Verizon expands management service to mobile devices

Business customers can now turn over to Verizon the oversight of mobile devices, including employee-owned smartphones and tablets.

Verizon announced at CTIA MobileCon this week that its Enterprise Mobility as a Service now covers iOS and Android devices. Formerly, the 2-year-old subscription service covered laptops and PCs. Verizon also announced a new pricing scheme: monthly subscriptions, with a list price of $8.95, are now per user, not per device.

Enterprise Mobility as a Service is available now from Verizon Enterprise Solutions. The expanded service offers three new capabilities.

First is a downloaded mobile device management agent, dubbed Enterprise Connect, that installs on Android and iOS devices and talks to a third-party, and unnamed, MDM server hosted by Verizon. The server offers an improved Web-based console for IT administrators to monitor and manage the company's users, their devices and privileges.

The client-server arrangement lets administrators locate, lock and wipe devices that are lost or stolen, manage apps, set and enforce password policies, update software patches and manage downloads, and impose restrictions on devices if deemed necessary for corporate security.

Second is what Verizon calls "Secure Workspace," which is an encrypted "container," installed on personally owned device to protect corporate apps and data, such as email, calendars and contacts. This feature is made possible by using Enterproid's Divide software, now a standard feature of Enterprise Mobility as a Service.

Third is expanded Wi-Fi connectivity management, including a new ability to set up an automatic switch for data from cellular to Wi-Fi when available. New partnerships give Enterprise Mobility as a Service subscribers access to over 500,000 Wi-Fi hotspots managed by third-party Wi-Fi aggregators.

Enterprise customers now pay a single monthly charge per user, no matter how many devices they might have. There is no restriction on the number of users or devices, according to Steven Mancuso, VES associate director, product management. Enterprise Mobility as a Service scales from 25 users to an unlimited number.

Verizon Enterprise Mobility as a Service will be available later in October 2012, in 29 countries.

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World. Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnww Email: john_cox@nww.com

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