Learning guide

Guide: Offering mobile device management services

With more employees becoming road warriors and spending more time away from their desks, enterprises and SMBs need a network solution provider to help them manage the many mobile devices and keep those devices -- and the company's data -- safe. This could be a lucrative opportunity for networking solution providers looking to break into offering mobile device management services.

If you are looking to expand your business portfolio and include mobile devices and the related services, this guide, including a tip series from Frank Ohlhorst, will help you understand what you need to know about mobile device management. If you're a service provider offering mobile services already, this guide will help you optimize your mobile device management services, including the use of cloud computing services, mobile device security, and mobile OS selection.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Mobility vendors: Partner program checklists
Providing mobile device management services via the cloud
Offering mobile device security services: Best practices
Mobile device integration services: Choosing a mobile operating system

 To provide mobile device management services, make sure you're partnering with vendors that can help you do so. The following vendors -- a small selection of many -- provide mobile devices and/or mobile device management products via their partner programs, which are detailed in the partner program checklists below.

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ARUBA
Aruba's partner program provides enterprise-level mobility systems to its channel partners. Aruba recently released AirWave 7, a multi-vendor product aimed to combine single-purpose management tools into one solution, managing wired and wireless infrastructures and mobile devices.

AVAYA
Avaya has a comprehensive partner program that offers a number of unified communications products through the channel to help customers manage their mobile office workers.

CISCO
Cisco's Compatible Extensions Program for partners helps with WLAN interoperability with Cisco products sold to customers with enterprise mobile users.

MOTOROLA
A vendor well known to consumers as well, Motorola is one of the pioneers in enterprise mobile devices. Motorola's PartnerSelect program is designed for enterprise mobility resellers and offers a number of mobile devices and management products.

OPNET TECHNOLOGIES
OPNET Technologies offers the Modeler Wireless Suite
, wireless network management software designed to support networks with mobile devices.

TRAPEZE NETWORKS
Trapeze Networks offers numerous WLAN-centric products through its partners, including Mobility System Software, which provides security and WLAN networking capabilities to mobile devices.

Providing mobile device management services via the cloud

Solution provider takeaway: Solution providers can help to reduce mobile device management burdens and garner some recurring revenue by offering mobile device management services, and cloud computing services can help solution providers handle the demand for outsourced mobile device management.

More information on mobile device management
Considerations for mobile device management

Tutorial: Mobile device security

Mobile computing service opportunities

In the past, businesses dealt with mobile device management issues by standardizing on a single style of device and implementing a complete mobile device management infrastructure. In today's business world, a solution like that would be too costly and could not handle the plethora of mobile devices now available from a multitude of vendors, each with its own integration nuances. There is also the issue of cost; traditional monolithic management systems prove to be very expensive to implement and maintain, which effectively reduces the ROI of any mobile initiative. Yet the fact remains that the use of mobile devices is growing; and, ultimately, someone is going to have to manage those devices in a business environment.

As businesses look to solve those problems, more and more will turn to the channel for affordable, reliable solutions, and solution providers need to be ready to take on those revenue-generating services and effectively manage a mobile infrastructure.

Continue reading this tip about providing mobile device management services via the cloud.

Offering mobile device security services: Best practices

Solution provider takeaway: With the adoption of mobile devices becoming more prevalent in enterprises and other businesses, solution providers have the opportunity to offer mobile device security services to protect corporate data and other information normally safely hidden behind a corporate firewall. But properly securing mobile devices may be more complicated than you think. In this tip, you will learn about the best practices of offering mobile device security services, including mobile device selection and network intrusion prevention systems (IPS).

More and more businesses are using mobile devices to increase productivity by enabling a mobile workforce to access critical IT services and corporate data -- anywhere, anytime. While that creates ample integration opportunities for savvy solution providers, many are finding that supporting those sophisticated devices introduces a whole new series of concerns -- including mobile device security.

Learn more about offering mobile device security services.

 Mobile device integration services: Choosing a mobile operating system

Solution provider takeaway: A poorly integrated mobile device can cause many user problems, including a lack of connectivity and access to important systems, such as email. Solution providers can offer mobile device integration services to help their customers avoid such consequences by choosing the right mobile operating system (OS) for a customer's needs. This tip provides advice on recommending an operating system for mobile devices, including a mobile OS comparison, as well as factors to consider from customer to customer.

With the launch of new mobile devices such as Netbooks, Android smartphones and forthcoming handheld devices running the Windows Mobile 7 OS, many organizations are contemplating how to incorporate and integrate those devices into their enterprise data systems. A poorly integrated device can mean a lack of connectivity, inability to access systems such as enterprise email, and the inability to track and manage the devices. For most organizations, mobile device integration will be new territory, and most will turn to their solution providers for help with choosing a mobile device OS.

Continue reading and get information on the best mobile operating system choice for your customers.

This was first published in January 2010

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