Friday Notebook, December 14: HCL will buy BigFix from IBM; more mobile security stats

Also: Rachel Berry on Bromium Protected App; Wandera; iOS MDM and BYOD; thoughts on Windows 10 modern management; news about Work Profiles; and more.

This is our weekly log of desktop virtualization, enterprise mobility, and end user computing news.

Our blog posts

Rachel Berry: Bromium Protected App: Bromium is finding additional use cases for their micro-VM technology. Previously, Bromium’s goal was to keep an entire laptop protected. Their new product is now targeting other forms of isolation.

Kyle: Wandera mobile security data shows locked-down corporate policies help lessen risk. It’s important to contextualize all the data to ensure everyone understands and doesn’t just try to dunk on one another. This time, corporate security data from Wandera.

Jack: iOS MDM needs to get better at BYOD, but Apple might make it harder (December 2018 update). The iOS MDM experience for BYOD has fallen behind the latest versions of Android, and some customer needs aren’t being met. It’s time for some big changes in iOS device management.

Jack: Adopting Windows 10 modern management is a spectrum, not a binary move to MDM. We also have co-management, but there are other things can be considered modern management.

Industry news

Late last week, we learned that HCL Technologies is acquiring several IBM software products, including BigFix, which does traditional endpoint management. As they put it, this leaves IBM free to focus on more forward-looking products. What does it mean for IBM MaaS360? There's a bit of interesting history here. Back in the day, Fiberlink (the company that created MaaS360 and was later acquired by IBM) offered BigFix as a service. Today, MaaS360 provides its own cloud-based unified endpoint management, but there are also integrations that allow customers to use MaaS360 cloud-based UEM alongside BigFix on premises. I reached out to my IBM press contact, and learned that things should be business as usual up until the deal closes, likely in mid-2019. IBM is still in discussions about the future go to market, but they fully intend to continue selling BigFix with MaaS360, as they do today for UEM. Furthermore, BigFix will remain a part of the IBM Security Immune System.

Dell plans to go public again. While this is a big deal for Dell, on the surface, this doesn’t seem like it will have a huge effect on VMware, because VMware has been public all along. So while Dell buying VMware in the first place was a big deal, there’s no obvious industry or product news here.

Android work profiles will be able to block users from installing personal apps from outside of Google Play. This change was implemented in Google Mobile Services, and it will work on devices as far back as Android 6.0. Jason Bayton has an excellent write up with details, including how to enable this in MobileIron and VMware. This is definitely a security benefit, but it does open the door to continuing conversations about BYOD. See our coverage of the Fornite app and trends away from BYOD MDM enrollment.

MobileIron announced the appointment of Rhonda Shantz as chief marketing officer. I met Rhonda during her time at Centrify, so she comes with close knowledge of the industry. Ojas Rege, who is MobileIron’s chief strategy officer, previously also held the CMO position.

More reads

There’s been a lot of talk about the future of RDSH, especially in light of the fact that RDSH on Windows Server 2019 won’t be able to run Office 365 Pro Plus, and will be limited to Office 2019 perpetual. This week, Cláudio Rodrigues weighed in again, and he was spot on when he wrote about the effect on many line-of-business applications: “Based on my experience, the vast majority of these LOB apps could not care less about whatever collaboration or online features Office 365 brings to the table.

“What makes Microsoft tick?” I enjoyed this end of the year wrap up from Mary Jo Foley.

Consumer mobile app location tracking has been in the news, making another press release that crossed my desk especially interesting: AI for doing local add personalization on a mobile device (so that all that personal data can stay on the device, not on a centralized server) is a thing. Makes sense. The company is called Anagog, and here’s their press release. According to the release, this tech is in 100 commercial apps already.

We’ve been writing a lot about mobile threat statistics recently, and one place where threats really show up and are very scary is in attacks targeting political dissidents, journalists, and activists. Last week, the Pegasus spyware marketed by the NSO group was linked to the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The vast majority of us don’t have this type of threat model, but it’s a reminder of some of the implications of mobile threat defense.

What’s new in Citrix Apps and Desktops 1811. One thing I noticed is, “Now, on very fast networks with low latency, HDX will consume more bandwidth when it is available.” I can’t think of the article, but I remember Brian writing something related to this idea.

Vendor spotlight: Trugrid

As we close out the year, I want to spotlight a few more new vendors that we’ve met but haven’t had a chance to write about yet. This week, we’ll take a look at TruGrid. I met TruGrid’s CEO, Peter Ayedun, back at Synergy this year. He’s been working on Citrix since the 90s, and saw a need for a simpler mid-market product. TruGrid originally started out as a place to manage credentials for engineers, but then they wanted to try adding in access to remote desktops. Today, TruGrid functions as a broker, replacing RDS Web, RD Gateway, and RD Broker, and comes with  multi-factor authentication turned on by default. The components include an on-premises service that acts as a cloud connector, and a multi-tenant cloud service.

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