Mobile Device Management: A Look at AirWatch
A couple days ago MSPmentor took a look a closer look at mobile device management vendor MobileIron, after speaking with its VP of Strategy Ojas Rege, who provided insights on trends in the MDM space and how MSPs fit in. Now we’re turning our attention to another “Leader” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for MDM, AirWatch. The company claims on its website to be the largest MDM vendor in the world with 600 employees globally (an increase from 250 a year ago, spokesman Victor Cooper told me). Cooper says 50 percent of those employees are devoted to R&D. Here’s the rest of the story.
AirWatch’s MDM solution is offered in three different ways – in the cloud, in a private cloud or on-premise. MSP partners can either resell the cloud service, which can be offered as a private label service, or host it themselves on their premise. Partners can refer business to AirWatch, resell the offering or host it. The company’s MDM solution supports all the usual platforms – iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.
AirWatch’s security comes from role-based access controls and a secure repository for corporate information. IT sets access controls for different roles within the company, such as executives, sales representatives, and others. Different roles are granted different levels of access to the secure repository.
AirWatch also provides sandbox functionality for companies where employees bring their own devices (BYOD). The remote lock and wipe capabilities can be executed on just the corporate sandbox part of the device, leaving the employee’s personal data intact.
The Go-To-Market Strategy
While it may be a big player in MDM, AirWatch’s channel play may not be as strong as some other companies in the space. (Note: AirWatch is privately held, as are many other MDM providers, so MSPmentor is not in a position to confirm the sizes and market positions of these companies.) Cooper says 80 percent of the company’s sales are direct and the company serves a total of 2,600 customers.The remaining 20 percent of sales go through AirWatch’s 100 channel partners, which include telcos, direct market resellers such as CDW and PCMall, systems integrators such as ProSys, resellers and MSPs.
Cooper says AirWatch has about 30 MSP partners. AirWatch does not currently offer a deal registration program but says that there is no channel conflict because of the conversations sales account managers have with partners on an ad hoc basis. Cooper says that AirWatch is no newcomer to the channel or MSPs. The company has been working with them for two or three years already, he told me.
AirWatch has four offices around the world with its headquarters in Atlanta and other offices in the UK, Australia and India. The company was founded in 2003 by Alan Dabbiere who serves as chairman and John Marshall who serves as CEO. The company is privately held and entirely financed by its owners. Dabbiere previously founded Manhattan Associates (NASDAQ:MANH), a supply chain process platform provider, but left the company’s day-to-day operations after it went public in 1998 and cashed out many of his shares.
AirWatch scored a big win earlier this week when BMC Software (NASDAQ:BMC) introduced the BMC Mobile Device Management solution powered by AirWatch.