to catalyze large-scale adoption of mobile smartphones by corporate customers,
Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer today unveiled several strategic offerings to
help people and businesses better embrace mobile technology. The company
announced its first dedicated mobile device management server and a strategic
new business alliance to complement the growing success of the Microsoft Windows
Mobile operating system and help more businesses take advantage of mobile
solutions for their employees.
"People expect to be able to do more and more with their mobile phone,"
Ballmer said in his keynote address today to the Cellular Technology
Industry Association (CTIA) of America. "We're building on our expertise
across servers, operating systems and services to deliver Windows Mobile
experiences that bridge the things people want to do at work and at home."
Responding to customer needs beyond mobile E-Mail and calendaring, Microsoft
introduced the Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008, a new
mobile-dedicated server solution that helps companies manage Windows Mobile
phones similar to Windows-based laptops and PCs. With Mobile Device Manager,
companies can deliver new applications to phones over the air as well as connect
people via Mobile VPN (virtual private network) with security-enhanced access to
critical data such as expense reports or customer information.
To help more businesses purchase and manage mobile phone deployments,
Microsoft announced a strategic alliance with Enterprise Mobile Inc., a new
mobile enterprise service company created by Corporate Software founder and PC
resale pioneer Mort Rosenthal. Enterprise Mobile will build, deploy and manage
custom-made solutions that will work with a variety of mobile operators and
The AT&T Tilt and other Windows Mobile 6 smart devices to be introduced by
AT&T later this year also will support Mobile Device Manager. Other recently
launched phones in the U.S. are the HTC Advantage, Mogul by HTC, Touch by HTC,
T-Mobile Wing and from Verizon Wireless the Samsung SCH-i760, Motorola Q Music
9m, SMT5800 and XV6800.
AT&T announced today that it will support Mobile Device Manager for business
customers next year, and Sprint also announced it will enhance its portfolio of
Windows Mobile phones in 2008 to support Mobile Device Manager. In addition, new
phones or updates to support Mobile Device Manager are expected to be available
beginning the second quarter of 2008 from HP, HTC, i-mate, Intermec, Motorola,
Palm Inc. and Samsung. Service partners Avanade, CSC, EDS, Getronics, HP and TCS
have announced support for Mobile Device Manager.
"For AT&T, success in the mobile space means making powerful solutions
available to business through which they can mobilize their workforces, and
the Windows Mobile platform delivers service offerings that provide our
customers with a robust and differentiated experience," said Kent Mathy,
president, Business Markets Group, AT&T. "By supporting Mobile Device
Manager on several levels, including by making our entire Windows Mobile 6
portfolio updatable to Mobile Device Manager and ensuring that those smart
devices are compatible with AT&T's network and other wireless data services,
we are building upon our long and successful alliance with Microsoft to
provide businesses with a compelling mobile solution."
"System Center Mobile Device Manager will enable our enterprise customers
to manage their Windows Mobile HTC devices in the same way they manage PCs
and laptops and, at the same time, be able to help their businesses use a
greater variety of wireless applications more securely," said Peter Chou,
CEO of HTC Corp. "HTC will make a Mobile Device Manager software update
available for the AT&T Tilt and HTC TyTN II starting in the second quarter
of 2008 with additional device updates to follow so that customers in North
America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region will be able to take advantage
of all the capabilities their mobile phone has to offer."
The new server, a first for the Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft,
is expected to be available in the first half of 2008.
To help deploy Mobile Device Manager and Windows Mobile as part of custom,
end-to-end mobile solutions, Microsoft is also working with Enterprise Mobile to
make it easier for businesses to purchase, deploy, manage and support mobile
phones. A new service provider and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Enterprise
Mobile has been working with Microsoft and customers on early pilot programs and
offers a complete service solution for developing, delivering and managing
solutions based on the Windows Mobile platform.
"Mobility is the future of business," said Rosenthal, CEO of Enterprise
Mobile. "The Windows Mobile platform and System Center Mobile Device
Manager, coupled with mobile operator and device maker partners, are the
core elements of a strategic solution. At Enterprise Mobile, we can help
businesses develop and actualize a solution tailored for their needs."
Mobile Device Manager is a single solution for managing Windows Mobile phones
that addresses business's needs to manage complex environments by enabling IT
departments to do the following:
- • Manage device inventory. Mobile Device Manager allows businesses to
use a single window to inventory and manage enrolled Windows Mobile phones,
helping to save time and providing more insight into mobile resources.
- Add and provision Windows Mobile phones. A scalable architecture means
there is room to grow as an organization does, eliminating the need to
supplement with additional solutions. A self-service device enrollment model
gives IT professionals a simple way to provision phones.
Mobile Device Manager offers new features and tools to help IT professionals
control and protect sensitive corporate information on Windows Mobile phones. As
security remains a top priority, Mobile Device Manager helps businesses do the
- Improve security management using Active Directory and Group Policy.
Organizations can set and control policies in a single environment, similar
to desktop and laptop management.
- Set up Windows Mobile phones according to organization-specific needs.
IT administrators can configure rules for any number of their Windows Mobile
phones to meet organizational requirements such as managing communications
and camera functionality.
- Increase on-device security. Mobile Device Manager uses file encryption
on the phone to help protect data such as E-Mail and calendaring, My
Document Folders and the Microsoft Internet Explorer Web cached directory.
When combined with storage card encryption enabled by Windows Mobile 6, IT
administrators have complete data encryption capabilities.
Using the new Mobile VPN, Mobile Device Manager provides security-enhanced
access to data behind the corporate firewall, opening up a world of
possibilities for businesses to offer a variety of line of business and
productivity applications available for Windows Mobile such as Flowfinity,
Formotus Inc., Microsoft Dynamics Mobile, Mobitor Corp., Pyxis Mobile, SAT Corp.
and TrueContext. Built specifically for performance and security important to IT
departments deploying a variety of mobile applications for Windows Mobile,
Mobile Device Manager is designed to enable the following:
- Access to information with the performance users expect. Session
persistence and fast reconnect features help users stay productive even if
they encounter data connectivity issues across cellular and WiFi networks.
- Increased protection with authentication of both user and phone. This
unique architecture can bring peace of mind to IT administrators by
providing a single security-enhanced point of access for all mobile
- Support for standards-based architecture in diverse mobile environments.
The Mobile VPN architecture is built on industry standards such as OMA DM,
IKEv2 and others, providing IT professionals with more flexibility to extend
the capabilities of Windows Mobile phones.
Closing the gap between a company's current systems and policies and the
Windows Mobile platform, Mobile Device Manager builds on the core set of
security and management features provided by Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and
the comprehensive deployment, updating and asset management capabilities of
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007.
Cheers ~ Arne