Thursday, 27 February 2014 03:07

CA claims enterprise mobility leadership Featured

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A new suite of products under the Management Cloud for Mobility banner puts the company in a standout position in the enterprise mobility market according to company executives.

CA Technologies' new Management Cloud for Mobility is about "more then just managing the device," CA vice president of security sales for Asia Pacific and Japan Vic Mankotia told iTWire.

While it does take care of mobile device management (using code based on the Afaria product CA acquired from SAP) it also provides mobile application management, mobile content management and mobile email management using 100% CA code, according to vice president of enterprise mobility Jonathan Lindo.

"It's not just BYOD [management]... we have taken it to a whole new level," said Mr Mankotia.

In terms of mainstream enterprise mobility management, the suite has four main components: Mobile Device Management (introduced last year), Mobile Application Management, Mobile Content Management, and Mobile Email Management. These pieces may be licensed and used independently or as a suite.

Mr Lindo said the question CA had asked was "how can we do enterprise mobility differently?" The result was smart containerisation, which regards devices and resources as business objects that require security, management and control.

Mr Mankotia predicted that the patent-pending 'smart containerisation' technology that forms a core part of Management Cloud for Mobility will have a big impact on content consumption and creation on mobile devices: "It'll let you work and play on the same device without cross-contamination."

This approach allows people to use their familiar native email app, for example. Where corporate policy determines that a particular message needs to handled securely, it is delivered in encrypted form which can only be read once the user has been authenticated, a process that can take in to account factors such as time, location and the device status (eg, not jailbroken).

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Other mobility management products include similar features, but they generally require that the application developer specifically caters for the specific product. In contrast, adding the smart containerisation 'wrapper' to an existing in-house or third-party app is a 15-second job, Mr Lindo claimed.

CA believes that the use of a completely separate partition or application for secure email makes for a poor user experience. By only encrypting what needs to be encrypted and allowing the use of the native email client, the software avoids "hitting everything with a big hammer," as General manager, new business innovation Ram Varadarajan put it.

(This is marked contrast with the approach taken in the Mobile Content Management product, which - at least in its current form - requires that content-managed documents are opened in CA's app, not the user's preferred app for reading PDF files, for example. And version 1.0 of the app only addresses content consumption - content creation will be added in a later release, vice president, mobile content management Vikas Krishna told iTWire. Support for offline document viewing is coming in version 1.1, which is due to ship by the end of March, he added.)

Policies can also control whether a message can be printed, forwarded and so on. This data loss prevention function is provided by CA's established DataMinder product.

"We have a massive uptake in the [Australian] healthcare sector," said Mr Mankotia, and interest in the Management Cloud for Mobility family is also coming from the public sector and the banking and finance industry.

Management Cloud for Mobility also addresses the needs of mobile developers for performance management, end-user experience management, and analytics (Mobile DevOps), and support for the Internet of Things. "We're taking a leadership role in the OMA [Open Mobile Alliance]," said Mr Lindo.

Mr Varadarajan pointed out that a wide range of new and existing CA products can be deployed as part of a mobile devops strategy, including the CA LISA simulation and testing tools, CA Crash Analysis for mobile apps, and CA IT Business Management.

There is no tolerance of poor user experiences in the mobile world, he said, so organisations must be able to respond quickly to the demands of internal and external app users.

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An important element of the Enterprise Internet of Things suite is the ability to manage information flowing between devices and enterprise systems on a policy basis. This is achieved through the use of CA's Level 7 API management capability

Despite this broad functionality, Management Cloud for Mobility is fully integrated and is managed from a single console. It also provides end-users with an enhanced rather than reduced experience, Mr Mankotia said.

CA's portfolio also includes the Layer 7 products for API management, providing a mechanism for managing the bidirectional flow of information between mobile apps and legacy applications or databases.

"Nobody wants to rip and replace," said Mr Mankotia, "they want to nourish those [existing] applications" so they can support apps.

According to Mr Lindo, a certain financial services company expressed the opinion that CA and IBM are the only companies with the technology to do mobile management thoroughly, and that where IBM's technology is mostly acquired, CA's was mostly developed in house.

Mr Mankotia said the Management Cloud for Mobility products will be sold through four main channels. Original Design Manufacturers such as Samsung will incorporate the technology into the devices they produce. In related news, CA announced compatibility between CA Mobile Device Management and Samsung's Knox mobile security platform for Android.

Management Cloud for Mobility will also be sold through CA's partners in the telco, data centre operator, and managed service provider markets.

This is in line with CA's general strategy of offering software for on-premises deployment an as SaaS, and the two-tier approach of selling directly to the largest customers and reaching the rest of the market via partners.

Some of the products are available immediately, others will ship in the coming months.

Disclosure: The writer attended Mobile World Congress as the guest of CA Technologies.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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