F5 Networks Partners to Play Nice with MDM Software Vendors
By now most of us in the channel realize mobile device management (MDM) isn’t just a passing fad. In fact, some of the more savvy solution providers have already built a full-blown business around ensuring their customers’ iPads and other devices work on the corporate network. Now F5 Networks is hoping to make its channel partners’ work a little easier by aligning its technology with some of the larger players in the MDM space.
The application delivery networking company has entered into a “unified partnership with MDM software vendors,” said Alan Murphy, senior technical marketing manager at F5. “We want to help our channel partners and customers understand the differences where MDM solutions play and how that interacts with the managing of security application delivery. MDM is all about [applying] policies to the device, but that’s for data at rest. In theory, data can be offline and the policies should still apply.”
F5 is working with the likes of AirWatch, MobileIron, SilverbackMDM and Zenprise to ensure its mobile access solution — comprised on BIG-IP Access Policy Manager, Edge Gateway and Edge Client offerings — not just play nice but also provide that seamless operability necessary to ensure data is secure, no matter what device and what OS are being used.
When F5’s technologies are used with the initial four MDM vendors’ software, companies can benefit from simplified deployments because the process of integration has already been worked out, Murphy said. “Enterprises can save money on help desk cost, since IT departments can literally deploy with the press of a button.”
Additionally, the seamlessness of the solution makes it secure end to end and transparent to the end user, Murphy said.
While the idea of a networking company working with MDM vendors to ensure interoperability isn’t the stuff memories are made of, the moves do show the impact mobile devices are having on corporate networks and the need for companies to ensure their networks aren’t compromised by such devices. And that, in itself, reinforces the opportunity for the channel.