Local systems management specialist Columbus Technologies has launched a complete solution for managing mobile devices. The solution is designed to be easy to use and is delivered via the cloud.
“Columbus Mobile offers CIOs the solution to one of their most pressing current issues: how to manage the proliferating number of smartphones and tablets on corporate networks,” says Theo Fourie, sales director at Columbus Technologies South Africa. “These devices are corporate assets and carry corporate data—they need the same level of management and protection as a PC or a laptop.”
The dramatic growth of enterprise mobility over the past 18 months or so is well recorded. For example, according to figures released by Zendesk, half the devices on corporate networks will be mobile by 2015, and just over a third of information workers will be using smartphones by the end of 2012. Leading analyst IDC is talking about the post-PC era: 1.3 million mobile apps are already in existence as opposed to some 75 000 for the PC, and the number of smartphones sold now comfortably outstrips PC sales.
The trend is being driven by users, but corporates are willing passengers thanks to big productivity gains. While many of the mobile devices being used on corporate networks are currently privately owned—bring your own device or BYOD—businesses are already beginning to purchase tablets for employees. Many smartphones, of course, are anyway purchased on corporate phone packages.
Like any devices accessing the corporate network, these mobile devices need to be backed up, protected, accounted for and their software upgraded. “Doing this manually across hundreds or even thousands of smartphones or tablets is hugely time-consuming, expensive and impractical” says Fourie. “An added burden is device misconfiguration and failed application installations.”
The solution: Columbus Mobile offers automated, remote management of all mobile devices. The company can now push out device configuration and applications or application upgrades—and remove applications when a person leaves the company. Anti-virus software and updates, likewise, can be uploaded. A remote control capability assists mobile users wherever they are.
Best of all, the process is totally automated.
Physical device security is also covered because Columbus Mobile allows the company to lock stolen or lost devices remotely or, if necessary, delete all data. The system can also be configured to delete data automatically if a SIM swap is performed.
Columbus Mobile integrates with the asset management suite of sister product Spider, thus integrating mobile devices into the company’s total asset/intellectual property management environment.
“Columbus Mobile isn’t a beta product—it’s up and running and it’s integrated with Columbus’s existing help desk product,” says Fourie. “It’s offered as a service hosted in South Africa, but we can also manage it for you on site or the software itself can simply be purchased in the traditional model. We’ve covered all the bases when it comes to managing corporate mobile devices.”