Sprint’s selection of Zenprise MobileManager for its new mobile device management service offering reflects the growing need and demand for enterprise-class management and security of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. It’s another sign the channel needs to step up MDM adoption.
Sprint, the third largest wireless carrier in the U.S., picked Zenprise to power its fledgling mobile device managemen service. The partnership reflects the growing need and demand for enterprise-class MDM solutions and the steadily increasing opportunity for solution providers to sell and support MDM solutions.
For Zenprise, the Sprint partnership is a big deal. Zenprise is a relatively small software and cloud vendor compared to other MDM providers, including Juniper Networks, McAfee and Cisco. The collaboration validates Zenprise’s ability to deliver the features, function and scalability required by enterprises and service providers.
"Our business customers are looking for solutions that help them keep their network secure while supporting the wide variety of smartphones and tablets their employees want to use," said Will Souder, vice president of marketing at Sprint. "We evaluated the leading MDM solutions and knew that Zenprise was an important solution to have as part of our device management portfolio."
Zenprise is known for having solid capabilities and performance as an on-premise, cloud and, now, managed service. MobileManager supports all the major mobility platforms, including Apple iOS, Google Android, Symbian and Microsoft Windows Mobile. Sprint plans to make MobileManager the cornerstone of its Sprint Device Management Solution under the Sprint Professional Mobility Services portfolio.
Landing Sprint as a collaboration and service delivery partner is a big deal for any of company – for Zenprise, it’s an even bigger deal as it’s trying to differentiate itself among a growing field of competitors.
Zenprise is among the more than three dozen providers of MDM and mobile security solutions. Given the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace – owned and managed by corporate IT departments and consumer devices brought into the workplace by end users – software and hardware vendors are racing to field products and services. In addition to traditional networking and security vendors, pure-play MDM vendors like Zenprise are competing against RMM providers such as Level Platforms, Kaseya and LabTech Software.
Device manufacturers are trying to get into the MDM game, too. Research in Motion (RIM), maker of the struggling Blackberry platform, recently announced Mobile Fusion, an agnostic platform for managing all mobile devices. Apple has been quietly pushing its own MDM solution to businesses. And Samsung, now the world’s top smartphone producer, is partnering with Juniper Networks to deliver mobility management.
Just how big is the MDM market? Some vendors claim the total addressable market is somewhere north of $7.7 billion – the actual number may be much higher, considering more than 100 million tablets and 400,000 million smartphones will enter service over the next five years.
MDM in the channel is nascent. Solution providers tell Channelnomics they're increasingly asked for MDM products and advice by their customers. Yet, channel penetration remains low for all MDM solutions, and no vendor has a first-mover advantage. The Zenprise deal with Sprint shows the growing maturity of the technology as a service model. It should also signal the rest of the channel to step up efforts in adopting and supporting MDM solutions.