The limits of control
April 11th 2014
Is the genie out of the bottle when it comes to mobile device management? Billy MacInnes asks how organisations are coping. The full report is published in the April edition of TechPro.
With so much talk around BYOD and COPE, it’s no wonder that mobile device management is being widely adopted as a way to establish control over mobile devices. But should partners be looking beyond mobile device management (MDM) to applications and beyond.
IT Force has a range of offerings that it provides to customers across a broad spectrum and those offerings depend on the type of client, says managing director John Bergin. With MDM, for example, the conversations are very different if a client is an SMB with less than 100 users and no IT manager or a mid-market business with up to 350 employees and an IT manager.
Bergin describes MDM as ‘one of these things we need to be cognisant of, it’s not a huge revenue opportunity for a managed service provider but it’s very important in term of being part of our portfolio of services. The day you miss one element of service offerings when the client is relying on you to provide all of it is the day when your service falls short,’ he argues.
Usually, IT Force starts with advice. A lot of SMB clients might be attracted by the ability to access e-mail from a smartphone ‘but they need to be conscious of the holes that can open up for their organisation, particularly if they are professional services organisations’.
With mid-market customers, IT Force is ‘talking to a different audience. The number of devices tends to be a lot larger and they [SMB clients] tend to be a more educated audience. They are more aware and probably have started to look around at what the offerings are. You can have a more ready conversation with these guys’. But Bergin doesn’t see MDM as a huge revenue opportunity: ‘If you want to be a proper managed services company, you’ve got to deal with this, so you need to go ahead and deliver it, put it into your portfolio of products.’
As for mobile application management (MAM), he says that is predominantly a mid-market phenomenon but has been slower to take off: ‘Application management is much more about the performance and resilience of applications. We don’t have any clients that have taken us up on applications management yet but I’m sure it’s coming’
And despite all the hoopla around BYOD, Bergin says it’s still in the early stages among IT Force’s clients base. ‘We have just over 90 clients now and I don’t know of any that have engaged and embraced the BYOD phenomenon yet,’ he reports.
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