Mobile Device Management (MDM) takes central billing at GFI MAX ANZ conference

Debbie Thomson

Mobile Device Management was a hot topic at the annual GFI MAX customer conference in Sydney Australia today as Brian Casey, Marketing Director at GFI MAX opened the Mobile Device Management session with a look at the key trends in the device market. This included the booming growth in shipments of smartphones, a sharp increase in the demand for tablets and a leveling off in the demand for desktops and PCs.

Conference-MDM-SessionIn particular he highlighted the growth in the demand for tablets as a key trend; one which is expected to have a big impact on the way clients will be asking MSPs to manage their devices. He also took a closer look at recent research into mobile device management conducted by GFI in which over 500 MSPs participated. This research highlighted a few key areas:

  • Increasing demands from users who want to use their devices in their own way.
  • The fact that managing iOS devices is still the biggest priority for the MSP market.
  • That android looks set to have an increasing influence on the market.
  • That almost 40% of MSPs see themselves working with an equal split of corporate and employee owned devices.
  • Set-up, security and user support are the major considerations in terms of tasks that MSPs need help with.
  • The fact that just under 75% of MSPs are NOT monetizing the mobile opportunity despite the various opportunities around Handsets, SIMs and tariff management, insurance, clean up and resale, BYOD and mobile expense management.

Bob Lawson, Senior Marketing Director then took a closer look at the implications for three future MSP business models including; Break/Fix, Managed Services and Trusted Adviser. This covered how a move by MSPs to managing mobile devices could potentially offset a decrease in revenues from more traditional activities around PCs and Desktop over time.

Bob also considered a scenario in the not too distant future where MSPs could be managing more devices, due to the growth in mobile but with lower revenue per device and where MSPs could look to increase revenues with fees from Cloud service providers (e.g. Office 365) and software infrastructure vs network infrastructure.

Following on from that Rick Mulford, MSP and Founder & CTO of Delta Technology Solutions took a regional view of what he saw as being important in the local Australia and New Zealand market. Delta is an existing GFI MAX customer and New Zealand based company that specializes in global ICT Systems Management and Monitoring, Managed Active Protection and Big Data Analytics pertaining to Systems Management Data and Trends.

Rick suggested:

“Whether you call it BYOD, BYOT, BYOP or even BYOPC the world is a buzz with it - What concerns me the most, is while this market is maturing, that right now, today the user’s expectation is that it’s OK to use the Smartphone, Tablet, Home Laptop or PC for personal use AND business use…but what are the security implications for our clients”.

Rick then went on to suggest that by 2014, employee devices will be compromised by malware at 2x the rate of corporate-owned devices and expressed a concern around businesses ability to mitigate risks like Trojans, data leakage and lost or stolen devices; user crises which are common issues being seen across the industry today.

He highlighted that there is a big black hole in systems management & protection and how to manage devices while they’re away from the protection of the corporate network. And that it’s important to remember we’re also talking about devices that were primarily purchased by the end user to operate outside of a business’s requirement and policies….Stating:

“IT Support teams without a proper combination of effective System Management & Monitoring and MDM are going to struggle, and this is a major opportunity for us as MSPs”

To find out more about the GFI MAX Customer Conferences and what we have in store for you in the coming weeks take a look at the full agenda here.

Don't forget to check back for more news and highlights from the GFI MAX Customer Conference series and of course follow #MAXCC for live updates too!