Microsoft Opens Up About Mobile Management Strategy

Microsoft has begun to reveal its enterprise mobility vision in the run up to next week’s TechEd event in Houston, Texas.

The mobile device management market (MDM) is an increasingly busy market as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) uptake continues within many businesses.

Mobile Vision

Microsoft has begun to outline how it hopes to help businesses tackle the increasing use of mobile devices within enterprises. Brad Anderson, Microsoft’s corporate VP for Windows Server and System Center, has begun a series of blogs on the subject.

It comes after Microsoft revealed in March a new MDM solution called Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), as part of Redmond’s “cloud first, mobile first” vision.

“I believe that Enterprise Mobility is going to be one of the most impactful and defining trends we work on as an industry – now and for the foreseeable future,” blogged Anderson.

“At Microsoft we talk about our focus being ‘Mobile First’ and ‘Cloud First.’ Sure, you might ask how can there be two “Firsts” – but the answer is simple: Mobile and Cloud are so tightly integrated that delivering the premier Enterprise Mobility solution is best delivered from the Cloud. You simply cannot have one without the other. Mobile devices come alive and become intensely personal as they consume cloud services, and the cloud fundamentally changes the industry’s ability to deliver new value and new capabilities to our customers on a daily basis,” wrote Anderson.

Anderson highlighted how the volume and diversity of devices is growing, making life more difficult for IT departments tackling the BYOD trend. He said it was a “balancing act” for IT managers to meet the satisfaction, security and efficiency needs for both the user and the company.

Identity And Security

Anderson stated that Microsoft is aiming to help businesses on a number of fronts. Firstly, Microsoft points that everything starts with Identity, as it is crucial to manage access to corporate assets based on the correct authentication of the user. He pointed to Redmond’s Active Directory, which has also been extended to the cloud with Azure Active Directory (AAD). “With AAD we are delivering a common and consistent identity/access solution that enables organisations to expand their use of AD across private and public clouds,” he wrote.

Secondly, Anderson pointed to the vexing issue of security, balancing between the need for non-intrusively enabling the end-user to be productive, whilst at the same time protecting corporate assets. Anderson feels that often the user experience is compromised in the name of protection, but the mobile system vendors are delivering native containers for corporate content – for example SAFE on Android. Anderson says the important concept here is that with MDM you can provide protection at the device level and with MAM you can provide protection at the application level, creating a layered approach to security

“There has been a lot written in the last few months about the emergence of a ‘new’ Microsoft, and, in many ways this is true,” wrote Anderson. “ I am incredibly excited to see the work we are doing to deliver deeply, intelligently integrated solutions across System Center, Intune, Azure Active Directory, Office, and Windows.”

“I believe that what we have in market and what we will bring to market over the next several months will be, by far, the most complete, comprehensive, and elegant solution for your Enterprise Mobility needs,” he concluded.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

View Comments

  • BYOD will continue growing as mobile devices continue to play a greater role in our lives. That's why so many major IT players are offering solutions to address such BYOD challenges as security and device management.

    Does BYOD come with headaches? Of course it does. However, security issues and IT management headaches (how do I support all those devices?) can be addressed by using new HTML5 technologies that enable users to connect to applications and systems without requiring IT staff to install anything on user devices. For example, Ericom AccessNow is an HTML5 RDP client that enables remote users to securely connect from iPads, iPhones and Android devices to any RDP host, including Terminal Server and VDI virtual desktops, and run their applications and desktops in a browser. This enhances security by keeping applications and data separate from personal devices.

    Since AccessNow doesn't require any software installation on the end user device – just an HTML5 browser, network connection, URL address and login details - IT staff end up with less support hassles. The volunteer or temporary employee that brings in their own device merely opens their HTML5-compatible browser and connects to the URL given them by the IT admin.

    Visit http://www.ericom.com/BYOD_Workplace.asp?URL_ID=708 for more info.

    Please note that I work for Ericom

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