Motorola Mobility Management Now Supports Rival Platforms, Too

Motorola this week launched a new version of its Mobility Services Platform (MSP) software that offers management support and security for both Motorola and non-Motorola mobile devices. As iPhones and rival Android-based handsets make headway in the enterprise, Motorola executives argue, it's a smarter play to offer management for those devices rather than insist on Motorola-only.

"Previous to this, the Mobility Services Platform was a Motorola device platform only, but we're looking at the realities of the enterprise landscape, and we see that other devices are coming into the mix," said Sheldon Safir, director of global product marketing for Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Solutions group. "CEOs and CIOs are now saying, 'I like my iPhone, support it!' So we're helping IT departments to enable that more effectively, and I think that's a powerful message."

The MSP3 Control Edition, as the version is called, is downloaded as an application on each device that needs to be managed. Motorola now supports Apple iOS and Android-based devices, most Windows Mobile devices, and several other non-smartphone devices as well, including select Bluetooth-enabled printers, scanners, credit card capture and fingerprint readers. Other mobile OS platforms will be added in the future, Safir said.

The MSP3's provisioning capabilities allow IT managers to access devices from anywhere, he explained. It also provides mobile security by integrating with Motorola's AirDefense intrusion prevention platform for wireless LANs, and further offers GPS geo-fencing, in which the device notifies the management console when it goes out of range or out of a prescribed geographic area. Other features include asset management functions like battery life alerts and historical tracking data.

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Next: Pricing And Availability

Providing support for mobile devices competitive to Motorola's own smartphones and mobile computers isn't ideal, but it is the reality of the enterprise now, Safir said.

"We see these devices coming into retail, into field sales, into field services situations," he said. "We'd like it to be a Motorola world, of course. But it makes sense for us to support a broader range of devices."

Along with the purchase of Motorola's MSP server, the MSP3 Control Edition is sold as a license on a per-device basis, at $45 per device.