The continuing spread of smartphones inside and outside of office walls is leading more and more corporate IT departments to consider third-party software offerings for assistance in managing and maintaining the integrity of their BlackBerry/iPhone/Palm device deployments.
That's where companies like Zenprise come into play. Zenprise today announced the latest version of its smartphone management offering, Zenprise MobileManager 5.0. Unlike its software competitors, Zenprise works with multiple smartphone platforms and not just BlackBerry devices or iPhones, the company says.
In fact, Zenprise is currently the first and only company to offer such a robust smartphone management product that works with all of the major smartphone platforms, according Ahmed Datoo, Zenprise VP of marketing.
More specifically, MobileManager 5.0 works with Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry devices, Apple iPhones, Microsoft Windows Phones and Palm devices running webOS. It's expected to become available in October.
"Zenprise is really about decreasing the risk typically associated with enterprise mobility and providing the necessary tools for IT to monitor complex, large BlackBerry [or smartphone] deployments," says Datoo.
One important new security-related feature within Zenprise MobileManager 5.0 is the ability for smartphone administrators to easily identify malware or spyware installed on users' devices via an intuitive Web-based dashboard. MobileManager 5.0 users can also remotely disable and/or wipe misplaced or stolen devices, expanding on the built-in capabilities of BlackBerry Enterprise Servers (BES) or Microsoft Exchange Servers. And new compliance-related features make it easier to ensure and demonstrate that IT policies for smartphones are being enforced.
MobileManager 5.0's new expense management features help smartphone admins determine device usage levels, so users who rarely employ their handhelds are quickly identified and those service plans can be deactivated or modified wherever possible to save on wireless costs. Administrators can also monitor individual smartphone usage patterns to determine the most appropriate service plans for each employee.
Zenprise's MobileManager 5.0 announcement roughly coincides with the release of RIM's new BES 5.0 and BlackBerry handheld OS 5.0, which is expected to be released in the coming weeks.
In related news, Zenprise competitor BoxTone, a maker of BlackBerry management software recently introduced its User Self-Service Module for BlackBerry, which aims to empower corporate BlackBerry users to resolve their own device issues if possible. Zenprise also offers a similar Web-based self-service portal for smartphone users within MobileManager.
Pop on over to Zenprise.com for more on MobileManager 5.0. And read, "How the World Champion Boston Red Sox Keeps BlackBerrys in the Game" for details on Zenprise in action.
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