AirWatch EMM gets Windows 10 support, security

AirWatch added Windows 10 support, launched a privacy initiative and made friends with a number of security software providers to bolster its EMM tool.

ATLANTA – AirWatch users now have Windows 10 support and can integrate the EMM tool with a number of security software options.

During the AirWatch Connect conference here this week, the company emphasized the importance of privacy when managing employee devices. The company's new Privacy First program will educate IT customers on organizational compliance and end users on its privacy practices.

"Today in mobile, part of the concern that some employees have, especially in BYOD is, can IT watch me?," said Sanjay Poonen, senior vice president and general manager of End User Computing at VMware. "Once you put mobile security on the device, what are they doing that I don’t want?"

It is important to implement strict guidelines when managing devices so that the employees know the abilities are not being taken advantage of, Poonen said. In one example, Poonen said it's important for a senior IT administrator at an organization to have the ability to wipe an employee's device.

"That gives people a lot more comfort," he said. "It really is a trust issue, and security and trust have to go together."

AirWatch now provides end users with information online about its data collection and privacy policies.

"Data security within my organization is one of my biggest priorities, and privacy is all in line with that," said Ron Rucker, an IT admin at Jeppesen, an aviation navigation product provider in Denver.

AirWatch's privacy officer's rule is another example of the company's Privacy First initiative, said Noah Wasmer, vice president of strategy and chief technical officer of end-user computing at VMware.

If an IT department is going to track a user's location, there has to be two administrative passwords entered to do so. This action will be audited and logged in the system, so it will never be done without an end user's awareness and human resources will have awareness as well.

The Privacy First tools will be available to users in the fourth quarter of this year.

AirWatch EMM supports iBeacons, Windows 10

AirWatch now supports iBeacon technology, which allows IT to make policy changes to application management based on a user's location. It works by deploying apps based on exactly where the user is. For example, if a user is in a boardroom where a meeting is taking place, the appropriate documents and applications can be deployed automatically. It can work on an ease of use basis or for security purposes.

AirWatch EMM now includes Windows 10 support, including Azure Active Directory integration, which makes device onboarding easier, and devices are managed by AirWatch automatically. AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) also supports Win 32 and Universal Apps now.

"The Windows 10 enhancements were what I was most excited about," said Rucker of Jeppesen. I'm really interested in on-the-fly device enrollment, he said.

Windows 10 support timing was convenient for some IT admins.

"We do have an initiative for Windows 10 in 2016, so that's big for us," said Dean Huddleston, IT manager at State Auto Insurance Companies based in Columbus, Ohio.

The new capabilities for Windows 10 are available in AirWatch EMM now. Pricing for cloud-hosted user-based licensing starts at $102 per user for three devices, but a number of pricing options are available.

The company received a round of applause from attendees here at its conference during a demo of the single sign on feature, which was used to access a Salesforce application managed by AirWatch. The feature allows access to the platform through a singular authentication point, rather than having to go through multiple identification portals.

"Single sign on is huge," said Kyle Sundell, network administrator at Domino Amjet, Inc., a printing technology company based in Chicago. "We use that anywhere we can. It makes our lives easier."

Sundell viewed the feature as the biggest part of the event. Single-sign on allows IT to avoid the headache of configuring each device, he said.

AirWatch partnerships bolster security

Samsung and VMware have made an agreement where Samsung will resell the AirWatch EMM suite, and VMware will resell Samsung KNOX Workspace, which is Samsung's mobile container. This allows customers to enroll in both mobile security tools through one vendor.

AirWatch will also partner with 10 other security vendors include Palo Alto Networks, Check Point and FireEye, through its new AirWatch Mobile Security Alliance. The security software of those companies will be integrated into the AirWatch platform.

 Ramin Edmond is a news writer for TechTarget's End User Computing Media Group. Contact him at [email protected]

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