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AirWatch 8.3 upgrades SSO, adds industry templates for device enrollment

VMware’s new AirWatch 8.3 focuses on mobile data security and aims to make deployment easier for IT admins.

The latest update to the enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform, announced today, includes single sign-on (SSO) advancements and new templates to simplify device enrollment. AirWatch added SSO six months ago, and version 8.3 allows admins to set data access policies based on a user’s geographic location, device, Wi-Fi network, login credentials and more. The feature, called conditional access, relies on VMware’s Identity Manager tool and helps prevent corporate data leakage by giving IT more awareness of what users are doing.

AirWatch 8.3 also offers industry-specific templates that make it easier for admins to set up devices and enforce compliance regulations. The templates use a wizard, in which admins can choose which vertical a device is for, what tasks it will perform and other options.

For example, if an admin is registering a bedside iPad at a hospital, he or she would select that the device is used in a hospital and that it is a kiosk for nurses and doctors administering patient care. The wizard then suggests apps the user may need and security policies that should be in place based on the use case — such as encryption requirements to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

The templates are available for the healthcare, retail, education, hospitality and field services industries.

“Many enterprises want a standard deployment of apps and services to mobile workers,” said Phil Hochmuth, program director at research firm IDC in Framingham, Mass. “[Templates] can speed up deployment and provisioning … and make policy enforcement stronger across various types of workers.”

AirWatch 8.3 will integrate with the soon-to-be released VMware Workspace One suite, and both will be available by the end of March.