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Dell Enters the Mobile Device Management Arena - Are They Ready for the Fight?


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December 24, 2013

Dell Enters the Mobile Device Management Arena - Are They Ready for the Fight?

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The mobile trend has taken hold of our society in such a way that we have changed the methods in which we work and play. The traditional 9-5 setting has been replaced with telecommuting and flex time, allowing professionals to weave their work around their family obligations. It’s allowed for the introduction of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies and created a demand for mobile device management solutions.

So great is this demand that Dell (News - Alert) has thrown its hat into the ring. Prior to the kickoff of Dell World 2013, the company announced its Enterprise Mobility Management launch, which combines mobile device management, mobile application management and mobile content management with a secure remote access gateway.

According to company announcements on the topic, customers continue to struggle with the complexities mobile brings to the table. While many want to adopt the benefits associated with mobile communications, it can challenge business productivity when a proven strategy isn’t in place to support execution. Following extensive research and multiple acquisitions, Dell believes its enterprise suite can address many of the challenges that exist for the enterprise.

Primarily, the end user has a significant aversion to giving up their device to centralized management by the IT organization. At the same time, IT is responsible for protecting the organization. Dell aims to address this issue by providing customers with the opportunity to streamline mobility management while also preserving the ability to drive ongoing innovation.

If employees want access to the network through a mobile device, the two have to meet somewhere in the middle. This is a given wherever companies are contemplating BYOD strategies, although there may not be complete communication where mobile device management is concerned. A number of providers are ready to guide these companies through the process, but are they offering consultative advice or marketing jargon to sign a deal?

With 71 percent of companies participating in a Citrix survey believing mobility is a top priority, only 48 percent use mobile device management – demonstrating significant opportunity in this space. Proven providers do exist and they are ready and equipped to help these organizations identify their needs and develop solutions. Many have been operating in the mobile space for a while, yet Dell could edge them out. If successful, the company will secure its role in the marketplace as offering more value than just PCs and servers.

Therein lies the biggest attraction for Dell. The giant already has a proven name in the market and can leverage a competitive advantage simply through its brand. It also hopes its more comprehensive approach will edge out the smaller vendors. The challenge will be attracting attention in this space, although the challenge is small if a company is already a Dell environment. Embracing BYOD and other mobility strategies may be easier if the same provider can extend the needed solutions here as well.

The barrier for Dell, however, will be the shift in the IT purchasing strategies overall. Companies have gotten away from trusting all capabilities to one vendor, tying up their valuable assets in an industry where mergers and acquisitions lead the fray. Plus, providers like MobileIron and Airwatch have already established strong brand presence that Dell may find harder to crack than anticipated. If successful, we’re likely to see other major players throw their hat in the ring, but it’s likely to be a hard fight. 


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