Computerlinks has signed a mobile device management (MDM) start-up it claims can offer a more security- and channel-focused alternative to the more established names in the market.
After months spent evaluating the MDM market, Computerlinks has hooked up with US-based Mobile Active Defence ([email protected]) – one of 15 "niche players" in Gartner's MDM Magic Quadrant.
According to Dave Ellis (pictured), director of new technologies at Computerlinks, resellers have had their fingers burned by MDM vendors that have sold direct or passed deals to partners at a very low margin. Many of the leading MDM names treat the security aspect of MDM as an afterthought, he added.
[email protected]'s Mobile Enterprise Compliance and Security Server (MECS) is designed to secure tablets and smartphones to the most stringent security standards, Elllis said.
"We did a lot of due diligence and [email protected] ticked all the boxes," he added.
"The common misconception about MDM is that it is all about security. We found that is not the case with a lot of vendors. Many did not offer enterprise security and a lot did not have a proper channel-centric approach."
According to Gartner, the MDM market is currently led by Sybase, Good Technology, AirWatch and MobileIron but there are 77 players in total.
Rob Smith, chief technology officer at [email protected] (pictured below) – which carries out all its R&D in the UK – said: "A major difference between us and those other 76 companies is that all our executives come from an internet security background. We have all been doing internet security since 1996 so we look at this from a security standpoint as opposed to a telecoms expense management standpoint."
According to JP Morgan Global, 650 million smartphones will be sold this year. Analyst Ovum predicts that 235 million tablets will be in circulation by 2016.
Ellis said most resellers are cognisant that most of their end users need an MDM strategy to cope with the explosion in either employee- or company-owned tablets and smartphones, but had struggled with vendor choice.
"I know a number of partners have had their fingers burned by other MDM vendors that have operated a non-channel-centric model," he said. "They have chosen the wrong vendors."
Following the signing, Computerlinks has put together a bundle designed to enable end users to deliver enterprise applications to mobile devices in a secure fashion. It also includes wireless technology from Aerohive and application delivery technology from Ericom.
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