Montreal-based mobile policy management (MPM) vendor Trellia Networks Inc. recently launched an upgraded version of its hosted platform for automating and centralizing the enforcement of corporate mobile access policies.
Trellia launched the platform roughly two-and-a-half years ago as an on-premise solution, and released version 5.0, its first SaaS model, in October 2009. Key features new to version 5.1 are 3G data plan management, 3G asset management and stand-alone reporting.
The MPM platform allows enterprises to see what their users are doing with respect to connectivity (LAN, WiFi and 3G) and detect if there are any problems related to cost, security and end usage policies, said Raffi Tchakmakjian, vice-president of product management at Trellia.
Once the policies are set, they are distributed centrally, automated and enforced on the devices, he said. “The platform itself will make sure that the users are connected to the networks according to those policies that were distributed after the assessment period,” he said.
3G data plan management provides a “new level of visibility,” such as which users are approaching their data threshold, which have already crossed the threshold and other statistics that allow enterprises to select the right data plans for their users, he said. 3G asset management allows IT departments to track exactly where the devices are and who they are with, he said.
Tchakmakjian said deployments of the MPM platform typically start at 1,000 users.
Granular policies, visibility and support for any type of network service are what differentiate Trellia from the competition, according to Tchakmakjian. “The granularity is much higher with our product versus our competitors and we don’t have any services we force the enterprise to attach to,” he said.
“We enable the enterprise to pick and choose the services from different carriers, different WiFi providers, different networking technologies,” he said. This includes support for cable or DSL modems in homes and 3G providers like Rogers, Bell and Telus in Canada and Sprint or Verizon in the U.S., he said. “It is global, as well, so it supports all of the carriers around the world,” he said.
Mark Tauschek, research director at Info-Tech Research Group Ltd., doesn’t see a significant difference between Trellia’s version 5.1 feature set and other products on the market. “Looking at what we have here, there is not a huge differentiation … but it certainly keeps them competitive,” he said.
3G data plan management isn’t a market-changing feature, but it is relatively new in terms of knowing in real time where you are at from a usage perspective, he said. “That’s certainly a nice feature to have” because going over your voice or data plan can get “kind of pricey,” he said.