Ali Ahmed, CTO and Founder of Bitzer Mobile, and I had an opportunity to discuss his company's enterprise application platform for mobile devices. The company is addressing the need to provide a secure, manageable and reliable way for mobile staff to access important applications and data from the constellation of mobile devices in use today. Bitzer Mobile would suggest that encapsulating the application and critical pieces of data so that it can be run as an "app" on a mobile device.
The company would present that native applications allowing access to enterprise data are perceived as far more useful than merely accessing them remotely using access virtualization technology, such as that offered by Citrix or Microsoft. Having accessed several websites from my mobile device and then using that website's app, I tend to support their position.
What Bitzer Mobile has to say about their technology
The explosion of native applications for B2C web-apps like SouthWest, Salesforce, Kayak etc. has proven that native applications increase useability and experience. Enterprises are looking to mobilize their enterprise web-apps with native applications but find the current development model expensive and impractical.
Enterprises need a simple, cost effective, scalable and secure framework to develop, deploy, manage, authenticate, customize and provision native mobile applications on-the-fly.
Bitzer provides interactive, multi-platform, secure, manageable and native mobile applications for accessing enterprise data. Using Bitzer's patent pending, enterprise-grade native mobile application and open HTML-based Enterprise Virtualization Layer system integrators, IT professionals and software developers can easily mobilize any enterprise data across iPhone, Android and Blackberry natively in just 30 minutes.
Snapshot analysisOver the years, I've spoken with Citrix, VMware, Microsoft, AppZero, TriCerat and a number of others about the issue presented by mobile computing to an organization's IT team. Each of these companies is offering a way for users of mobile hand held devices to access applications.
Bitzer Mobile's competitors are offering several different ways for organizations to make their applications available to mobile staff, customers and partners. They include:
- Allowing the mobile device to visit specially formatted web pages so that the application is available via the device's web browser
- Downloading an access virtualization client allowing users to use the application as if they were sitting at a PC
- Encapsulating applications and then projecting them out to devices using application virtualization technology.
Bitzer Mobile would present that each of these methods has a serious flaw - they don't always taken into account that the screen and keyboard of the mobile device are not good replacements for a PC's monitor or keyboard. So, those applications are far less usable.
I don't see it quite that way. Citrix, as one example, has offered "Receivers" that tune the user interface and user experience of XenDesktop hosted applications so that they are quite usable on many different mobile devices. Citrix isn't requiring that each application be modified to use an application virtualization framework. Other competitors are offering somewhat similar approaches. I'm also not sure that organizations would want to rely on a start up for key technology to support their business and mission critical applications. Bitzer Mobile would counter that they have already helped major providers of Internet services create apps for popular mobile devices. I'm not sure we can resolve this without seeing what this company does in the future.
I can suggest, however, that if encapsulating an application and delivering it in a form more easily used by mobile staff, customers and partners is a key challenge, that Bitzer Mobile's approach be evaluated.