MobiDM, a Netherlands-based mobile software development company, responded to the growing need among organizations to manage and secure the broad range of mobile devices being used by employees in the enterprise by developing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) mobile device management solution. This solution enables organizations to provision, manage, monitor, maintain and secure mobile devices over any wireless connection from a central console.
By using MobiDM, organizations of all sizes can secure and manage the mobile devices used by their employees, including the applications and data residing on them, without having to build, install and maintain their own solutions. MobiDM allows organizations to begin provisioning and securing devices in minutes while realizing a significant ROI.
- Ensures reliable mobile device security
- Eliminates up-front development, equipment and staffing investments
- Provides a clear, predictable cost of ownership with a flexible license model
- Enables IT staff to focus on revenue generating activities
- Allows organizations to be up and running in 15 minutes
Mobile Device Management Made Easy and Affordable
As workplaces become increasingly mobile, with employees of all types using company issued and personally owned mobile devices to perform their jobs, managing and securing these devices has become a mission-critical task.
IT managers are keenly aware of the need to ensure the security of their information from back-end to the frontlines. As it relates to mobility, they must protect against security breaches that might occur if mobile devices are misused, stolen or penetrated by cyber criminals. Safeguarding the integrity of data collected and maintained in the course of doing business is not just a good and necessary business practice, but in many cases it is required by industry or government regulations.
This challenge is not unlike the challenge IT departments faced when desktop PCs and later notebooks first appeared on the scene. It?s a bit more complicated, though, given the rapid mobile worker population growth rate in today?s enterprises (projected by some to exceed 70 percent of the US workforce by 2011). Add to that the growing diversity of mobile devices, applications and wireless connectivity that are in use, and the lack of mobile technology skill sets in many IT departments and you can understand the burden this challenge can place on companies.
MobiDM was launched to make it easy and affordable for organizations to address this critical challenge through the creation of a hosted, software-as-a-service (SaaS) mobile device management solution powered by Sybase iAnywhere?s Afaria device management and security product. MobiDM provides IT departments with ready-to-go, comprehensive management and security capabilities that ensure that mobile data and devices are up-to-date, reliable and secure.
Business Opportunity Presents Itself
?Our company began as a software development firm that was focused on developing mobile device management solutions for large clients such as government agencies, large banks and others,? explains Alex Bausch, CEO of the company behind MobiDM. ?We developed and implemented a number of these solutions for clients in our first couple of years in business. Eventually, we were contacted by a few companies including Vodafone, the world's leading mobile telecommunications company, with a significant presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the United States, Capgemini and KPN/Getronics, the leading telecommunications and ICT service provider in The Netherlands. They asked us if we could develop a managed service that would enable them to offer their customers mobile device management and security quickly and easily without the customers having to install and manage any hardware or software. Essentially, they were looking for simplicity, reliability and a low total cost of ownership.?
These, and eventually many other companies, simply didn?t have the mobile technology skill sets and other resources required to create and maintain their own solutions. Additionally, they preferred to focus the resources they did have on their core businesses while still being able to offer customers an easy and affordable way to secure and manage the devices in use across their companies.
In these requests from Vodafone, KPN/Getronics and others, MobiDM saw a unique business opportunity ? a way to offer businesses of all sizes an easy method for managing their devices without adding IT staff, without incurring substantial development and equipment costs and without interfering or inconveniencing end-users.
?As we thought about this,? says Bausch, ?we decided we wanted to solve three issues with MobiDM. First, we wanted to develop a solution that would not burden customers or require them to hire employees to manage the management solution. Second, we wanted the solution to provide easy-to-use, transparent functionality to enable enforcement of security policies, over-the-air software distribution and application and data updates. We also needed the solution to provide device configuration monitoring and enforcement, multiple device support and the scalability to support the ever growing number of devices in use in today?s enterprises. And finally, we wanted to do all of this without requiring an upfront investment by our customers. I believe we?ve been successful in doing all of this.?
MobiDM: A Closer
In conceptualizing this managed solution, MobiDM envisioned a mobility management platform with a Web portal interface that would utilize a SaaS delivery model and be as easy to use as a typical electronic banking solution while providing a clear, predictable cost of ownership.
?We knew from the start that we needed a proven, robust and scalable mobile device management product to power our MobiDM offering,? says Bausch. ?Because we knew how critical that would be to our success, we researched a dozen different options. This exhaustive research led us to the conclusion that only Afaria from Sybase iAnywhere could deliver the range of functionality, the multi-platform support and the ability to mesh well with our SaaS strategy that we required.?
The MobiDM solution consists of a portal interface and the Afaria client software running on the handheld devices. These connect to Afaria servers running on VMware virtual servers at the company?s consolidated server farm via a variety of wireless connections including GPRS/EDGE/3G,W-LAN e.g. 802.11b/g, Infrared and Bluetooth.
Beyond selecting Afaria as the mobile device management and security solution to power its managed solution, MobiDM established a unique relationship with Sybase iAnywhere in which the two companies collaborated in the development process. This is an ongoing co-development relationship, which is proving quite productive. MobiDM is able to upgrade the solution frequently to support new devices and deliver additional functionality such as telecom expense management and the scheduled delivery of audio and video files to users? smartphones.
The company?s user base is growing at a rate of about a thousand new devices each month. This growth, which MobiDM attributes to its significant value proposition, continues apace with the company expecting to be providing hosted management services to a million mobile users before too long. This shouldn?t be a problem given the kudos the company has received from its customers.
Eric van Daatselaar, Product Portfolio Marketeer at Vodafone Netherlands says, ?MobiDM is a vital part of our Windows Mobile E-mail proposition ? a SaaS solution aimed at our enterprise customers. MobiDM gives us the opportunity to offer our customers control, management and security over all their smartphones out in the field including the settings of mobile connectivity from the smartphones to the ICT environment. MobiDM supports the productivity of the mobile employees for an attractive cost per month. So naturally, Vodafone Netherlands is very enthusiastic about MobiDM!"
Edwin Pastoors, data and telecom manager of ONVZ, a Dutch health-insurance company, comments, ?We were looking for a solution to secure and manage our smartphones. In MobiDM we found the solution. The software has minimum impact on the device performance and is very user friendly. We were also attracted by the company?s business model which requires no upfront investment or any maintenance on our part. We are very satisfied with the service.?
MobiDM + Sybase
iAnywhere = Success
?I believe that our success is due largely to the fact that we are meeting a very pressing need,? says Bausch. ?Organizations have embraced mobile technology because it delivers clear and compelling benefits including increased employee productivity, reduced operational costs, improved data collection and accuracy, the ability to seize opportunities where and when they present themselves and to strengthen relationships with customers and business partners.
?Business and IT managers at organizations also know it is essential that mobile devices be manageable and secure,? adds Bausch. ?What they want is a solution that works, that requires no up-front investment on their part, that is easy to use and that delivers a return on their investment. As long as we continue to meet or exceed those expectations, I believe MobiDM will be successful. Sybase iAnywhere is an invaluable partner and we look forward to that partnership continuing and evolving as our business grows.?