Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is sharpening its mobile device management (MDM) focus, especially when it involves Google Android 4.0 smartphones and tablets -- and even Apple iOS and Windows devices. The search giant says it now offers IT administrators the tools they need to manage password, encryption, policy management and email retention capabilities. Do managed services providers (MSPs) and channel partners fit into this conversation?
I think the big starting point involves 6,000 Google Apps channel partners. Many of those partners are cloud integrators, and some are ranked among the world's top 100 cloud services providers (as tracked by Talkin' Cloud). And I bet a boatload of Google Apps channel partners are thinking about MDM strategies... with Google.
A blog post from Hong Zhang describes much of Google's mobile management strategy. Check the Google Apps control panel and you'll see ways for organizations to manage Android, iOS and Windows mobile devices. Dig a little deeper and you may discover the Google Apps Device Policy app -- which lets partners or customers remotely erase data from stolen or lost devices. A new feature even lets end-users remotely delete the data, if they need to.
How many MSPmentor readers will embrace Google's approach to MDM? I'm not sure. But I bet the figure is pretty high on our sister site, Talkin' Cloud -- where the Google Apps Authorized Reseller readership has been in growth mode.
MDM and MSPsHere on MSPmentor, most readers are running RMM (remote monitoring and management) software platforms -- and many of those platforms are gaining MDM capabilities. The big challenge remains MDM pricing strategies and the resulting profit margins for MSPs.
There's also a market for standalone, dedicated MDM platforms -- where companies like Airwatch and MobileIron have loyal followings. And big software companies like Symantec have been buying MDM firms, while Microsoft extends Windows Intune with MDM capabilities.
Still, a lot of MSPs are struggling to find MDM platforms that are (1) mature (2) cross platform (3) designed to be white-labeled and (4) allow MSPs to manage billing.
Meanwhile, Google is starting to talk a lot more about MDM. I wonder: Will MSPs engage in the conversation?