Verizon, AT&T Roll Out New Mobile Management Services

Verizon and AT&T today each rolled out new mobile management services aimed at easing the burden on mobile IT by making it easier to oversee multiple mobile devices -- that may or may not be company-owned -- running on different operating systems.

Verizon's offering is called the Mobile Services Enablement Platform (MSEP) and is designed to help businesses create enterprise applications that can be accessed from a variety of mobile devices while still providing the same user experience as seen when using a desktop computer. AT&T's new service -- MobileIron Virtual Smartphone Platform (VSP)-- helps businesses better manage and secure smartphones on multiple operating systems within their organizations.

The news of Verizon's and AT&T's latest mobile device management services comes at a time when the mobile landscape is becoming more difficult to supervise, as companies grapple with a fragmented OS environment, a mix of personally-owned and company-owned devices and logistic issues pertaining to the deployment of enterprise applications for mobile office workers.

"Enterprises are prioritizing mobility initiatives as a key strategic focus, expanding the use of smartphones and investing in a range of mobile applications to address the needs of information workers," according to the Oct. 28 Forrester Research report, "Managing Mobile Complexity."

In looking at the coming year, 46 percent of companies surveyed identify supporting more mobile applications for out-of-office users as a key priority, and 33 percent identify supporting more mobile applications for employees who work in the office as a key priority, according to the report.

Managing applications with Verizon's MSEP

In addition to providing customizable application-development templates that can be tailored to create new business-specific applications, Verizon's MSEP is also integrated with major enterprise software applications including Siebel, SAP, Oracle, Remedy, Salesforce.com and Amdocs. As a result, users can have a similar experience with these programs whether accessing them from an office or remotely, according to Verizon.

“To enable a truly borderless enterprise, businesses need to arm mobile workers with secure access to the applications essential for their day-to-day operations,” Carrie Gray, executive director of solutions marketing for Verizon, said in a statement.

The MSEP is the newest addition to the Verizon Managed Mobility portfolio, which is designed to improve mobility programs in five key areas, enabling enterprises to subscribe to one or more of the following modules:
  • MSEP – Supports mobile enterprise applications by enabling the deployment of new and enhanced applications, as well as the mobilization of business processes and traditional desktop applications.

  • Mobile Device Management – Delivers tools, applications and data to employees, where and when required, and creates and enforces flexible mobile policies across devices, groups or individual users.

  • Mobile Security – Enforces access codes; establishes “lock/wipe” policies by which devices that are stolen or lost can be locked by the administrator and data wiped out; encrypts devices and data cards; delivers firewall and antivirus applications; and supports mobile access to corporate applications.

  • Inventory and Expense Management – Tracks mobile assets, usage and spending. Delivers consolidated and departmental reporting, as well as auditing, electronic billing and chargeback information for accounting purposes. The same platform can also track global wireline telecom spending.

  • Logistics – Automates procurement workflow and device deployments across carriers via a centralized procurement portal. Defines approved devices by work group or function, and procures devices and tracks ordering process.

    The services, which can be purchased individually or altogether, are sold by the enterprise sales forces of Verizon Business and Verizon Wireless.

    Mobile device management from MobileIron and AT&T

    In other news, AT&T partnered up with MobileIron to offer MobileIron Virtual Smartphone Platform, which provides over-the-air protection and control for smartphones being used within an organization, both company and employee-owned. It provides multiplatform visibility for integrated devices running on various mobile operating systems and across multiple wireless service providers.

    The solution is expected to be available for purchase by AT&T business customers by the end of this month.

    "More and more companies are using mobile technology as an essential business tool. However, as corporate information moves onto mobile devices, companies are challenged with visibility into what is happening with data, costs, security and applications," Michael Antieri, president of advanced enterprise mobility solutions at AT&T, said in a statement. "With the addition of this new mobile device management service from MobileIron, we’re providing customers the ability to manage devices across multiple platforms."

    Mobile management software market to surge

    It appears the mobile management software industry is poised to grow along with the increase in complexity in the mobile landscape. Worldwide mobile device management market will grow by a CAGR of 7.6 percent over the next five years to reach $382.7 million in revenue by 2014, according to research firm IDC.

    "The increasing acceptance of individual-liable devices in the enterprise will continue to be an important driver of activity for mobile device management throughout the forecast period. This is due to the increased number of mobile operating systems that IT will have to support as well as the added security risks these devices can present," Stacy Crook, senior research analyst with IDC's mobile enterprise software program, said in a statement.

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    Verizon, AT&T, mobile device management, mobile management, MobileIron