Westcon Packages Up Mobile Management Service
One of today's most vexing business challenges is figuring out how to support mobile computing in an age in which everyone wants to bring his or her own device to work. To address that problem, distributor Westcon Group has combined technologies from multiple vendors to create a single BYOD offering that solution providers can resell.
That service is BYODShield, which combines Fiberlink's MaaS350 mobile-device-management software in the cloud with an IP management appliance from Blue Cat. According to Westcon CIO and CTO Bill Gurley, this approach will give solution providers access to a turnkey solution where Westcon for the first time is combining technologies from multiple vendors into a single offering.
"We're doing the final assembly for a multivendor solution using two vendors that never worked together before," said Gurley.
What makes BYODShield unique is the fact that rather than relying on network access control (NAC) software to manage access to the network, the IT management appliance determines which devices can be attached by the number of IP addresses allocated to an individual or group of people. Gurley said that approach gives solution providers and the customers they serve more granular control over who gets to connect what types of device to the corporate network.
Gurly said services such as BYODShield represent a new effort by distributors to reduce the complexity associated with managing and delivering a service, especially in terms of the capital costs associated with a managed service.
"Distribution has always been about taking the complexity out of the channel," said Gurley. "Our goal is to make it easier for solution providers to make money."
Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.