BoxTone has released a new version of its mobile device management software, which now works with existing enterprise policy-setting and security tools. This integration lets enterprise IT staff apply those tools to mobile users.
Management and security policies set through Microsoft Active Directory now can be applied automatically to provision and update mobile users, and monitor their policy compliance, as well as report and correct violations or problems, according to the vendor.
[ Learn how to manage iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys, and other smartphones in InfoWorld's 20-page Mobile Management Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay ahead of advances in mobile technology with InfoWorld's Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ]
Network World Clear Choice Test: How to protect smartphones and tablets (May 2011)
The drive for the revamped MDM software came from customers and prospects, says Brian Reed, vice president of products for BoxTone. These companies already had in place IT, HR, and other policies, procedures and systems for adding new hires, moving or promoting people, authenticating employees and so on. What they wanted was to leverage these existing resources for users with mobile devices, instead of managing them as a separate group, according to Reed.
BoxTone has offered a suite of server programs, with some integration with Microsoft Active Directory to manage and secure mobile users and their devices. But the new release of the suite is intended to rescue mobile management from being a separate application, largely independent of existing IT systems. It includes four key new elements:
- Modifications to the core BoxTone code to apply policy changes created via Active Directory or other tools automatically to mobile devices and users.
- A security dashboard for administrators, giving them a high-level summary of mobile users and devices and their real-time security and compliance status.
- Governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) reports, to meet security audit mandates.
- And, compliance management engine, an application that monitors the security status of mobile users, devices, applications and services, to detect and correct violations or anomalies.
BoxTone isn't the only MDM vendor addressing this space. Most of them have been working to encompass ever more of the elements, features and products that bear on mobility for enterprise employees. BoxTone claims it's the first to achieve this depth of integration with policy tools such as Active Directory and Windows Authentication. An employee can be identified as a sales rep with the company's New York office and assigned a given set of mobile access and use rights based on that role and location, for example. "We go beyond the simple user ID/password combination," Reed says. "We can use an Active Directory ID for rights management, for example."