Switzerland-based Kaseya Ltd. is set to launch mobile device management software aimed at enterprises that are embracing iPhone and Android devices within their corporate walls.
The IT systems management firm said the new Web-based app will be part of its Kaseya K2 framework, which includes management tools for antivirus, backup, desktop migration, patches and a slew of auditing options. The mobile management add-on, set to ship globally this fall, will let IT administrators monitor and manage iOS and Android-based smart phones alongside other non-mobile devices and endpoints.
Each phone is connected back into the Kaseya platform through a small software agent that is sent to users via an SMS or e-mail.
The plug-in’s features include mobile e-mail configuration, backup services, device monitoring and a set of security capabilities.
With e-mail provisioning, IT shops will be able to get employees up and running on e-mail without forcing staff to manually connect to the Exchange or e-mail server on their own.
“E-mail setup is the No. 1 pain point customers are having today,” said Gerald Beaulieu, director of product marketing at Kaseya. While it’s not exactly difficult to walk an employee through an e-mail setup, he said, working through the tedious process hundreds of times can drain the IT department’s time.
The plug-in’s security tracking features include the ability to remotely wipe or lock a device and geo-location tracking on Google Maps.
“From a tracking perspective, you can throttle up or down the amount of times the device communicates back to the Kaseya server,” said Beaulieu.
Alongside detailed hardware, application and other device information, this feature will also allow IT managers to keep an audit trail of where their employees have taken the device across a searchable timeframe.
Rounding out the feature set is a backup and restore service that will retrieve a users’ contact list if a device is lost or remotely wiped. The company said it will work on app profiling and full application backups in future versions.
As for the software’s expansion to other mobile platforms, Kaseya said that while the plug-in will support BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 devices in the next release, it could not confirm a definitive release date for the update.
Stephen Mann, a senior analyst with Forrester Research Inc., said that while RIM is losing its corporate dominance to iOS and Android devices, the fact that it is still a dominate player in the enterprise space will force Kaseya to quickly add support.
While he has not been able to test the Kaseya product in action, Mann added that the company’s approach appears to be wise.
“(IT organizations) need simplicity and completeness when managing the IT estate and delivered IT services,” he said. “A single tool and single management pane of glass wherever possible.”
The alternative approach that some of the big IT vendors and niche market players have offered, Mann added, would tend to leave IT shops with a bunch of stitched together, “best of breed” technologies.
“So much of the capability of BoB technology is never used, it just wins in tender fight-offs that are based on a long list of notional capabilities rather than real business need,” he said.