iPhone iOS4 Gets an Enterprise Assist From AirWatch

AirWatch is one of the first companies out of the gate to announce enterprise support for Apple's new iOS4 operating system and the iPhone. The company's forthcoming Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution is designed to let IT perform a number of remote or over-the-air security and management tasks without impacting users' ability to continue using their iPhone.

While the iPhone has proven to be a popular device among corporate users, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) didn't design the handset with the kind of deep enterprise support and integration features that a competitor like Research-In-Motion (RIM) provides for its BlackBerry line.

But outside providers like AirWatch and Sybase (NYSE: SY) have jumped in with mobile-device management features for the iPhone and the newer iPad.

Sybase is expected to announce expanded support for iOS4 and the new iPhone 4 soon as part of its Sybase Mobility Platform. AirWatch's new software is slated to be available about the third week of July.

AirWatch CEO John Marshall said that during a session he attended at the recent Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) where iOS4 was announced, Apple showed how to do a remote wipe of the device without Exchange Server and other security features.

"The elephant in the room was that they didn't talk about the backend control needed to do those kind of features, which is where third-party companies like AirWatch come in," Marshall told InternetNews.com.

AirWatch is designed to give IT administrators activation and control of corporate devices. Personal devices can also be enrolled to gain access to corporate resources.

The company already supports other popular smartphones including BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices.

With iOS4, AirWatch said it will be able to deploy configuration and profile information instantly, over the air, to the iPhone. The system also lets IT configure and remove corporate e-mail accounts and data as needed without impacting other e-mail accounts.

AirWatch also enables the features discussed at WWDC, letting IT lock or wipe the device directly from a management console without going through Exchange -- a plus for companies that don't use Exchange and, according to AirWatch, a simpler process even for companies that do use the Microsoft software.

The forthcoming AirWatch release also enables users to deploy and update enterprise apps without requiring them to connect through iTunes. The system also lets IT audit corporate applications to make sure iPhone users have access to the right, authorized apps.

Good Technology's compliance management for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Separately, Good Technology on Monday released its iPhone management and compliance software for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. Good's new offering is designed to let IT administrators define and distribute configuration profiles and enforce compliance policies. The system uses the same Web-based Good Mobile Control console the company offers for Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian devices.

"Good for Enterprise allows IT decision makers to embrace the fast-growing 'bring your own device' trend by combining the security, management and control that IT requires with the device choice and exceptional messaging and collaboration experience that end users demand," Good Technology Chief Marketing Officer John Herrema said in a statement.

Andrew Borg, senior research analyst for wireless and mobility at Aberdeen Group, said a growing number of enterprises are permitting employees to choose their own mobile devices, including the iPhone.

"Combined with the rise in employee-owned devices used for work purposes, this underscores the need for comprehensive multi-platform support, along with strong compliance management and enforcement," Borg said in a statement.

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


iPhone, Apple, Sybase, mobile device management, AirWatch