Google Apps: Now Managing (More) Smart Phones

Google Apps: Now Managing (More) Smart Phones

google apps enterpriseGoogle is pushing ever so slightly into the remote management market. Specifically, enterprise administrators can now use Google Apps to remotely manage a growing number of smart phones -- like the Apple iPhone, Nokia E series, and Windows Mobile devices. Here's how.

Google Apps was fully compatible with BlackBerry Enterprise Server in 2009, but this marks the first time other devices get the complete enterprise policy treatment. According to Google:

With this change, Google Apps Premier and Education Edition administrators will be able to manage their users' iPhone, Nokia E series and Windows Mobile devices right from the Google Apps administrative control panel, without deploying any additional software or having to manage dedicated enterprise mobile servers.
According to the official Google blog entry, administrators can now log into their control panel, see all the connected users running the appropriate devices, and:
  • Remotely wipe all data from lost or stolen mobile devices
  • Lock idle devices after a period of inactivity
  • Require a device password on each phone
  • Set minimum lengths for more secure passwords
  • Require passwords to include letters, numbers and punctuation
Is this the killer app that's going to leapfrog Google Apps and software as a service to the forefront of the managed services market? In some ways, Google is playing catch-up in the smart phone market, where most of the major PSA (professional services automation) and RMM (remote monitoring and management) companies have been introducing smart phone support.

Another big question: Are the Google remote management tools purely for enterprise administrators? Or is there a remote management play here for MSPs and Google Apps resellers? We're checking in with Google to find out.
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