Depending upon its size, a company looking to offer their employees the opportunity to bring their own device (BYOD) to work may be faced with choices, such as: How much data to allow on the device? How to manage the data accessed? Whose platform to use? Organizations like Amtel, Inc. have specialized in developing Mobile Data Management (MDM) for such companies. In this third installment of my interview series with Amtel’s CEO, Pankaj Gupta, we discuss hybrid vs. cloud and what it looks like for a company to use MDM for bring your own devices (BYODs).
Howard: Is there a tipping point for customers whether they should choose a cloud or a hybrid model?
Pankaj: There are two items to consider and both revolve around cost. If a company wants to go down a hybrid path, they will likely need to make at least a million dollar investment to support their mobile devices. Conversely, if they want to go strictly down the cloud path, they will end up paying monthly fees to support all of their devices. So in terms of which solution to choose, most will find the cloud the best approach as they are going to save a lot of time and resources. It is only when they have more than 25,000 -30,000 devices does it make sense to go to a hybrid model.
Howard: Does Amtel require a secondary product to fully manage Android? If you do not, how are you different in your device management approach?
Pankaj: TouchDown software provides a device with the ability to access personal and business information. While Amtel does support Touchdown, it is not a requirement for us as Amtel can tap directly into the Application Program Interface (APIs) of the device itself. It is able to do this as a result of its partnerships with Samsung, Motorola, HTC, LG, etc.
Second–Amtel has been active on the Android for a long time – much earlier than many of the other Mobile Data Management (MDM) vendors as a result of it obtaining some good clients in its early stages.
For example, Super Shuttle ferries passengers from airports to the hotel. However as a company Super Shuttle takes transporting its passengers and the technology needed to so very seriously so Super Shuttle went ahead and said, “Okay we are going buy Android tablets. We are going to install Android tablets in the cabs.”
This initiative put Android tablets in the hands of all of its employees. But Super Shuttle wanted more. It wanted to control all aspects of the tablet it had just deployed. Using Amtel’s MDM solution, Super Shuttle can manage the guts of the Android tablet platform it had just deployed. For example:
- If it wants to allow a user to only access five applications, it can do that.
- If it wants to say, “I want to disable everything except the email on the device, the user cannot even change the settings,” Super Shuttle can do that through Amtel’s platform.
- If Super Shuttle says, “I just want to containerize my corporate documents and certain apps on the device, and leave everything else as it is,” Super Shuttle can use Amtel to do that too.
- If Super Shuttle wants to run any antivirus software product on the back end because Android is susceptible to malware, Super Shuttle can do that through Amtel’s platform.
Amtel has done quite a bit of development on the Android side and its MDM platform should be able to handle anything Super Shuttle or anyone else throws at it.
Howard: Do you see challenges with Apple’s mobile operating system (iOS) when it comes to security and compliance concerns?
Pankaj: Android has a lot more flexibility than iOS. From what Amtel has seen, companies eventually like this flexibility because they can mold those features to their requirements. Amtel helps the enterprises. Amtel finds the Apple iOS to be a magnificent product, in part because it is less susceptible to malware. However Apple puts certain constraints on how organizations do certain things which are restraints that companies do not always want.
Companies can do a lot of different things on Android which is what Amtel thinks enterprises will eventually want. Enterprises really desire to manage their devices to get the best productivity out of them.
In Part I of this interview series, we talked about how companies can adopt an open attitude in the corporate world of BYOD.
In Part II of this interview series, we examined the security, fast deployment and managed services the cloud can offer.
In Part IV, we will discuss how the combination of MDM, MAM and the cloud make for smooth mobile management for willing businesses.