Channel Partners: Mobile Device Management Is Only The First Step

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Accenture's Osman told CRN that of all the "pieces and parts" clients seek to define when building a mobile strategy beyond MDM, apps seem to be front of mind. One of the biggest advantages of embracing the consumerization trend is on-the-go access to enterprise apps. But many clients struggle to re-design these apps to run on mobile platforms or pinpoint which apps should even be deployed on employee-owned devices in the first place.

MDM is no doubt "foundational," he said. But mobile application management -- or "MAM" -- must be tackled next. Many clients, he explained, struggle to deploy enterprise apps across increasingly heterogeneous mobile environments that encompass a hybrid of iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry operating systems. In turn, solution providers that can help facilitate these complex deployments are becoming a hot commodity.

"You need to think about MDM and then MAM, which is mobile application management. So a lot of our mobile device offerings in the marketplace have two faces. There's core MDM for securing devices and that's what IT and IT security is interested in. And, the other half of our offering is our Enterprise Application Catalog," Osman said, describing the catalog as a hosted service from which clients can access, deploy, and manage their apps.

"I encourage clients to think about the mobile app management side of this, even if you are just on your first couple of apps, because it's going to explode as you start building more and more," he told CRN.

David Hekimian, CTO of Trace3, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and partner of mobile device management vendor Zenprise, has noticed a similar trend among clients. Mobile device management seems to kick start a series of other mobility-related conversations, most of which revolve around apps.

"What we have seen demand for from a customer side is 'How do we handle this?' and 'What is the big picture that is mobility or mobile security?'" Hekimian said. He said he explains the bigger mobility picture to clients as a handful of puzzle pieces, each piece representing a different strategic layer, such as MDM, Wi-Fi networks or app management.

Apart from apps, secure file sharing is another piece of the mobility puzzle that often needs to be tackled after the MDM foundation is laid. Hekimian said about two-thirds of what begins as MDM conversations with clients ultimately turn to conversations about secure file-sharing and data management practices for mobile environments.

Next: Moving On To The Next Mobile Management Step

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