SAP, Symantec Upgrade Mobile Device Tools

BYOD concerns a big theme for Mobile World Congress

BARCELONA -- Mobile Device Management (MDM) software got a boost from rivals SAP and Symantec who separately announced improvements to their management tools on the opening day of Mobile Work Congress here.

Sybase announced its new Sybase Afaria 7.0, calling it a major upgrade that streamlines Afaria's existing administrative console for IT, among other improvements.

Symantec, meanwhile, said it is making its Symantec Mobile Management available for Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager and adding its mobile security to Android and devices.

Part of the focus of the two vendors in making the improvements is to better serve IT shops awash in mobile devices running Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7. The acronym BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is on the lips of all the MDM makers at this conference, many of them trying to out-do one another with tools to make it easier to administer the variety of smartphones and tablets used by workers.

Some enterprises are embracing BYOD , while others are fighting the trend, analysts have said.

SAP's revamped tools should speed up and simplify MDM for end users and IT managers, said Stacy Crook, an analyst at IDC. Sybase Afaria has about 20% of the global MDM market, and has led the market for 10 years, IDC said. SAP said it has about 1,000 customers.

Symantec recently completed a survey of IT managers showing that about 60% of large companies are in the process of making their internal line-of-business applications accessible to workers on smartphones and tablets, Symantec officials said.

Symantec's Mobile Management for Microsoft SCCM will be available sometime in March; Mobile Security for Android will ship in late summer, the company said.

In its survey of 6,000 IT shops, Syhmantec found that average total cost of a single security lapse, including lost data, is about $429,000.

SAP said its new administrative console will be integrated with SAP Business Objects, a portfolio of software that provides business intelligence reports. A telecommunications expense management tool is also integrated, providing administrators the ability to oversee costs such as data roaming.

Brian Duckering, senior manager of Symantec endpoint management, said Symantec has begun distinguishing itself from various competitors by going beyond device management to include security for the new mobile network.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His email address is .

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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