AirWatch Connect 2015 Day 1 Keynote Live Blog

The AirWatch Connect conference is taking place this week in Atlanta, and I did a live blog of the keynote. The keynote is over now-read from the bottom up.

The AirWatch Connect conference is taking place this week in Atlanta, and I did a live blog of the keynote.

The keynote is over now—read from the bottom up.


11:53 And that's a wrap!

11:50 My Apple Watch just told me to stand up and walk around. Long keynote and 1700-word blog. Whew!

11:30 Blake is done, and now John Marshall is back on stage with someone from Coca-Cola (remember we're in Atlanta). Coke has a new soda fountain machine with a touch screen. The advantage is it can dispense over a hundred different flavors instead of just a few, and more important, the machine reports in every night for diagnostics and ordering. They run WinCE and QNX, and AirWatch is used for management and updates. (Coke has about 33,000 of these machines.) Verizon is involved in this, and there are also Salesforce and Adobe integrations. Wow—there's so much involved here, and this is a really interesting case study.

11:26 Next demo is Kinvey's mobile backend as a service. Kinvey provides various app services, and then with the AirWatch AppShield program (announced last year at Connect), the process of distributing and configuring the apps with AirWatch can happen automatically. 

11:20 Now they're showing demos where they're blocking non-MDM-managed devices from accessing SaaS services. They're really pushing MDM enrollment for all devices. I'd like to hear them acknowledge the other use cases.

11:12 Now Blake is demoing MDM enrollment for Windows 10. This is like a standard MDM demo we've been seeing for years, but it is cool that this is Windows. It even includes work and personal data separation. Yes, this is the future, but again, this will likely be quite slow to actually roll out.

11:10 Using the Device Enrollment Program, AirWatch can automatically configure a device. Okay. But on top of that, they can support iBeacons as another more granular way to build policies. This can be powerful—it's yet another layer of context, which will be important for extended enterprise use cases like retail kiosks. I'll ask Blake later if they have any issues with waiting for APNS or MDM commands to push.

11:05 First up is the VMware Identity Manager Workspace app (it's a web app). They're doing SSO into other apps, including remote desktop apps. There's also a button to show what privacy policies are in place. Question is if this will really make users trust IT? Next, they're showing SSO with native apps. They can do automatic login for native mobile apps on MDM-managed devices.

11:01 Blake Brannon is on stage now. Time for demos!

10:57 Now on to the Mobile Security Alliance. About 10 different partners listed so far. They can integrate directly into the AirWatch platform. Blake Brannon will be on stage in a little bit to show some demos, and Noah Wasmer will be in the keynote tomorrow. I'm really curious what proportion of AirWatch customers are currently using add-on mobile security providers.

10:53 Sanjay is talking about the benefits of App Config for Enterprise. This is great stuff, but like I've been saying for years, there are a lot of ways to do mobile app management, and they all have their tradeoffs. They're up to 44 partners now.

10:52 Now time for some announcements: Press releases here.

  • AirWatch has an agreement to resell Samsung KNOX now.
  • There are even more partners for the App Config for Enterprise program, including SAP.
  • There's a new Mobile Security Alliance, for integrating with AirWatch.
  • Privacy First Initiative, to reassure users that just because you're managing their devices. 

10:47 Sanjay says that VMware / AirWatch is Switzerland. I think the implication is that Microsoft is not :) On the other hand, they did have Microsoft onstage to talk about Windows 10 back at VMworld. He's also talking about close collaboration with Apple, Samsung, and Google.

10:43 Now it's time to talk about VMware Identity Manager, their product for identity federation, SSO, access management, etc. As we move onto more SaaS apps, this is huge. Also it's important because passwords are a huge pain on mobile.

10:35 Panel is over and now just Sanjay Poonen is on stage. He's going to talk about "digital workspaces." This means any app on any device. Mobile apps, SaaS, Windows, web apps, laptops, Chromebooks, phones, identity, etc. VMware Workspace Suite finally has all of the pieces to put this together. Workspace Suite is Horizon (VDI, RDSH, client hypervisors), Content Locker, VMware Identity Manager, and AirWatch.

10:33 Still on the panel session. One of the things that stuck out was talk about the integration of AirWatch per-app VPNs and VMware NSX network micro-segmentation. They're citing this as a big (or biggest (so far)) example of AW + VMW innovation.

10:16 Now they're doing a panel conversation with Pat, Sanjay Poonen, Alan Dabbiere, and John Marshall. Generally talking about how customers get more mature about cloud, mobility, security. I'll stay mostly silent during this panel unless any new figures or ideas come out.

10:15 EMM is to the mobile era as virtualization was to the cloud.

10:14 85% of their customers are still in the "individual productivity" stage of maturity. That's email, basic individual apps, etc. The next stage after that is team productivity. (We have Slack at, does that count? :) But almost everybody in their survey obviously wants to get to the transformed applications/business processes stage.

10:10 Pat is talking about going from the client-server era to the mobile-cloud era. He's talking One Cloud, by which they mean multiple different clouds. Final piece of going to the mobile-cloud era is any device. That's what we're here to talk about this week.

10:05 Now Pat is talking about the importance of security. But unfortunately in EUC things are kind of fragmented. So he's talking about how a virtualization layer acts as a common architecture for security. It's "bolt-on" versus "built-in." So with VMware and virtualization, he's saying that everything can be built-in. He claims they can double the benefits and halve the cost, and says VMware will be an important security company.

9:53 Pat Gelsinger is coming onstage now. That's nice that he's here—it's his first time at Connect. He's talking about why they picked AirWatch to acquire. Also talking about how connected everybody is. This is some of the same material from VMworld :)

9:52 Now they're showing a video about how mobile has to go beyond email and basic web forms.

9:48 App config for enterprise, mobile identity are big, too. I think we're going to get deeper into these later in the keynote.

9:47 Now he's talking about all their apps that they're working on (email app, browser, Content Locker, etc)—the standard they have to work to is consumer apps. Man, John Marshall could compete with Shawn Bass for fastest talker!

9:46 John says this is the year that laptops really become part of the mobile conversation. Conversation, yes, but we (Brian, Gabe, and me) are still not meeting many people that plan on changing the way they manage laptops any time soon.

9:45 Windows 10, Android for Work, and iOS 9 are the big platform changes for this year. But there's more—Tizen, rugged devices, iBeacons, etc.

9:43 One of their pushes is better support for beta testing, for both new mobile OSes and new versions of AirWatch. This is important, as that new iOS 9 VPN issue shows.

9:39 Now John is talking about the status of the VMware / AirWatch integration. He acknowledges that there can be stumbling blocks. But that's okay—good things are happening. One of the biggest changes is all the great people that have come into VMware EUC over the last 1-2 years.

9:31 John Marshall is taking the stage. This is the fourth AirWatch Connect. 1500 are customers here. Looks like there are many more than that in the room now with partners, sponsors, etc. He's talking about all the customer advisory panels, learning labs, and education sessions this week. (That even includes an iOS developer workshop. Cool.)

9:30 Now they're showing videos about how great mobility is, how we're all connected now, etc etc etc...

9:13 While we're waiting, catch up on everything from VMworld. Read the keynote live blog, the summary of Noah Wasmer's session on the future of mobility, and our VMworld preview.

9:10 Keynote is starting in a half hour or so. The room is already packed, and it's a notch or two larger than it was in past years. They're alternating between music and live interviews on the big screens while we wait.

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

The additional of customer advisory board will be increasingly important has the mobile helps to define the broader end user computing landscape


Interesting to watch Pat, Sanjay Poonen, Alan Dabbiere, and John Marshall turn this panel into an infomercial and the dynamics between them. Feels often like three kings and a prince...