Distributed desktop virtualization start up MokaFive has carved a niche for itself by simplifying the task of delivering enterprise IT managed Windows desktop environments to Apple Mac hardware without the additional cost and complexity of VDI environments. (I reviewed MokaFive Suite and its type II hypervisor solution here previously and as well looking at its bare-metal hypervisor platform for conventional Wintel hardware here.)
After seeing considerable success in this area, MokaFive is moving on to the next step of its strategy for supporting Apple in the enterprise by the release of MokaFive for iOS (if coming up with uninspiring product names is a virtue, MokaFive is well on the way to sainthood). MokaFive’s strategy is not to focus on desktop virtualization solutions but to provide enterprise IT management solutions. In this light, MokaFive is using desktop virtualization as an enterprise desktop management solution that spans both Windows and Apple Mac platforms. It should be no surprise then that rather than attempting to compete in the already crowded VDI and Presentation Virtualization market, MokaFive is instead looking to tackle the core management problem that iOS devices have in enterprise IT environments.
The problem of delivering Windows desktops and applications to mobile devices has already been solved by Citrix, VMware, Quest, and others, it makes no sense for MokaFive to attempt to compete in this market, and as has been pointed out by many Windows applications seldom sit well on small form factor mobile devices. The challenge here is not how to deliver Windows apps, but how to integrate mobile devices into enterprise IT environments. There are three ways to address the challenges of supporting mobile devices. The most widely known solution is Mobile Device Management (MDM), while this solution works well in top-down enterprise IT environments, it has failed to keep up with the challenges of supporting user expectations that have been influenced by the consumerization of IT (CoIT) and bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives. MDM is rapidly being superseded by Mobile Application Management (MAM) solutions that are better suited to control the delivery of applications to otherwise unmanaged devices. However, in most instances what matters is not so much the applications, but the data that applications access. Looked at this way, Mobile Application Management is a steppingstone on the road towards Mobile Information Management (MIM) and it is this that MokaFive for iOS is aiming to address.
MokaFive for iOS takes the de facto standard approach to MIM presenting an encrypted data container as an iOS app that offers secure access to approved corporate file shares. In common with similar solutions, MokaFive for iOS supports both online and, where permitted, off-line access to approved resources, caching data in the secure “LiveData” container. Users can browse files, edit files using approved applications, and download files for offline use if permitted. Any changes to files cached files are synchronized back to the central store. MokaFive are positioning this as a pure enterprise solution, offering the ease of use that employees have come to expect from applications such as Dropbox combined with enterprise IT management services. As expected, MokaFive provides central management of the LiveData container including remote wipe should a device be lost, stolen, or in the event that an employee leaves the organization. Mokafive for iOS offers over 30 policies to manage and secure data in line with corporate policies. MokaFive is focusing on the use of enterprise managed storage rather than cloud storage services. A recent survey by Entelechy Associates showed that 46% of enterprise IT staff expressed significant reservations about the use of enterprise-class cloud storage services with 82% expressing reservations about consumer-centric cloud storage services, suggesting that MokaFive has adopted the right approach here.
The MokaFive for iOS app is available for immediate download from the Apple App Store, and the MokaFive Management Server for IT is available from MokaFive. Additional information is available at http://mokafive.com/ios. MokaFive will be releasing an Android version in the near future.