Your mobile device is your computer. You might not know this just yet. But think about how you communicate and access information most often —where do you check your e-mail, message a co-worker, look something up or view a document or other kind of content?
If you’re like most people, you’re using a mobile device more and more frequently and your desktop or laptop less and less. While we’re not suggesting that your computer, as you now know it, is going to disappear just yet, it’s on its way out. Even Dell acknowledges that: Dell is now in the business phone business.
Consider too the technology vendors whose solutions you use most often. Microsoft has committed itself to a mobile-first, cloud-first strategy. Apple has joined forces with IBM to deliver mobile solutions to the enterprise and it has made its screens bigger, too. SAP has gone mobile. And VMware bought AirWatchto get its mobile play.
Protecting All that Data
It’s almost needless to say that it’s a mobile window through which you’ll see the world, and that most of the data, files and other content you need to access will live virtually or in the cloud, if it doesn’t already.
And if you’re an enterprise or company of any size, you need to keep the information that you own or are trusted to care for, safe and under your control, regardless of where it lives, where it flows and where and when it is altered.
There’s one company that may very well support you in this endeavor better than any other. It’s AirWatch, which is now owned by VMware. Gartner named it a leader in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Ovum placed its Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) as “best in show” when it comes to the management of the requirements of corporate IT .
What’s somewhat unique about VMware’s AirWatch is that it's in the business of securing mobile content via both EMM and EFSS. This is vital as enterprises and consumers move to a mobile, cloudy world.
At AirWatch Connect, AirWatch by VMWare’s annual user conference, in Atlanta earlier last week, the company made a long list of announcements about new products and features as well as updates to a number of existing offerings. Some of them were visionary, others are certainly worth mentioning.
At the end of this article, we’re including a somewhat shameless plug made by the company, exclusively for CMSWire readers. Though we don’t generally publish things like this, it says in a few minutes what could take you more than a half of an hour to read.
That being said, here’s the news we found to be especially notable.
It’s OK to Chat at Work
If IT doesn’t provide an intuitive, easy to use, consumer-like solution for communicating in the enterprise, workers will find their own ways. In fact they already are — whether IT wants to admit it or not. And when it comes to chat and texting, easy-to-use consumer SMS options abound, be they WhatsApp, Facebook, Yahoo messenger, Skype, Mobomix … you get the picture.
And while these tools function well and the end user experience is high, the problem is that they’re not secure and they need to be, especially in industries like healthcare, government and legal, where sensitive data is concerned.
At the conference, John Marshall, AirWatch’s founder, introduced AirWatch Chat, a containerized, secure instant messaging application for iOS and Android. As you’ll see in the video, it not only has a consumer-like UI, but it also provides enterprise-grade message security such as end-to-end message level encryption, trusted device detection, single sign-on integration and app-level authentication, data encryption at rest and the ability to archive messages for audits on an as-needed basis.
In addition, it has data loss prevention capabilities such as restricting multimedia messages, disabling copy/paste, preventing screen captures and restricting the use of the camera, as well as settings for Wi-Fi and on-prem only. It will be available in Q3 of 2014.
Eyes Off of My Mail
AirWatch also launched the next generation of its AirWatch Inbox, part of the AirWatch Mobile Email Management suite. Marshall pointed out that it offers extended enterprise-grade security capabilities and a more intuitive user experience for business-critical applications such as email, calendar and contacts and iPad optimization.
It may be just what the CEO ordered in BYOD scenarios because it can be deployed as a managed application or within the dual persona AirWatch Workspace, the company’s containerized solution.
Marshall says that in addition to easy access to email, calendar and contacts, it will also offer additional layers of security to organizations through seamless integration with other solutions in the AirWatch platform, including AirWatch Secure Content Locker and AirWatch Browser.
How About Them Apples?
Want AirWatch on your iPhone 6? You can have it as soon as you get your phone.
But that’s not all the Mac news made at the conference. Enhanced capabilities for comprehensive Mac Management were introduced as well. New AirWatch Mac Management features include application management, streamlined staging, interoperability with Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP) and new profile configurations.
Wrap That Application
Let’s face it, most of the enterprise mobile apps we use are silos that don’t interoperate. Marshall and his team don’t want that for their customers so they built AirWatch AppShield and announced interoperability with leading mobile app development platforms (MADPs).
This makes it easy for AirWatch partners to give existing enterprise apps an extra level of security and management capabilities without requiring further development.
Adobe, Appcelerator, Kony, MicroStrategy, Oracle, Salesforce.com, Sencha, Telerik and Xamarin are the charter MADP partners. AirWatch also interoperates with the Apache Cordova open platform, which powers many other MADP providers.
This is just a taste of the announcements made at AirWatch Connect. It’s no wonder that VMWare scooped the company up to provide mobile to their customers.
Want to know more? Watch the video.