Verizon offers hosted mobility service for enterprise PCs, notebooks

Companies can now off-load their mobile and remote client security and management to Verizon's subscriber service

Verizon Business has launched an updated enterprise mobility service, with a revamped mobile client and new security and management features for IT administrators. Essentially, a company can off-load mobile and remote client security and management to a hosted, subscriber service.

The "Enterprise Mobility as a Service" offering is a hosted platform that simplifies securing and managing laptop and desktop PCs and netbooks, and simplifies user login and security.

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Verizon also announced a new service offering that cuts the cost of international voice roaming charges for companies operating in Europe.

IT staff can have a full view into these remote machines logging into the corporate network, says Craig Cerasi, manager of enterprise mobility products for Verizon Business.

With the new edition, administrators can see a full inventory of each PC's software load, and apply a flexible set of enterprise policies, based on security profiles created for groups or classes of employees.

The policies can force some applications to run, cause rogue or banned applications or unlicensed software to be removed. Software updates and new applications can be pushed out automatically: an anti-virus update, for example, can be loaded and installed before the PC is allowed to log-in.

The new edition can be used to facilitate a migration from Windows XP to Windows 7, according to Cerasi. "Our software can 'see' that a given user had been running XP but is now running Windows 7, and then assign to him new security features and policies," he says.

New features include:

* Patch management and remediation to bring all PCs in compliance with corporate standards.

* Inventory reports on all PCs, with full details on all software and devices installed.

* Policy enforcement scanning, to make sure a PC checks out before it's allowed access to the corporate network.

* Redesigned PC client that's easier and simpler to use: a big green "connect" button triggers automated connection profiles that can cover protected/unprotected Wi-Fi access points, Ethernet, automatic VPN, and so on.

* Client works across any operator's network, not just Verizon's.

* Logging all user activities, with the data pushed to Verizon's reporting and diagnostic applications for evaluation.

The hosted service will be available in June in 30 countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Pricing is a monthly per-user fee, which varies based on the number of users.

The two new services are part of a growing portfolio of hosted or "cloud-based" services targeted at the enterprise market. Last year, Verizon Business expanded cloud-based data center services to Europe.

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World. Twitter: RSS feed.

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This story, "Verizon offers hosted mobility service for enterprise PCs, notebooks" was originally published by Network World.