Zenprise, a mobile device management software vendor, has released some new features in its flagship MobileManage product that aim to be of particular value to the growing number of enterprises supporting employee owned devices. MobileManage enables IT to manage iOS, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile devices from a single interface.
Zenprise has introduced two new features, profiles and selective wipe, that enable enterprise smart phone users to keep their personal stuff separate from their work stuff. Zenprise has also introduced "remote lifeline," an attempt to make supporting multiple devices with varying operating systems and different carriers a bit easier.
Zenprise, a venture funded company based in Fremont, CA, is attempting to differentiate itself in the burgeoning device management market by creating an all in one security, management and device support system. So far it's accumulated an impressive client list, including Sysco, Monsanto and Forrester.
Profiles: This setting allows IT managers to create separate profiles for employee owned devices and company owned devices. For example, IT may add additional restrictions to company owned devices and while giving employee owned devices more freedom to install apps and games.
Selective Wipe: One of the biggest problems with introducing personal smart phones in the enterprise is the question of what to do with them if the employee leaves the company or loses the phone. The ability to segregate person data (like photos, music, etc.) from company data makes the dilemma much easier. Using Zenprise, IT can wipe company data from a phone but nothing else.
Remote Lifeline: Supporting multiple smart phone devices can be a nightmare for IT. And even if the IT department doesn't formally support employee owned smart phones, there will always be emergency instances in which IT staff are called upon to support VIPs on the road. Remote Lifeline gives IT staff the ability to remotely configure VPN, WiFi and other critical settings. It will also assist IT in troubleshooting devices by checking for common issues, carrier outages and other problems.
Remote Lifeline is key to the company's ambitions. While competitors like Good and Sybase offer robust security and management features, Zenprise is banking on its support features to make a difference. As employees become more and more reliant on phones and tablets, as opposed to laptops, the need to effectively support these devices will become greater and "we don't officially support that device" will become less and less of a valid excuse for not troubleshooting devices in the field.