Mobile Device Management Welcomes GFI MAX to the Fray

By Doug Barney

GFI MAX extended its extensive MSP line of wares with the addition of Mobile Device Management (MDM).

Late last year the company acquired UK-based MDM vendor VizualMobile. At the time GFI announced plans to integrate MDM with the company’s GFI MAX line, for MSPs, and GFI Software’s GFI Cloud aimed at IT professionals.  

GFI MAX long ago identified the need for MDM and a recent survey drove that point home. According to a survey of GFI MAX customers, less than a third, just 28 percent, are today making money from mobile device support.

The good news is that these GFI MAX partners can now simply add MDM to their repertoire, and have it integrate with the other GFI tools they already use and sell.

The MDM tool supports the key mobile platforms, including iOS, Blackberry and Android. With it, one can ensure security, monitor and track smartphones, and control costs.

On the monitoring side, the tool offers real-time information about how smartphones are being used, including where they are, whether they are violating any corporate policies, and how data is being transferred.

On the costing front, the system can figure out what data usage costs and control data use so it stays within budget.

Finally it helps keep these mobile devices secure by locking the phone or remotely wiping data if the device is compromised, lost or stolen, or the employee leaves the company. It can also send alerts if the user is visiting inappropriate Web sites.

“GFI MAX MSPs need solutions that allow them to meet their customers’ needs and inspire confidence in the quality of service that is being provided, while also generating new revenue opportunities that generate growth,” said Dr. Alistair Forbes, general manager of the GFI MAX business unit. “As more and more digital natives enter the workforce, employees will likely have different expectations for mobile device usage at work as well as different tolerances for corporate standards or limitations. By providing a flexible mobile device management solution, MSPs can create deeper relationships with their customers while enabling them to simultaneously protect their network and avoid the risk of alienating their employees.”

MSP Tiers

GFI has three tiers of function, allowing MSPs to choose how full a solution they want to provide, the point being they don’t have to pay for features they don’t intend to use. And they can always expand this use later.

The lowest tier is gratis. “All GFI MAX MSPs will be able to enroll customers’ mobile devices on their network and provide access to basic device information free of charge, allowing them to start an informed conversation about the importance of mobile device management for today’s businesses,” GFI explained. “The other tiers also provide features that are suitable for both employee-owned and business-owned devices that need to be secured in order to protect sensitive company data, a requirement highlighted by the recently updated HIPAA regulations, amongst other compliance-driven use cases.”

Why MDM Matters

Mobile security and control is critical in this age of BYOD. Another survey by GFI in the UK found that a full 100 percent of the 1,000 workers questioned use public Wi-Fi to get work done, possibly exposing corporate information to prying eyes. “Furthermore, 20 percent of mobile devices have no security enabled; while just 5 percent indicate that they have corporate security policies enforced on their devices,” GFI cautioned.

Meanwhile, according to Forrester, some 37 percent of U.S. information workers in the U.S. already use their own devices – without corporate permission. 

Forrester also argues that by 2016, 200 million people will bring their own devices to their companies.

IDC also covers this market and is particularly interested in the intersection of MDM and mobile application management (MAM). “In recognition of the growing convergence between the mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) markets, IDC is now producing an annual forecast and analysis document that combines the two markets into a new market called mobile enterprise management (MEM) software,” IDC explained.

Two years ago the global MEM software revenue was $444.6 million. This market will grow 31.8 percent and will hit $1.8 billion in 2016.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

MSPToday Editor at Large

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