BoxTone Extends Smartphone Support - InformationWeek

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01:05 PM

BoxTone Extends Smartphone Support

The mobility-management software addresses the security and compliance issues companies face when deploying smartphones.

BoxTone is expanding beyond the BlackBerry, and the company is rolling out enterprise software that will enable companies to manage, monitor, and support the iPhone, the Palm Pre, Windows Mobile devices, and any smartphone using ActiveSync.

The company said it continues to see Research In Motion maintaining a strong role in the enterprise mobility field because of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server business, and its entrenched position, but companies are facing an "invasion" of employee smartphones wanting access to the corporate network, according to BoxTone's chief marketing officer Brian Reed.

These devices can boost productivity and potentially save a lot of money because employees are often willing to pay for them, but this leads to a variety of security and provisioning issues that BoxTone is looking to address with its 5.0 version, Reed said.

BoxTone 5.0 enables companies to set up corporate-liable and employee-liable ownership models that limit the type of access individual smartphones can have. The mobility software includes inventory management capabilities, can identify potential threats, and there's a Web-based self-service portal that can help employees address handset or network problems without having to call the IT department.

The software also includes expense management capabilities that can monitor real-time users, identify under-utilization, and can quantify average productivity per user in a dollar amount. Reed said this feature can be used to cut out waste, as well as provide hard data for justifying mobile deployments.

"The more smartphones connect to an enterprise, the higher the risk for lost or stolen sensitive information, and the potential for greater IT support costs," said BoxTone CEO Alan Snyder, in a statement. "With enterprise-enabled smartphones expected to jump from 10-15% today to 70-80% by 2012, those risks and costs are set to significantly increase."

BoxTone 5.0 will cost about the same as previous versions; pricing starts at about $35 per user but can vary depending on the size of deployment.

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