HTC, Sony Ericsson to support 3LM's enterprise software

The handset makers plan to support the management software from the company recently acquired by Motorola

Motorola on Tuesday said that HTC, Sony Ericsson, Pantech and Sharp plan to use the enterprise mobile device management software from Three Laws of Mobility, a company Motorola announced this week that it had acquired.

3LM was founded by Tom Moss and Gaurav Mathur, two former Google employees who worked on the Android team, said Christy Wyatt, corporate vice president of software and services product management for Motorola. "They believed there was an opportunity for Android in the enterprise so eventually they left Google and created 3LM," she said.

3LM offers a management console that enterprises can use to set policies around security and network configurations on Android phones used by mobile workers. While many IT managers say they would like to allow their mobile workers to use Android phones, they say the OS just isn't secure enough. 3LM joins a host of other offerings aimed at adding security to Android, including Good Technology.

The acquisition represents a next step for Motorola in positioning Android for enterprises. It already offers features aimed at enterprises on some of its phones, like password enforcement, and it is working on encryption, Wyatt said. But 3LM offers management tools for IT administrators, she said.

Motorola also hopes to extend 3LM's software to its Xoom tablet, she said.

Motorola has worked hard to make 3LM attractive to other handset makers, a difficult proposition since companies typically don't want to buy from competitors. In fact, Motorola made the acquisition in December but didn't announce it until Monday because it wanted to prove to other handset makers that it was committed to delivering 3LM products to them, Wyatt said.

In addition, Motorola has taken some careful steps to keep 3LM independent. It will operate as a business unit in Motorola but it is not located at Motorola's offices, it has a separate IT infrastructure and the founders of 3LM are in control of the unit, she said.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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