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VMware Horizon Mobile on iOS

There is a lot of news coming from VMware this week at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco, but one announcement I’m most excited to tell you about is that VMware is extending VMware Horizon Mobile to iOS. Steve Herrod will show this technology on-stage today in his keynote at VMworld. This development builds on our Android work that many customers are currently piloting, and I’d like to explain how we got to this point.

When VMware talks to enterprises about mobility, three things typically come up in the conversations:

  1. BYOD/Usability: The release of the first iPhone in 2007 ushered in two fundamental changes that will not likely change any time soon. The first is usability – clean beautiful small apps that do a few things really well. The second is BYOD. Employees were using better devices in their consumer life than at work so their preference was to use their personal devices for work as well. As a consequence of these two changes, the days of IT telling employees what device to use and what they can and cannot do on these devices are long gone.
  2. Data Leakage: This is perhaps the biggest and primary concern for IT folks who are tasked with defining any company’s mobile strategy. Smartphones and tablets are truly mobile and go with us to places where laptops have not gone. Consequently, the idea that users could lose these devices along with the content on them is a major concern. Further, as employees download and use other mostly-personal apps on these devices, there is a chance data could be leaked accidentally by uploading content to a vendor’s cloud.
  3. Apps: Most of the enterprises we talk to indicate that they will be developing more applications for mobile devices so users can be productive no matter what device being used. We know users will be running dozens of apps in addition to email/PIM, which means that there is potentially more content on the device that needs to be provisioned but also secured and managed. This combined with all the personal apps that also reside on the device means that every device is dual purpose – work and personal.

The first wave of vendors who offered solutions to address mobility concerns took a very RIM/Blackberry approach by securing the entire device and controlling what apps and services users can deploy on these devices. Given the dual-purpose nature of devices now, IT administrators are finding out that trying to lock down and control the entire device is not resonating with their users – one example being the device passcode. IT administrators want to enforce the passcode for all devices connecting to corporate assets. This requirement seems fair and painless, but at the same time forces users to enter the passcode even if they want to use the device for personal reasons – Facebook, Angry Birds or any other non-work app that resides on the device. In addition, IT also has the ability to wipe the entire device, so an employee’s personal pictures, videos, and other interesting content could be gone in an instant! As you can imagine, the employee response to all this is typically #UsabilityFailure!

IT administrators are now forced to reconsider how they think about security and management of mobile content. They need to enforce security without compromising usability. The challenge from an IT standpoint then is how to isolate personal apps and data from corporate apps and data, how to protect corporate apps and data and manage corporate apps and data on devices that have both personal and corporate content.

VMware’s Approach

VMware believes that providing dual persona (work and personal) functionality is the future of mobile computing, where users and IT both get what they need, and the solution is VMware Horizon Mobile.

Our initial foray was for Android devices and you can see the latest and greatest here.

However, we are now extending the solution to iOS devices. IT administrators will be able to create an iOS workspace, which is a collection of applications and data and services, set policies on that workspace and be able to secure and manage it.

You can watch a demo of this here. You will see how policies *only* apply when a user accesses corporate content. You will also see how we protect data. Data is protected at rest with encryption, data is protected in transit, and data access is controlled so only work apps can access enterprise data.

We’ve shown how you can deploy other critical applications into the workspace. Unmodified native iOS apps can be added to the workspace and they will automatically inherit the security policies defined by IT. All without compromising usability and maintaining native look and feel.

With VMware Horizon Mobile, security and usability go hand in hand – and users and IT will both win with this solution. If you’re at VMworld this week, stop by the VMware booth to see this technology in action.