IP telephony firm 3CX is extending its portfolio with a mobile device management tool aimed at small to medium firms needing to address the growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend of workers using their own mobile device for work purposes.
Available now, 3CX Mobile Device Manager (3CX MDM) is a cloud-hosted service that provides smaller companies with many of the standard management functions you would expect to see in an enterprise-grade platform, but for a relatively modest annual subscription starting at €150 (£130) for up to 10 devices.
These include the ability to remotely lock and wipe a missing device, enforcement of passwords, the ability to push out WiFi and email configuration settings, and even application blacklist and whitelist tools to offer some control over what apps users can run.
3CX marketing manager Jaymes Marsh told V3 that the platform has been developed in response to demand from its channel partners, who in turn said they have been getting requests from SME customers worried about the amount of company data getting on to employee smartphones and tablets.
"One of the most important things is securing devices. What happens if it gets lost or falls into the wrong hands?" he said. Another key concern is ease of use, which is why 3CX opted for a cloud-hosted service that customers can access through a browser, although an on-premise version is on the roadmap for customers that want this.
3CX MDM currently supports Android and Apple iOS devices, in addition to Windows 7 and 8 systems. Windows Phone support is coming in the near future.
On the security side, 3CX allows an admin to lock a device reported missing, and if necessary reset it to factory settings and wipe its flash card. This can be triggered by SMS message for devices with a cellular connection, even if they are not connected to the internet.
Meanwhile, the admin can change user passwords by individual group or device, if required. WiFi passwords can automatically be pushed out to users, allowing the firm to change this without having to recall devices or get end users to manually update. Access can also be rescinded by deleting the password if an employee leaves.
For Android devices, 3CX MDM includes a copy of the widely used AquaMail client app, because "configuring the built-in Android email client can be problematic," according to March. Admins can push this out to users instead, and then push out configuration settings, he added.
Some remote support features are also included, allowing a technician to remotely see device and application usage logs, remotely manage files on a device, and perform a restart if required.
Application management capability enables an admin to see applications installed on all devices, and optionally set a blacklist of banned apps or a whitelist of approved apps.
On the roadmap for the future are features including the ability to monitor data usage for each device, and trigger an alert if a user starts using data roaming abroad or "roots" their handset.
3CX MDM is available free for up to five devices, to allow for pilot deployments but also because the firm sees it being used by families to secure their own mobile devices as well, Marsh said.
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