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Westcon Group develops service for BYOD management, security

IT distributor teams with Fiberlink and BlueCat to offer a subscription-based service for VARs to handle BYOD security and management.

Westcon Group, an IT distributor based in Tarrytown, N.Y., announced today that it has teamed up with IPAM company Fiberlink and mobile device management vendor BlueCat Networks to create a subscription-based service offering to simplify BYOD management and security chores. The BYODShield service is aimed at value-added resellers -- primarily in the security and networking space -- to manage their IT organization customers' BYOD devices or to be used internally at a VAR's business.

BYODShield allows businesses to provide secure access to corporate resources from personal smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices. It handles network access management and security, mobile application management and mobile device management (MDM), using two pieces of software, both of which are included with the service. The BlueCat software delivers network security; Fiberlink's contribution is cloud-based mobility management capabilities via its MaaS360 service.

BYODShield allows users to register for the service by self-service mechanism, eliminating IT involvement. It handles auditing of links between users/devices/network addresses and locations, and it supports DNS, DHCP and IP address management (IPAM).

More on BYOD

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Security and management in a BYOD world

Defining and enforcing BYOD policies

Westcon Group CIO and CTO Bill Hurley explained that while Fiberlink is a cloud-based service, the BlueCat software is deployed at the end customer site using either a hardware appliance or a software appliance, depending on customer preferences. Those with highly virtualized environments may want a software appliance, he said, while those that are not highly virtualized would likely choose a hardware appliance. Pricing is the same, no matter whether a hardware or a software appliance is chosen.

Hurley said the distributor worked closely with Fiberlink and BlueCat to develop the BYODShield service. Fiberlink and BlueCat have existing products that deliver the capabilities used by BYODShield, but "we asked for custom code from both of those companies," Hurley said. When that software development was completed, Westcon packaged the software with its GoldShield support, which includes presales, implementation and post-sales technical services, as well as assistance with security policies.

Hurley explained that the BYODShield service offering is unique to Westcon Group. "We've [created similar services offerings] in the past based on existing specs, [but] BYODShield is unique in that it wasn't prebuilt." Hurley said the service represents a significant investment of resources by Westcon, in terms of time and personnel devoted to the project, though he declined to specify what the dollar investment was.

According to Westcon, pricing for BYODShield will be between $8 and $10 per device per month, with partner status, customer specifics and volume determining the price. BYODShield is available now.

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