Good Technology, recently acquired by Visto, has introduced a new version of its enterprise mobile e-mail product, including limited management support for the iPhone.
Good for Enterprise 6.0 allows for mobile access to corporate applications behind the firewall, said Doug Brackbill, executive vice president for Good, during an interview at the CTIA conference in Las Vegas. It includes a mobile VPN that runs from the Good server behind the corporate firewall and allows secure mobile access to any TCP/IP based application behind the firewall, he said.
That means enterprises can more easily let users access applications like corporate IM, CRM and sales force applications, he said.
Other mobile VPN products on the market often require proprietary development, demanding time and investment, but the Good VPN works out of the box, he said.
The VPN is designed to work around the sometimes unreliable nature of wireless connections. It preserves the session so if a user goes through a tunnel or loses the wireless connection for another reason, the user doesn't have to log in again.
That's a key feature that might appeal to an IT manager afraid that mobile workers won't use the VPN if it's too cumbersome. "If you're dropping in and out of coverage and have to reconnect, it's really painful," said Sean Ryan, an analyst with IDC. "People tend not to use it if it's so painful."
In addition, the architecture of the Good VPN is unlikely to drain the battery of a mobile phone, a problem with some other mobile VPN products, Ryan said.
The updated platform also includes Good Mobile Control, a device management tool that is Web based for easier access by IT administrators. A manager can use the tool to manage mobile phones, remotely wiping devices that might be lost or stolen, monitoring device status and examining features that devices have.
Good also announced that administrators can now manage the iPhone through the control tool. That could please IT administrators who have struggled to manage iPhones used by workers, Brackbill said. Good would like to add iPhone support in its other offerings and hopes to be able to in the future but for now the iPhone software developer kit is just too limited, he said.
The new capabilities make the Good platform more useful within an enterprise. "It's moving them in the direction of adding more to the platform beyond just e-mail. It's more full service," said Ryan. "It starts to become a platform that either they can develop more applications beyond e-mail or they can partner with other people to mobilize existing enterprise apps."