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AirWatch 8 Blurs The Lines Between EMM And Endpoint Management

By - Source: AirWatch

As mobile devices are becoming ubiquitous in the enterprise, the lines between mobile device management (MDM) and endpoint management products are beginning to blur. Our recent endpoint management solutions guide pointed out that MDM is becoming a key component in point management products, with many solutions adding mobile devices to their single pane of glass management along with capabilities to manage apps, apply security policies and more.

On the other hand, enterprise mobility management (EMM) products are starting to add endpoint management capabilities, going beyond managing just smartphones and tablets. The case in point is the upcoming release of AirWatch 8, which strives to unify the management experience for IT teams. Announced today, AirWatch8 is introducing that single pane of glass management experience for a variety of end user devices, including not just smartphones, tablets, and laptops, but also PCs, Chromebooks, peripherals, wearables, and even Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Read more: AirWatch Mobile Device Management Vendor Comparison Guide

The folks at AirWatch are calling this "the most significant update since VMware acquired AirWatch a year ago." The main focus of AirWatch version 8 is simplifying the management for IT admins across a variety of devices and further integrations with key technologies to enable productivity and offer a more streamlined experience for end users.

The new version of the management platform includes a number of key Apple integrations, such as AppleCare, so IT can easily access information like warranty status and purchase date in the console, as well as Apple Touch ID, for biometric and multi-factor authentication. Other new capabilities include multi-user management and the ability to push software updates for Mac OS X devices.

In AirWatch version 8, IT administrators will also be able to take advantage of a new mobile console for managing devices, apps and content away from their computers. The management console also includes a "per-app" dashboard that offers admins a detailed view of app statistics and a more fine-grained app version control. For application security assessments, AirWatch has added integration with Veracode's cloud-based app scanning platform. And for IoT management, the company has integrated with Jasper's IoT management platform. Finally, IT admins will see more granular telecom expense management in version 8.

AirWatch 8 Administrative Console. Image courtesy of AirWatch.AirWatch 8 Administrative Console. Image courtesy of AirWatch.On the end user side, AirWatch is introducing a redesigned web enrollment interface that the company says is more intuitive and streamlined across different device types and operating system environments. The platform improvements also include the ability to pre-register Intel devices running Android, allowing for auto-enrollment of the devices once they're powered on. In addition to the aforementioned Apple Touch ID integration, end users will also have authentication options with EyeVerify, a mobile biometric authentication solution that uses the scan of the veins in your eyes, instead of a passcode, to unlock applications. End users will also be able to use two new collaboration apps -- AirWatch Chat, used for secure messaging, and AirWatch Video, for secure video and training.  

"Enterprise mobility management is transforming from single point solutions into comprehensive platforms that focus on end user satisfaction, application enablement and unifying the management of endpoints," said Stacy Crook, research director at IDC's Enterprise Mobility division. "With AirWatch 8, AirWatch is taking the next step towards providing a platform that meets diverse enterprise requirements and is equipped to handle customer needs in the coming year."

AirWatch 8 will be available to customers later this quarter. For more information visit air-watch.com.

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