The World’s Foremost Mobile Application Management Company

A comprehensive Mobile Application Management solution needs to deliver, secure, and enable applications across any mobile device platform or form factor without modifying the original application.

This blog has an ambitious title, but I think it is accurate. Let me explain why. The recent definition of Mobile Application Management (MAM) focuses on delivering and securing native apps on mobile devices. These features typically include app wrapping and app distribution. While that’s as extensive as many smart device operation systems allow, Wavelink has a far more comprehensive and compelling feature set.

For more than 20 years, Wavelink has developed products and technologies that have enabled companies to deliver their operational applications to the ever-evolving set of mobile devices that are optimally designed for the task at hand. Let me give an example.

For high transaction processes like picking or sorting in a supply chain logistics operations, companies have host-based applications that need to be displayed on a variety of mobile devices. They do not want to have to add custom logic to the application to handle the different form factors or device drivers needed to access peripherals such as bar code scanners, radios, or printers. This is the market where Wavelink application management solutions exist. The solutions are built for telnet based applications, web applications, and native console applications executing on the server. They take these applications and expose them on any mobile device taking into account form factors, driver integration, security, session persistence, latency, unstable wireless networks, and a variety of others issues the application developer doesn’t want to know about and certainty doesn’t want to handle differently for each device. Wavelink solutions are designed to handle these problems without modifying the original application. This enabling of applications across the mobile devices is unique to the MAM solution Wavelink provides.

In summary, a comprehensive Mobile Application Management solution needs to deliver, secure, and enable applications across any mobile device platform or form factor without modifying the original application. This is why Wavelink is the world’s foremost Mobile Application Management Company.

Mobile Device Management is Better Systems Management

Most Mobile Device Management platforms have a two core components that are becoming the foundation of the next generation of Systems Management.

The first component is the creation of generic, extensible, configurations for management of devices. These configurations are usually based on an extensible file format. For example, Apple uses XML as the file format for its configurations. The device platform operation system (OS) can interpret these configuration files and apply all configurable settings to the device. This creates an abstraction layer between the editing of policies or associations between configurations and devices, and the device management system that enforces the configuration settings. This means the platform knows which application programming interfaces (API’s) to call and maintains compatibility between versions. This allows the OS to provide a layer of security between the management layer and the API’s to make the actual device changes.

Apple has taken this general management paradigm and added it to its Mac OS. Beginning with version X Lion, the management layer will be able to apply the same device configurations used with iOS. This adds all of the benefits of the abstraction layer, extensibility, and compatibility to the management of Mac OS.

The second component is a notification service. This gives the ability for a service to notify any application on the device. This is especially important when devices are mobile and are switching between networks. The notification system knows how to contact the device as long as it has Internet connectivity and will queue the message if it doesn’t and wait for the device to reconnect. The notification service also knows how to wake up the device remotely even if it is in sleep mode. Apple has added the ability for its notification service to work with Mac OS X.

There are other advances in mobile device platforms that are not mentioned here. A couple of them are application distribution, patching, and sandboxing. Mobile Device Management is an evolution in System Management. In the future, MDM products will begin to manage Mac and Windows platforms.

What is a Selective Wipe?

There seems to be some confusion as to what a selective wipe of a mobile device actually does. To clear up any uncertainty, let me first explain why every IT department needs to have the ability to perform a selective wipe.

When users bring their personal smart phones and tablets into the workplace, they also want to consume IT resources such as email, documents on servers, and Internet access. To add to the mix, users refresh their smart phones every 16 months on average, have their devices lost or stolen or they leave their employer. This means IT needs to ensure the corporate data and settings are permanently cleaned off of the user’s device. Users are not going to want IT to do a full factory wipe resetting the device back to the original default image. Even if they do, many users will have a backup of the data and would be able to quickly restore the backup. This means IT really needs to be able to remove the settings without allowing the user to re-access them.

Deleting corporate resources from the device and removing access to corporate resources without doing a full factory reset from the Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution is commonly referred to as a selective wipe. A selective wipe should remove IT provisioned settings and stored corporate data from the device permanently without touching the user’s personal settings and data.

When users bring their personal smart phones and tablets into the workplace, they also want to consume IT resources such as email, documents on servers, and Internet access.

In the case of iOS, a selective wipe involves removing the configuration profiles from the device. If the email account settings were installed by the MDM system, then removing that configuration profile would also remove the account and its associated data including email, contacts, calendar, and tasks. Other configuration profiles could remove network settings or apps. This would disable the user’s ability to access corporate resources further. If apps were deployed by the MDM system, then they could also be removed and any data associated with those apps would also be deleted.

Android-powered devices behave similarly, but there isn’t a specific settings area of the device to view the IT configured settings. They are just applied to the device in the respective settings areas.

A selective wipe should un-enroll the device with the MDM system, which essentially means IT can no longer manage the device. If the user needs access to IT resources again, they would have to reenroll.

Organizations that allow employees to use personal smart phones or tables to access email, documents, or other data need to have the ability to selectively wipe these devices or risk exposing corporate data to hackers, thieves, or disgruntled employees.