The problem with mobile device management is the simple fact that the word "device" is singular. In reality, end users have multiple mobile computing devices that need to be managed holistically.
The folks at Tangoe, a provider of mobile device management (MDM) that can be deployed on premise or accessed as a cloud computing service, have come to appreciate the plural nature of MDM with a new release of their namesake MDM platform for Apple iOS and Google Android devices that can be used to provide concurrent support for multiple devices assigned to the same user.
According to Julie Palen, Tangoe senior vice president of mobile device management solutions, IT organizations need a more user-centric approach to managing mobile devices, as opposed to simply concentrating on each device without any context about the user and their role within the organization.
Other new features in this release of Tangoe include GPS location identification, individual-liable and corporate-liable tracking and a new user interface for the company's self-service portal. Collectively, all these new additions point to the rapid maturation of mobile device adoption in the enterprise, says Palen.
Whether IT organizations opt to manage these devices in house or via a service in the cloud remains to be seen. But it is pretty clear that smartphone and traditional PC management are increasingly starting to converge, especially with the advent of tablet PCs that are starting to outsell traditional PC systems. And as that convergence accelerates, it's also becoming clear that not only will the internal help desk need to be reorganized, but the way we go about managing devices will need to be re-thought in an age where the average end user is increasingly likely to have three or more devices.