Conference report: The enterprise mobility buzz from BriForum 2016 London

Last week at BriForum London, conversations about mobility centered on Microsoft Intune, Windows 10, and acceptance of the state of EMM.

Citrix Synergy is taking place in Las Vegas this week, but in the brief lull before it starts, I want to share a quick post about the notable enterprise mobility conversations that came up last week at BriForum London.


We all know that Microsoft has made huge strides in EMM with Intune and the Enterprise Mobility Suite. They say they have large numbers of customers using it, but their claims have always been a bit suspect since elements of Intune are included for free with Office 365. At BriForum I got more evidence in support of their claim—more than a few attendees were working on Intune proof of concept projects. Some were even looking at using the Outlook mobile apps to replace Good Technology email clients.

Last year we talked about how much of an influence Intune and EMS was going to have on EMM; apparently this year will be the year we see that happen on the ground.

Windows 10 and MDM

Somewhat surprisingly, the idea of using MDM to manage Windows 10 came up a few times, too. I’ve always liked the concept, but I also know that it’s a bit radical since it’s such a departure from traditional Windows management. However, I had several conversations with people that were quite enthusiastic about the MDM for Windows—and these weren’t hard-core EMM folks, these conversations were with people that have been dealing with Windows desktops for years.

Of course BriForum covers desktop virtualization, so there’s a ready answer for the question of how to delivery and manage legacy apps when managing Windows 10 endpoints with MDM.

The state of EMM

Even in 2016, many companies are still dealing with mobile devices and cloud apps on an ad hoc basis. Sure, companies get a lot of value out of mobility, even with just mobile email and basic off the shelf apps like file Box, Salesforce, and Concur, but in a lot of cases there’s still no formal strategy or EMM initiative behind it. However as more end user computing takes place on mobile devices and using cloud apps, I have no doubt that this will change. EMM, file sync and share, and identity management will be a huge part of our lives.

The general mood at BriForum was acceptance and agreement. While in the past, some people may have wondered what this mobility thing is all about, or how it applies to them, this year almost every single conversation I had went beyond these questions. Instead, the conversations were about more practical issues, like different types of MAM, different EMM platforms (like Intune, as I mentioned above), and where to get started.

The transition to mobile and cloud certainly isn’t going to happen overnight, but the feeling I got this year at BriForum was that everyone knows and has come to terms with the fact that they’ll be dealing with more of it over the next few years.

Now off to Synergy

Overall it was another wonderful BriForum, and I want to take this chance to say thank you to everybody who made it that way!

Now our whole team is off to Synergy. We have our usual live blog, podcast, and videos planned, so stay tuned. I’ll also be giving two sessions:

  • Tuesday at 2:30: “Cut through the confusion and choose the right mobile app management technique.” (SYN110)
  • Wednesday at 12:30: “Jack Madden’s state of enterprise mobility in 2016” (SYN502 )

If you’re there, come say hello. I’d also especially like to hear about any plans around Windows 10 MDM or Android for Work.

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