Paul Leslie, Soft Solutions business development manager, says executives are likely to be the driving force behind the adoption of BYOD – and the need for mobile device management solutions.
He says the form factor of tablets, with their portrait orientation abilities, opens up ‘a whole new way of doing business’ for executives. "That’s going to drive business to adopt [BYOD]. Once the boss has a tablet, it’s very hard for an IT manager to say ‘no, we don’t have the security to support you using your personal tablet for work’. I think that will drive it as much as anything.”
Soft Solutions recently announced that it is representing Zenprise mobile device management solutions. Zenprise offers products which provide multiple layers of security operating at the device, application, network and data tiers.
Leslie says Zenprise will be available as both on-premise – for a minimum of 100 licenses – and software as a service licensing options. Resellers can also purchase the on-premise solution to provide a managed service to customers. He says resellers offering the managed service will enable smaller customer to access the solutions, while also ensuring the customer doesn’t require an APNS (Apple push notification service) certificate – an additional cost and certification which takes a couple of weeks to be approved by Apple.
Leslie says initially the resellers to benefit from the Zenprise deal will be those talking to large organisations for whom the 100-license on-premise option will suit. "It is not necessarily today that there are going to be a lot of companies ready for that, but they are going to get there pretty rapidly.
Zenprise can restrict which devices can connect to a company network, enforce security, manage internet usage limit what can be installed on the device, provide a separate data store for company information as distinct from personal files, allow different controls to be applied to company owned devices, as opposed to employee-owned, and let administrators track and remotely wipe lost devices.
"This is something that is very much here with us now. The form factor and the portability is driving business use and the enterprise needs to adapt and accept it rapidly. They can’t deny it. And the channel needs to be leading that conversation with customers. They can’t afford to wait, because often businesses, if not given a guide, will introduce technology themselves and then channel partners will have to adapt to it without having had foresight and being able to recommend the right solution.”
Adds Leslie: "We are part of the bigger picture. Zenprise gives controls, but tablets and smartphones are delivering the business benefits.”