10 New Mobile Device Management Solutions To Ease BYOD Headaches

MDM On The Rise

With the rise of the "consumerization of IT," enterprise and SMB employees around the globe are trading in their cubicle-dwelling, desktop-dependent lifestyles for the convenience of smartphones and tablets. But, just as with any new trend in technology, this influx of employee-owned devices in the corporate world is introducing a slew of new security concerns for IT teams.

As their concerns mount, these teams are turning to mobile device management (MDM) solutions for relief. So much so, in fact, that Forrester recently predicted the MDM market should be worth $6.6 billion by 2015.

Aware of this momentum, many vendors have broadened or launched new MDM offerings in the past year to carve a space for themselves in the mobile management market. Here’s a look at ten of these new, or recently updated, MDM solutions from vendors big and small.

Fixmo SafeZone

In Fixmo’s eyes, pure mobile device management solutions aren’t always enough to make for a fully secure, uncompromised BYOD environment. That’s why the Toronto, Ontario-based company created an entirely separate, security-focused portfolio of products under the mobile risk management category, including its new SafeZone platform which launched in October.

Fixmo SafeZone is a "secure container" solution that encrypts and hosts corporate data independently from personal data on an employee’s mobile device. IT admins can use the platform to deploy corporate email or apps to employee-owned iOS and Android devices and establish specific user access policies for each.

The idea behind SafeZone is that organizations can rest assured that if a device is lost or stolen, corporate data resides in its own secured space. And, employees enjoy the benefit of essentially having two devices in one.

Microsoft InTune

Microsoft launched in March its cloud-based service InTune, which affords admins a central Web-based console to manage and secure end-user PCs. Today, the software giant has a new InTune release up its sleeve that will deliver a number of new mobile device management capabilities to help enterprises keep tabs on tablets and smartphones as well.

Microsoft said the April 2012 pre-release version of the new InTune includes functionality for defining mobile access rules, securing device-hosted corporate data, and wiping data from lost or stolen devices. Admins will also be able to use InTune both to define which mobile devices can access the Microsoft Exchange Server and to deploy line-of-business apps.

The next-gen version of InTune will provide support for Windows Phone 7, iOS, and Android devices. Microsoft hasn’t specified a release date yet.

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion

Research In Motion is no stranger to mobile devices being used in the enterprise. Its BlackBerry smartphones have been a staple in government agencies, financial firms, and other security-conscious organizations worldwide. But, with the rise of Android and iOS devices, RIM’s exclusivity in the enterprise started to slip away.

As a result, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company launched in April a new MDM platform, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, that monitors not only BlackBerry devices but also Android and iOS ones as well. Partners thought the launch of Mobile Fusion was a good move for RIM, and one that could help it win back some of the market share it’s surrendered to Apple and Google over the past year.

"They should make serious inroads into some core corporate accounts," said Steven Kantorowitz, President of CelPro Associates, a New York-based solution provider and RIM partner. "This will be a great way for RIM to keep the BlackBerry Enterprise Server relevant in the coming years."

SAP Afaria 7.0

Sybase’s mobile device management platform Afaria has been an industry leader for over a decade. But after SAP acquired Sybase in 2010, the platform received a bit of makeover and a next-gen version, Afaria 7.0, was officially launched in February.

In what the software giant dubbed a "major new release," Afaria 7.0 includes a number of new features to help IT teams better manage the mass of employee-owned devices spilling into the enterprise. Among them is an end-user self-service portal intended to take some of the weight off ITs' shoulders by giving users the ability to enroll and manage their own devices.

Also included in the update are new app management features, telecom expense management tools, and a new user interface optimized for touchscreens.


Start-up Mobilisafe is gearing up to launch a still-unnamed mobile, risk-analysis management platform for SMBs. Although the solution has yet to be released, Mobilisafe’s website points to a slew of different MDM capabilities, including gauging the "trustworthiness" of employee-owned devices with a tool called TrustScore.

In March, the Seattle-based company shared its SMB research findings with CRN. Among them was data suggesting more than 80 percent of employees in SMBs already bring their own mobile devices into their company’s network. It also found that 56 percent of iOS devices are running outdated firmware.

Mobilisafe's solution will be aimed at tackling such security concerns, explained Sajal Sahay, vice president of marketing. A private beta version was launched in November. "In general, mobile risk management is about giving organizations some level of awareness. They need to understand what's going on in their organizations, understand the risks, assess them and prioritize them."


Symantec Athena

Security giant Symantec is a long-standing staple in the risk management space. But in April, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company extended its security offerings in the mobile market with the launch of its new Athena platform.

Integrated with Symantec’s Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), Athena is an end-to-end mobile device management solution for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile devices. Admins can leverage the platform to deploy enterprise-wide email, safeguard apps, and even roll out a mobile help desk.

Athena was originally developed by mobile management software vendor Odyssey Software, which Symantec acquired in March.

Fiberlink MaaS360

Most mobile device management solutions are designed to protect a company’s data. But Fiberlink took strides this year to offer employees a little peace of mind too.

In March, the Pennsylvania-based MDM and networking vendor updated its flagship mobile device management platform MaaS360 to include new BYOD Privacy Settings that protect personal employee information. With the new ’Personal Identifiable Information’ feature, employees can rest assured that personal details including contact lists, location history, and apps, never reach the hands of corporate IT teams.

Unique BYOD features like this one seem to be paying off for Fiberlink, too. Its MaaS360 solution won an award for "Best Enterprise Mobile Service" at this year’s Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.

Mformation Enterprise Manager

Mformation has been entrenched in the mobile device management market since it first opened its doors back in 1999. What makes the Edison, New Jersey-based company’s offerings so unique is that they aren’t only geared toward enterprise IT teams; they’re built with managed service providers (MSP) in mind as well.

Mformation’s Enterprise Manager cloud-based platform, for instance, is intended to help MSPs remotely manage and secure a range of mobile devices and platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

An Mformation Enterprise Manager Solution Developer Kit (SDK) is also available for MSPs who want to integrate Mformation’s MDM capabilities into existing mobile app or software frameworks. The kit provides sample use cases, APIs, and other supporting documentation for MSPs to reference along the way.

Zenprise MobileManager

To MDM vendor Zenprise, the key to successfully monitoring a fleet of employee-owned devices can be summed up in a six-step process: deploy, configure, provision, secure, monitor and support, and decommission. Its Zenprise MobileManager platform helps IT teams navigate each of these initiatives. But, the Fremont, Calif.-based company, which just launched its new Zenprise Partner Network in September, also offers an entire BYOD toolkit to walk admins through the full end-to-end "consumerization" process.

The toolkit includes a Rogue Device Assessment tool to identify unmanaged BYOD devices on a corporate network, a Mobility Executive Checklist of BYOD best practices, mobile security whitepapers, and other resources for IT teams.

Zenprise’s solutions are compatible with all major operating systems, including iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Symbian.

MobileIron App Management Solutions

MobileIron, a Mountain View, Calif.-based mobile device management vendor founded in 2009, has a wide product portfolio, offering solutions for traditional mobile device management, mobile device security, and mobile expense management.

But what really sets MobileIron apart from other MDM vendors today is its built-in Enterprise App Storefront which helps admins deploy, secure, and take inventory of the line-of-business apps being used on mobile devices. MobileIron’s Mobile Application Distribution Library, for instance, serves as a centralized portal for admins to monitor and distribute all business apps being used in an enterprise. Admins can even leverage the Library to push out private or internally built apps to end-users without having to publish them on a public storefront like the App Store or Google Play.

MobileIron’s App Security and Access Control can also be used to approve (or disapprove) the use of new apps.

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