Rove Mobile Gateway + Apps Could Mobilize IT For More Customers
Rove Mobile today announced Rove Gateway + Apps, new server and client side software designed to lower the upfront price point in order to attract more customers to Rove Mobile's outstanding set of enterprise management tools for mobile devices.
As I pointed out in my Rove Mobile Admin review back in May, licensing for Rove Mobile Admin was based on the user license. The client software (apps for BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, or access via a PC browser) as well as the Windows-based Rove Mobile server software were both free, but client licenses were pricey: $295 for a Basics user (to manage Windows infrastructure elements, mostly) or $595 for Professional (which supports a metric ton of enterprise systems).
With Rove Gateway + Apps, the company changes the licensing proposition, which could greatly lower costs for customers that only need to support a few enterprise applications. The Gateway server application is still free (not counting the underlying Windows server, of course), but the client license and app are bundled together with one price (depending on the managed app, in question). You won't get the extensive application support, but you instead get targeted app support at a much lower cost.
At this time, Rove announced three client-side applications. Since the first taste should always be free, the app to peruse Windows Event Logs is available at no cost. $40 gets you either VMWare Virtual Machine management for use with a VSphere infrastructure (allowing you to edit VM settings, manage resource pools, and power up or reboot VMs), or Microsoft Exchange management features (like mailbox adds and changes or editing storage limits).
All three apps can utilize the same Gateway, as long as you've set it up correctly on the backend. Ideally, Rove will add support for more enterprise applications to the Gateway (and on the client side) as customer demand dictates.
I can see a few downsides that could arise for customers of the new platform, particularly as their needs grow to where they might need to consider a move to Rove Mobile Admin, as I suspect transitioning from one to the other may be awkward. On the Gateway/Server side, Rove could make it fairly simple to transition, migrating settings from one server and database to another. But on the client side, sunk costs loom. Once you've paid out money to Apple and the App Store for Rove Exchange Console for use with Rove Gateway, it seems unlikely a customer will be credited for that cost if and when they need to move to Mobile Admin's licensing scheme, which gets paid directly Rove.
Perhaps, Rove's sales team will cut a break, with proof of purchase. Who knows?
Also, with Rove Gateway + Apps, the question of client-side app ownership could come into question. If an IT worker buys a copy of Rove Exchange Console for his iPhone via his own iTunes account, once he leaves, that license goes with him. Apple's DRM ties the app to that iTunes account. I assume the company can block the departed admin from getting into the Gateway by deleting his account on the server, but the license will need to be purchased again for the next admin.
All three iPhone apps are available now from the App Store.
BlackBerry apps will also be available, although I could not yet find them through BlackBerry AppWorld. BlackBerry iterations of the three apps are also now available, via AppWorld. Meanwhile, the free Gateway component can be downloaded here (this is a link to an executable - you've been warned).
7/22 update - BlackBerry Apps now available through AppWorld.