Managed services providers (MSPs) could face mobile device management (MDM) challenges as smart phones and tablet computers continue to infiltrate small businesses and large enterprises. With that challenge in mind, Kaseya has launched Kaseya Mobile Device Management (MDM) 1.0.

Kaseya has been developing MDM since February 2011 and released the new capabilities on August 15. Kaseya Senior Product Manager Jeff Keyes gave me a sneak peak at MDM's user interface (UI) a few days ago.

"Mobile device management is challenging because the devices are always changing," Keyes said. "But we don't care what kind of device it is. Bring it on and we'll bring it in." The first version of the Kaseya's MDM supports the Apple iPhone and iPad, and Android smart phones and tablets. Toward the end of 2011, Kaseya MDM is expected to gain support for RIM lackberry and Windows Phone 7 devices.

But lets breakdown v1.0 first. The MDM solution features a single, web-based ITSM (IT service management) platform that offers asset visibility and unified email profile configuration, and it can track and locate the devices under management.

Kaseya decided to start with Apple and Android support based on a pole of about 170 customers that revealed 81 percent of its clients are using the iPhone, iPad or Android mobile devices. "Kaseya clients have been driving this development for us," Keyes said. Kaseya's MDM solution  targets established managed service provider and enterprise IT customers, as well as a new customer group -- mobile device service providers.

"They [mobile device service providers] need a solution too," Keyes continued, as he offered up a new to think about mobile devices. "Mobile devices are just another computing device. So lets start managing them like just another computing device."

Numerous software providers have introduced -- or plan to soon introduce -- MDM capabilities. Moreover, most of the major RMM (remote monitoring and management) and PSA (professional services automation) software provides now offer native iOS and Android apps, allowing technicians to manage networks and business engagements from their mobile devices. Looking ahead, we'll be watching to see how those MDM strategies vary from one software provider to the next.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.