MobileIron has beefed up support for Android in an update of its device management platform, offering enterprises tools to deal with an expected surge in staff bringing Android devices into the workplace.
Available immediately, MobileIron 4.5 is the first management platform to support Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, according to the firm, but also provides a single software agent to deploy on all Android endpoint devices, regardless of which version of the platform they are running.
MobileIron has also partnered with Samsung and Cisco to provide closer integration with Samsung's popular Galaxy devices on the one hand, and Cisco's AnyConnect VPN to secure communications on the other.
MobileIron offers cross-platform support for devices such as Apple's iOS, Windows Phones, BlackBerry and Symbian, but this latest release focuses on Android because of the rapidly growing number of these devices in the enterprise, according to MobileIron vice president of products Ojas Rege.
"We're just now starting to see larger Android deployments in the enterprise alongside iOS and BlackBerry, and the interest level is looking very high for 2012," he told V3.
Rege explained that the influx of iPhones a couple of years ago caught many IT departments off guard, and it was a long time before they had the right mechanisms and processes in place to cope effectively.
"With Android, they know it's coming, they want to be proactive, but they aren't confident of their ability to secure data, either on the device or while being sent over the air," he said.
The problem with Android is fragmentation, with different releases supporting different features, and vendors such as HTC customising the platform to create their own user experience.
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