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Sneak Peek at ZENworks Mobile Management

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May 29, 2012 1:13 pm

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24 July 2012: Editor’s Note – ZENworks Mobile Management is now available.

In a few weeks, ZENworks Mobile Management will hit the streets. We sat down with the product team and got some details about what this powerful new tool will do. Post any comments or questions and we’ll see what we can do to track down the answers. This looks to be a powerful addition to the ZENworks family that can make your life much easier.

In a nutshell, what does this product do?

ZENworks Mobile Management provides advanced device controls and policy management for iOS, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and other ActiveSync enabled devices all from a single administrative console. It helps manage company-issued smartphones and tablets, and can even handle personal devices people might use in the course of doing business. It provides security, application management, asset/inventory management, compliance, and more.

Why do we need this product?

More and more companies routinely provide smartphones and tablet devices to their employees. They expect that IT will manage these devices to the same service levels common to desktops and laptops—but traditional management tools cannot adequately meet these new Mobile Device needs:

  • Asset Tracking—See exactly how many devices they have under management, how they are being used, and by whom.
  • Provisioning—Automate the process of “activating” a new device, including delivering the necessary user credentials and access to the device.
  • Application/File Management—Make sure the right applications and files are available to the appropriate employees—including on smartphones and tablets.
  • Multiple Platforms—All of these needs must be available on an extremely diverse set of device platforms, including iOS (iPad/iPhone), Android (many flavors across many semi-proprietary handset OSes), Windows-based mobile devices, BlackBerry, and more. Without diverse platform support, considerable portions of the workforce will either be un-managed or lack access to devices.

By some estimates, 70% of a company’s intellectual property can live in email alone—organizations require an effective means to securing these devices:

  • Policy Enforcement—Secure a broad array of devices, from iPads to Android smartphones, including the ability to remotely lock the device, encrypt the data where possible, and selectively or completely remote-wipe the device (delete only corporate or all local information) if necessary.
  • Tracking/Reporting—If you are subject to compliance reporting, securing the devices is only half the battle. You need detailed reports proving that devices are secure, tracking user-changes to security, and proving that administrative actions are in accordance with corporate policy.

We all use our own iPhones, laptops, iPads, etc, to do work from time to time. Can this product help even with devices that aren’t issued by the company?

Yes, specifically for smartphones and tablets (other ZENworks products handle laptops). Employees often use their own smartphones, tablets, and laptops to get work done. It’s a fact of life in this mobile society where work is more of an activity than a location. This presents two major challenges:

  • Security—employees using their own devices for work will require access to company data and resources on these devices in the form of email, calendaring, contacts, files and more. Protecting this data on a device that the company does not actually own is very difficult.
  • Management—when an employee is using their own device for work, it must have the same access and permissions as a work device. Provisioning a personal device for approved business access is cumbersome and prone to errors, since BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is such a new movement, and most organizations do not have a written acceptable use policy in place for employee-owned devices.

ZENworks Mobile Management enables you to meet all of these challenges.

Here are a couple of screenshots to give you a sense of how the product will look.

Got questions? Post comments below and we’ll track down the answers and add them here.

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Categories: Expert Views, ZENworks Mobile Management

6 Comments

  1. By:skapanen

    So is this an actual Novell product or re-badged NotifyMDM?

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    • By:justrong

      Short version, yes we do leverage a partner. When we were evaluating the best way to deliver a compelling solution to our customers, it included portions of partner technology that were supported and delivered by Novell (we’ve done this before with great success). If you have more questions, feel free to email me directly at justrong@novell.com–I’d be happy to help where I can.

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  2. By:forresn

    Been waiting for this to come out. When you say weeks do you mean weeks or months? :-D Last I heard it would be winter 2012.

    Do we know if it will take advantage of Apple’s Volume Purchasing Program licenses? A number of MDM solutions out there allow import of these licenses into the system so you can “assign” a device a redemption code for an app.

    Is this to be a module inside of ZCM or something completely separate?

    If it won’t be released in weeks perhaps a public beta? We are getting to role out 300 more iPads, in addition to the 500 or so we have, in mid July and would love to get something in place before then.

    Thanks!

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    • By:justrong

      Here’s what you need to know about time lines:

      - We plan to release the product in July–our current plan is July 10th, but we still have a number of testing hurtles before then, so that date could slide a bit. However, we don’t ave any reason to believe it will move much past July 10th.
      - A public Beta will become available in early June–check http://www.novell.com/zmm for updates (when we get the beta live, we’ll post info here)
      - The product will initially be offered as a stand-alone console with device agents. The following release will introduce this console into the ZENworks Control Center, with subsequent release harmonzing the two.

      If you have a roll out of iPads, I’d suggest you look for the beta in the next few weeks–feel free to email me directly if you have questions (justrong@novell.com).

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      • By:Mike021548141

        You mention that it will be integrated in ZCM/ZCC on the next release. Is there an estimated time line for that e.g. 6-12 months, 12-24 months etc?

        Also will it be fully integrated? i.e. will it be built into the ZCM virtual appliance

        Cheers,

        MC

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      • By:bromney

        MC,

        The integrations referenced in the article refer to our initial plan to do some soft iFrame type integrations. Now that we are deeper into the product, we have decided to go for full integration sooner and forego the lighter integrations, however.

        We are looking at closer to 12 months for ZCC integration. “Full” will depend on the level of control provided by the various devices, but, Yes, we are looking at full integration. Before then, we will have reporting and other integrations with ZCC and ZMM.

        Regards,
        Bryce

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