Looking to move the mobile computing conversation into the realm of business processes, VMware (VMW) this week rolled out a Business Mobility initiative anchored around identity management service that now includes access controls and extensions to its App Configuration for Enterprise (ACE) effort to create a standard approach to configuring mobile applications.
Backed up by 15 additional cloud application providers that have agreed to throw their weight behind ACE, VMware is making a case for an open mobile application configuration standard based on software developed by Apple that eliminates the need for wrappers or software development kits (SDKs) to configure mobile applications.
As an extension of its enterprise alliance with Apple, Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager for end user computing at VMware, said the EMC subsidiary is trying to promote the adoption of a vendor-neutral approach to configuring applications that it hopes not only Google will support, but also every other provider of enterprise mobility management (EMM) tools.
In the mean time, VMware is trying to leverage its acquisition of AirWatch to drive adoption of mobile security management services delivered via its cloud platforms. VMware announced an alliance with AT&T that makes it easier to split billing for networking services consumed by personal and business applications, and extended its commitment to Apple and the iOS platform with the development of application configuration templates for specific vertical industries such as health care, airlines and education.
Finally, in one of its first concrete moves to tie the AirWatch and the rest of the VMware portfolio, VMware announced it has integrated the Nicira software-defined network (SDN) software and Tricipher identity management software it previously acquired with the AirWatch EMM services delivered via the cloud.
Put it all together and Poonen said VMware is on a path toward creating a framework for managing workspaces as part of a business process. Mobile computing, he noted, is transforming almost every single business process in the enterprise. Rather than simply thinking in terms of providing access to mobile applications, VMware and its partners will be focused on providing a consumer-like experience to mobile applications that are designed from the ground up to securely access back-end enterprise services, he said.
The rate at which a mobile transformation will take place naturally will vary among different verticals. But with just about every line-of-business executive leaning on IT organizations to use mobile applications to get closer to the customer, the solution provider opportunity surrounding mobile computing now extends well beyond the mobile computing devices itself.