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VMware hops on board standalone mobile app management trend

Standalone MAM is appealing to businesses because it allows IT to manage content on BYO devices without enrolling them in MDM. More vendors are going after this trend.

Standalone mobile app management continues to be a growing trend, with large vendors looking to join. Just a few weeks after Citrix added standalone MAM to XenMobile in May, VMware followed suit with its new Adaptive Management capability in Workspace One.

Many businesses have yet to adopt an enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform for a multitude of reasons, including its invasiveness on employees' personal devices and the cost. Standalone mobile application management (MAM), which allows IT to manage content on BYO devices without users enrolling in mobile device management (MDM), could help solve those issues. 

"It's incumbent on EMM vendors to offer both options going forward, because they will find there is a segment in their customer base that's going the standalone MAM route," said Eric Klein, director at VDC Research Group Inc., in Natick, Mass. "It's definitely getting more traction."

Only 10% of organizations use MAM only, according to a 2015 Gartner survey, but the firm said adoption of standalone mobile app management will grow because it will "continue to find favor where enrolling a device in an EMM system isn't practical."

Part of VMware's Workspace One cloud-based management platform, the new Adaptive Management capability, allows IT to manage corporate apps on users' BYO devices, without enrolling devices into AirWatch EMM. IT also has the ability to containerize business apps through app wrapping and the capability to remote wipe corporate content from devices -- again, without enrolling them in EMM.

It's incumbent on EMM vendors to offer both options going forward.
Eric Kleindirector at VDC Research

The biggest limitation of standalone MAM is many advanced apps, such as Salesforce, Workday or Microsoft Office, require devices be enrolled in an EMM or MDM platform for IT to be able to manage them, VMware said. That's why the company also included what's called a Workspace Services profile option in Adaptive Management that provides native OS-level data protection. Users who require those kinds of apps can use the Workspace Services setting to still access those apps without enrolling in EMM, and IT is able to manage the advanced apps with standalone MAM. The new feature is designed to protect users' privacy because it doesn't allow IT to track information such as GPS locations, personal apps that a user downloads and more.

Users often view MDM as intrusive because IT has the ability to view or wipe personal content, or track a device's location, for example. Standalone MAM, however, means IT can't see personal content and apps. Plus, because MAM doesn't require users to enroll their devices, it allows IT to manage content on devices of employees who are not full time.   

IT departments don't care about managing the actual devices; they care about managing the corporate data on those devices, said Matt Kosht, an IT director at a utility company in Alaska, in a recent SearchMobileComputing report.

"Standalone MAM is an awesome idea," he said. "People don't want their personal devices to have all this junk on it."

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