Numara Software, a help desk software provider, has a message for MSPs: Your mobile device management (MDM) efforts should integrate with your existing managed services for network devices security, provisioning, management and control. So where does Numara Cloud fit into the MDM Conversation?

The platform includes Numara Cloud Mobile Device Manager -- which allows MSPs to integrate MDM into an overall IT service management infrastructure. Senior Product Marketing Manager Criss Scruggs, Senior Director of Product Marketing David Manks and VP of Global Marketing Andy White offered me some additional insights.

"MDM is very important to end-to-end IT management," Manks said. "Companies need to think about how IT operations work and integrate together. Organizations haven't developed a standard process for getting mobile devices onto the network. Companies still don't have that identified and provisioned, and the risk is that devices companies don't know about are coming onto the network.

So Numara is set out to provision and standardize all devices, including mobile. To that end, the company begins the first conversation with each new client with the same question: Do you know how many mobile devices are coming on to your network?

"IT staffs generally underestimate that figure," Scruggs said. Some Numara clients have implemented their own bring-your-own-device (BYOD)  policies to keep track of devices entering and leaving their networks. Others have tried to restrict personal devices from the workplace, but the demand from employees has gotten so high that it's pretty much impossible to do so anymore.

So how are businesses responding? If you can't beat them, manage them. That's where MSPs come in.

"The MSP arena is a key initiative to Numara," said White. "There is an ongoing knowledge requirement around IT service management because technology, people and processes are changing all the time and MSPs are in a good place to solve those challenges." So Numara is offering its cloud MDM solution to MSPs who can then package it as part of an entire, integrated IT service management solution. That's where Numara is differentiating itself, according White. "Companies want MDM to be integrated into the IT service management operations of the entire company," he said.

So Numara is trying to separate itself from other MDM providers by being more than an MDM provider. It wants its MDM solution to be part of the greater IT solution, and the company has taken that message to the U.S., UK, Germany, Australia and most recently, Japan. Numara plans to more aggressively pursue the Spain, Russia, Italy and Southeast Asia markets in 2012.

Still, the MDM market -- including on-premises software and cloud-based services -- is getting fiercely competitive. Most of the major MSP software providers are developing MDM capabilities for MSPs, and some of those solutions have already reached market.