In recent days, numerous mobile device management (MDM) software companies have introduced Applie iOS 5 support, potentially helping MSPs and IT administrators to remotely manage and secure iPhones and iPads. The first movers included MobileIron. Then Zenprise came calling to sell us about its strategy.
Zenprise Chief Marketing Officer Ahmed Datoo says Zenprise supports iOS 5 users, and he outlined some new capabilities available to customers via the support of Apple's new platform.
"There are a lot of great security capabilities of iOS 5, especially on the consumer side," Datoo said. One of those security capabilities involves Apple iCloud, which should debut within weeks. Some Zenprise customers want to disable iCloud for their enterprise users, which they can do with Apple iOS 5.
Zenprise also allows administrators to eliminate iOS 5's "cut & paste" feature. That's an especially important capability in highly regulated industries like healthcare. Now administrators can prevent employees from copying corporate emails and pasting them into personal emails, and vice-versa.
Also, customers using iOS 5 can now select specific applications to remove from devices. Previously, the options were to either keep everything on a device or to remove all applications. With iOS 5, you can choose to only remove company email, company contacts and specific devices.
Finally, there's the Volume Purchase Program (VPP) through which companies can purchase application licenses for employees rather than employees purchasing applications and waiting to get reimbursed.
"iOS 5 is a huge step up in terms of management and security from an enterprise standpoint," Datoo said. "It's not incremental. This is a major release." Zenprise is planning to soon release another version of its MDM management solution that Datoo said will leverage more iOS 5 capabilities.
More MoneyMeanwhile, Zenprise has raised $30 million to help support the company's R&D, sales and marketing efforts worldwide. Investors include Greylock Partners. Zenprise R&D focus includes Zenprise MobileManager for on-premise deployments and Zencloud for cloud deployments.
Recent company milestones include an expanded U.S. headquarters in Redwood City, Calif.; a new European headquarters in Paris; expanded sales offices across North America, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom; new executive hires across finance, sales, business development and customer support.
Bottom line: Mobile device management (MDM) is a hot market, but dozens of upstart MDM companies are competing for the attention of customers and IT service providers.