MDM Market Welcomes GFI MAX, Vendor Explains Strategy

By Doug Barney

GFI MAX has been steadily broadening its portfolio. Earlier this year it jumped into backup and restore, and just recent leapt into the Mobile Device Management (MDM) fray with a new service built expressly for MSPs.

The plan began in earnest last fall when GFI bought VizualMobile, a maker of MDM wares, and announced plans to integrate it with the company’s GFI MAX line, for MSPs.

GFI MAX knew there was a market opening as a survey of GFI MAX customers showed that only 28 percent are 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.

MSP Today reached out to GFI MAX’s Chris Martin to learn more about the MDM plan.

MSP Today: Why should MSPs care about MDM?

Martin: Because mobile devices will become a significant part of their IT estate. And more and more customer work will be performed on mobile devices. Their customers users want access to the same data, on many different devices from any location – so mobility is a growing issue for IT users and MSPs need to give them what they want (securely).  

MSP Today: Why is the cloud the right way to do MDM?

Martin: I think for the general reasons cloud is advantageous… Software OPEX, pay as you use, access from anywhere. 

MSP Today: Does this MDM solution integrate with other GFI MAX tools?

Martin: Yes, MDM is offered via the same GFI MAX dashboard that all the GFI MAX capabilities are offered. One tool covering many device and service types.   

MSP Today: What is the advantage of that?

Martin: There is a single dashboard for all the IT ops needs. Easy to learn and consistent = more simple for users.

MSP Today: What are the perils of having BYOD but no MDM?

Martin: Lots of company confidential data is exposed to theft/loss or data theft/leakage. Also, there is inconsistent user experience or increased support burden by poor setup, etc.

MSP Today: How do you see the MDM space developing?

Martin: MDM will become consolidated with systems management tools – and just be another capability on wider systems management tools. Also, in parallel MDM will grow to provide application level security, which is what BYOD users and IT admins really need to enable secure mobility for more people.

MSP Today: Why partner with GFI for MDM?

Martin: For MSPs – it’s an extension of a focused MSP tool in a booming and often un-monetized area. We aim to help MSPs monetize this boom, rather than deeper and more complicated technical management. That is to say, MSPs need to start earning money around mobile as it booms - to diversify their current revenue mix. GFI is totally focused on MSPs’ commercial gain as opposed to deeper and deeper technical management. We offer support material (as we do for all our major capabilities) to help MSPs package, market and sell services around mobile security.

MSP Today: Is MDM a natural extension to many MSPs existing portfolios of services?

Martin: Absolutely, this is what their customers’ users want. The challenge for MSPs is to enable this while keeping it secure. A further challenge is that most MSPs are working around mobiles free of charge and need to change the model to allow for more devices per user, often joined by a cloud backend. They might consider changing to per user pricing to better reflect the increased number of devices to support.

Edited by Alisen Downey

MSPToday Editor at Large

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