Application Management

By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2008-09-15 Print this article Print


Application Management

Mobile devices are only as valuable to enterprises as what the users can do with them. To date, mobile devices have gained the most traction in the enterprise because of two applications-e-mail and voice. However, new killer applications will appear in the mobile milieu as mobile device application development increases, mobile Web browsers continue to evolve, and exciting new features-such as location services-become more available and usable. Still, what good are any of these applications if they don't work as billed?

As mobile devices become more mission-critical, ensuring proper operation and performance levels of the applications will become essential. Unfortunately, these applications do not exist solely on the mobile network. Instead, these applications consist of many different services and must traverse a wide variety of networks, many of which are out of the enterprise administrator's purview.

Take e-mail, for example. A BlackBerry-based mobile mail environment includes not only the end-user device and an e-mail server, but also the corporate directory; a BlackBerry Enterprise Server for device configuration, management and mail delivery; RIM's BlackBerry network; and the carrier network to boot. Finding the root cause of problems within such variegated applications can be a herculean effort. That's why companies such as Zenprise are taking an application-centric approach to managing a mobile mail environment, helping organizations pull together data from all the potential sources of trouble.

As VOIP (voice over IP), mobile unified communications and FMC (fixed mobile convergence) implementations begin to grow, I expect to see similar application-centric management platforms take off for the mobile voice experience. Third-party tools will come to light that monitor VOIP and presence traffic end to end, from mobile device to the infrastructure components.

Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at

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