MDM Pricing: Sophos Introduces User-Based Licensing

One of the thornier issues that mobile device management has raised is one of pricing.  Will organizations pay to secure and manage your iPad, iPhone, Android, laptop and/or MacBook Air? And how many devices should users be allowed to have if you have to pay for each one? What if each user has a tablet, a smartphone and a laptop? That can add up quickly and add complexity to an already complicated IT environment. Sophos today announced the availability of an approach to address this issue, Sophos EndUser Protection. Here’s the scoop.

Sophos’ new security offering provides a per-user license rather than a per-device license. The solution combines both endpoint and mobile protection to simplify mobile device security, but addresses fears of the expense escalation that comes with so many new devices per user joining the network. For instance, a single user’s PC, iPad, iPhone or other device are all protected under the user license rather than requiring a separate license for each device.

Sophos cited a Cisco IBSG Horizons Study from 2012, which showed that the average number of connected devices per knowledge worker was 2.8. And that number is expected to rise. By 2014 the forecast calls for 3.3 devices per knowledge worker. And that’s just the average. Sophos noted that many employees who travel frequently or require constant connectivity probably use even more devices than that. This increase has put a strain on IT departments and their budgets, according to Sophos.

“Every day, I use three or four different devices for business purposes, and the consumerization trend points to more people using even more devices,” said Matt Fairbanks CMO at Sophos, in a prepared statement. “Our value proposition to customers and partners is complete security without complexity. And as BYOD moves more to the forefront of complete security, Sophos EndUser Protection allows more IT professionals to embrace BYOD rather than try to reverse it.”

Sophos partner RJS Smart Security expressed enthusiasm about the new licensing plan.

“Our clients are struggling to deal with the reality of BYOD, employees working from remote locations, and using multiple devices to access the business network,” said Sophos solution provider Josh More, senior security consultant, RJS Smart Security, in a prepared statement.”With Sophos Enduser Protection, we can help make securing our customers’ mobile workforces easier and more affordable, giving us a distinct advantage over other resellers that offer security by device.”

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