Speaking to David Goldschlag, the CEO of enterprise mobile security firm MobileSpaces in September, he noted that with the company’s latest round of funding they “were well along the path to having a complete product for solving the need of the enterprise to choose any app.”
With the release of its 2.1 iteration last month, enabling support of the full suite of Google productivity apps across Android and iOS, they’re getting closer and closer to this vision.
The 2.1 product allows enterprises to mobilise Google Apps within a container, gives employees the chance to use the apps they’re familiar with, and fills “a huge functionality and security hole” for MobileSpaces customers, according to the company’s press release.
According to Dan Dearing, VP marketing at MobileSpaces, this opinion ought to be clarified slightly.
“I think the vision is to be able to blend services and applications together in any way the enterprise wants, to make their employees productive,” Dearing tells Enterprise AppsTech in a call. “We do have a product that from a framework standpoint is able to do that – you can imagine that we can then take this and provide similar support for an ecosystem around Office365.
“We’ll continually be enhancing this, but right now I think we do have a complete product that enterprises can use to achieve that,” he adds.
MobileSpaces’ portfolio has been a hit with the media, with Jack Madden writing back in December that MobileSpaces was “the most brilliant and unique mobile app management solution I’ve heard of all year”.
This comes down to one key reason: MobileSpaces’ Android app virtualisation technology.
The mobile app management (MAM) space is split into two product sets; third party MAM and OS-enabled MAM. As Madden put it, “third-party MAM works for only a subset of apps, but can run on any device, while OS-enabled MAM can work with any app, but only works on a subset of devices”.
As a result you can never get the best of both worlds – which is something MobileSpaces is trying to change. The app virtualisation layer is therefore the solution to Android’s fragmented architecture.
“I guess a great example of that would be Google Cloud Messaging, which allows servers to push data to a device,” Dearing notes. “That can now push data to our workspace, because the workspace now to the Google services looks like a virtual device.
“One of the issues you’ve traditionally had with Android, or Google Apps, is that you couldn’t have more than one single Google Apps account on the device.
“With this capability we now have second virtual device on the critical device – and that gives us the ability to have a personal account and a work account on the device. So that’s a key enabler,” he adds.
Another advantage of this virtualised environment is that users can happily access their native Google apps – something which Dearing argues puts MobileSpaces ahead of the competition.
“If you look at how MDM providers with their own proprietary containers support it, they can support just a subset of the services that Google Apps provides, and they do that without using the native apps that Google provides,” Dearing argues.
“In other words MobileIron, AirWatch and others, have to write their own email clients, their own browser, which means the user experience is going to be fundamentally different.”
Enterprise AppsTech last caught up with MobileSpaces in September on the release of their iOS support product – and while Android’s technology is the brightest light in the company portfolio, Dearing argues the consumer dictated what the company does.
“From a BYOD standpoint, the enterprise really can’t predict what device employees are going to bring to work,” he explains. “I think what changed the platform we supported was really consumer adoption.
“BYOD is all about the consumer bringing the device to work, so at the end of the day they are really deciding what devices are supported by MobileSpaces.
“The real question comes ‘how can you do that across a very fragmented Android environment?’ And that’s what we bring,” he adds.
Find out more on MobileSpaces 2.1 here.
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