Mobile first EMM vendors know they must evolve — and they are ...
As one might expect, the high profile handset refreshes from Samsung (Galaxy S6), HTC (M9) and LG (G Flex 2) and the notable (and well timed) acquisition announcements (NXP acquiring Freescale, HP acquiring Aruba Networks, and Mitel's acquisition of Mavenir) garnered the lion share of the post MWC media coverage. However, there was something different at MWC this year. There was a "new partner" sitting in on several of the briefings we had at MWC.
Google sent several senior executives to Barcelona (Sundar Pichai, Rajen Sheth, and Andrew Toy were the most visible) — either Rajen or Andrew was present (and actively participating) at several of the meetings we attended at MWC — the exception? Our meeting with Good Technology. Why? Read on.
Android for Work is Legit and KNOX is Not Dead (yet)
Every prominent enterprise mobility vendor has moved quickly to completely integrate with the Android for Work platform.
Good is negotiating with Google and is likely to join the other prominent vendors listed above who were quick to announce their integration with the Android for Work Platform — however, it appears as though Good (and SOTI) have forged strong(er) partnerships with Samsung. Both seem to have gone further than their peers in integrating with the company's KNOX platform (which is not just a container). While all of the vendors listed above have been working with Samsung's KNOX platform; after speaking with several Samsung executives, the level of integration with KNOX is varied. Good and SOTI have seen traction from their partnership with Samsung and have figured out creative ways to go to market (one sure fire method is to give away the device — while not sustainable, it appears as though Samsung is willing to do so). Here's what my colleague David Krebs wrote in his MWC Event Recap post:
In summary, we see both Good and SOTI benefiting by working with both Google and Samsung. Both vendors have a sizable footprint in both government and financial service industries. We expect that Good will formalize its partnership with Google soon.
ACE to the Rescue
The launch of App Configuration for Enterprise (or ACE) was timed for MWC. Five prominent enterprise mobility vendors (AirWatch by VMware, Box, Cisco, Workday and Xamarin) have collaborated on the standard which aims to simplify and scale the deployment of apps in the enterprise. The benefits are clear and straightforward (see below).
There is no question that enterprises are challenged by app provisioning and distribution. Considering that multiple versions of the same app (built with different SDKs) is now normal, the standards-based platform agnostic approach (thanks to the ability to seamlessly invoke both the latest iOS and Android APIs) will be welcome. However, the consortia needs to get other important vendors on board (Citrix, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP come to mind).
My next report (scheduled for May) will focus on the evolution of EMM. I'm seeing some interesting (and consistent) thinking from prominent EMM vendors on how they intend to evolve and differentiate their platforms moving forward. Key initiatives that are in development and on most road maps include:
I'm actively scheduling briefings to discuss the evolution of EMM and the pivot that I anticipate. If we didn't meet at MWC, I'd welcome to opportunity to discuss this topic with you in the next few weeks.
Kudos to GSMA for hosting another top-notch event. See you at MWC 2016!
View the 2017 Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Research Outline to learn more.