Can managed services providers (MSPs) make a decent living safeguarding smart phones and tablet computers for end-customers? Virtela sure thinks so. The MSP and cloud specialist has launched a global mobile device management service that costs $5 per device per month. The service, which includes a white label capability for VARs and MSPs, is compatible with AppleiOS (Apple iPhone and iPad), Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian devices.

Small MSPs may have a difficult time emulating Virtela's global reach. But the white label capability means Virtela channel partners can potentially bring Mobile Device Management (MDM) to the smaller business masses. Virtela claims it has 50 local cloud centers serving more than 190 countries worldwide. Once a customer signs up for the MDM service, the enterprise (or the channel partner) can leverage VirtualView -- a web-based dashboard for maintaining the mobile devices.

Virtela claims the MDM service offers:
  • Rapid Simple-Click Deployment. Companies can quickly their managed mobility strategies by leveraging Virtela-provided security policies, point-and-click configuration and provisioning, plus granular control via the VirtelaView self-service portal.
  • Real-Time Roaming Notification and Enforcement. The service quickly detects when roaming -- as well as data, voice, and SMS -- usage thresholds have been reached, and provides real-time alerts to the IT team as well as the end-user to avert service charges associated with unauthorized roaming or excessive data use.
  • Enterprise App Store Management. Enterprises can distribute internal applications to mobile devices without going through vendor app stores and apply pre-set access policies with a single click. The service also provides the flexibility for IT or end users to update policies and initiate or schedule other processes, such as backup.
  • In-Country Compliance Enforcement. Customers can perform configuration management and back up data within specific countries or regions to better meet local compliance and privacy laws. The service also uniquely features SMS text archiving and search to meet additional compliance requirements emerging in certain geographies.
  • Centralized Control via VirtelaView. Companies gain a single view into their mobile device environment and can control access to key network resources and applications by specific user groups or lines of business. The portal can be white-labeled by enterprises or partners, and includes asset tracking and management (including mobile OS, service plans and applications by device), and security controls, such as remote lock and data wipes for lost or stolen devices.
The announcement comes shortly after Forrester Researcher issued a report saying that consumers are reaching a "tipping point" in which users of mobile devices will "push hard for access to the corporate network and basic work applications along with some level of IT support for both." The report also says that almost half of all firms in the network services field have a multiplatform mobile strategy and over half now provide some support for personal mobile devices.

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