A new way to get iPhones under control

TrustDigital has released an updated version of its mobile device management software, with improved support for the Apple iPhone

TrustDigital has released an updated version of its mobile device management software, with improved support for the Apple iPhone, including the new 3GS model, and iPod Touch.

(Don't Miss: 20 Cool Third-Party iPhone Apps)

The new release expands on TrustDigital's basic pitch to enterprise IT: creating centralized, policy-based management and security controls over the unruly iPhones, something Apple has yet to fully realize. The goal, says TrustDigital Vice President of Marketing Dan Dearing, is something analogous to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, to create and enforce a wide range of enterprise mobile policies for multiple platforms: iPhone, Windows Mobile, Symbian, and Palm OS.

The main part of the TrustDigital Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) platform sits in the enterprise DMZ. This group of applications, dubbed EMM Proxy, acts as a go-between for the iPhones and other devices, and corporate mail servers behind the firewall. A separate program lets managers create polices, and a central Web-based console lets you view the devices, their software and hardware assets, relevant policies and so on. Traditionally, a client-side agent application is downloaded to the device.

(Slideshow: Products of the Week)

Apple's release of the iPhone 3.0 operating system, and the advent of the iPhone 3GS model, introduced a battery of management and security features long-craved by network IT departments. Among the additions: VPN support, always-on encryption, and remote wipe-and-kill. It improved support for ActiveSync policies and released the 2.0 version of the free iPhone Configuration Utility. All of these are important changes, but they don't create a central point of control to enforce such measures as password controls, content blocking, or application restrictions. [see InfoWorld's test "Can you manage an iPhone like a BlackBerry?"]

With the new EMM version, iPhones (and other supported devices) can now access any backend email server that incorporates Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. There's no Lotus iPhone client for example. But the EMM Proxy can now act on behalf of the iPhone client and access the Lotus server.

Also new is a small iPhone app, dubbed EMM Agent, which when downloaded automates the iPhone enterprise activation process, including configuring enterprise VPN settings, Wi-Fi policies and other security standards.

EMM can also now work with the native security and enterprise features on the iPhone out of the box, without the need for a full agent application. The vendor created a full agent and is awaiting approval by Apple to offer it on the App Store. This agent will support the full range of EMM controls on the device.

Finally, the new release can scan the iPhone 3GS to ensure that a pin or password is activated, before allowing the handset to connect to the corporate email server.

One rival attacking the mobile management gap is Zenprise, which has branched out from a focus on end-to-end troubleshooting for enterprise BlackBerry deployments to a wider embrace of multivendor mobile device management. It embraced the iPhone in 2008 and earlier this year added support for Windows Mobile

The new release of TrustDigital EMM ships August 1. Pricing is based on client licenses, starting at US$65 each, with volume discounts. A starter kit for 25 devices, including one year of tech support, is about US$5,000.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AppleiPhoneenterprise appsiPhone 3GSiphone 3g

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Cox

Network World

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?