AirWatch Brings BYOD Support to OS X
To view a PDF of this First Cut, click here.
Author: Mike Anderson
Issues: What are the best practices for harnessing the power of mobile computing?
What are the trends impacting mobile computing?
Summary: AirWatch announced support for Mac desktop and laptop devices in its mobile management suite. Support is included for OS X Lion, and will be extended to include Mountain Lion.
Event: On June 11th AirWatch announced that it would add support for Macs running OS X Lion to its mobile management feature set. AirWatch currently supports Android, iOS, Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.
Analysis: The BYOD (“bring your own device”) phenomenon has exploded with the dramatic growth in consumer use of smartphones and tablets. Beyond the focus on those mobile devices, IT departments need to support the entire range of technology that users rely on. Most organizations have strong support for Windows PCs in place, but few have similar programs for Macs. As Apple devices continue to make their way into the enterprise, adding OS X support will enable AirWatch to offer a solution that can bring them all under control.
AirWatch’s initial release offers solid OS X support via existing profile types and custom profile capabilities. AirWatch provides web-based enrollment, remote lock and wipe capability, the ability to query applications installed on the device, and to create profiles.
Profile support is a strong capability in the AirWatch solution set. The following features are included in the initial release of OS X support:
- Passcode and policy settings
- Support for POP, SMTP, IMAP email and Exchange settings
- Wi-Fi and VPN configurations
- Support certificates and SCEP
- Integrate with LDAP
- Support calendaring extensions and contact extensions
- Custom profiles
AirWatch offers flexible deployment options, including cloud SaaS, on-premise, or software appliances. Enterprises can start small if they want to – as little as $4 per month – and scale to support more than 100,000 devices with large enterprise deployments.
AirWatch provides a wide range of capabilities beyond MDM, addressing the broader focus of enterprise mobile management (EMM). Security gets strong emphasis, and AirWatch’s capabilities include mobile app management, mobile email management and mobile content management in addition to MDM.
Managing content in a secure way on personal and corporate mobile devices is a pressing enterprise need. The AirWatch Secure Content Locker puts an application on the device that can secure sensitive documents.
Many enterprises do not yet include Macs among their approved and supported devices. Adding Mac OS X support to an easy-to-use management console will expand opportunities as enterprises expand their support for Macs, and we expect AirWatch to include the ability to run an agent on OS X that will enable further control of the device, such as remote boot and additional reach into settings.
Aragon Advisory: Enterprises need strong support for enterprise mobile management, and should include desktops and laptops in their overall plans.
With the inclusion of support for OS X in their roadmap, AirWatch is positioned to leverage the growing acceptance of Macs in the enterprise for its mobile management offering.