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Tuesday, 26 February 2013 10:04

Telstra teams with AirWatch to offer mobile device management

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Telstra is to offer mobile device management (MDM) services from AirWatch, bundled with voice and data services.

Tim Webber, director, Telstra Mobile, said: "Telstra's Mobile Device Management provides a single platform to manage smartphone and tablet fleets of any size and allows customers to easily configure devices over-the-air."

AirWatch says its MDM technology is compatible with iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 devices and enables all devices to be managed in a single, web-based console.

AirWatch said the service would: enable enterprise customers to bundle in MDM as part of their enterprise mobile data service, provide a device management capability as a service - rather than having to deploy and manage infrastructure in their own premises; deliver automatic installation, upgrades and maintenance over-the-air via Telstra's secure cloud; and manage Wi-Fi, non-Telstra devices or alternative plans with additional licenses.

Rob Roe, managing director, AirWatch Australia, said that with Telstra it would "provide an offering not seen in Australia before - cloud-based mobile device management as part of mobile data plans, or licensed separately, allowing IT departments to leverage mobility and cloud through secure and managed deployments.

"T-MDM provides businesses the ability to enrol mobile devices in their business environment, configure and update device settings over-the-air, enforce security policies and compliance, secure mobile access to corporate resources, and remotely lock and wipe managed devices. The solution is a component of how Telstra addresses corporate requirements to support bring your own device (BYOD) adoption."

Optus has been offering MDM services since mid 2012 when it launched a mobile security service based on Juniper Network's Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite, along with a mobility consulting service and online mobile apps portal.

AirWatch claims to be the largest enterprise mobile management (EMM) provider in the world with more than 6,000 customers and 1,200 employees. It has just announced its first external capital raising: US$200m led by Insight Venture Partners, saying the money would be used "to fund strategic acquisitions, accelerate global growth and drive innovation and adoption of AirWatch's content collaboration solution, Secure Content Locker."

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The company claims to be adding more than 500 new clients per month. "AirWatch manages the largest mobile management deployments for the top three global Fortune companies, the top four global energy companies, six of the top 10 global airlines, six of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies, seven of the top 10 global consumer product companies, five of the top 10 global luxury goods companies, two of the top three global hotel groups, nine of the top 10 US retailers, and three of the top five US medical device companies," it said.

Commenting on the fund raising, US research firm the 451 Group, said: "Terms of the investment weren't disclosed, but we're told the funding round values AirWatch at a whopping US$1b. ... The largest MDM acquisition we've seen so far was Citrix's takeout of Zenprise for US$327m. Zenprise had raised a total of US$79m."

Citrix earlier this month released the first product following its Zenprise acquisition, the XenMobile MDM. Bede Hackney, director of mobility at Citrix ANZ, told iTWire that Citrix believed MDM was becoming more a feature than a product and that the future for stand-alone MDM products was limited.

He said that Citrix's existing products provided security for applications and data delivered to mobile devices and that the acquisition of Zenprise made it the only vendor to cover these and mobile device management, although it has yet to integrated these products.

"One thing we are seeing in the market is that MDM is more a feature than a product. We think it is one part of an enterprise mobility solution," he said.

"Many conversations [with prospective customers] start with 'we need an MDM product', but the reason they need that is so they can deliver applications and data to a mobile device. Ever single meet we do the conversation starts with MDM but quickly moves beyond that. ... The reason you want to secure the device is that you want to do business with it."

AirWatch claims to have a similarly comprehensive offering. Adam Kelly, AirWatch account executive, Australia/New Zealand, told the NetEvents forum in Thailand last week "The AirWatch solution ... [covers] mobile device management, mobile application management, content management and mobile email management all wrapped into [a] secure bundle. ... AirWatch ... allows you to restrict any personal applications or personal data content, calls, SMS logs etc and it also restricts the ability to fully wipe that device.

"So you can, within a BYOD scenario, only wipe the enterprise information that has been applied to that device...And through different types of encryption that we have and managed profiles you can actually remove all of that corporate information off the device, leaving the wedding photos and the contacts and all of the personal information intact."


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