Against the backdrop of a price war across the mobile management as service space that is eroding margins across the channel, AirWatch, the unit of VMware that helped launch the category, want MSPs to remember that price it not everything.

With the launch of an AirWatch 8 update that adds hundreds of enhancements, Kevin Keith, vice president of business development, said that MSPs that want to build a business around supporting mobile devices and the applications that run on them need a platform that allows them to more easily scale services up and down.

Keith said that most MSPs wind up serving a broad range of customers. AirWatch not only allows them to do that from a single platform, Keith says the services it enables can be added over time as the needs of the customer evolve.

AirWatch and mobile management

In contrast, Keith says other mobile management platforms either limit the types of devices that can be managed or don’t scale up to support more lucrative enterprise IT accounts that typically consume higher margin services.

New capabilities included in AirWatch 8 include everything from support for Google Chromebooks to the inclusion of biometric authentication of end users. In addition, AirWatch now also provides integration with AppleCare, Box, EyeVerify, Jasper, Socialcast, Veracode and Wistia to enable MSPs to horizontally extend the breadth of services they can provide.

New capabilities

In addition, Keith said that in addition to mobile device and application management AirWatch includes support for content locking capabilities that make it easier for organizations to stay compliant with any number of regulations. That’s can be especially problematic at a time when not every mobile device accessing corporate applications is owned by the enterprise, but the MSP is still responsible for both managing that device and securing the data that actually gets accessed via that device.

Ultimately, Keith said AirWatch enables MSPs to provide unified endpoint management along with a range of other VMware related services now that the AirWatch and VMware channel programs have been unified. Further down the road Keith said AirWatch will extend the reach of those endpoint service to include everything from wearables and other services related to the Internet of Things (IoT).

All told, AirWatch 8 is the biggest single release of the mobile management platform by AirWatch ever. The trick, of course, for AirWatch partners is going to be getting customers to fully appreciate the business value of all those services.