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October 03, 2013

TigerText Freemium Secure Enterprise Messaging App for BYOD

If the headlines prove nothing else when it comes to online security these days, they speak to the needs of enterprises and individuals to have peace of mind about their electronic messaging activities. This means that users want their personal communications to remain just that, while enterprise IT departments want visibility and control over business-related messaging. This includes the ability to better secure messages, as well as having simple to use archiving for compliance reasons and enhanced encryption to at least make it a lot harder for the bad guys.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based TigerText, is out with the fourth generation of its popular messaging solution. Enhancements have been made to further safeguard communications, improve employee productivity, and minimize the risks and liabilities created by employees using text messaging for business purposes. TigerText say s the application has been designed with BYOD environments in mind. Plus, it is being made available for Android and iOS devices using a “freemium” approach, i.e., the basic functionality version is free with bells and whistles available at nominal cost. 

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Aimed at enterprises worried about secure messaging

This is all about securing real-time communications and is resonating in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) marekt. The company is claiming In the past eight weeks since its soft launch, this latest version of TigerText has seen more than 10,000 businesses sign up for the new freemium version, which is additive to the more than three million consumers who have the TigerText app. 

TigerText is going after a market that, driven by the BYOD trend has been called the, “consumerization of IT”—the desirability of being able to one’s own personal devices for personal and professional reasons.

As we all know this has led IT departments to figure out policies and rules that can prevent those devices contaminating the enterprise since bad actors can exploit the personal side of usage to inject bad things into enterprise networks. This is only becoming more worrisome as BYOD spreads, app usage explodes and malware leveraging the apps as vulnerable delivery systems proliferate at an increasing rate and level of sophistication. It is a particular concern for SMBs many of whom have not IT department but clearly are concerned about the risks BYOD poses to their organization.

This is why TigerText has enhanced its app to support businesses in a BYOD environment, and done so with capabilities that include added encryption and compliance as well as a multi-directory data hierarchy within the app that provides users the ability to add their company, organization, and/or employees to TigerText alongside their personal contacts.

TigerText is touting the new app as one that provides “full access to the TigerText cross-platform app, which synchronizes across mobile phones, tablets, and the desktop for peer-to-peer or group encrypted text messaging. Additional capabilities include: secure multimedia file sending (up to 10MB), and common functionality associated with popular email platforms such as Delivery and Read confirmations, and Message Recall. 

What is likely driving the SMB and even larger organization interest is that not only do users have greater security regarding their personal interactions, but enterprise administrators are also being provided an expanded administration tool-kit to enforce a variety of controls. These controls include:

  • BYOD-Ready: To set up or join a network on TigerText, it does not matter whether a user has an enterprise-issued or personal device.
  • Separate Business and Personal Text Conversations: Users can create multiple organizations within the app so business contacts are separate from personal ones.
  • Simple Deployment: Easy, fast, one-step deployment.
  • Retain Control of Enterprise Data: TigerText’s policy data management allows businesses to own and archive the data contained in designated organizations, while giving individuals full ownership over data contained in their personal messages.
  • Track Employee Productivity: Enterprises can track deliverability (through “read” and “delivered” statuses) and response times to all messages across its messaging network.
  • Active Directory / LDAP Sync: Administrators can provision and authenticate enterprise users.
  • Enforce Message Lifespan: Enterprises can set message lifespans for conversations that take place within the organization.
  • Enforce PIN Lock: Users have the option of adding an extra layer of security by requiring the entry of a PIN passcode before accessing messages on TigerText.
  • User Control: Administrators can remote wipe and/or de-provision users from their network should an employee lose his/her device or leave the enterprise.

“The rise of over-the-top (OTT) messaging supplanting SMS amongst consumers is widely recognized,” said Brad Brooks, TigerText co-founder and CEO. “We now see enterprises looking for an OTT messaging solution as they are realizing it provides a quicker, more efficient and safer way to communicate. With TigerText’s next generation solution, they get the benefits of this ROI without sacrificing the corporate controls they require.”

The challenge all of the vendors seeking to tap the insecurity of enterprises over BYOD and the ability to see and control data on the fly on those devices is in creating a value proposition that gets the end users to buy-in to using something new along with IT departments enforcing policies and rules regarding such usage. How all of this shakes out given the interests of the likes of Google, Apple and a host of others in this space remains an open question. However, clearly with security top of mind, having an app for that, is now top of mind and TigerText is hoping that businesses want to have a Tiger by the tail.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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