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September 12, 2012

Zenprise Introduces MobileManager 7.0 - Next Generation Mobile Device Management

Zenprise, one of a handful of independent mobile device management (MDM) and security vendors, has announced the availability of Zenprise MobileManager 7, the latest version of the company's on-premise and cloud-based device management platform. The announcement follows on the heels of fellow independent vendor MobileIron announcing its own next generation MDM platform last week.

As part of the announcement, Zenprise also made note of its intention to begin focusing its efforts on Mobile Application Management (MAM) - which will provide secure management enterprise data and apps - as a key component of future releases. MobileIron, as well as most of the vendors in the space, are all rapidly moving to make MAM the centerpiece of their evolving MDM platforms. MobileIron is already delivering some rudimentary MAM capabilities, similar to those Zenprise has also added to its platform.

MobileManager 7.0 Features

Zenprise claims that the new release includes features that support mobile lines of business as well as secure content and collaboration capabilities. Version 7.0 also simplifies both administrator and end user experiences.

  • Mobile Lines of Business: MobileManager 7.0 includes geo-fencing, which enables companies to track devices via GPS. With geo-fencing, organizations can take action in the event that a device moves outside of or is removed from specific locations. This is especially valuable for those who need to tie mobile devices to a location, such as hospitals that distribute tablets to doctors and nurses to aid in patient care. MobileManager 7.0 allows admins to define approved areas for mobile devices and to specify the actions to be taken if devices should leave defined perimeters. For example, as in the case of theft or other mobile device mishandling, all corporate-owned information can be wiped from a device in order to protect sensitive data stored on the device.
  • Integration with Samsung SAFE Devices: Samsung has developed what it refers to as SAFE – (Samsung Approved for Enterprise) - a set of specifications that Samsung believes makes its devices secure within the scope of enterprise needs. By supporting SAFE, Zenprise is able to take advantage of certain MDM capabilities Samsung has been able to make available through Android APIs that are otherwise not available to the MDM vendors.
  • Securing Content and Collaboration: Zenprise MobileManager 7.0 extends its secure content and collaboration capabilities to Android by providing secure integration with Microsoft SharePoint and Office365, and enhances its mobile data loss protection (DLP) solution for iOS by enabling users to annotate documents within a secure mobile content container provided by Zenprise. MobileIron offers similar DLP capabilities - which begin to touch on the basics of MAM deliverables for both companies.
  • Simplified Admin Capabilities and End-User Experiences: MobileManager 7.0 provides configurable dashboards that allow admins to take one-click actions on devices. These include such actions as track, notify, and enroll. It also offers simplified enrollment that combines the highest level of security with a very streamlined user experience. Many studies over the last 18 months point to end users as the greatest weakness in enterprise efforts to manage mobile devices - end users tend to find MDM intrusive and they often attempt to turn off MDM features. Streamlining the user experience (read that to mean truly simplifying MDM for the end user and then staying out of the end user's way) is a key to ensuring that MDM remains in place on user devices at all times.

"Zenprise's MDM solution enables me to confidently support a high-demand BYOD program while securely protecting corporate data and intellectual property," notes Terry West, senior vice-president and CIO, Performance Food Group. "But beyond the BYOD use case, with Zenprise technology we are also exploring ways to enable a truly mobile workforce and improve end user and customer experiences. This translates into an increased ROI for our mobile initiatives."

Setting the Stage for MAM

As we noted earlier, the evolution of MDM will be towards MAM. Why is this? Because simply protecting a device - and especially the enterprise data residing on that device - against theft or loss, or from falling into the hands of a rogue user, is no longer enough. The proliferation of mobile enterprise applications continues at a torrid pace, and it is what these applications might do with corporate data even in the hands of friendly users (authorized users and members of the workforce) becomes a key security issue. MAM ultimately becomes more important than MDM as a rogue mobile app is far more dangerous than any single mobile device.

“The MDM features we are introducing in Zenprise MobileManager 7.0 are the building blocks in the realization of our future vision for MDM,” says Amit Pandey, CEO at Zenprise. “Until now, the industry has been singularly focused on managing devices and, while that will always be the foundation of any enterprise mobile strategy, it's the ability to secure applications and content on mobile devices that will give businesses a holistic approach to mobility.”

Want to learn more about today’s powerful mobile Internet ecosystem? Don't miss the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5 2012, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at Mobility Tech Conference & Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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