VMware, Box Hook Up on New Mobile App Management System

The new-gen MDM system, already well into development, will be launched sometime later this quarter.

VMware box

VMware is looking to build out its mobile strategy with improved storage and security options. Cloud storage and collaboration services provider Box has those products and is very partner-minded, for a lot of reasons.

A meeting of these two minds, therefore, was probably inevitable.

AirWatch by VMware, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company's mobile management division, and the cloud services provider on July 10 announced a partnership that soon will result in new control system that will enable IT managers to integrate all their enterprise mobile management (EMM) and Internet service providers ISVs into one Web-based console.

All the enterprise content in this new system will then be stored on Box's cloud and use Box's collaboration tools when needed.

The new system, already well into development, will be launched sometime later this quarter, Blake Brannon, director of Solution Marketing for AirWatch by VMware, told eWEEK. The purpose is to consolidate and secure enterprise collaboration across mobile devices for next-generation enterprise mobile management platforms.

"Businesses need to know that information is secure," Box CEO and co-founder Aaron Levie said. "This new model will enable customers to secure content and collaborate from anywhere, on any device, helping our joint customers be more competitive and agile than ever before."

The as-yet-unnamed mobile app control system will primarily be aimed at regulated enterprises that include financial services, government, military and scientific use cases--the organizations most concerned about data leakage.

"Look at the analogy that authorization and access used to be solely focused on user-based authentication," Brannon said. "Today it's (security) not really at the device level anymore. It's really: 'Is it being managed by the company's management system?' For example, I can't trust a phone just because it has a phone number; I have to trust it based on the fact that it's being managed by my corporate EMM platform and that it's currently compliant and secure.

"That information and level of accuracy has to replicate into all the different systems and services and content that the specific user's device is trying to access."

The new framework "will allow us to share that trust association between AirWatch by VMware's system, third-party applications generically and Box," Brannon said.

At the moment, there is no all-inclusive control solution that allows IT managers and administrators to monitor, maintain, secure, set policies and generally maintain a multi-faceted enterprise mobile management system.

Proprietary tools and software development kits currently govern solutions from Citrix, MobileIron and Good Technology, and it gets very complicated to use them all on a daily basis, Brannon said.

"That's a very heavy way to do access control. It comes with a tremendous overhead to the ISV, where they have to maintain and update those," Brannon said. "The new model allows us to leverage some of the technologies that have been made available in iOS and Android, as well as a common framework across these ISV and MDM applications, so that we can push down access control policies without having to use a heavyweight (or proprietary) SDK inside of the application."

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...