By Cassandra Balentine
Mobile device management (MDM) is an expanding and evolving technology sector. As more organizations and employees rely on remote capabilities, many elements are considered. Therefore, a new and all-encompassing strategy comes into play—enterprise mobility management (EMM).
Defined by Gartner in its June 2014 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites, EMM consists of policy and configuration management tools and a management overlay for applications (apps) and content intended for mobile devices based on a smartphone’s OS. In its report, the research firm explains that these suites represent an evolution from previous-generation MDM products that lacked app and content management. Core functions of EMM include hardware and app inventory, OS configuration management, mobile app development and configuration, policy management, remote actions, and mobile content management.
Simi Komboj, senior product manager, Sophos, defines EMM as a solution that is designed to help manage, secure, and protect mobile devices, apps, and content on devices through a user-centric approach. “A robust EMM solution will enable consistent management of all mobile devices that carry sensitive corporate data, allow them to remove corporate data on lost devices, and equip organizations with enterprise-level data security, allowing their users to use mobile devices safely and securely.”
The Path to Adoption
As with any evolution of technology, organizations must weigh a variety of pros and cons before considering adoption. Major drivers and inhibitors surround EMM adoption.
Neal Foster, executive director of mobility and integrated solutions, Dell Software, points out two major drivers of EMM. The first comes from early mobility adopters that embrace EMM to consolidate current silos of mobile-enabled solutions and simplify operational management. The other represents organizations that want to empower employees to pick the devices and tools they need to most effectively perform daily tasks.
“Today the average employee uses at least two to three devices a day to get work done. And, on average, owns at least one of them,” states Swarna Podila, principal product marketing manager, mobile platforms group, Citrix. “At the same time, there has been an explosion in the number and type of apps created for and used on these devices.”
Podila cites a recent study in which Citrix found that most enterprises today support more than 200 apps in their portfolios. In the near future, half of these are expected to be Web, Software as a Service, and mobile apps. In addition, most employees use personal, cloud-sharing services to store files outside of the corporate firewall. Collectively, these trends have prompted IT to seek a way to support employees who choose where, when, and how they want to work—all while securing corporate data and protecting the network from mobile threats.
Jeff Holleran, senior director, enterprise product strategy, BlackBerry, suggests that in the past, enterprises started with mobilizing email and have moved to bring your own device (BYOD) support through the use of policies with MDM. They now look to drive the same value out of their initial mobility investments. “While some enterprises have begun to adopt EMM solutions that go beyond email to enhance mobile productivity, a large number of enterprises and industries are still too slow at implementing modern BYOD policies across their organization, which is hindering overall adoption,” he explains.
Education is essential to propel the successful adoption of EMM strategies. “While many organizations have a strong need to mobilize their business, few understand how complex mobility can be, or how EMM can benefit them,” says Carl Rodrigues, CEO, SOTI. He suggests that for those not familiar with EMM, it can be complicated and IT often does not know where to start. “While some organizations actively seek EMM-related information and education, many adopt an ignorance-is-bliss approach, which rarely works. Achieving desired outcomes requires a strong understanding of EMM coupled with a solid mobility strategy and plan—all of which requires education.”
Leadership, knowledge, and strategy are all critical aspects to any enterprise-wide technology strategy.
Pablo Estrada, director of product marketing, Cisco’s Cloud Networking Group, says that first, organizations should carefully assess their needs and objectives, involving multiple stakeholder groups that may be impacted, including apps, end user computing, the network, and of course, security. “They should also carefully consider the needs of end users and collaborate with them to make sure the gains are met in practice.”
Cheryl Tang, senior manager, mobility, Symantec, notes that at the end of the day, mobility is not about the EMM solution. It is about how lines of business leverage mobility to turn an existing business process on its head. “It’s about what your employees and partners are trying to do. Finally, it’s about how EMM can help you and your organization to do the right thing.”
Tim Williams, director of product management, Absolute Software, points to the phenomenon of “analysis paralysis” as a big roadblock to EMM adoption. “How can you ever know for sure what is the best solution to get a handle on all of this rapidly changing technology? The short answer is that you cannot. But, the biggest mistake I see in selecting EMM solutions is when companies start with a massive list of features they’ve read about. That’s putting the cart before the horse,” he warns. “I always recommend that businesses start with a short list of three to five top priorities. What are the first problems you need to solve? Then make an even shorter list of the problems you expect in the long term, based on your company’s specific plans.”
Williams also suggests that organizations set clear security policies that reflect the priority of corporate data security; they can’t expect employees to make it a priority on their own. “The data may be carried around by the employee, but the fines that can be levied due to data loss come out of the company’s pocket. Clear policies and proper communication to employees ensure that the entire company—not just IT—unites against mobile data loss.”
Mittal Parekh, senior director, product marketing and strategy, Globo, says that when it comes to EMM, one size does not fit all and CIOs cannot wing it. Before considering EMM, CIOs need to take stock of their own universe. “They need to understand their needs of today, tomorrow, and the future. They need to have a fairly clear view of how their business is evolving and based on that, they need to extrapolate their EMM needs.”
Parekh adds that tactical thinking is essential. Organizations need to know use cases, including the what, why, when, who, and how of mobilizing their enterprises. The ecosystem includes major considerations such as devices; apps; data; security, control, and compliance requirements; and end user productivity, experience, and freedom of choice.
Troy Fulton, director, product marketing, Tangoe, says CIOs need a strategy that enables the business use cases that technology supports, and not the reverse. “This strategy should consider integration with the entire mobile ecosystem, including EMM and telecom expense management.”
He suggests choosing an EMM vendor that offers best-of-breed integration flexibility via a robust API library, which he explains lowers switching costs versus investing deeper in a single vendor’s IPA stack. “Lifecycle costs for spend optimization should also be considered, including device, support, apps, license cost, usage tracking, security, and administration management,” adds Fulton.
Globo provides an example of a successful EMM implementation. TUI Hellas, a member of the TUI Travel PLC, formed on September 2007 from the merger of First Choice Holidays PLC and TUI AG. According to Globo, TUI Travel PLC is one of the largest tour operators globally with 48,000 employees offering travel services to 180 countries, including more than 20 major markets where it serves over 30 million customers.
Prior to implementing an EMM strategy with Globo, the organization processed customer orders using PDAs running a sell-out mobile app. It received customer payment in cash or via credit card and printed the customer receipt using a mobile printer.
However, over time, the solution was difficult to maintain and effectively operate. One of TUI Hellas’ major issues was the reliability and availability of its PDA devices. The company decided they needed to move to a modern solution where they could select a mobile device from those widely available on the market. It replaced PDAs with Apple iPads, but needed the flexibility to switch to another device if the need arose.
Changing mobile devices meant that it had to develop a new mobile app. One requirement was the transition to the new solution should take no longer than two months.
TUI Hellas was concerned with development time. Additionally, they wanted the cost of the app to remain low and feature the ability to securely integrate with its SAP R3 back-end system. The company also needed to simplify authentication and data synchronization.
To address these concerns, TUI Hellas selected Globo’s GO!Enterprise platform, and specifically the GO!Enterprise Mobilizer solution, which is designed to serve the needs of a business to enterprise environment.
Globo developed a mobile app for the organization’s Apple iPads using GO!AppZone Studio, the development tool of the GO!Enterprise platform.
With these new developments, if a tour operator decided to deploy the app to different mobile devices in the future—such as iOS, Andriod, Windows Phone, Windows 8, and BlackBerry—they can do so without having to redevelop the app. Communication of the app with TUI’s SAP R3 back-end system is completed using Web services developed by Globo and its partners.
Mobile sales representatives using the new mobile app sell excursions to tourists at their hotels, receive payment in cash or by credit card—via the use of m-pos. Additionally, they view their own sales reports, change their passwords, and change the user app. They can also issue multiple tickets per transaction as well as cancel and refund customer tickets.
The solution also works offline and extra functionality is included to print tickets manually with no Internet connection.
Since implementation, TUI’s sales force is reportedly more efficient and customers are served faster. There is also the opportunity to add more functionality. The mobile app works across different mobile devices so sales representatives and TUI have flexibility in using devices based on user preference.
Medical on the Move
The previous case study illustrated the business affect of EMM and advanced remote capabilities in a sales setting. However, many industries benefit from the abilities offered by EMM.
Sophos offers the example of Columbia Valley Community Health (CVCH), located in North Central WA. Within CVCH, professionals increasingly rely on mobile devices to deliver care to patients.
CVCH operates out of five locations throughout the region. Often on the move, it is important that private patient data and emails are accessible via mobile solutions. Additionally, it is essential that it is protected against data loss and theft.
To manage mobility, CVCH relies on Sophos Mobile Control (SMC). The organization reports two instances where users have lost their mobile devices. With the help of Sophos, CVCH’s administrators wiped the devices, preventing any data loss. With SMC in place, CVCH easily extends security to the more devices it supports.
A Grander Approach to Mobility
The enterprise need for mobility is clear, and requirements continue to become more complex as CIOs recognize both the pros and cons of a mobile workforce.
Security and privacy concerns remain top of mind, particularly in industries like healthcare and banking.
With the continued evolution of MDM and a more encompassing EMM, organizations have the ability to manage and track more information from a range of supported devices. SW
Dec2014, Software Magazine