Microsoft launches System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 – pushing mobile enterprise mobile to the edge

Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manger

So, we’re here at CTIA San Francisco 2007 and the first thing on our agenda was the Microsoft launch luncheon (try saying that three times, fast). Here’s what they’ve got planned…

In keeping with the Microsoft’s expertise in enterprise mobile solutions, Microsoft has launched their first “dedicated mobile device management server” – Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008. And, to help roll-out device compatibility with the Mobile Device Manager, Microsoft has teamed up with AT&T and Sprint to bring

Microsoft has keyed in on the business customer’s needs beyond the realm of simple email, contact management, and calendar sync-ing. They’re leveraging the Windows Mobile platform to bring a new level of integration and user-level management to the enterprise IT professional. With features like over-the-air application delivery and secure VPN connectivity, the Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 aims to ensure that fleet-management of Windows Mobile devices maintains “end-to-end data integrity” as well as providing secure access to corporate data – in other words, Windows Mobile device fleets can all be updated and synchronized with ease and allow user-corporate VPN connection under the watchful eye of the Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Center 2008.

IT heads will be happy to hear that the new Mobile Device Center will employ an “always on” connection – affording them the control they need to maintain and ensure fleet integrity. Should the “always on” connection drop-out, Microsoft’s “fast reconnect” technology gets the user securely back online without having to re-authenticate. And, if the IT department sees a problem with any device in their fleet, System Center Mobile Device Manager provides the IT Administrator with the power to lock down a specific handset – they can disable Bluetooth, SMS/MMS, WLAN (WiFi), InfraRed, POP/IMAP email, and camera functionality.

AT&T and Sprint have signed on to make their lineup of Windows Mobile devices compatible with Mobile Device Manager starting early next year. New devices with Mobile Device Manager support are expected to be available in 2Q 2008 from HP, HTC, i-mate, Intermec, Motorola, Palm Inc. and Samsung – with service partner Avanade, CSC, EDS, Getronics, HP and TCS supporting Mobile Device Manager.

Microsoft seems to be taking aim squarely at RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise services. With the level of device integration and control that System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 brings, RIM had better step up it’s game if it wants to hold onto its position as a powerhouse in the mobile enterprise game. And, with RIM’s servers taking nose dives every so often, Windows Mobile should be looking even more attractive to corporate IT departments everywhere.

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