IBM Enhances MaaS360 Unified Endpoint Management Platform

IBM adds a new policy recommendation engine to its MaaS360 unified endpoint management platform to help improve security configurations and compliance.

IBM MaaS360

IBM announced on June 4 that it is adding a pair of new capabilities to its MaaS360 with Watson unified endpoint management (UEM) platform.

The new features include a policy recommendation engine that provides enterprise administrators with best practices and suggested configurations for endpoint security. In addition, MaaS360 with Watson is being updated with a new business dashboard for apps that provides insight into application performance and usage patterns.

"It is common practice for leading vendors to supply IT and security leaders with basic policy configuration templates, and MaaS360 was no different," Imtiaz Bellary, offering manager for MaaS360 at IBM Security, told eWEEK. "It became clear that canned templates were not good enough."

MaaS360 with Watson provides UEM capabilities that enable organizations to monitor and manage both wired and wireless devices. IBM has been enhancing MaaS360 with Watson cognitive insights since March 2017. Bellary said that in the new update, adding cognitive abilities that integrate IT inputs and community benchmarking allows for contextually based policy recommendations, which are created in real time. 

"We know the biggest benefit will be existing customers who are looking to compare their current policies with community-recommended ones in order to verify they are following best practices," Bellary said. "New customers who are migrating from competitive solutions will also find immediate benefit as it is often a hurdle to configure new policies."

One particular area of strength for the new policy recommendation engine is with compliance regulations such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Bellary said that many organizations have already configured policies for GDPR in MaaS360. Now, with the policy recommendation engine, he said a new customer can start from a policy that is based on community settings, derived from regulations. 

"This approach gives IT much more confidence when getting in line with industry standards and regulations," Bellary said.

Business Dashboards for Apps

With the new Business Dashboards for Apps capability, IBM's MaaS360 users will be getting new visibility into what applications are running in the enterprise. Bellary said that prior to the business dashboard availability, it was difficult for an IT administrator to discern which enterprise apps were being used, or whether they were delivering a return on investment. 

For example, he said that IT teams did not have a way to know which apps mobile workers found useful, how many individuals opened their apps, how long apps were being used or whether an app update was causing crashes.

"Now, MaaS360 Business Dashboards for Apps enables IT teams to make informed decisions respective to their enterprise app deployments," Bellary said.

Looking forward, he said IBM is looking into additional ways to leverage cognitive insights for end users. He added that the next MaaS360 update will focus on maximizing user experience and productivity.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.