Browsing Posts tagged mobilEcho

Today we put out a press release on a customer success story with Bedford Industries and their implementation of mobilEcho. You can read more here. I spoke to Royce back in early September and one of the things that I quickly realized during our conversation was that Royce and Bedford’s experience with mobilEcho was exactly how we envisioned the product.

First of all, Bedford has been a long time GroupLogic customer using our ExtremeZ-IP solution to provide seamless integration of Mac clients in Windows server environments. So we had a happy longtime customer that was now facing the prospect of integrating iPads into their enterprise. mobilEcho and its Mobile File Managements (MFM) functionality was a perfect fit for their organization. They wanted to give access to files that sat on corporate servers to their salespeople. The same access that they had in the office they wanted to give to them when they were out of the office and using their iPads. But they wanted to do so in a secure manner and they wanted to have IT remain in control. mobilEcho was the perfect fit. I recall Royce telling me that the iPad was valuable on its own but mobilEcho made it even more valuable. And he cited examples where it’s already had an impact on business because now people in the field have access to information from their mobile device that they previously did not have.

We will be publishing more customer success stories over the next few months and I will write about them here as well.

Also, November 2 we will be hosting our monthly live demo and webinar. This one will be a bit different than the other ones as we will be talking about some new stuff that we are very excited about. You can register here or just visit our home page for the link .

Today we announced a new development and marketing partnership with Good Technology where GroupLogic’s secure Mobile File Management (MFM) solution mobilEcho™ will support integration with the Good Dynamics™ platform. Joint customers will be able to deploy mobilEcho within the Good Dynamics environment. This follows Good Technology’s announcement of their early ISV partners for their Good Dynamics platform.  Good Dynamics is a new security platform for mobile application development targeting developers of both enterprise and consumer applications. We are one of the early adopters of the plaform, and are already working closely with them to ensure that mobilEcho runs simply and securely within the Good Dynamics environment.

There are several reasons why this relationship, and others like it, is important for enterprises. First, this announcement, and others, show that what has appeared to me to be a fairly fragmented market with many, many vendors is further embracing the notion of the ecosystem and its importance. Enterprises do not want 10s (or even 100s) of disparate pieces of mobility software running in their enterprise and on their mobile clients. They want integration which simplifies management and maintains security. Second, it reinforces the idea that Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile File Management (MFM) are complementary and the foundation of any enterprise mobility strategy. This is what we are hearing from customers every day especially those enterprises that are starting to take a long term view of what they want to do with mobility and the significant impact that will have on how their employees use mobility in their every day worklife. Said more simply, we are only at the beginning.

If you are interested in seeing more on what we are doing with Good Technology and Good Dynamics, we also did a video showing how mobilEcho works within the Good Dynamics platform. This was shown last at the CTIA show in San Diego at an event that Good was hosting. It can also be seen here on our website.

You can also read our press release on our web site at http://www.grouplogic.com/about/press/

Also, if you want to learn more about mobilEcho we are doing our monthly live demo and chat tomorrow (wednesday October 12) at 11 am. You can register here.

This week’s blog post is from Reid Lewis, our President and one of our Founders. Reed is also President of the Enterprise Desktop Alliance which has recently changed its name to the Enterprise Device Alliance (EDA). This change was done to reflect the changing nature of computing and computing platforms – Anders

On September 22, GroupLogic and its EDA alliance partners announced that the Enterprise Desktop Alliance has changed its name to the Enterprise Device Alliance to reflect the growing importance of iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices in large organizations. The press release can be found here.

The members of the EDA see this as the natural evolution of our Alliance, meeting the changing requirements of enterprise IT organizations. Since 2008, when our organizations came together in recognition of the growing importance of the Mac in enterprise IT, the landscape has evolved considerably. But the rapidity of the adoption of mobile computing is unlike anything in our collective experience. Thus, it’s natural that the EDA adapted to support organizations’ IT infrastructures as they grapple with this new landscape in which mobile devices will play a major and perhaps even dominant role as the tools to access the power of information technology.

Moving ahead, the Enterprise Device Alliance will work to identify and address the challenges faced by IT organizations when they deploy iPhones and iPads in their organizations. Existing EDA offerings such as our Resource Center will now include material on mobility solutions such as mobile device management (MDM), mobile file management (MFM), identity and access management (IAM), IT service management (ITSM) and other solutions that are important to IT organizations. The Alliance is dedicated to adding new solutions that address issues that are unique to enterprise mobility.

EDA webinars, whitepapers, articles, surveys, and presence at industry events will include solutions for iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices as well as the Mac. In these materials, we’ll explore the issues that confront organizations as they plan and deploy these mobile devices and explore how solutions from our companies can help.

The EDA is also doing a survey on mobile device usage. If you are interesting in participating you can find the link here .

We’d value your feedback as to what’s important to you, so let us know what’s on your mind by writing to us at info@grouplogic.com, or posting a comment on this blog, or on Twitter @grouplogic.

In the last few weeks I have written about the complementary relationship between Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile File Management (MFM). As a proof point to that, yesterday we announced a new partnership with MobileIron (press release is here), a leading MDM vendor and the innovator in enterprise management and security for mobile devices and apps, and we are one of the first companies to join their MobileIron AppConnect program. This partnership spans marketing, development and sales.

MobileIron Appconnect is loosely a mobile device management framework which allows enterprises to secure mobile apps and data. Essentially this allows apps, such as our mobilEcho, to operate within the MobileIron ecosystem with all the security and management capabilities inherent with MobileIron. This will not only provide more secure mobile computing but will also greatly enhance management capabilities through integration.

We are already seeing (and actively engaged with) enterprises who want to have mobilEcho as part of their enterprise mobility strategy and see it as very complementary to MDM. Some of the organizations have already bought MDM and considering mobilEcho as an add on. Others are considering MDM for the first time and they see mobilEcho as a natural extension of that effort. Our partnership with MobileIron is an outgrowth of this demand and a desire on the part of both companies to deliver complete solutions to customers.

Over the next few months I will be keeping you updated how customers are leveraging this partnership to provide an integrated MDM and MFM environment and experience for their users.

There is no doubt that security is one of the key topics raised by customers when discussing their enterprise mobility strategies. One of the first things I would say about mobile security is that good mobile security starts with good overall security. What I mean by that is that mobile security has to be viewed in the greater context of an overall security infrastructure within an enterprise. Why? There are several reasons, but scaling and streamlining management is one, setting a universal set of policies is another (although there needs to be flexibility here), and to address the notion that a security plan is only as good as its weakest link. So you can’t view mobile security in isolation, especially given the current and projected proliferation of these devices and their increasing usage.

From a mobility perspective, many of these discussions start with Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions such as those from Mobile Iron, Good Technology, Sybase, AirWatch, Absolute, JAMF, and others. However, there is also a need to provide secure Mobile File Management (MFM). Just like enterprises need to provide simple and secure file access to their desktop and laptop users, they also need to do that on mobile devices. This means an MFM solution requires several things:

1. Providing encryption in-transit as well as on the device
2. Integrating with existing security infrastructure, such as Active Directory
3. Giving IT the management capabilities to turn functions on/off to meet corporate security policies. For example, the ability to turn on/off the “open in” function.
4. Remote wipe so that the application and its data can be permanently deleted if the device is lost, stolen or compromised.
5. Having control of the file servers/storage resources themselves.
6. Ability to audit both management and user activities.

And there is much more of course but those are some of the basics to think about. If you are interested in hearing more about mobilEcho, we are holding a live demo/webinar/chat on October 12 at 11am Eastern (4pm GMT). The registration is here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/523964858 . This is a general overview of mobilEcho but highlights many of the enterprise security features as well.

We have been holding monthly webinars and live demos on mobilEcho for a few months now, and we have received a tremendous response (even for what would be considered down months in July and August). One of the things we learned pretty early on is that there is no substitute for seeing the product in action and that is why we these live demo sessions have been so popular (and why we do the 21-day free trial). Our mobilEcho Product Manager, Brian Ulmer, runs through a few quick slides then spends the majority of the time demo’ing the client and management capabilities of mobilEcho. And we answer questions via chat. Hope you can join us.

You can follow me on Twiitter @andersgl and you can follow GroupLogic @grouplogic.

In my last post, I talked about Mobile File Management (MFM) and why I thought it was important (Essentially, it makes up for the lack of an iPad file system, amongst other things). One question that comes up occasionally with our customers is, “how are you different than mobile device management (MDM)? Do I need both?” They are, in fact, very different; addressing very different needs. I would also say that they are very complementary solutions and for an enterprise, they are both core to any enterprise mobility strategy.

Just by way of short definitions. MDM helps organizations to manage, secure and monitor the mobile HW and OS. MFM provide secure and managed access to corporate files and content. I am sure some would quibble over these oversimplified definitions but I am just trying to put a general framework around it. The point is that they are not competitive and address very different customer needs. In discussions with customers we will naturally hear about their use of various MDM vendors such as Mobile Iron, Good Technology, Sybase, AirWatch, Absolute, JAMF, and others.

The point I am making is that as enterprise mobility continues to grow there are a number of core functions that need to be there. Some of them are obvious (ex. Email). Others are not as obvious yet. But it is very clear from the conversations we have with enterprise customers that there needs to be a whole ecosystem of functionality around mobility In other words, a group of core applications that are applicable to just about every enterprise user and organization. This is obviously still evolving although some of the pieces already exist but it is fragmented. My expectation is that enterprises will be looking to address necessary management and security functions in a number of different areas. MDM and MFM are but two critical areas, and from my perspective, they are completely complementary.

With the increased usage of mobile devices has also come a host of new needs and new capabilities. Certainly the emergence of Apple’s App Store and all its applications has changed the way people, both consumers and enterprise users, utilize and interact with applications. However, as much as things change, things also stay the same. Most users, be they consumer or enterprise, have a need for email. It is a core function that you expect from a computing device. Web access through a web browser is another. And if you have email you probably need some kind of address book/contact manager, and you may as well throw in a calendar in there as well so you can keep track of your appointments and meetings. I would call these core functions of any computing platform. And lo and behold, the mobile computing devices so popular today offer this functionality.

But there is one core function that has been completely under-served, and perhaps said more strongly, completely missed. And that is file access. How do mobile devices access files that you created that sit on laptops, desktops, corporate file servers or even NAS (network attached storage) devices? That is where Mobile File Management (MFM) solutions step in. Essentially, MFM solutions allow users to get access to files. For us this is an enterprise focus and we address it with our mobilEcho solution. What makes mobilEcho an enterprise MFM solution is that it not only provides the simplicity for the end-user but more importantly, provides the security and management need by IT organizations.

So why is MFM important? Whether we like it or not we still live in a world of files. And for decades we have been producing files – and spent plenty of money doing it. Now we have a wave of new mobility devices – the iPad being the best example of all. So the question is, “how do you access all those files, all that content, which you work with on a daily basis on your laptop or desktop, from your iPad?” In other words, how do we get mobile file access to files sitting on corporate servers, just like I have access to the file servers from my laptop or desktop? Now, we are an enterprise company (for over 20 years now) so we are obviously not just concerned about the access but also about providing safe, secure, and managed access to files – whether they be documents, spreadsheets, presentations or other formats.

For us, this is what Mobile File Management is all about. The ability to access and manage files from a mobile device.

 The third in a series of posts on various use cases for mobilEcho we are seeing from our customers.  Next week we will post the fourth piece on collaboration – Anders

Secure Access to Corporate Documents Improves First-Call Resolution and SLA Compliance

Field workers – from asset maintenance to service professionals—have a demand for mobile applications that improve their productivity and provide them with the information required to resolve service issues on the first call, meet SLAs (service level agreements) and track billing, order entry and inventory information accurately. Whether they are responding to reactive maintenance issues or resolving pre-scheduled customer requests, access to customer and equipment information (including history) and time tracking software is critical to efficient and profitable operations.

Today, there are many software providers and platforms that provide robust and configurable productivity applications to field service organizations that help streamline the workflow and capture essential information like customer signatures, time spent and parts used with a host of technologies, from barcode scanning to geo-tagging.

However, field service personnel cannot rely solely on field service applications on iPad, iPhone or other mobile devices to meet every work requirement. Just like every other employee, field workers need access to documents that reside on corporate file servers such as timesheets, marketing materials, equipment manuals, human resources documents, incident reports, and compliance documents to fully meet their day-to-day responsibilities. But, the challenge has been how to provide this access to the mobile workforce in a simple, secure and managed way.

Some personnel will find workarounds to this problem by using consumer synch services. This introduces a host of problems including setting the corporation up for significant security and compliance risk.

The Solution: mobilEcho
As the industry’s first and only Mobile File Management (MFM) software for enterprise iPad users, mobilEcho enables enterprise IT to provide secure access to enterprise file servers. With mobilEcho, enterprises can empower their mobile workforce with all the files – document, spreadsheets, presentations, and other file types – that they require in their day-to-day job functions.

mobilEcho offers a better alternative to custom built mobile applications. Rather than reinventing the wheel, organizations can leverage existing content by making it accessible in minutes to all of their iPad users. It also allows personnel to store documents locally so that they still have access to their files even when they’re offline. Equipment manuals, marketing material, product specs and other critical documents can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

Obviously, the end-user benefits from these features, but so does the enterprise. mobilEcho provides the key management and security needs for the enterprise, while also providing a very simple method for participants to access files without any training necessary.

Benefits to Field Service Users:
• Access to critical documents to improve employee productivity.
• Improved collaboration with other LOBs, like sales, inventory management, dispatch and others.
• Access to detailed information on the go that goes beyond the packaged templates of mobile workforce applications.
• Ensures proper security and compliance for sensitive business data.

One of the things that we are always being asked for internally is use cases. With mobilEcho that has not been a problem as we are constantly talking to our customers and potential customers about their enterprise mobility strategies and how they use (or would like to use) mobilEcho. Since a lot of this is the great new frontier with iPads and other devices, use cases have either run all over the place or are very industry, or company, specific. However, early on we did start seeing a few consistent themes that kept popping up. In the next few weeks, I will start outlining these on this blog to give you some insight into the kind of requests we are getting. Obviously this is a bit of a moving target as new ideas are always coming up.

What prompted this was that my wife came back from the hairdresser and told me that they gave her an iPad to look at while she was waiting. I suppose this is an obvious substitute for the magazines that always sit around in places where you have to wait (doctor, dentist, barber, etc.). But it made me start to think about some not-so-obvious uses of enterprise mobility and mobilEcho. I have some ideas on this that I will share after we have presented the main use cases we are seeing today.

One thing to remember is that we provide simple, secure and managed enterprise Mobile File Management (MFM). This is targeted at companies that have security, compliance, governance and management needs.  These use cases are from companies that care about these important factors.

The four primary use cases are as follows:

  1. Empowering Decision Making with Anytime, Anywhere Access – this was initially focused on execs who were bringing iPads into the office and demanded that IT support them. I think this has broadened well beyond execs at this point.
  2. Field Personnel Retrieve Secure Access to Critical Documents, Improving Productivity and SLA Compliance  – this is an obvious one where remote personnel need access to product documentation, for example, and needs online and offline access. This can be further broken down into Field Support and Field Sales which have some different needs.
  3. Driving Team Collaboration with Mobility – general team collaboration extended beyond the desktop/laptop to mobile devices.
  4. iPad Accelerates the Paperless Office Movement – the initial focus here was on board meetings with the ability to allow access to information and then wipe it afterwards. But this has far greater applicability beyond the board. I have even heard of companies where they will provide all documentation via iPad for their annual sales meetings. This includes giving all the sales reps iPads. Apparently cheaper than printing. So it also has a green angle on it as well. The related use case is in the education market with things like digital textbooks.

So in the next few weeks I will publish these on our blog and then also make them available on our website (www.grouplogic.com). And as I mentioned I have also started to keep track of other use cases that have come up or we have thought of that are not yet fully baked that we’ll present here for discussion.

Also, you can follow me on twitter @andersgl.

When we started developing mobilEcho last Fall, one of the basic “givens” that underscored our efforts was that we know who we are: GroupLogic is an enterprise-driven company delivering enterprise-class products regardless of size. Whether it’s the the large financial services or pharma company with 1000s of iPads or the SMB looking to support 25 iPads, these organizations can be sure that critical corporate assets are protected and properly managed. That’s what we did, and will continue to do with all of our products.

Specific to mobilEcho, our core message is grounded in the value propositions of Simple, Secure and Managed. It’s designed to be simple for the end-user, secure to protect the organization’s critical assets, and managed so IT can easily and quickly deploy and maintain the system without incurring escalating costs. Further enhancing these core tenets, we are announcing today several new key enterprise-level components with mobilEcho 2.1. With this new release we are adding support for Microsoft DFS and Network Reshare capabilities to make Mobile File Management (MFM) even more simple and manageable by enhancing scalability and ease-of deployment.

In our discussions with some of our larger customers we have found that both of these functionalities are critical. Here is why:

  • DFS – Support for Distributed File System (DFS) means mobile users can now access files and resources located in consolidated DFS storage. Many larger enterprises use DFS and this is just a basic requirement for them.
  • Network Reshare – Network Reshare allows a single mobilEcho server to give access to files on additional file servers. This presents several opportunities. First, it gives you great scalability as it simplifies the deployment of mobile access to many servers. Second, it simplifies the overall management in enterprises where there are 10s to 100s of servers (or NAS devices) and/or they are geographically dispersed. Third, network reshare allows you to set up a proxy server within your firewall DMZ, giving you much greater security. Finally, with network reshare, organizations can now gain mobile access to SMB/CIFS capable non-Windows servers, such as Linux servers, and NAS devices, such as NetApp, EMC, IBM or others. This greatly expands flexibility for an enterprise.

As I mentioned, mobilEcho 2.1 is already available and we will be hosting another demo webinar in two weeks where we’ll walk you through all the client-side and management features of mobilEcho. We have found that these demos are invaluable for enterprises in truly understanding why Mobile File Management (MFM) is critical to their enterprise mobility strategy. If you are interested you can register here. If you just have some questions you can also contact us at mobilEcho@grouplogic.com.