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How Dell thinks it can steal customers from MobileIron and AirWatch

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CITEworld |


Dell is adding containerization technology to its suite of mobile management offerings in an effort to be a one-stop shop for businesses looking for an array of tools to manage mobile.  

While much of Dell’s existing mobile management offerings came through acquisitions, including SonicWall, Kace, Wyse, and Credant, this one is home grown. The new capability puts Dell in line with a host of other companies that are similarly adding features to their mobile management offerings as businesses increasingly want to buy a suite of interoperating capabilities from a single source.

The Dell containers work on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, with Windows Phone “coming soon.” The containers include a set of apps like calendar, contacts, text messaging, email, and a browser. Businesses can add additional apps to the containers, although Dell said its target market doesn’t have a high demand to do so. Dell is targeting businesses with 100 to 5,000 users. “Companies in that space don’t have a lot of proprietary apps they want to roll in,” said Roger Bjork, director of Dell Mobility Solutions.

Dell is adding the new containerization technology to a suite of other mobile management technologies, positioning the offerings as an “end-to-end enterprise mobility management solution.” For instance, Dell thinks that in addition to containerization, customers will want to buy its identity and access management, encryption, security, and mobile device management technologies to meet their mobile management needs.

Businesses are looking for a single vendor to supply a range of products in part because they are realizing they will likely continue to support multiple phone ownership models in the years to come. “We certainly see companies today have a mix of some corporate owned devices and some BYOD, and that’s how it will be for the foreseeable future,” Bjork said.

The analyst reports he reads show that currently most businesses have a split of 60 percent corporate owned devices and 40 percent BYOD. In the next couple years, that’s expected to switch, still leaving a healthy portion of both categories. “There are a lot of companies that will continue to do corporate owned. If nothing else, it’s a perk,” he said.

Dell isn’t alone in trying to be a one stop shop. Most of the mobile device and mobile app management companies have been expanding their offerings or combining forces with other vendors so they can offer more capabilities. IBM, for instance, recently bought Fiberlink for its MDM offering and Citrix bought Zenprise a year ago. Microsoft itself has been expanding its mobile management offerings.

Dell says there’s still a lot of opportunity in this market. Its own survey data found that around 70 percent of companies that use MDM are reconsidering their vendor, Bjork said. That’s not surprising given all the flux in the market, with the consolidation and other companies, like MobileIron, focusing on potential IPOs, he said.

Most of Dell’s offerings are available as a service. The containerization offering will be available in the first quarter next year.

This story, “How Dell thinks it can steal customers from MobileIron and AirWatch” was originally published by


Nancy is a freelance journalist who started writing about mobile phones just in time to cover the transition to digital.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.


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