Novell ZENworks Mobile Management Aims at BYOD Businesses

The release gives businesses the ability to securely manage and control mobile platforms, including iOS, Android and Windows Mobile.

As the rise of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives challenges IT management capabilities in businesses of all sizes, Novell is debuting its ZENworks Mobile Management platform. The new platform is designed to address security, application and file sharing, asset and inventory management, and compliance issues personal devices in the workplace can cause.

The platform, which carries a licensing cost of $59 per device and $15 per year for maintenance, represents the latest expansion of Novell€™s existing management and security capabilities to mobile devices.

The release gives businesses the ability to securely manage and control a wide range of mobile device platforms, including Apple iOS, Google Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile and other ActiveSync-enabled devices. Major features of the platform include automation of the process of enrolling new devices by leveraging ActiveSync mail server user credentials during the device registration process and enhanced features for BYOD environments like selective remote-wipe (only wipe company data) and self-provisioning.

"The addition of Novell ZENworks Mobile Management to the ZENworks portfolio provides enterprises with a consolidated lifecycle management platform that unifies systems management practices for all endpoints within an organization onto a single console," Steve Brasen, research director at IT analytics firm Enterprise Management Associates, said in a press statement. "As the lines continue to blur between mobile, laptop and desktop environments, comprehensive solutions that cross operating system boundaries are increasingly becoming essential to enterprise success. Novell has delivered a fully integrated management platform that will simplify mobile management processes while accelerating mobile device reliability and effectiveness."

Other features include application provisioning and file sharing, which helps ensure the right applications and files are available to authorized users via the Enterprise App Store and management console; the ability to set alerts to automatically bring IT's attention to problems, violations or changes in security settings, customizable security policies for mobile devices and audit enforcement, including encrypt/password enforcement and remote wipe; and inventory and asset management, which tracks and manages all the mobile devices in an organization.

"The workforce is demanding mobile devices at work, whether they are company-issued or personal, leaving administrators scrambling to catch up and solve the security and management challenges this brings. With this release, we're specifically addressing our customers' needs," Eric Varness, vice president of product management and marketing for Novell, said in a prepared statement. "The release of ZENworks Mobile Management provides enterprises with an easy-to-install solution to oversee mobile devices while ensuring security and fostering workplace productivity. Employees get what they need to be productive from anywhere without undue risk and expense to the enterprise.

"Adding mobile-device management to organizations' endpoint management capabilities is the next logical step to ensure the security and integrity of enterprise data and applications," he continued.

A June report from Forrester showed that more than half (53 percent) of employees use their own devices for work, marking a 5 percent increase since the beginning of 2012. The IT research firm also found senior executives are the most likely to embrace BYOD initiatives. Forrester predicted that BYOD initiatives would be standard policy for most companies within three years.