Strikes deals with Telefónica and Verizon to push dual identity smartphones
VMware CEO Paul Maritz has outlined the products and services he hopes will put his company at the forefront of the post-PC era, as the enterprise moves towards embracing a more mobile workforce.
In his keynote at VMworld Europe 2011 in Copenhagen Maritz highlighted the move away from the traditional Windows-based desktop environment due to the emergence of mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones.
He demoed VMware Horizon Mobile Manager, which enables IT to offer two separate identities on a single device – one for work purposes and one for personal usage. The key aspect of this is that it can run on a worker’s personal smartphone so businesses do not need to provision the devices themselves.
This also appears to solve the issue of workers not wanting carry around two devices, their own phone which they can choose themselves and the one offered by IT.
Using VMware Horizon Mobile Manager IT can provision the business side of the devices, basically creating a second virtual phone to run on an Android device. The management aspect is web-based and enables IT admins to offer access to corporate apps, data and email. Users will only be able to get apps via a cloud-based corporate app store.
The virtualised corporate identity on the device is subject to the same policies and regulations as any company smartphone would be, Maritz said.
All the corporate data and apps will remain completely separate from the personal side of the devices, so "if a hacker gets access to your [personal] phone via a compromised version of Angry Birds, they will not be able to get at the corporate data. It’s walled off," Maritz said during the keynote.
When a worker leaves the company the corporate identity is wiped from the device via the cloud-based management dashboard.
VMware has struck deals with Telefónica in Europe and Verizon in the US to bring this offering to the masses. Hardware providers Samsung and LG are also involved. At first it will only be available on Android devices, although at the event VMware CTO Steve Herrod said he was open to offering it on Apple’s iOS devices if the company was allowed access to the operating system.
Speaking to CBR, Herrod added that mobile virtualisation will be a big focus areas for VMware over the coming few years.
"We started on this path three years ago with the acquisition of a French company and went through a lot of learning, iPhone, Android did not exist. We were really trying to think about where it should head; we went back into engineering, we’ve grown the team substantially and just over the last few months we’ve announced what we’re doing," he said.
"Some of it is luck and some is timing. Android took off really well, phones are really powerful through the ARM technology and the presence of App Stores has grown. It’s a different architecture now; we’re working with Telefónica in Europe and Verizon in the US as our strategic partners to take this out.
"When we last presented we had an early technology with a different approach. Now we’ve changed the technology and got the partnerships ready to go out with this next year," Herrod said.
You can read more from our Q&A with VMware CTO Steve Herrod here.