Google just rattled RIM's mobile device management plans

Google just rattled RIM's mobile device management plans

Summary: It's possible that Google's existing Apps for Business customers will use the search giant to manage devices. A crowded field just cringed.


Google may have just dropped a mobile device management bomb on plans by Research in Motion---as well as about 25 other vendors---with an effort to manage multiple diverse devices in the enterprise.

At a powwow at Google's headquarters, Dave Girouard, chief of Google's enterprise efforts, said the company will layer in mobile device management into Google Apps. Google Apps will support Android, iOS, Windows and other devices via a dashboard.

With the move, it's possible that Google's existing customers use the search giant to manage devices. And if the features hold up these customers may dump others including SAP's Sybase, Good Technology and Research in Motion, which announced plans to manage all devices as part of its BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

Now the key question here is how Google's mobile device management plan works relative to rivals. It's possible that Google is offering mobile device management in Google Apps just to portray Android devices as safe for the enterprise. But just based on the pricing (free) Google could raise a few big worries for vendors in the mobile management market. Microsoft supports remote wiping with ActiveSync.

The Gartner quadrant on the sector looks like this:

And that view is dated. IBM announced plans for mobile device management on Monday. RIM said at BlackBerry World it will support both Android and iOS and put mobile device management vendors on notice. Now RIM is on notice.

The big theme for Google executives was consumerization and allowing employees to bring their own devices. Given that Google Apps users may be closer to the consumerization trend it only makes sense to include mobile device management in Google Apps.

No matter how you add the Google move up the outlook for RIM, which desperately has to defend its enterprise server base, looks a bit cloudy---especially Google Apps customers that use the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

Topics: Apps, Google, Mobility, BlackBerry, Wi-Fi

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  • RE: Google just rattled RIM's mobile device management plans

    Very funny? Google, wake me when they get security certs in all the areas RIM has :-)
  • RE: Google just rattled RIM's mobile device management plans

    Cloud based mobile device management? Not for me thanks.
  • Does Larry even understand enterprise mobile management?

    Put a big * on this

    * for companies that use Google Apps. So basically hardly anyone in the Fortune 500 or goverment.

    We tested Google Apps for a couple months and it's woefully compared to having Exchange / BES / SharePoint etc. It's a solid alternative for budget minded companies but lacks a ton of enterprise needs.

    Considering the dismal MDM support Google provides now I hardly think they will be a major player anytime soon. RIM and Good Technology have secure proven platforms and many companies prefer solutions like this inside their firewall.
    • RE: Google just rattled RIM's mobile device management plans

      @MobileAdmin i'll grant you that Google App is probably more midmarket, but it does have Genentech, possibly GM and government groups in its fold. I think RIM is vulnerable here. The CIOs I talked to generally couldn't stand BES and wanted an exit. More often than not that was ActiveSync supporting iOS. Add Google to that mix and you have RIM problems. It can't lose that enterprise server grip.
      Larry Dignan
      • RE: Google just rattled RIM's mobile device management plans

        @Larry Dignan

        The problem is ActiveSync is not an MDM. Its a glorified email connector with a handful of policies of which only legacy Windows mobile supports.

        RIM provides a totally free BES as well a cloud based version.

        RIM has the lone platform that fully intergrates with a corporate environment. Granted there are some companies willing to use cloud solutions but there will always be those that want full ownership.

        Interested to see how BES 6 looks next year as well RIM's cross platform management.
  • RE: Google just rattled RIM's mobile device management plans

    All I see is RIM defending itself. I don't see nor perhaps will I see RIM successfully attacking the marketplace ever again.
    • RE: Google just rattled RIM's mobile device management plans

      @olternaut yup its hard to mount a defense when backpedaling! RIM is dead we all just waiting for the funeral
    • RE: Google just rattled RIM's mobile device management plans


      Not attacking the market again? Really? With phones coming with the new BBX and phones described as follows in this article:

      I think RIM will make a huge comeback.
  • RE: Google just rattled RIM's mobile device management plans

    I've been a mobility consultant at Vocio for ten years. Many of the names listed in the Gartner quadrant may be classified as Mobile Device Management companies but what does that even mean? And do enterprise decision makers know what MDM means as opposed Mobile Application Management, Wireless Mobility Management, Wireless Expense Management, Mobile Operations Management, etc.? What does MDM mean to Google? RIM? Good? or any other MDM provider?

    Q4 has seen lots of announcements from huge players, but right now how many devices are they actually managing? Is it just hype? What role will the mobile providers play in this? Seems like Google could offer some self service application management but contacting mobile providers to swap ESN's, remove devices when employees leave, optimize rate plans, take calls at 2am and overnight an exec with a new phone?? Isn't that part of a MDM too?
  • RE: Google just rattled RIM's mobile device management plans

    What this shows is that the mobile device is becoming an even more vital part of the enterprise communications environment. When you see large companies like Google, IBM, Dell, Microsoft etc entering a market, that is generally an indication of a market shift. RIM has lost the battle but continues to fight the war but for how long they are bleeding. They came to a gun fight with a butter knife. It will not be long before Google fixes any security issues and sets out to grab more of the enterprise market. Remember they purchased Motorola who recently purchased an MDM, who now has placed software on all major devices for MDM management. RIM was the originators of MDM but they could not keep up or chose not to keep up, eventually it will end in a "strategic acquisition." My prediction is Q3 or Q4 of 2012.
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