Sybase Afaria Preps for iOS 4 with Mobile Security, Mobile Management Tools
As Apple rolls out the new mobile platform iOS 4 this week, mobile management firms are responding by unveiling new services to support the OS that focus on mobile security and mobile app delivery and oversight. Sybase is now accepting applications for the Afaria iOS 4 beta, available early next month, that will work in conjunction with the OS to provide mobile IT staff with over-the-air delivery of in-house enterprise apps and management policies, separation of personal and enterprise information and improved transparency and control of asset tracking for iOS 4 devices. There are three basic services in Sybase's latest Afaria offering: the streamlined delivery of enterprise apps, the ability to separate personal information from company data on the iPhone and stronger mobile management oversight tools for security and inventory tracking. Delivery of in-house apps is easier with Afaria iOS 4 because now it can be done over-the-air directly to the iPhone. Additionally, mobile IT can set up a list of approved or recommended App Store downloads through an Afaria client portal on the iPhone. There is also the ability to keep a user's personal content separate from the company's data that's stored on a worker's iPhone. Remote iPhone management tools allow IT to install and remove device policies as well as lock and wipe the device -- all without the need for user interaction.
"Previously, users had to connect and download, or IT had to do it, so you had to physically touch the device, which is hard to do with 500 or even 20 workers. Now you can set up user groups and deliver appropriate apps to them. You also get the control of revoking privileges, so if you deploy a CRM app to Joe Sales Guy and he quits, you can go into Afaria in the admin console, and boom, pull it off, so he walks away with just his family pictures on his iPhone when he leaves," Mark Jordan, senior product manager at Sybase, told EnterpriseMobileToday.com. The new Afaria service also includes improved asset and app tracking and security compliance management. Asset tracking provides data on device network information, connection data, security information, profile and provisioning data certificates and restrictions and installed third-party apps. IT staff can see what apps are running on an iPhone as well as how much storage remains on the device. Afaria iOS 4 also gives IT managers more power and flexibility to enforce policies. For instance, Afaria can restrict corporate e-mail access for users who fail to comply with ITs device management policies and will flag things such as whether an iPhone is set up to allow downloads while employees are overseas and working under international roaming plans.
iPhone 4, iOS 4 to Juice up iPhone in the EnterpriseNews of Sybase Afaria for iOS 4 comes at a time when the industry is widely anticipating an uptick in the use of iPhones in the workplace on the heels of the iPhone 4 release. Fifty-six percent of iPhone owners says new features in iPhone 4 -- multitasking, sorting emails by subject and remote wipe --are likely to allow them to use the device more for work purposes, according to a survey commissioned by Sybase and conducted by Zogby International.
The survey also says that more than one-third of participants who don't already own an iPhone would consider one for work use while a majority, 64 percent of those who do own an iPhone say they use it at least once a week for work. Forty-three percent say multitasking is the new phone's most important feature and 5 percent identified FaceTime, video-conferencing, as a top tool for work. Twenty percent of respondents say they use third-party enterprise apps they download from the App Store, while 13 percent say they use their company's own business apps. "The increasing diversity of platforms being incorporated into enterprise environments, such as iPhone 4, have companies scrambling to enable the use of such high user-demand devices while maintaining corporate security policies," Jack Gold, president of J.Gold Associates, said in a statement. "Third party management and security applications like those from Sybase enable companies to augment these devices' capabilities by keeping corporate data assets safe and separate from the private user sections of these devices. When such enhancements are deployed, these consumer devices can become capable business productivity tools connected to a corporate environment."