AirWatch, VMware's mobile device management (MDM) business unit, kicked off its AirWatch Connect conference in Atlanta today with several announcements which will have an effect on how enterprises manage their mobile workforces in the months and years ahead.
Among the new updates is an improved AirWatch Privacy First program designed to assuage user privacy concerns and promote transparency. To that end, the company's Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) products will provide administrators with simplified configurations that emphasize data privacy, policy management and compliance. For users, AirWatch is spelling out its data collection and privacy policies, and how they affect end-user devices, with new online resources.
In the wake of Windows 10's splashy debut, the company is also strengthening its ties with the new MDM capabilities that Microsoft baked into the operating system.
AirWatch's technology now offers Azure Active Directory integration to help simplify the onboarding process with minimal, if any, IT intervention. Also new are bulk provisioning tools, Universal and Win32 app support and per-app virtual private network (VPN) support.
"Today, we are building a platform for the next phase of mobility – providing the tools to transform organizations and deliver true business transformation," said John Marshall, senior vice president and general manager of AirWatch, in a statement. "We deliver consumer simple, enterprise secure solutions with user privacy in mind, and are working with our customers to define the future of what's possible with business mobility."
On the security front, the company announced a major new initiative called the Mobile Security Alliance.
With the help of 10 other partner companies, namely Appthority, Check Point, FireEye, Lookout, Palo Alto Networks, Pradeo, Proofpoint, Skycure, Veracode and Zimperium, AirWatch aims to help enterprises safeguard their apps and data as they transition from client-server computing to the mobile-cloud era. AirWatch-compliant security solutions from participating companies will hook into the company's application programming interfaces (APIs) and its compliance engine for device remediation for automated and streamlined data and device protection services.
Noah Wasmer, vice president of product management and CTO of VMware's End-User Computing group, said in a statement that the alliance "provides customers with validated security solutions to help simplify these decisions." Moreover, "In the increasingly complicated realm of mobile security, this alliance provides flexibility while enabling simplified deployment and implementation of security solutions."
AirWatch and Samsung continue to cozying up to one another with the announcement of a reselling agreement in which VMware will offer Samsung KNOX Workspace globally. Meanwhile, the leading Android handset vendor will offer the AirWatch's Enterprise Mobility Management Suite in the U.S. via its Samsung Business Services division.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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