HP has planted a stake in the ground in a space of growing importance to companies: managing compliance and security in internal communications in the mobile environment.
Specifically, the company launched HP Connected MX, a product it describes as enabling "organizations to confidently deliver information accessibility to their mobile workforce while facilitating organization visibility, control and protection of information at the edge."
Translation: it is a connected back up solution that keeps employees and other internal users from accidentally or carelessly sending sensitive information to an insecure smartphone or laptop.
A Solution for Endpoints
HP had an earlier version of this product, Scott Baker, director of Information Management Marketing at HP Software told CMSWire. However, it was aimed more at the desktop. This new version focuses at "endpoints on the edge" – that is, mobile devices – and has incorporated the latest in analytics and synchronization technology.
Here is what would be a typical use case: Two engineers at a firm have been collaborating on a next-gen version of a product coming to market within the next year. At one point when he is out in the field, one of the engineers emails his partner asking for a copy of the recent specs. The partner, thinking nothing of it, sends it.
Depending on how Connected MX has been configured, the engineer in the field could get the specs, sent via a link to a file. Or, the system could determine the smartphone was not secure and alert him to that.
A big dilemma for companies now is how to manage back up and recovery, compliance and security and still keep employees productive, Baker said. Companies also realize that too much responsibility is placed on the employees to decide what is sensitive information, he adds.
Analytics is an important part of the specs for Connected MX, facilitating the decisions around which content is permissible to be shared and which isn’t. It also uses metadata-based search and gives a single view of a user's information regardless of the device she is using.
Other components include unified backup, file sync, and file sharing and strong security features such as a FIPS-compliant AES 256-bit encryption algorithm to protect customer data.
Also, file viewing technology (the link the above example) lets users view information from their devices without having to download the files.
"New for HP"
This product is a new direction for HP, Baker said "We have offered similar products for the desktop but the mobile area is new territory for us in this regard."
It makes sense that HP would view Connected MX as a new area and not a continuation of its previous products in this area, Charles King, principal analyst of Pund-IT told CMSWire.
"Life has gotten much more complicated now that mobile has permeated the business," he said. "But that doesn’t excuse companies from staying in compliance with back up and recovery mandates. If a company is audited by a regulator or is party to a lawsuit, it could well have to produce emails including those sent from mobile devices."
What is interesting about the Connected MX is that, while it is an enterprise product, it could be tooled to work with HP's line of laptops and smartphones. "It is a back end specific solution that could have implications when HP finally splits off its PC division." But that is another story all together.