Earlier this week, we highlighted the growing need for companies to develop more comprehensive approaches to iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices than simply purchasing and implementing a mobile device management console. The device-only approach isn’t always a solution in itself and there’s a growing trend of focusing on managing the information and apps on an iOS device instead of (or in addition to) the device itself.
As this multi-tiered model becomes more common, businesses are typically looking at multiple solutions, which is prompting companies in this space to develop strategic partnerships or consider acquisitions as a way of offer businesses a more integrated approach. Two instances of this were the announcement of Good and Box partnering for secure data and enterprise cloud storage and Symantec’s acquisition of Nukona and Odyssey.
Another partnership was announced yesterday between MDM vendor MobileIron and enterprise wireless firm iPass.
MobileIron is one of the leading MDM solutions on the market with support for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Symbian, and webOS. iPass offers a range of services designed to help tailor wireless use for enterprise devices including a network of over 700,000 Wi-Fi networks around the world that can be accessed seamlessly and securely by enterprise mobile devices.
The partnership will allow businesses using MobileIron to deliver the range of iPass mobile apps to employees through MobileIron’s enterprise app store functionality. IT can tailor wireless options to the needs of a company’s mobile workforce using the collection of features available from iPass. The combined capabilities of both companies offers the ability to secure, manage, and monitor both app and device deployment as well as connectivity throughout an organization. The partnership also makes it easy for IT and mobile users to access the iPass network of Wi-Fi service locations around the world.
As 2012 continues, we’re likely to see a number of similar partnerships along with a few more acquisitions or mergers. Up till now, the trend has been for companies to focus on specific parts of the mobile management equation. Over the past year, the conversation about mobility management has expanded as more businesses begin to deal with more mobile devices, BYOD programs, and the issues around data access and security inherent in mobile devices and cloud services – all of which points to the need for a multi-tiered approach.
As dozens of companies in this space merge or partner with each other, the entire mobile management equation should become simpler for CIOs and IT departments to solve because of the emergence of integrated sets of tools for developing a multi-tiered strategy.