ensure corporate security?’ ” Gould said.

And in a world in which employees use their own personal gadgetry for business, the challenge becomes greater: “One solution is the private OS plus virtualized business desktop, in which the two do not touch each other. With mobile, the company might say, ‘These are the only sanctioned devices. If you want to use corporate resources, you need to make some compromises, including multiple boots -- one personal and one private.’ ”

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