Mobile device management is properly defined as... wait for it... managing mobile devices.
Okay, it’s a bit more complex than just that. It includes smartphones and tablets and everything else chewing up all the bandwidth in sight. It’s similar to how IT manages computers, according to industry observer Brian Reinholz, what with performance monitoring, encryption and the ability to remotely wipe the device. Not exactly uncharted territory.
Reinholz notes the newest approach, mobile application management. The basic idea, he says, is that employees have their own smartphones, their own iPads, and like using them and don’t really want to have to keep track of an extra business phone, instead they want to use their own devices for both work and play. But of course employers don’t want all your personal data under their company umbrella, either. What to do? Enter MAM.
The idea, as Reinholz explains it, is you hook up the MAM to a client machine, and “manage both the apps that your company has developed for employees, and (to some extent) the apps your employees use that came from those big scary app stores.”
This means employees can download the apps you want them to have for work, you can restrict users from accessing the public app store beyond what you've recommended if you feel the need to do so, as Reinholz says, and “you can use these tools to push documents out to mobile devices, such as a PowerPoint slides to the sales team.”
So what about managing the actual device itself? Performance monitoring, remote wipe, expense management, can all that still take place? Reinholz commented, “you can also deploy both an MDM and an MAM.” It’s not an either-or thing – in fact, he says, BoxTone (an MDM vendor) and Apperian (News - Alert), an MAM seller, are partnering to offer a combined MDM/MAM offering.
TMCnet recently reported that Apperian has joined hands with BoxTone (News - Alert) to offer companies a tool for full lifecycle enterprise-grade mobile device management, giving companies a unified mobile management platform that provides a single point of control to address the full mobile lifecycle with BoxTone.
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Jamie Epstein