U.S.-based mobile device management provider AirWatch sets up Canadian data for customers here who want its hosted service

Another U.S.-based service provider has opened a data centre here, showing again that to get business from Canadian organizations foreign-based software-as-a-service-providers have to provide assurances that sensitive data doesn’t leave the country.

AirWatch LLC, an Atlanta-based company that sells hosted and on-premise mobile device/application/content management solutions, said Monday that it now has a Canadian data centre.

The move is “for support of our Canadian customers, giving them sovereignty of their data,” company chair Alan Dabbiere said in an interview.

AirWatch console on iPad

“Clearly because of the (U.S.) Patriot Act and other data sovereignty concerns many Canadian companies, even though they might have preferred a hosted environment, weren’t willing to risk themselves to a U.S. data centre,” he said. Instead, if they liked the AirWatch solutions, they bought the software versions.

AirWatch, which Dabbiere said has “hundreds” of large and medium-sized customers here including Canadian Tire, Sears Canada, Sun Life Financial and the Bank of Montreal, had promised to set up a data centre here for customers that insist sensitive data not be stored outside the country.

“They lived with the fact that we did not have a data centre in Canada,” said Dabbiere. They were probably not happy about, it which is why we made this move.”

Thirty-five of the hosted customers have already moved into the data centre, which is co-located inside a facility owned by Savvis Inc., a division of  U.S-based telecommunications provider CenturyLink Inc.

Savvis, which in 2010 bought Toronto-based hosting provider Fusepoint, also has data centres in Germany, Japan, Singapore and Britain.

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For those who want failover protection, the data is stored in Europe if the Canadian data centre goes down.

Dabbiere said his company hopes that many Canadian organizations that bought AirWatch software will now switch to the hosted version.

AirWatch sells either directly to customers or through reseller and service provider partners, including Telus Corp. It has a staff of seven here.

It has agent-based mobile management solutions for Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows platforms.

In addition to mobile device management, there are email, application and content container solutions that separate business from personal data. The AirWatch Browser allows administrators to create whitelists, blacklists of Web sites as well as app tunneling to intranet sites without a VPN connection.

Pricing for the hosted version depends on the service wanted. Mobile device/email/app management costs 75 cents (U.S.) per device a month. Cloud application management alone is 50 cents a device a month. Mobile content management and additional cloud storage can also be purchased separately.

 

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